School Programs

School programs at Historic Hudson Valley bring to life the depth and breadth of American history through immersive programs designed for a range of grade levels and subject areas.

Our sites span the course of our nation’s history while engaging students with the past: We cover colonial America, the American Revolution, America’s emergence as a new nation, the rise of industrialization, and the development of American Romanticism.

All programs are led by professionally trained museum educators and include tours of historic sites and buildings, as well as hands-on activities that connect students in meaningful ways with history.

Our programs have been designed to align with the Common Core. Updates include a focus on analyzing primary documents, developing critical thinking skills, and grade-specific programs that align with national learning standards.


Slavery in the Colonial North

March – December

Discover a new perspective on the colonial era at this meticulously restored 18th-century provisioning plantation. Tours include the manor house, barn, and working mill, offering the opportunity to explore the history and the stories of the enslaved community who were forced to live and work here.

Grades 4 – 5 : An interactive tour of the mill, manor house, barn, and activity center, during which students learn about the individual enslaved people at Philipsburg Manor, honor their resilience, and discuss how they nurtured families and built communities in the face of terrible injustice. Students are introduced to the study of historic documents, and select opportunities for hands-on engagement with colonial tasks (such as threshing) are made available for those who wish to participate.

Grades 6 – 12 : This program focuses on enriching student comprehension of the fundamental history of Northern slavery, as well as the development of crucial research skills through the study of historic documents. Throughout their tour of immersive historic spaces, students are invited to engage with primary sources that reveal key information about the enslaved people of Philipsburg Manor, and to discuss how enslaved people could and did resist legal efforts to deny their humanity and their agency.

Program length: 1 hour 45 minutes
Price: $8 per student
Group limit: 60 students

Pinkster: Commemorating Black History, Celebrating Black Culture

May 21 – 23, 2024

Pinkster foodways

Experience and engage in different forms of African cultural expression, including drumming, storytelling, and foodways, which were the heart of Pinkster, a historic holiday celebrated by enslaved communities in the New York area.

Grades: 4-8
Program length: 1.5 hours
Price: $9 per student
Group limit: 90 students per time slot
Times: 10:00-11:30am; Noon-1:30pm


Home of the ‘Legend’

October Weekends

Sunnyside Shadow Puppet

Learn about the life and legacy of the father of American literature. Tour the 19th-century home of Washington Irving, watch an original shadow puppet short film, and participate in arts and crafts. A special exhibit highlights how The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has lived in the imagination of popular culture through the centuries since its publication.

Grades: 3-12
Program length: 1.5 hours
Price: $9 per student
Group limit: 60 students per time slot