Education at the Battlefield

A now and then photograph of a school field trip in the Stone House circa 1960.
Ranger led field trips to Manassas National Battlefield Park have been popular for decades!

NPS Photo

Manassas National Battlefield Park is a 5,000 acre open classroom, where students can learn about the American Civil War and the two major battles that took place here. Review the following pages of information about tours and programs offered at the park. All programs are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning and the National Standards for teaching U.S. History.

For ranger-conducted education programs, dates and times are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If we are unable to provide a ranger for your group on the date and time of your planned visit due to a prior reservation or other staffing concerns, your group will be encouraged to pick another date, attend regularly-scheduled public tours on that date or pursue self-guided activities in the park.


Field Trips

Manassas National Battlefield Park offers guided education programs for students to learn about the American Civil War, particularly the First and Second Battles of Manassas which took place on lands now preserved within this national park. The park also offers environmental education field programs. All educational programming is free of charge.

As of January 30th, 2024, we are no longer accepting reservations for March, April, and May this year.

If we are unable to book a field trip with you, your students are still welcome to visit the park and attend public tours offered at 11 a.m. daily. Education staff will be happy to faciliate planning for your self-guided visit. If your group is over 50, contact us to help curate your experience so that your students receive the maximum benefit from it. Please keep in mind that the Henry Hill Visitor Center is currently open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and there is no fee to visit.

Below is a list of the field trip options typically offered at the park:

First Manassas Tour
This is a ranger-guided walking tour designed for school groups of any age. This 45-minute tour covers events and historical themes associated with the First Battle of Manassas. Groups are limited to 50 students. Tours are offered weekdays by advance reservation only. By request, our First Manassas Tour can be tailored to provide more information about the roles of women, African-Americans, and/or the civilian experience. Pairs well with the Scavenger Hunt and Orientation Film.

Scavenger Hunt
The park offers grade-level scavenger hunts that serve as a companion to our museum space are available for school groups from 2nd-12th grade. Plan on at least 30 minutes to complete this activity. Pairs well with the First Manassas Tour and Orientation Film.

Orientation Film, Manassas: End of Innocence
This 45 minute film covers both the First and Second Battles of Manassas through the eyes of those that witnessed them. Pairs well with the Scavenger Hunt and First Manassas Tour. This film depicts the violence of the Civil War. It is best suited for students in fourth grade and above.

Virtually Manassas!
Join a ranger coming to you from the Manassas Battlefield! Park staff will work with you to design a program that best meets your needs. Past program topics include, being a Park Ranger and the history of the NPS; the First Battle of Manassas; and the civilian experience during the Civil War.

Classroom Visit
Let the Education Staff of Manassas National Battlefield Park come visit you, bringing the story of the Battles of Manassas, materials, and other hands-on items to your classroom. Availability of this option may be limited based on staffing.

To Make Reservations:
The park requires that all field trip requests be made at least one month in advance of visitng the park. We receive lots of requests from school groups and bus tours to visit the park, particularly in the spring. We want you to have a pleasant and enjoyable experience without having to compete with other large groups, so scheduling is the key. Please note that due to staffing, we are not able to accommodate groups on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at this time. If you are requesting a date more than four months out, we will plan to accommodate your request and add it to our calendar, but will not be able to confirm your reservation until a couple months out.

If you would like to request a field trip, classroom visit, or virtual field trip, please fill out our reservation request form and send it to Please note that teachers should only fill out either section 2 (field trip),3 (classroom visit), or 4 (virtual field trip) depending on their preferred experience for their students. Also, section 5 which pertains to fee waivers does not need to be filled out because Manassas National Battlefield Park does not charge fees.

*All guided tours require a 1:10 adult to student ratio.

Non-Ranger Facilitated Programs:
While we offer formal educational programming, you are also welcome to visit the park on your own and park staff will be happy to help you curate a non-facilitated experience for your students. Please keep in mind if you plan to visit the park wit a large group, indoor space is limited in park buildings. We do not recommend having more than 35 students in our visitor center exhibits given the small size of the space. Our theater capacity is 130 for the park film which plays at the top of the hour throughout the day. Please note, if you plan to see the film and are running late, we cannot hold the film so make sure to arrive promptly at the scheduled show time.

If you would like a copy of our grade-level specific scavenger hunt for students to complete while in the museum, please
email us. This scavenger hunt comes in three versions: upper elementary (4th-6th grade), middle School (7th-9th grade), and high school (10th-12th grade.)

While at the park, we strongly recommend you follow the latest state, local, and CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 including social distancing and the wearing of masks for the safety of your group, park visitors, and staff.

If you have any questions related to your visit or reserving a field trip, please contact the park's Education Office at:
Phone: (703) 361-1339 x1205
Email: email us


Bridging the Watershed

The Bridging the Watershed (BTW) program is a field trip for 4th graders, and 6th through 12th graders conducted at the battlefield by a park partner, The Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF). The mission of this field trip is to provide meaningful watershed educational experiences to local students. The program includes pre-visit activities, a field experience, and post-visit activities.

To schedule your BTW field trip please visit the AFF website.


Examples of Self Guided and Bridging the Watershed Field Trips

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    Last updated: January 30, 2024

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    12521 Lee Highway
    Manassas, VA 20109


    703 361-1339 x0

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