A few years ago, my family and I took a step back in time at the California History Education Program at the Irvine Park Railroad in Orange, California. Each year the Irvine Park Railroad invites hundreds of homeschoolers and school groups from across Southern California to come and learn about California’s gold rush period and early California history.
The program created by teachers is a hands-on learning experience for children of all ages and their chaperones. The program also meets the State of California curriculum requirements for fourth-grade history and social science. This is especially useful if you homeschool in Southern California and want to go on an early California history field trip.
During the field trip, children are able to go back in time and experience the life of a miner, the history of California, the routes people used to travel to get to California and more.
California History Education Program Irvine Regional Park
The program consists of six stations:
Take a 12-minute ride through the beautiful and historic Irvine Regional Park. During the narrated train ride, passengers learn about the history of the trans-continental railroad and the State of California.
Authentic Mine Shaft
Students have fun as they explore the depths of the mine shaft constructed for the 4th Grade California History Education Program. Children are also able to see the types of tools used to dig and navigate through the mines.
Students experience a fun and real-life demonstration given by a “49er” on life during the gold rush. The camp has all of the daily tools and equipment used during life in the 1840s. Visitors have fun – as the miners did and learn games that helped pass time for the miners.
Water Wheel & Inventions
The water wheel demonstration is a true-to-life replica of a water wheel. Students and teachers enjoy the water wheel and learn the importance of water during the gold rush as well as inventions that helped connect the East to West.
Wagons, Buggies & Transportation
This portion of the program includes routes that settlers took to get to California from all directions and the lives they led while making the cross-country journey. A presentation is made on important California history leaders including James Beckworth, John Bidwell, John C. Fremont and others.
Panning For Gold
Our favorite part of Public Day was panning for gold just like the 49’ers did during the gold rush!
Register For An Irvine Park Railroad Field Trip
Irvine Park Railroad is now accepting reservations for their California History Education Program on select dates throughout January till May. The program begins at 10 am. The cost to attend is $15.00 for students /$4.00 for adults. Teachers are free! Reservations must be made in advance by calling the Irvine Park Railroad at (714) 997-3968 x.223
Irvine Park Railroad Homeschool Field Trip Days
The Irvine Park Railroad is also hosting three Homeschool Field Trips Days this spring.
- Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 1 pm
- Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 1 pm
- Thursday, May 3, 2018 @ 1 pm
The cost to attend an Irvine Park Railroad Homeschool Field Trips Day is $15.000 for students / $4.00 for adults. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the Irvine Park Railroad at (714) 997-3968 x.223
The Irvine Park Railroad is located inside the Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange 92869. Parking is $3.00 on weekdays and $5.00 on the weekends.
For complete details, please visit www.irvineparkrailroad.com.
Happy Field Tripping!