Plan A Field Trip


New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is excited to be part of your school's continuing efforts towards excellence. The National Park Service has a strong tradition of education and we are proud to promote parks as classrooms. To assist all educators with their curricula, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park has a free field trip program in place for educational groups. The park also offer free curriculum and lesson plans for download.

What to Know Before You Come:

Free field trips are available from April to October. The majority of our program requests occur from April to June, if you have those dates in mind, please let the park know as soon as possible so accommodations can be made for your class. Generally the whole day is reserved for your group, unless you have a small class. Please allow the park at least two weeks of lead time to arrange for your desired date(s) and time(s). Scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis.

For groups with over 55 participants, we often collaborate with partners such as the New Bedford Whaling Museum or Buzzards Bay Coalition and rotate through each venue. However, the field trip coordinator must reserve programming with each partner individually. Collaborative programs require extra coordination and recommend you starting the scheduling process as soon as possible.

The park also has brochures and maps available for free at the Park Visitor Center for groups wishing to embark on on a self-guided program on their own.

What kind of programming is available?

  • Movies: The City that Lit the World (Park Introductory Film, 22 minutes), The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in New Bedford.

  • Videos featuring the: Youth Ambassador Program 54th Regiment, American Dreams, Walk with Me, Everywhere We Go, Get Outside and Move, New England Trail and more. Find all YAP! songs and lyrics available for download.

  • Guided Walking Tour: Whaling is explored from different perspectives during an approximately hour long walking tour through New Bedford's Historic District.

  • Self-Guided Lesson Plans: Work with your class on your timeframe! Download self-guided lesson plans designed for learning about the Underground Railroad, whaling and the 54th Regiment.

  • Junior Ranger: Geared towards elementary and middle school students, the booklet consists of a scavenger hunt and activities that take participants on a voyage through time as they explore whaling.


What happens after you have contacted the Park:

The park will review the dates you have requested and will contact you if they are available or not. If dates are available, the park may have a few more questions about your visit. For instance, if your group is over 35 students, we may request that they are split into two smaller groups prior to your visit to help the park facilitate a quality learning experience.

The park will review the field trip plan with you, including late arrival/cancellation policies and issue you confirmation via email, please note that a reservation is not final until you recieve a confirmation letter from the park.

*If inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances pose a challenge to your program, we will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule your visit.


Last updated: February 4, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740



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