Our programs are designed for 3rd grade students. A Mansion tour with the Gold Rush Program can be appropriate for 4th grade students. Each class may schedule a Mansion Tour and one program or a Mansion Tour Only.
Designed specifically for 3rd graders, students will hear the story of John Bidwell’s journey to California and his early life adventures. While using the historic home as a guide, we will explore the lives of John and Annie Bidwell in the 1800s.
This program is an interactive program that allows the class to step back in time to the 1800s. We will discuss how our morning routine differed from the routine in an 1860s household. We will show unusual kitchen and household gadgets and discuss their function. The presenter of this program will be in period costume to help illustrate historic fashion. Students will play a game called “Guess the Gadget” where they will break into small groups and attempt to guess what their gadget was used for.
This program is designed to allow the students to feel the thrill of discovering gold. We will discuss how and where gold was discovered. We will also talk about the lifestyle of the average miner. The class will be divided into teams and each group will receive a pan that has been salted with gold. We will pan in large tubs under cover along the Visitor Center. Imagine the excitement of yelling “Eureka” each time a flake of gold is discovered. There is an additional $10.00 fee per class to cover the cost of the gold.
Maidu to Me
This is an exciting program that has been developed to help students understand the historic timeline of our community. We will be comparing and contrasting the every day life style of your students with 1800s people and Maidu people. We will be discussing an array of topics such as housing, clothing, entertainment, food and customs. There will be many opportunities for student participation and your class will leave with a greater understanding of the developmental process from the time of the Maidu to our current lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of the program?
There is a flat fee of $30.00 per class for the programs. There is an additional $10.00 materials fee per class for the GOLD RUSH program. Mansion Tours are free.
How many adults should I bring?
For a tour only, no extra adults are needed. For the 1800s Gadget and the Gold Rush programs we recommend 4 to 5 adults including the teacher. For the Maidu to Me program, no extra adults are needed. No more then 4 adults plus the teacher will be allowed in the Mansion during the tour. Please notify us if you are using parents for transportation.
How long are the Programs?
Each program is approximately 60 minutes in length. The tour is approximately 60 minutes.
Do we see the entire Mansion on the tour?
No. The tour will cover the majority of the first and second floor. All students and adults MUST stay with the group during the entire tour.
Can the students buy souvenirs?
The Visitor Center includes a gift shop with many items under $5.00. Students are welcome to shop after the noon public tour leaves the Visitor Center at approximately 12:05.
What if I need to reschedule?
Our staff is scheduled specifically to present your program and tour. Therefore, if you must reschedule, let us know as soon as possible. We will do our best to accommodate your group with a new date, but availability is very limited.
School Programs are offered on Tuesday through Thursdays at 9:30am and/or 10:30am.
The Programs are approximately 60 minutes each and are designed for third graders. A Mansion tour with a Gold Rush program can be appropriate for fourth graders. Mansion tours are free to third or fourth grade school groups. Cost of all other programs is a flat fee of $30.00. There is an additional fee of $10.00 per group for the Gold Rush program.
Reservations are required. School Programs are scheduled in September. A letter is sent to schools in August.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send a written request with your name, address, school, and grade to:
Bidwell Mansion SHP - School Programs
525 The Esplanade
Chico, CA 95926
For information (530) 895-6144.
All programs are offered Tuesday through Thursday at 9:30 and/or 10:30 throughout the school year. Programs will not be scheduled in December, due to holiday events. Programs are $30.00 per class and there is an additional fee of $10.00 per class for the Gold Rush program. School tours are free.
Confirmed reservations are required. We fill up fast, so plan ahead for a wonderful experience and informative field trip!