Kenosha Public Museum Saturday Hours: 10am - 5pmCivil War Museum Saturday Hours: 10am - 5pmDinosaur Discovery Museum Saturday Hours: 12pm - 5pm

School Field Trips

Civil War Museum

All Ages

Grade 4 to Adult
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Midwest in the Civil War Tour

Capacity:  Up to 100

Time: 60-90 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit, “Seeing the Elephant” film

The tour can be adapted to meet the learning goals of students from Grade 4 to Grade 12

Midwest in the Civil War is a docent-led guided tour of the Civil War Museum’s main exhibit gallery The Fiery Trial. The tour uses immersive displays, artifacts, and hands-on activities to teach visitors the important roles the Upper Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin played before, during, and after the Civil War. Students will learn about the diverse communities who settled in the Upper Midwest, the stories of Freedom seekers who traveled through the region on their way to Canada on what became known as the Underground Railroad, the challenges soldiers faced in camp and battle, and how the results of the Civil War still impact the lives of Americans today.

As part of the tour, students will view the Civil War Museum’s award-winning 360-degree film entitled Seeing the Elephant. After the tour, students are encouraged to work in groups to explore areas of the exhibit gallery and share their findings with their fellow students.

Add one of the following classroom activities to the Midwest in the Civil War Tour for an additional $3 per student.

Capacity: 25 students per session

Time: 30 minutes

This program discusses the system of race-based slavery that enslaved nearly four million African Americans in America at the beginning of the Civil War. The program explores the lives of the enslaved and what methods existed for them to rebel against their enslavers to possibly bring about their own freedom. Students will work in small groups to learn about the lives of several individual African Americans–some enslaved, some free–and represent their experiences by creating exhibits using artifacts that represent each individual’s life story.

Capacity: 25 students per session

Time: 30 minutes

Engineers played a vital role in the Union Army, designing forts, constructing roads, drawing maps, and building bridges. During this program, students are challenged to think like a Civil War engineer to design and build a pontoon bridge in order to solve a common problem that Civil War armies often faced while moving over land–how to cross a river.

Capacity:  40 students per session

Time: 30 minutes

Knapsack. Canteen. Blanket. Haversack. Cartridge Box. Civil War soldiers carried all of their personal items and military equipment wherever they went. To avoid being overburdened, soldiers made decisions about what to carry in order to survive months of camping, marching, eating, and soldiering.

During this program, educators from the Civil War Museum will introduce students to the uniforms, equipment, and personal items that Civil War soldiers used in camp and on the battlefield. Students will also be asked to think critically about what they would choose to carry and what they would leave behind if they were in the same situation as a Civil War soldier.

Grades 4K-2

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Children and the Civil War

Capacity:  50 students

Time: 60 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit Gallery, Resource Center

What was it like to grow up during the Civil War? This interactive program uses both the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial Gallery and its hands-on, interactive Resource Center to help young learners understand the lives and experiences of 19th-century children. This docent-led program provides access to items 19th-century children used to complete household chores, gets them moving as they organize and complete simple marching exercises, allows them to try on the uniforms and equipment of Civil War soldiers, and gives them the opportunity to go into the Civil War Museum’s interactive Resource Center to play with 19th-century toys and games.

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Hometown Heroes

Capacity:  50 students

Time: 60 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit Gallery, Resource Center

Even though it was far from many Civil War battlefields, the Kenosha area played an important role before and during the Civil War. Freedom seekers traveled through the region on their way to Canada on what became known as the Underground Railroad. Kenoshans served in the Union Army as soldiers and nurses. Area farms helped provide food soldiers would eat while they were in the army.

During this docent-led interactive program, students will learn about Kenosha residents who played important parts in the Civil War, the city’s role as a training camp for Civil War soldiers, and how its citizens supported the soldiers who left home to join the army.

This program gets students moving as they organize and complete simple marching exercises, allows them to try on the uniforms and equipment of Civil War soldiers, and gives them the opportunity to go into the Civil War Museum’s interactive Resource Center to play with 19th-century games.

Grades 4K-3

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What is a Soldier?

Capacity: 50 students

Time: 60 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit Gallery, Resource Center

What did the Civil War soldiers eat? Where did they sleep? What sort of uniforms and equipment did they use? What is a Soldier is a docent-led program that uses the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial to explore the experiences of soldiers during the Civil War. In addition to interacting with artifacts, students will have an opportunity to step into the shoes of the soldiers and experience what it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War through marching exercises, trying on replica uniforms, and examining soldier rations.

Grades 4-5

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Voices of Freedom

Capacity:  50 students

Time:  90 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit Gallery, “Seeing the Elephant” film, Classroom

Voices of Freedom is a two-part program that examines the diverse experiences of African Americans living in 19th-century America. One part discusses the system of race-based slavery that enslaved nearly four million African Americans in America at the beginning of the Civil War. The program explores the lives of the enslaved and what methods existed for them to rebel against their enslavers to possibly bring about their own freedom. Students will also have the opportunity to work in small groups to learn about the lives of several individual African Americans–some enslaved, some free–and represent their experiences by creating exhibits using artifacts that represent each individual’s life story.

The second half of the program is a docent-led tour of the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial Gallery that focuses on the military experiences of Union Soldiers, many of whom were African American. In fact, by the end of the war, 10% of the Union Army was made up of African American men.

As part of the tour, students will view the Civil War Museum’s award-winning 360-degree film Seeing the Elephant. 

Grades 6 and up

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Civil War Innovations

Capacity:  50 students

Time: 90 minutes

Location: Fiery Trial Exhibit, “Seeing the Elephant” film, Classroom

Science and engineering were incredibly important during the Civil War. New weapons were devised that would forever change the way in which wars were fought, and new technologies would forever change the way in which people traveled and communicated. In this program, students will learn about the innovations and inventions that took place during the Civil War through a docent-led tour of the museum’s Fiery Trial Gallery. The second part of the program challenges students to think like engineers and design and build a solution to a problem armies often encountered as they attempted to move great distances over land and water.

As part of the tour, students will view the Civil War Museum’s award-winning 360-degree film Seeing the Elephant. 

Pricing Information

All programs are $7/student for City of Kenosha, and $9/student outside the City of Kenosha. Additional program add-ons, lunch space, and Streetcar are not included in the program fee.

Other subject areas and grade levels may be available; please contact our Education Services Coordinator, Carolina Curi-Bado at [email protected] to make a special request. 

Program Add-ons

Add any of the following to a program for an additional fee. 

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On The March

Capacity:  40 students per session

Time: 30 minutes

$3/student

Knapsack. Canteen. Blanket. Haversack. Cartridge Box. Civil War soldiers carried all of their personal items and military equipment wherever they went. To avoid being overburdened, soldiers made decisions about what to carry in order to survive months of camping, marching, eating, and soldiering.

During this program, educators from the Civil War Museum will introduce students to the uniforms, equipment, and personal items that Civil War soldiers used in camp and on the battlefield. Students will also be asked to think critically about what they would choose to carry and what they would leave behind if they were in the same situation as a Civil War soldier.

Open to all ages, but best suited for grades 4-12

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Theater Program

Capacity:  50+ students per session

Time: 60 minutes

Fee: $300 for up to 50; $6 for each additional student

Who better to tell the stories of the people who were touched by the Civil War or slavery than the individuals themselves?

Professional actors and actresses portray authentic historical figures with scripts based on firsthand accounts written by the individuals themselves: Caroline Quarlls, or Cordelia Harvey.

Theater performances are 30 to 45 minutes in length and include a brief question-and-answer session. Performers are always available after the performance to meet the public.

After Wisconsin governor Louis Harvey’s untimely death, his wife Cordelia was appointed Wisconsin’s representative to the Western Sanitary Commission. She traveled up and down the Mississippi River visiting Union hospitals and helping thousands of soldiers from Wisconsin and other Northern states. During the performance Harvey explains her travels and a dramatic meeting with a skeptical President Lincoln.

During the performance, the audience meets Caroline in Canada in 1880. She has just received a letter from Lyman Goodnow, one of the people that helped her travel the Underground Railroad from Wisconsin to Canada in 1842. This powerful first-person performance recounts their harrowing experiences and is based on the responses Caroline wrote to questions in Goodnow’s letter.

Additional Amenities

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Lunch Space

With paid program: $1/student

Self-Guided groups: $2/person

Indoor lunch space is available at the Kenosha Public Museum and Civil War Museum. With paid programs, the lunch space is $1/student. For self-guided groups, lunch space is available for $2 a person. Reservations are available in 30-minute blocks. The Dinosaur Discovery Museum does not have an indoor lunch space, however, there is a park across the street from the building that may be used for picnics. Please note the museums do not have refrigerators, stoves/ovens, or microwaves available.

Although the museums do not have onsite restaurants or cafes, there are several dining options nearby. Visit www.downtownkenosha.org or www.visitkenosha.com for more information.

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Streetcar

$1 for children 12 and under

$1.50 for 13 and over, including adults, chaperones, and teachers

The City of Kenosha features mid-century Electric Streetcars that ride along the lakefront and connects all three of our museums in a 15-minute loop. The museums can arrange a ride for your group with your program reservation for an additional fee.

Learn more about Kenosha’s Electric Streetcars here.

Plan Your Visit

Please let us know prior to your visit if you have any special accommodations or needs. Every effort will be made to ensure the trip is successful for everyone.

Elevators, noice-canceling headphones, and quiet spaces are available at all three museums.

Civil War Museum: There are uneven floors, talking mannequins, and low-light in the galleries. The museum also features a 360-degree film that utilizes strobe lights, lighting changes and loud noises to depict a Civil War battle.

Kenosha Public Museum: There are uneven floors, some sound, and blinking lights in the galleries.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum: Wheelchair access to the museum is located at the rear of the building.

Free parking is available. During the field trip reservation process we will provide you with the location of vehicle and/or bus parking.

All three museums have stores adjacent to the lobby. All students must have an adult present, and the number of people allowed in the store may be limited by museum store staff.

A chaperone-to-student ratio of 1:8 is required. Required chaperones are free. Any additional chaperones must pay $5 for admission. Chaperones are expected to stay with their groups and monitor their behavior while in the museum.

Programs must be scheduled at least three weeks prior to the requested program date. If we are able to accommodate a last-minute program, payment will be due at the time the program is scheduled.

If your group is running late, please call the museum at (262) 653-4140 to let us know. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to adjust the program time, we will do our best to work with you to get the most out of your visit.

Dates and program availability is based on a first-come first-served basis. A non-refundable $50 deposit is required to secure your group’s date. Once the deposit is received, a program confirmation and invoice will be sent and your program will be scheduled. If the deposit is not received the date is not reserved.

A non-refundable $50 deposit is due upon your reservation to secure your date. Final headcount and full payment is due two weeks prior to the scheduled program. If payment is not received two weeks prior we reserve the right to cancel the program.

If payment is not received at the museum upon the date of the program you will incur a $40 late fee. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash, or check.

Refunds will be given for cancellations that occur at least a week in advance of the program date. The $50 deposit is non-refundable but can be used to reserve a future date in the same calendar year.

The following rules should be shared with all attendees in your group, including students, children, and adults.

  • No running, shouting, or rough-housing
  • Students/children must stay with adult chaperones at all times
  • No food, gum, or beverages are allowed in exhibits
  • Respect other groups and individuals in the museum
  • Some aspects of our exhibits are “hands-on” but anything can be damaged. Therefore, exercise care in their use and respect museum property

These rules are to keep everyone safe and to allow maximum enjoyment of our programs and facilities for everyone in our building. Kenosha Public Museums reserves the right to expel any person or group behaving in a manner we deem unfit. Persons or groups that are asked to leave may also jeopardize their chances to reserve or attend future visits.

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