School Programs


Our programs are designed for 3rd and 4th grade students.  Each class may schedule a Mansion Tour and one program or a Mansion Tour Only.

Mansion Tour
Designed specifically for 3rd and 4th 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.

1800s Gadgets
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 a 1860s household. We will show unusual kitchen and household gadgets and discuss their function. 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.

Gold Rush
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. Imagine the excitement of yelling "Eureka" each time a flake of gold is discovered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of the program?
There is a flat fee of $50.00 per class for the programs.  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. No more than 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.

Can the students buy souvenirs?
Yes, the Visitor Center includes a gift shop with many items under $5.00.

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.

General Information

School Programs are offered on Tuesday through Thursdays at 9:30 am.

The school programs are approximately 60 minutes in length and cost $50.00 per class. Mansion tours are free. Both the programs and the tours are appropriate for 3rd and 4th graders.

Reservations are required. School Programs are available all year. A letter is sent to schools at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Contact:
You can email a request to: bidwellmansion.school@parks.ca.gov or you can schedule a program by calling the Bidwell Mansion SHP at 530-895-6144 or addressing a  written request with your name, address, school, and grade to:

Bidwell Mansion SHP - School Programs
525 The Esplanade
Chico, CA 95926