(Bucks County, PA)- Located just 25 miles from Philadelphia, Bucks County is an ideal destination for educators and student groups seeking field trip ideas and hands-on learning opportunities. Throughout the 622-square mile county, students can tour the home of a Nobel Prize-winning author, explore the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware River, become a farmer for the day and experience the life of a princess.
"With plenty of history, art, culture, theater and science, student groups will love an educational and fun escape from the classroom to Bucks County," said Dawn Counard, Visit Bucks County's group tour sales manager. "The tourism office is here as a resource to help those coordinating field trips and student outings begin the planning process."
Get Your History Lesson Here
• See how General George Washington's midnight crossing of the Delaware River forever changed history at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The park's newly re-opened Visitor Center features a state-of-the-art auditorium and displays artifacts that help tell the story of Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776. Students can explore the park's grounds, its nine historic buildings and climb 125 feet to the top of Bowman's Tower for a breathtaking bird's eye view of the region. This historic park offers various field trip options, including Colonial Days and Sheep Shearing to become fully immersed in early American life.
• Glimpse into 17th-century life at Pennsbury Manor, built on the land where William Penn once lived. Students may take a guided tour of the Manor House and outbuildings and participate in a 30-minute hands-on-history activity. For a more in-depth experience, take advantage of the Pennsbury By The Day program that allows teachers to design a program specifically for their students and exclusive access to the site the entire day. Pennsbury Manor offers several group tour options that can be tailored to students from pre-kindergarten through high school.
• Introduce students to the legacy of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author at the Pearl S. Buck House with a guided tour of her 1825 stone farm home. Set on a 68-acre estate, visitors are welcome to tour the home, grounds, gift shop, awards' room, gravesite and nature path. Student groups also have the option of participating in a 30-minute investigative activity called East Wind, West Wind to determine if artifacts from the house are from the East or West. After an extensive eight-year restoration project, this national historic landmark is fully-open for tours.
Connect With Nature
• Sesame Place, the nation's only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street, is the perfect spot for teachers and children to share in the spirit of imagination and education. Students have the opportunity to learn about and engage in STEM activities which encourage them to observe using all their senses, ask questions, conduct experiments, report their findings and reflect on what they've experienced.
• With a butterfly garden, habitats and 4.5 miles of nature trails, Silver Lake Park & Nature Center is the ideal location to study science out of the classroom. The Nature Center offers a variety of school programs for students of all grades, including Pond Study, Hibernation Happens, kayaking, Watershed and Wetlands and more. Silver Lake Nature Center also offers several pre-school programs throughout the seasons.
• Take a hands-on tour of Shady Brook Farm, a 100-year-old working farm in Bucks County. In the fall, take a hayride to the Pumpkin Patch, navigate the straw maze and visit the barnyard animals. Throughout the spring and summer, groups can take a Blossom Tour, which includes a wagon ride around the farm, planting a seed to learn how plants grow and picking a pint of in-season fruit.
Arts and Culture
• Royalty is coming to the James A. Michener Art Museum this fall! "From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon" runs from October 28 through January 26 and examines the life of the Academy Award-winning actress who became Princess of Monaco. Among the items on display will be the princess' personal letters, clothing and photographs, as well as the Oscar she received for her role in The Country Girl.
• The Bucks County Playhouse, an iconic institution in the theater community, officially reopened in 2012. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more. The Playhouse also offers the Saturday Arts Program, a conservatory-style program for middle and high school students to take their performing skills to the next level.
• Providing award-winning entertainment since 1987, Bristol Riverside Theatre offers a main stage season featuring riveting dramas, hilarious comedies, vibrant musicals, exciting world premieres and a summer season of critically acclaimed musicals. Group rates are available.
*Photos available upon request
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Michelle Greco Falcone
Visit Bucks County
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About Visit Bucks County
Visit Bucks County (VBC) is the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County. The mission of the VBC is to increase visitation in Bucks County by effectively marketing its heritage and its diverse sites and attractions. For more information on VBC activities call 1-800-836-BUCKS, visit www.VisitBucksCounty.com or stop by the Bucks County Visitor Center located at 3207 Street Road in Bensalem (adjacent to the entrance to the PARX Casino). The Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is easily accessible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Route 1 and Interstate 95.