Workshops for Schools

Workshops offer an intensive hands-on history experience, with a more limited visitation to the historic buildings. They take place primarily during the winter months of January, February, and March, although our three most popular workshops are also offered in October. Because of the general popularity of these programs, please book as early as possible.  

Please call us weekdays at 718-351-1611 x. 281 or email us anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a school visit.

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Grades K – 4


Experience 10 acres of wide-open farm fields in New York City when you visit our 200 year old farm, still productive today. Historic Richmond Town's Decker Farm is the classic family farm with its original buildings and fields.  Students can step back to a time when rural and agricultural life was woven into everyday life. Students try children's chores of early America; dig like a colonial farmer, plant seeds, ride on a hay wagon and pick a pumpkin to take home. 

On-site tent space available for lunch.  Limited space. This workshop sells out very quickly. Reserve early.

  • Visit a 200 year old farm that's still productive today
  • Dig like a colonial farmer and plant seeds
  • Ride on a hay wagon
  • Sample children's chores of early America
  • Pick a pumpkin to take home
  • Experience 10 acres of wide-open farm fields in NYC
  • On-site tent space available for lunch

This workshop brings literature to life in a hands-on exploration of the new children's classic Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola.

Our most popular workshop helps students learn how people lit their homes and businesses before electricity. Each student makes his or her own candle to take home and sees demonstrations of a variety of early lighting devices. A visit to two historic buildings illuminates the use of lighting in the context of daily life.

This workshop focuses on pre-industrial textile production as students experience for themselves the stages of making sheep's wool into woolen thread. Students always enjoy carding wool, and trying out the loom and drop-spindle. A visit to some of the historic buildings allows them to consider the uses and value of cloth in early American communities.

Students have the hands-on opportunity to investigate how historians use primary source documents, objects and architecture as clues to life in the past. They practice being detectives as they analyze collections of artifacts and try to determine what type of site or building they might have come from. Students also tour some of the historic buildings to explore what historic structures can reveal about the past.

Students take on the roles of participants in a 19th century court as they enact a trial scenario in the 1837 Third County Courthouse. This workshop allows students to explore the rights and responsibilities of citizenship as well as issues of 19th century community life.

Students experience the fun and the work of preparing food the old-fashioned way in the 1820s kitchen addition to the 1740 Guyon-Lake-Tysen House. Participants use reading and math skills to figure out the recipes. Students also explore the colonial period farmhouse and discover how food was preserved before refrigerators.

Students learn about daily life in a rural setting long ago. Participants read along in the book My Grandmother's Patchwork Quilt as they learn about early American farm life and the process of quilt making. Hands-on work with quilting shapes teaches the relationship between simple geometric shapes. Students design their own paper patch to put into a classroom quilt.  You can continue the workshop activities in the classroom to support your math curriculum.