50% off regular admission until April 12, 2024

Open Daily, Except Tuesdays  

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

330 E. College Ave., Appleton, WI


​​The History Museum’s programs formerly known as Fall and Spring School Days will now take place at the History Museum at the Castle! You get two field trips in one stop: the hands-on program you know and love plus students get to see the Museum’s exhibits, too!​​​​​​​​

Pioneer Life

Students will learn what life was like for Wisconsin’s European American residents in the mid-1800s. They will grind grains, dip candles, sample cornbread, compare and contrast their school to one-room schoolhouses, and play historic games. 

Fur Trade

Students will learn about trapping, trading, and local Native American lifestyles. They will identify and feel furs, sample maple syrup, try on period clothing, learn voyageur songs, and play traditional Native American games. 


Grade levels: 2nd-5th
Rates: $6.50/student (includes the program and Museum admission). One adult for every 8 students is admitted free. Additional adults will be the current group rate.
Location: History Museum at the Castle, 330 E College Avenue, Appleton
Availability: available beginning May 1, 2024, any day of the week!
Capacity: minimum of 25 students (or equivalent payment); maximum 125 students

Registration and Payment:
Click the button on the top right of this page to request a program. We will respond asking you to confirm details of your visit and accuracy of the invoice.

Payment is not required until the day of your visit. At the beginning of your visit we will adjust the invoice to reflect the actual number of students in attendance. You can pay online or at the Museum's front desk. 

How will the Fur Trade and Pioneer Life programs be different than Fall and Spring School Days?
The students will get the same great hands-on content from the Fall and Spring School Days programs. Each group of students will advance through five unique 10-minute stations. These stations combine the best subject matter and hands-on activities. Don’t worry, historic games aren’t going anywhere!

Why did you stop doing the program at the Grignon Mansion and Plamann Park?
There are many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Many teachers have requested both a School Days program AND a visit to the Museum. This will allow you to have two field trips in one.
  • Many teachers wanted to participate in School Days but couldn’t come on the limited days available. Now we can fit your schedule by offering this program throughout the school year!  
  • The program will no longer be weather dependent.
  • The Museum is more accessible for people with differing needs.

The program in the Museum is shorter. Which stations were eliminated?
Some stations have been shortened and combined with others to provide more context. For example, hunting tools, furs, and trading are now presented together. Students make direct connections between the topics to learn about the fur trade.
The biggest change is to the Mercantile station – students who wish to shop will have access to the entire Museum gift shop.
With five action packed stations the students have a better overall experience and more time for hands-on activities. In addition, students will have access to all the Museum’s exhibits.

Can I still book the old version of Fall or Spring School Days at Plamann Park?
No. Unfortunately, those programs have been retired.

What days are the programs available?
Pioneer Life and the Fur Trade are available beginning May 1, 2024. You can book these programs throughout the school year! The programs are available Monday through Friday between 9am and 3pm.

I want to do this program, but I can’t get a bus. Can you bring the program to my classroom?
Yes! We offer an in-the-classroom option that combines Pioneer Life and Fur Trade content. If you are interested, please contact our Education & Collections Manager.

If I book the program, what will my visit look like?
Each visit begins with a welcome, Museum orientation, and overview for the day. Here is an example of an itinerary for a pioneer life or Fur Trade field trip day:
9:30 AM: School Arrives
9:30-9:50 AM: Depart the bus, use restrooms, orientation, and welcome
9:50-10:50 AM: Pioneer Life or Fur Trade Program
10:50-11:50 AM: Explore the Museum’s Exhibits
11:50-12:20 PM: Lunch Time (optional)
12:20 PM: Depart the Museum 

"I love the hands-on activities and how this

program supports our curriculum!"

-Teacher, Johnston Elementary School, Appleton     

Pioneer Life and Fur Trade Field Trips