For full information about field trips at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm and all Minnesota Historical Society sites, see the MHS Education website.
Our popular programs stress fun, hands-on learning activities that vary with the seasonal nature of farm work and rural life. Interpretive staff deliver programs using our historic buildings, artifacts, livestock and crop varieties, in an outdoor farm experience.
- Length: Tours last 1-4 hours, depending on the program. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour start time.
- Cost: $5 per person.
- Group size: Minimum 15 participants per group.
- Parking: Free onsite parking. Bus parking is also available.
- Reservations: Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance and can be made up to 2 years ahead. May, June, October and November fill quickly. Please call 763-441-6896 or use our online Field Trip Request Form.
Field Trip Programs
What is a Farm? (Preschool and Kindergarten)
This multi-sensory program gives students a chance to explore a real working farm. Learn first-hand what farmers did, where food came from and why animals lived on a farm.
Family Roles (Grades 1–3)
Through a variety of farm and domestic chores, students learn how each family member contributed to the farm's success.
Farm Animals in the Making of Minnesota (Grades 3–4)
Learn the integral role of farm animals in early Minnesota agriculture. Through hands-on activities, students will discover how animals provided labor, food, by-products and income for farm families.
Farming in the Changing Community (Grades 4–12)
Students explore the dramatic changes that took place in mid-19th century agriculture. Learn how small towns and larger communities were tied to farms, and how changes in livestock breeds, crop varieties and farm technology affected community growth and success. Meet a "book farmer" who, like Oliver Kelley, learned to farm by reading, and Grangers, members of the national farming organization Kelley founded, the Grange.
Minnesota’s Civil War Farms (Grades 6-12)
The Civil War (1861-1865) changed the lives of Minnesota farm families. This hands-on program encourages students to explore the changes that occurred on farms, impacts to families in the absence of the soldier-family members, how Minnesota farms supported the war effort, and the ways that families stayed in contact with their soldiers away at war. A two-hour program that will give new perspective into daily life in the growing state of Minnesota.
The Family Farm (Homeschool)
Homeschool groups can help with planting, harvesting, cooking and many other farm activities. This program stresses Minnesota's agricultural traditions, such as food production and livestock care. Designed for groups with a wide range of ages. (Ages 3 and under free.)
Summer on the Farm
Children participate in farm chores and activities on this two-hour tour. Meet the growing lambs, chicks, calves, and piglets. Help feed and water them! Explore the fields and gardens. Help with cooking or laundry in the house. Enjoy a cup of freshly pumped well water before going out to play some 19th century games.
Fun on the Farm (Preschool)
Our youngest visitors are introduced to farm life with lots of animals to meet and touch. During this 60-to-90 minute program, they can experience giant oxen, wooly lambs and snorting pigs. The fun, hands-on activities may include gathering eggs, exploring the historic house, and helping feed animals in the enormous barn.