Plan your field trip
Discover a Learning Laboratory for Classrooms of All Ages
Bring your students to Shaker Village for learning adventures throughout 3,000 acres of discovery! Shaker Village offers a variety of engaging programs for K-12 students. Explore the Kentucky Shakers’ history and way of life, discover crops on The Farm and wildlife in The Preserve, and participate in interactive sessions to build an exciting educational experience for your students. Each interdisciplinary program utilizes Shaker Village’s unique setting to support Kentucky academic standards.
Special admission, dining and room rates are available for all groups of 15 or more. Advance group reservations are required to receive special pricing.
$5 per student/parent/chaperone
Teachers are free
Living the Shaker Life: Community + Culture at Pleasant Hill
Engage with the artifacts and buildings that the Shakers left behind to uncover the beliefs, practices and innovations necessary for their unique way of life. Learn what it would have been like to live a communal lifestyle. What was an average day like? How did the Shakers make a living? What did they eat? How was their community structured? Discover answers to these questions and more on this interactive school program.
From Eggs to Marigolds
Visit The Farm to discover the value of “waste not, want not.” Get your hands dirty, while exploring the cycles of a healthy food system through the life of an egg shell in the chicken coop, compost pile, greenhouse and garden. Improve the land, and experience the day-to-day routines of a farmer.
Farm to Fiber
How did the Shakers make fabrics for blankets and clothing? How was this material different from what we use today? In this program, students will discover the transformative process by which wool can be turned into felt. Learn about the journey of wool from the field to refined fiber. Engage with reproduction objects that reveal the close connection between the society and the land. By the end of the program, students will have created their own unique felted soap to use at home.
Weather Plan: In case of poor weather, indoor space will be utilized if group size permits. If not, another program may be substituted.
Get more out of your Shaker Village experience by adding an enriched experience.
$5 per student/parent/chaperone per experience
Teachers are free
Prairie Ecosystem Hike
Take a 45-minute hike through an example of the rarest ecosystem in North America—a restored native prairie. Use all of your senses to explore the diversity of plants and animals that call this land home, and discover how they fit together into an ecosystem.
Weather Plan: In case of poor weather, an alternate program will be substituted. Please ensure students wear closed-toe shoes. Your guide may substitute a different program if footwear will not allow a safe hike in the prairie.
Swept Away: Shaker Innovations
Discover the legacy of Shaker innovation by learning about one of the society’s most significant contributions—the flat broom. Explore the social, agricultural and economic importance of the broom making industry to the community at Pleasant Hill by engaging with material ranging from raw broomcorn to finished brooms. Throughout this experience, students will participate in a modified broom making process and create mini-brooms to take home.
Other Ways To Discover
Dixie Belle Riverboat
Enjoy a relaxing ride through high limestone cliffs and untouched natural beauty aboard Shaker Village’s 115-passenger riverboat. One-hour narrated cruises describe the historical importance of the river to the Shakers and pass under High Bridge, an engineering marvel built in 1877. Additional fees and capacity restrictions apply.
Let Shaker Village inform and inspire your organization through lessons in community, sustainability and ingenuity. With expertise in Shaker history, environmental education, land management, organic agriculture, preservation and conservation, our instructors are available to speak to your classroom, student assembly, youth group, community center, library or church. Tailored programs can be developed to meet your specific needs. Program fees apply.
Field Trip FAQ
When can I bring my students to Shaker Village?
Field trips are available April-November, Tuesday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., with Dixie Belle Riverboat cruises available at 12 p.m. (based on availability, as well as weather and river conditions).
How much does it cost to bring students to Shaker Village?
Most school groups choose to do the basic tour ($5 per student/parent/chaperone) and one enriched activity ($5 per student/parent/chaperson) for a total cost of $10 per student/parent/chaperone. There is no charge for teachers. Activities such as the Dixie Belle Riverboat charters and dining incur additional costs. Please note that the pricing included in this school planner applies to grades K-12 only.
When do I need to book my field trip and how do I pay?
We require booking (with confirmed participant numbers) at least two weeks in advance of your trip. Schools should not bring payment the day of their field trip. Schools will be invoiced at minimum for their final booked numbers after their visit. Participants in addition to final booked numbers must be communicated to Shaker Village prior to your trip and may not be accommodated depending on group size. Approved additions will be added to the final invoice. Chaperones should make payment with your school, and Shaker Village will receive one payment after your field trip from your school.
Can our group eat at Shaker Village?
Schools may bring their own lunches or order box lunches from Shaker Village. Student groups are welcome to picnic in designated lawn areas; however, we are unable to guarantee a sheltered location in the case of inclement weather. Please plan to have students eat on their busses in the case of inclement weather. Your group may also enjoy the unique experience of dining at The Trustees’ Table.
Can our group ride on the Dixie Belle Riverboat?
School groups are invited to discover the Kentucky River Palisades, while retracing the trade routes of the Shakers. Learn about the natural history of this unique region and how the Shakers utilized the river for their industry and trade. If riding the Dixie Belle Riverboat, students may take their lunches to eat on the boat. Boat charters are available May-October at 12 p.m. Additional fees and capacity restrictions apply.
What should our group wear to Shaker Village?
Students and adults should anticipate lots of walking during their field trips. All participants should wear close-toed shoes and clothing appropriate for the anticipated weather on the day of their field trip.
What will a field trip at Shaker Village look like?
A typical field trip experience at Shaker Village will generally adhere to the following schedule:
9:30AM, Standard Arrival Time
9:30AM–10AM, Greetings, Restrooms, Introductions
10AM–10:45AM, Basic Tour ($5 per student/parent/chaperone)
10:45AM–11:30AM, Enriched Experience ($5 per student/parent/chaperone)
11:30AM-12PM, Restrooms and Travel to Shaker Landing for Riverboat Ride
12PM–1PM, Dixie Belle Riverboat Ride (charter fee)
1PM– 1:30PM, Depart Shaker Village