Elementary & Middle School Programs (Grades 3-7)

90-minute interactive programs, guided by professional museum educators, involve students in hands-on history. Workshops feature engaging, fun activities and support state and national curriculum standards, including those for New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Maximum number per workshop: 15 students. (Multiple workshops can be run at the same time to accommodate groups up to 150 students in a day)

Price: $12.00 per student/$8.00 per adult chaperone

Registration required.

Please note that workshops are not offered July – August.  


Archaeology: Unearthing the Past

Become an archaeologist in a simulated tabletop excavation. Using trowels and brushes, unearth buried ‘artifacts’ and learn how archaeologists use objects to discover the secrets of the past. Visit a recreated privy and historic home to examine real artifacts, all recovered in excavations on the museum site.

Architecture (16)Architecture: To Build a House

How did colonial people build homes with just hand tools and human power? Discover the answers by becoming a construction crew and working as a team to assemble a tabletop model of an 18th-century post-and-beam house.  Then explore a real historic house built on the same plan, looking for clues to its construction and the lives of the people who lived there long ago.

Schools Becoming AmericansBecoming Americans:  Three Centuries of Immigration

What is it like leave your home and move to a new country? In this workshop, a ‘Passport to the Past’ gives you the character of a real immigrant from history. Working together, research why your character came to America and the obstacles they faced. Then make the journey, exploring and comparing your new homes and new lives in America on an up-close visit to the museum’s buildings.

Cookstove Cooking:  The Industrial RevolutionSchools Cookstove Cooking 6

In the 1800s, cookstoves were the latest in high-tech home appliances. See how the Industrial Revolution found its way into America’s kitchens, utterly transforming daily life, as you prepare a Victorian-era recipe on our cast-iron cookstove. Then search our historic homes for the new inventions of the Industrial Age.

Schools Hearth Cooking 5

Hearth Cooking: Early America

Feeding a family in pre-industrial times took resourcefulness and hard work. Travel back to the 1700s to experience open hearth cooking over a wood fire. Read an historic recipe, weigh and measure ingredients on kitchen scales, and bake over hot coals using 18th-century tools and techniques. Tour a Colonial shop to get a taste of global trade and discover exotic spices and foreign goods brought to New England from faraway places.

Crafty Kids (213)Trade and Maritime History: At the Doorstep of the World

The atmosphere of a bustling waterfront comes to life as your group takes on the roles of a ship’s crew in an interactive game of fortune and strategy. Follow New England sea captains on their global trade routes, while braving the dangers of warfare, weather, and the shifting balance of trade.  Explore the home of a real sea captain, and inspect the imported goods in an 18th-century wharfside shop.

Making Tooth PowderWork It Out: Colonial Trades and the Early Economy

Step into the shoes of an 18th-century apprentice and explore several of the most important trades in a Colonial seaport.  Students will visit the home of a sea captain to touch and smell some of the exotic imports that were part of Portsmouth’s thriving economy.  Work as a team of joiners to assemble the model of an 18th-century building and discover the early medical profession as an apothecary.  This hands-on program allows students to investigate three different Colonial trades and learn about the workings of the pre-industrial economy.  The program includes time for the self-guided tour (May –Oct) during which groups can explore the 18th-century trades of weaving, basket weaving, baking, tavern keeping and wood-working through demonstration and experiential learning.

Winter Program

Thanksgiving: From Festival to FeastThanksgiving

Grades 2-6

November 4 – 8, 11 – 15, 18 – 22 , 25 & 26, 2019

9:45 AM- 12:00 PM or 12:45 – 3:00 PM

Trace the evolution of Thanksgiving from the Puritans’ holy day of thanks to today’s Hearth Cooking Picturefamily feast and homecoming. In this active, fast-paced, and multi-sensory program, you’ll discover how Thanksgiving transcended time, place and culture to become the uniquely American holiday we celebrate today. Try some old-fashioned cooking, create harvest crafts, and talk with costumed roleplayers. In small groups guided by a museum educator, find the common themes of this holiday over three centuries: charity, survival, gratitude, national identity, and the celebration of family and community.

Maximum group size per session: 120 students

Price: $12.00 per student/$8.00 per adult chaperone

Registration required.

Thanksgiving: From Festival to Feast Extension Activities

History on Ice

Recommended for all grades
Dates: December 9, 2019 – February 14, 2020PCC1

During the winter months, Strawbery Banke opens Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond for old-fashioned, wintertime fun!  Now students can experience one of Strawbery Banke’s popular Time Travel Workshops as well as spend some time getting fresh air and exercise at the rink.
Maximum group size: 80 students per day
Cost: $12.00 per student/$8.00 per adult (Cost includes workshop, skating and rentals if needed)
NOTE:  Groups can schedule a visit for just skating at $5.00 per person
See Workshop Options at the top of the page. NOTE: Becoming Americans is not available during History on Ice.