Field Trips

Educational Programs

Connecting children with their own local heritage and ecology through education and hands-on immersion into Rancho & Chumash living is the focus of our experiential learning programs.

School Field Trips:

We provide field trips for over 1,500 students a year. Popular programs book quickly, so make your reservations today. We offer Docent-Led Education Programs available for 3rd, 4th & 5th-grade classes.
IMG_0587.1Our Educational Program is a half-day program that provide a hands-on learning immersion into Rancho living in early California history, learn to discover the ecological environments at the Dana Adobe or learn about the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini (ytt) Northern Chumash Tribe, Indigenous People from the San Luis Obispo County Region. The half-day programs consist of four rotating stations.
School field trip tours are available for 3rd, 4th & 5th-grade classrooms on Thursday or Fridays. All school tours are aligned with California Common Core State Standards. Field trips book quickly on a first come basis. Book your field trip early.
The Learning Stations for the Cultural & Nature Field Trip are described below.
Tour of the Adobe – Learn how the Dana Family lived over 150 years ago by touring the house they lived in. Learn the functions of the many rooms and how they differ to modern homes.
Dancing – Learn Mexican folk dances that the Dana children may have danced at a Fiesta at Rancho Nipomo.
Sketch Captain Dana’s Tree – This is a guided art lessen. Students learn about the native California Sycamore tree and then sketch the tree. They also learn how to create a background and a foreground.
Branding – Learn what the brands were used for and how to read them. Design your own brand and participate in a round-up.
Tortilla-Making – Learn about the foods the Dana Family ate and how they cooked their food. Learn how to make tortillas.
Vaquero Station – Learn the role vaqueros played during the Rancho Era. Practice roping while riding a wine-barrel pony.
Bird Circle –  Students use binoculars to locate birds and learn about the functions of beaks and claws for feeding.
The Meadow – Learn about the ecosystems and all the living organisms that live (or lived) on the Rancho. Learn to identify animals by their skulls and scat.
The Oak Tree – Learn about the Oaks life it supports (FBI – Fungus, bacteria & insects).
The Sycamore Tree – Learn about the ecosystems that sycamore tree supports. In addition learn about other various trees and plants that grow on the Rancho: native, naturalized, and invasive.
Nature Walk – Students will explore the Rancho and learn the ecosystem that is found on the Adobe.
The learning stations for the Chumash Program are described below.
Material Culture – Learn about the materials used in every day life by the Chumash Tribe and their trade systems.
Village Life – Learn that we are in the homeland of titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini (ytt), a local Northern Chumash Tribe. The students will learn that there are at least eight more individual groups with different languages and homelands.
Food and Plant – Learn to identify key foods, a variety of important plants, their uses & the vital use of acorns for the tribe.
Games and Sports – Learn about traditional games that the Chumash played in their village.

Schedule your visit:
  1. All school programs are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. A  Field Trip Program Application reservation form is required (found under Forms below).
  3. Please see the calendar tab below for available field trip days (the day will be marked with “OPEN Field Trip Day” if a school name is listed the day has already been booked)

*Gift Store is now available for the students to shop, once the field trip is over. Please let the Docent Coordinator know three days prior to the visit.
**Rain postpones all field trips**

Book a Field Trip Today at:
Field Trips are available Thursday and Friday, October – November & March – June.