School Programs

History San José offers a variety of programs that meet state and national standards and spark students’ curiosity about the world. Every year more than 10,000 elementary school students join our highly trained staff on interactive excursions across our sites, from our historic homes and building in Downtown San José and History Park to scavenger hunts in our Collections Center. 


Registration is closed for 2021-2022. Come to our virtual open house to learn more about the 2022-2023 school year.

Virtual Open House for Teachers

Tue. April 26, 2022 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Wed. April 27, 2022 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
FREE | General

History San José offers a number of invigorating, hands-on programs for students during the school year. Come and learn what we have in store for the 2022-2023 school year and get the opportunity to register before others do in August 2022.

Teachers and administrators have the option of registering for Tuesday, April 26, or Wednesday, April 27.

The info session will be approximately 30 minutes with time for Q&A afterward.

Book Now

Due to COVID-19, HSJ has adapted in-person school programs so that they adhere to current public health protocols and state curriculum standards. Masks are required for all in-person school programs, regardless of vaccination status.

Questions? Education Department staff members are happy to answer any questions you may have. Call 408.918.1040 or email

Thanks to the generosity of the Hugh Stuart Center Charitable Trust, Title I Schools are eligible for a grant that covers all the HSJ program fees and reimburses groups up to $300 in transportation costs for onsite school programs. When registering for school programs, please indicate that your group is eligible and would like to be considered for the grant.

History Park

1650 Senter Road | San Jose, CA 95112

Early to Rise: Child’s Work and Play in Early San Jose (Grades 2-3)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 10:45 am & 11:10 am – 12:25 pm
25-50 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
When did a kid’s day begin in the late-1800s? Students have the chance to wash clothes, milk a cow, and practice writing on slates during their schoolhouse lesson. A vivid experience for kids to make comparisons between the lives of children 150 years ago and their own lives today.

Immigration: What’s Your Story? (Grades 4-8)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 11:45 am
20-36 students | 8:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
How do immigration policy and cultural identity shape a person’s life in San José? This innovative field trip has students step into another person’s shoes. Students discover the challenges and triumphs of REAL people and compare the immigrants’ experiences: a Chinese boy in the 1890s, a Mexican guest worker in the 1950s, and a Vietnamese refugee mother in the 1980s.

Grant funding available for this program through the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.

Valley of Heart’s Delight (Grades 3-4)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 11:30 am
24-36 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
How do fruits make their way from a farm into a can and to the store? During the second industrial revolution, the Santa Clara Valley became the hub of the fruit canning industry and earned the moniker Valley of Heart’s Delight. Students will survey a fruit barn, migrant farmworker house, and bank at History San José, investigating the development of commercial farming in their community. Through interactive activities, students will learn how farmers and agricultural workers used the latest technology and innovations to create some of the most well recognized companies in the 21st century—Del Monte, Orchard Supply & Hardware, and Bank of America.

Westward Ho! (Grades 4-5)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
What motivated people to trek overland in the mid-1800s and what challenges did they face along the way? In this highly interactive experience classes plan and prepare for a trip West in a covered wagon. They learn about the many hardships travellers faced, the tasks they had to do to ensure a successful trip, and what kids did to entertain themselves on the trail.

Collections Center

1661 Senter Road | San Jose, CA 95112

History Detectives (Grades 4-5)
20-35 students | 8:1 chaperone ratio

$11 per student
Do your students like to search for clues, ask questions, find evidence, and solve mysteries? If so, History Detectives is the perfect program! Students do “the work” of history by actively investigating clues—primary sources and artifacts—from History San José’s collection to discover the past. Also included is a lively, inquiry-based treasure hunt through the vast Collection Center.

Gonzales/Peralta Adobe-Fallon House Historic Site

Adobe: 184 W. Saint John Street | San Jose, CA 95110

Historic House: 175 W. Saint John Street | San Jose, CA 95110

Adobe Days (Grade 3-4)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
How did Spanish settlers adapt to life in Alta California? Transport your class to El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe as they go on an excursion of the oldest house in San José, built in 1778. During the program. Students will see artifacts and primary sources from early California and engage in hands-on activities including candle-making and creating corn husk dolls.

Victorian Days: A Family’s Life in 1855 San Jose (Grade 3-4)
Mondays – Thursdays
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 6:1 chaperone ratio

$12.50 per student
What was family life in San Jose like after American statehood? Students step back in time to learn about family and community life in San José over 150 years ago. Inside the exquisite old home, students investigate and explore the lifestyles of both domestic servants and Fallon family members, dressing up in clothes of the day, playing parlor games, polishing silver, and setting the perfect table for a fancy dinner party.