Tours & Field Trips

For more ideas see sections Museums & Historical Sites, Healthy Food Resources: U-Pick Farms, and Birthday Destinations. 

Butte County

Bidwell Mansion; Chico. Learn about the area’s history with a guided tour of a three-story, 26-room historic mansion, carriage house & grounds. The Bidwell mansion was one of the first to utilize gas lighting. 525 Esplanade. (530) 895-6144.

Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum; Oroville. View the largest-known documented collection of hand tools in the United States! Celebrates the tools that built our world, with over 12,000 items on display. Group discounts & tours available. 1650 Broderick St. (530) 538-2528.

Bricks 4 Kidz; Chico. Field trips, classes & camps offer children of all ages an imaginative, 3-dimensional, hands-on learning experience using LEGO® bricks to explore architecture, engineering & technology concepts. For preschools: teachers can come to you with a variety of educational themes available. 1141 Forest Ave. Ste. 40. (530) 332-9172.

Chico Children’s Museum. Opening soon!

Chico Community Observatory; Chico. Schedule a docent-led evening astronomy experience for your school or private group. Open on clear nights Fri, Sat & Sun year-round. Summer: sunset – 10:45pm; Winter: approx. 6-9pm. Docents lead discussions about the night sky in an outside viewing area. Look through telescopes inside the building. Free. 1 Observatory Way, near Horseshoe Lake in Upper Bidwell Park; look for sign at intersection of Wildwood Ave. & Observatory Way. (530) 487-4071.

Chico Creek Nature Center. Offers environmental education through a variety of programs including a live animal museum, field trips in Bidwell Park, the Thrive K=12 Learning Center, & other ongoing educational programs. (530) 891-4671.

Chico Museum; Chico. Hosts changing exhibits, including prestigious traveling hands-on exhibits & exhibits that focus on local Chico & Butte county history. Classroom tours avail. 141 Salem St. (530) 891-4336.

Chico Performances Schools Field Trip Series; Chico. Offers student groups an opportunity to see a variety of quality music & theater at reduced rates. Special shows are presented during school hours & are geared toward children, with an educational & entertainment focus. Ticket orders are on a first-come/first-served basis. Shows run Sept-May, held at CSU, Chico’s Laxson Auditorium. (“For the Kids” tab). (530) 898-6333.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area; Gridley. Year-round wildlife viewing on a 9,100-acre wetland area managed for wildlife. In fall & winter see vast numbers of migratory waterfowl. Guided group tours & self-guided tours. Special events, wheelchair access, visitor’s museum & paved trail to viewing platform. Located along the Pacific Flyway, 3207 Rutherford Rd. (530) 846-7505.

Lott Home; Oroville. The C. F. Lott Home in Sank Park was built in 1856 by Charles F. Lott, a gold-rush pioneer, California senator & judge. Book a guided school or group tour to learn captivating stories of the Lott family & their importance to early California history. View original furnishings, paintings, clothes, silver & more.
The house & garden encompass an entire city block at 1067 Montgomery St.
(530) 538-2401.

National Yo-Yo Museum; Chico. Featuring the world’s largest public display of yo-yos & yo-yo memorabilia. Holds weekly yo-yo club practices & spring/fall contests for kids. Free. Open to the public 7 days a week. 320 Broadway. (530) 893-0545.

Oregon City School; Oregon City. Visit the oldest one-room school in Butte County; see photos of students of the olden days. A California Historical Landmark, Oregon City was one of the county’s first mining camps, established in 1848 by a party of Oregonians led by Peter Burnett. Also see the Oregon City covered bridge & tour the nearby Cherokee Museum (by appointment). The school is open Sat & Sun, 1-4pm, or take a chance & toot your horn on weekdays & the caretaker will let you in.
2100 Oregon Gulch Rd. (530) 533-1849.

Paradise Depot Museum; Paradise. Features a full-sized restored caboose in addition to its star attraction: a 30-foot working HO gauge model of the Butte County Railroad. Kids have a blast running the button-operated model representing the 33-mile rail line that ran between Chico & Stirling City. Located on the grounds of Paradise Community Park, 5570 Black Olive Dr. Open Sat & Sun 12-4pm. Project of the Gold Nugget Museum: (530) 872-8722.

Paradise Gem & Mineral Club; Paradise. Join this fun group for adventures that inspire appreciation for rocks & minerals, earth sciences, lapidary techniques & general rock hounding. Monthly activity nights & field trips that include rock hunting & trips to gem & rock shows. (530) 343-0894.

Recycling & Rubbish Education (RARE) Program; Butte County. This program of the Butte County Environmental Council coordinates fieldtrips to a landfill giving students the profound opportunity to learn firsthand that “there is no away.” (530) 891-6424.

Ron’s Reptiles; Chico. Visit to see a variety of lizards, snakes & amphibians, or Ron will come to you for club or school assemblies in Butte & Tehama counties. Open 5 days/week. 44 Rock Creek Rd. (530) 893-2095.

The Worm Farm; Durham. Family farm featuring 9,600 linear feet of windrows of redworms. Learn about vermicomposting at this popular field trip destination. Hands-on group tours year-round by appointment. Wear gardening clothes when visiting! Provides gardeners with a means of producing healthy plants while positively affecting the environment. 9033 Esquon Rd., 7 miles south of Chico. (530) 894-1276.

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology at CSU, Chico. Museum tours with free admission, classroom field trips, workshops & camps. Located in the Meriam Library complex.
(530) 898-5397.

Nevada County

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park; Nevada City.  Visit the site of California’s largest “hydraulic” mine & see huge cliffs carved as a result of the gold mining technique of washing away mountains to find gold. Legal battles ended this method. See the bedrock tunnel that served as a drain. Visitors center offers exhibits & info.

Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum; Nevada City. Dedicated to the preservation of local transportation history & artifacts from the narrow gauge railroad era. Offers docent-led historical tours of the museum, railyard & restoration shop. See wooden rail cars & much more, including a 1875 Baldwin locomotive that’s hauled lumber, passengers & freight, then was a movie engine at Universal Studios in Hollywood. School & group tours available. Free admission. 5 Kidder Court. (530) 470-0902.

Placer County

Maidu Museum & Historic Site; Roseville. Offers memorable field trips great for schools, youth groups & homeschool groups. Includes a guided tour of the museum & its Native American cultural exhibits & activities, & a trail tour of the historic site. Programs meet CA history & social science content standards  for preK–6th grade. A shorter program is offered for preK–2nd & special needs groups. 1970 Johnson Ranch Dr. (916) 774-5934.

Sacramento County

California State Fair Farm School Tour Program; Sacramento. In spring & fall, students grades K-6 will enjoy a 1.5-2 hour tour of the California State Fair Farm’s crops & interactive stations, including a functioning greenhouse. Highlights California agricultural history, seeds, crop growing, & innovations in farming, soil & worm composting. Produce tasting too. or (530) 263-3277.

Shasta & Tehama Counties

Build It; Redding. Field trips, after school classes, camps & birthday parties offer experiences in LEGO® robotics, computer programming, game design & development, animation & filmmaking, 3D modeling & more for ages 6-18. 925 Merchant St., Ste. 2. (530) 638-3399.

City of Anderson Water Pollution Control Plant. Students of all ages can learn what happens to our sewage water in a field trip that takes them through the steps of sewage waste-water treatment before it is released into the Sacramento River. Students will view the microorganisms used in a natural biological process that treats the water. Located in the Anderson River Park, 3800 Rupert Rd. (530) 378-6665.

Coleman Fish Hatchery; Anderson. Explore one of the largest Chinook salmon & Steelhead hatchery in the lower 48 states! See the hatchery building, rearing raceways, fish ladder, Battle Creek Trail, spawning operations (Oct-March) & more. Open daily for informative self-guided tours. 24411 Coleman Fish Hatchery Rd. (530) 365-8622.

Court House Museum; Shasta. Part of Shasta State Historic Park. Bring your group to tour a former county courthouse restored to its 1861 appearance. Historical exhibits include early California artwork. See remains of brick buildings that were once the center of intense Gold Rush era activity; see historic roadways, cottages & cemeteries. Field trip guides for teachers online. 15312 Highway 299 W. (6 miles west of Redding). (530) 243-8194.

Gaumer’s Mineral & Mining Museum; Red Bluff. Educational & entertaining for visitors of all ages. Gold mining, fossils, Native American artifacts, rocks, crystals & fluorescent minerals. Open M-F. School tours avail. 78 Belle Mill Rd. (530) 527-6166.

Lake Shasta Caverns; Lakehead. Fun spelunking experience. Take a boat ride across Shasta Lake, then a scenic bus ride to the cavern entrance. Enjoy a one-hour guided tour through the caverns (2 hours total). 20359 Shasta Caverns Rd. (530) 238-2341 or
(1-800) 795-CAVE.

Makerspace; Red Bluff. “Hands-on, minds-on” learning is offered to Tehama County students, with activities that include electronics, graphic design, animation, coding, creative writing, engineering & videography. All activities are aligned with Common Core State Standards & built around the notion that learning can be meaningful & FUN! Call to reserve time slots. 1135 Lincoln St. (530) 528-7310.

Moore’s Flour Mill; Redding. While at the shop you can see the old-fashioned 19th-century millstones used at this wonderful local mill & store. They offer fresh flours, oatmeal & other hot cereals, many different kinds of sugar, spices, teas, pasta, honey & other products that are mostly local & organic. 1605 Shasta St. (530) 241-9245.

Reptile Parties; Tehama & Shasta Counties. Brings a fieldtrip to your school or group! Brings live snakes, lizards & turtles from around the world to you. Children can pet & hold these live ambassadors of their species. (530) 226-5329.

Sacramento River Discovery Center; Red Bluff. Learn about science in an outdoor classroom! Activities include outings, elementary environmental education, seminars, summer camps & classes. Located on the Sacramento River. Walk native habitat trails, explore a 2-acre
native plant garden & more. 1000 Sale Lane. (530) 527-1196.

Schreder Planetarium; Redding. Offers educational programs for school & youth groups in a 1700-square-foot planetarium with 10-meter projection dome. See the night sky projected in the dome & experience other engaging programming that blends science, technology, engineering, math & imagination. Supports preK–12th grade studies. 1644 Magnolia Ave. (530) 225-0295

Star Parties; Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Shasta County. Join members of the Shasta Astronomy Club seasonally to view the amazing sights in the sky. Telescopes provided. Free event; weekly parking $10. Monthly or bi-monthly viewings held at Mt. Shasta Mine Loop trail parking lot. Begins 30 minutes after sunset, weather permitting. (530) 242-3454.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park; Redding. Schedule a group adventure to learn about a variety of topics including science, art, history, forestry, native animal species, horticulture & more. 844 Sundial Bridge Dr. To schedule a group field trip call (530) 242-3108.

Whiskeytown Environmental School Clear Creek Field Labs. A field trip series for grades K–4, with mini units based on California State Science Standards. Includes three pre-classroom lessons, a 2–3 hour field lab led by a naturalist, & a post classroom lesson. Program provided by the Shasta County Office of Education. Located in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. (530)  225-0111.

Siskiyou County

Lava Beds National Monument. Site of the largest concentration of lava tube caves in North America. Offers ranger-led explorations & evening campfire programs that explore the monument’s Native American history. Rangers help match children’s interests & capabilities to the numerous developed caves. (530) 667-8113.

Liberty Arts “Explorations” Program; Yreka. 90-minute educational arts program for school classes grades K-12. Includes gallery tour, discussion & hands-on art project related to the current exhibition theme or processes. 108 W. Miner St. (530) 842-0222.

Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery; Mt. Shasta. The West’s oldest operating hatchery raises trout to stock mountain streams, rivers & lakes. Feed the fish; learn how they are raised. Tours by appointment. Free. Open daily. 3 N Old Stage Rd. (530) 926-2215.

Mt. Shasta Star Gazers Club; Mt. Shasta. Promotes interest in astronomy & related sciences. Educational & fun. Monthly meetings, star parties & other events. All welcome to attend. (530) 918-9540.

River Dancers River & Kayak Adventures; Mt. Shasta. Adventures offered include family rafting trips. A great way to spend quality time together! Day outings & overnight multi-day camps. Trained guides help guests discover new ways to enjoy the environment while learning skills on the river. Includes swimming, water-play, learning about wildlife & good food. 705 Kenneth Way, Mt. Shasta. (530) 925-0237.

Shasta Mountain Guides; Mt. Shasta. For families with older kids or teens who are ready for the challenges of rock climbing, mountain climbing, or other customizable trips. Professional guides make the experience memorable. (530) 926-3117.

Siskiyou Arts Museum; Dunsmuir. Offers docent tours to schools & groups by appointment. 5824 Dunsmuir Ave. (530) 235-4711.

Sisson Museum; Mt. Shasta. School & private groups can tour the museum to view exhibits & enjoy hands-on fun with interactive displays. See a vintage fire truck, model railroad & locomotive engine control panel, play with old-fashioned toys. Located at the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery site, 1 N. Old Stage Rd. (530) 926-5508.

Weed Historic Lumber Museum; Weed. Enjoy logging & town memorabilia, including the town’s original jail cell! Off-season tours avail. by appt. Open daily except Tuesdays late May-Sept 10am-5pm. 303 Gilman Ave. (530) 938-0550.

Sonoma County

The National Heirloom Exposition Field Trip; Santa Rosa. Teachers/schools can apply for a transportation grant to help kids participate in the world’s largest heritage food event, held annually in September at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Event is geared for children & features educational activities, exhibits, a Kids’ Pavilion, food tastings, contests, & acclaimed speakers, all celebrating the pure food movement. Youth ages 17 & under admitted free. Info:

Southern Oregon

Great Cats World Park; Cave Junction. Exciting, interactive & educational 10-acre park that’s home to lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, ocelots, lynx, a fishing cat & more. Meet feline ambassadors; learn about the plight of rare & endangered cats. Watch trainers interact; guided school & private group tours. 27919 Redwood Hwy. (541) 592-2957.

Medford Railroad Park; Medford. Five railroad clubs operate this 7-acre site featuring full-size train cars, caboose, hopper car, locomotive, HO scale model track & trains, working telegraph system, & operating outdoor garden railway. Open 2nd & 4th Sundays, April–Oct., 11am-3pm. Free train rides – see bridges, waterfalls, tunnels & hills. Children love the “Thomas the Train” loop led by Thomas & Percy. Reserve the pavilion for birthday parties. 799 Berrydale Ave. (541) 582-3912.

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve; Cave Junction. Offers cave tours late March–Nov., plus dining, gift gallery & lodging mid-May–Oct. at the 1934-built Oregon Caves Chateau,  a National Historic Landmark (for lodging reservations: (541) 592-3400 or 19000 Caves Highway. (541) 592-2100.

ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum; Ashland. Offers fun & intriguing hands-on experiences promoting the exploration of science & the arts in a multi-sensory environment. School field trips & educator resources support instruction of content & process standards. 1500 E. Main St. (541) 482-6767.


Updated 3 Oct ’16 LS
North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.

Updated: Oct 3, 2016 @ 4:11 pm