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School Field Trips

Let us plan your field trip for any number of students (grades 2 and above) who want to explore the architecture and history of downtown Pittsburgh or of a local neighborhood. We have over 40 years of experience in planning school field trip tours—and many creative ideas! Scroll down to request a tour.

CLICK HERE to see photos from our tours.

MOST POPULAR EDUCATIONAL FIELD TRIPS

Downtown Dragons…And Other City Creatures! (Grades 3-8)

Students search for dragons, gargoyles, lions, and other city creatures during this exhilarating two-hour walking tour along the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Be sure to visit our Downtown Dragons page for supporting virtual games, resources, and more.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 80 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members), plus light rail fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.

Strip District Stroll (Grades 4+)

Travel the world in just a few blocks on this walking tour of Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District. During your tour, you’ll stroll along several blocks of the Strip, seeing a variety of historic cultural and religious sites as well as family-owned businesses with strong ethnic origins. If your students have read The Macaroni Boy by Katherine Ayres, our guides will connect the tour content to the book.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Transportation Tour: Mt. Washington and Downtown (Grades 4-8)

Meet your PHLF tour guides at the observation deck atop Mount Washington. Our expert docents will lead you on an exhilarating adventure from the present to the past and back again, using the city’s transportation systems to tell the story!

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members), plus incline and light rail fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.
  • This two-hour tour includes rides down the incline to Station Square and on the light rail to Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

South Side’s East Carson Street: One-Of-A-Kind (Grade 6+)

Join us for a South Side Stroll along East Carson Street, a Great American Main Street, where one-of-a-kind businesses thrive in historic 19th- and 20th-century buildings. You’ll also see ethnic churches, workers’ row houses, art galleries, restaurants, and side streets full of houses, apartments, and condominiums. Learn how buildings, like people, come together to create a community that’s one-of-a-kind!

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Optional tour extensions:

  1. If your school bus can carry everyone to Pius Street, we can climb up two flights of city steps for a good view of the city.
  2. Or, we can walk out onto the Birmingham Bridge for views of the Monongahela River, downtown, and Oakland.

North Side’s Historic Neighborhoods and More (Grades 6+)

There are so many areas to explore on the North Side, formerly the City of Allegheny until its annexation to Pittsburgh in 1907. Contact us so we can plan a North Side tour that meets your interests and classroom goals. Tour choices include:

  • The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and Allegheny Center (for tour fare and time, see below);
  • Allegheny Commons and the Mexican War Streets;
  • Allegheny West
  • Manchester’s Liverpool Street.

Optional tour extensions: as we tour, we can involve your students in finding matches to photographic details, sketching building details, and/or composing poetry.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.
  • Note: If your tour includes going inside the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, the fee is $12 per student (fee includes admission to Children’s Museum) and the tour will run from 9 a.m. – noon.

 CMU On Tour: Art, Architecture and Green-Building Design (Grade 6+)

On this tour, you’ll see how sculpture, art, landscape design, architectural landmarks, and “intelligent workplaces” come together to create an exciting urban campus. Featured sites include Douglas Cooper’s murals of Pittsburgh in the University Center; the Intelligent Workplace atop the historic Margaret Morrison building; a rooftop garden with a riddle to solve; and the College of Fine Arts.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Grant Street: Pittsburgh’s Grand Civic Boulevard (Grades 3+)

Hear how a battlefield site has been transformed over 250 years into Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare and explore historic landmarks that are among the city’s best. You’ll climb the grand stair in the Allegheny County Courthouse, see a colonnade of bronze columns in the City-County Building, and walk through the lobbies of three buildings commissioned by Henry Clay Frick.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 80 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free

Optional tour extension: Bring a sketch pad and pencil and take time to sketch some of the details that give these buildings character.

Summer Downtown Fountain Tour (Grades 3-8)

Explore some of Pittsburgh’s great buildings and green spaces on this refreshing, two-hour summer walk. In the Grant Street area, you’ll see fountains in Mellon Green, Mellon Square, and in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse. Then, escape the heat and ride the “T” for free from Steel Plaza to Wood Street. After exploring Market Square, the tour ends near the fountain at PPG Place.

  • Offered June, July, and August
  • Tour Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Oakland’s Civic Center (Grades 6-12)

On this two-hour walking tour, students will learn about the City Beautiful movement, influenced by the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and see how the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Italian Renaissance influenced American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students will explore the Carnegie Library and Frick Fine Arts Building, among others, and view Oakland from the 36th floor of the Cathedral of Learning.

  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Urban Survival: Revitalizing Downtown (Grade 9+ through College)

What was the purpose of a city, historically? What characteristics make urban areas survive?  How can historic preservation help create our future cities?  These are some of the questions that students will discuss as they participate in a half-day tour downtown, ending in Market Square for lunch. Students will become familiar with the city planning process, the development of Pittsburgh as an urban center, and the concepts that make any urban center a survivor.

  • Tour Time: 9:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 40 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $5 per student (member schools), $10 per student (non-member). Adults/chaperones are free.

Station Square Tour (Children, 6 to 8 Years Old)

This 45-minute tour includes a walk through two former railroad buildings and spaces that now

house restaurants and businesses, and the chance to walk part way out on the Smithfield Street

Bridge for a view of the train tracks and Monongahela River below. Participants will learn how Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation worked with others to recycle the historic buildings to create Station Square.

  • Offered June, July, and August
  • Tour Time: 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. or 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $2 per student (member schools), $4 per student (non-members). Adults/chaperones are free.

Optional Tour Extensions:

  1. On your own, take your students for a ride on the Monongahela Incline before or after the tour.
  2. Bring bag lunches and eat by the fountain in Bessemer Court. You’ll find yourself dancing to the music of the fountain.

Main Street Match in Mt. Lebanon (Grades 2-4)

Meet our docents at Station Square and ride the “T” to Mt. Lebanon for a walk along Washington Road. Each student will be given a different worksheet and together the students will find matches to 105 building details. Students will see lions, eagles, snakes, and many other architectural details decorating the handsome commercial buildings from the late 1920′s and 1930′s. During this three-hour adventure, students sharpen their observation skills, learn to appreciate neighborhood main streets, and have fun riding the “T” back to Station Square.

  • Tour Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon.
  • Group Size: 10-15 students per group. (maximum of 60 students on any given day)
  • Chaperones required: 1 adult per every 5 students.
  • Tour fee: $3 per student (member schools), $6 per student (non-members), plus round-trip Port Authority fares. Adults/chaperones are free, but must pay Port Authority fares.

PHLF POLICES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • PHLF educational field trips are geared toward learners Grade 2 and above. *Our tours can usually be tailored to meet younger learners as well as the more advanced learner. When booking your tour, be sure to ask how the tour you are interested in can best meet your students’ learning needs.
  • School/Group: Teachers and group leaders are responsible for the following:

(1) obtaining required parental permission forms, if needed;

(2) the safety and behavior of their students/participants throughout their time with PHLF; and

(3) addressing any medical needs for their students/participants. Teachers and group leaders understand that PHLF field trips usually take place in an urban environment.

  • PHLF is responsible for providing knowledgeable tour guides and an engaging, educational field-trip experience within the specified time period.
  • PHLF is not responsible for providing medical assistance to any of the group members or for any injury to person or property that may occur during the tour.

PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY

Teachers/Group Leaders: Please inform parents, guardians, staff, and chaperones that during the course of a tour, PHLF may take photographs of your group for use in communication material including, but not limited to, printed materials, web materials, and PHLF publications. On the day of the tour, please inform the PHLF photographer if anyone is not allowed to be photographed. Thank you.

Please note: when taking photos, the PHLF photographer usually shows people from the back so individuals are not recognizable.

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A FIELD TRIP TOUR WITH PHLF

Need a specific field trip tailored? Contact Sarah Greenwald, PHLF’s Co-Director of Education, 412-471-5808, ext. 537 or sarahg@phlf.org

Join now and save money for your school on field trips, educational resources, and more!

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633