Field Trips

Experiential and Experimental

There's nothing like the sights, smells, and sounds of the real thing. You can enhance your classroom studies of subjects like history, mathematics, art, science, and geography by visiting a national park -- the original primary source.

Tumacácori engages kids onsite by offering inquiry-based learning experiences.

Or, give us a call to custom-build a program to your specifications.

The further in advance you call, the more likely we will be able to accommodate your curriculum needs and schedule. At least two weeks is preferable. Contact the Education Specialist by calling 520-377-5064 or send an email.

Transportation Grant Opportunity

Do you teach 4th grade in Santa Cruz or Pima County? Are you looking for help to fund a field trip to Tumacácori? The National Park Foundation wants to help! Download the Transportation Grant Application (.pdf, 94kb) to see if you are eligible for free bus money to support your field trip.

Options for Large Groups

Are you bringing a group of more than 80 students? Consider some of these options:

  • Break in half and combine field trips listed above or combine with a trip to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park just up the road. You'll need 4-5 hours and students with good mental and physical stamina for a long day of structured activities.
  • Break into 8-10 small groups and explore the mission grounds following the Junior Ranger Seek and Find Guide. Rangers and volunteers will be stationed at key locations to answer questions and engage with students. Best for a large group with limited time (1-2 hours).
  • Break into small groups and explore the mission grounds, museum, river corridor, and nearby sites like the Tubac Presidio on your own.
Large groups should contact the park in advance to make arrangements with education staff, inquire about fee waivers, or simply give a small park a big heads-up! Remember that the historic buildings are fragile and indoor spaces are small so learning is best done in small groups of 10 or fewer. The picnic area includes about ten tables, so it can accommodate a large group all eating at once. Help keep things clean!

Entrance Fee Waivers

Accredited school groups coming for educational purposes are exempt from the normal $5 per person aged 16 or older. If this is your school's first time coming to the park, contact the Education Specialist to get an educational entrance fee waiver.

Guidelines for Leaders and Chaperones

We ask chaperones to be aware of and responsible for their students at all times, and to remember that while they are in the park classroom behavior is expected. Please take a few minutes prior to leaving the bus or upon assembling in the garden area to review rules and proper conduct with your students. Essentially, emphasizing general courtesy, safety, respect for other visitors and protection of the park's resources cover most bases.

Come prepared to be outside. All participants should bring drinking water and appropriate clothing -- a hat when it is sunny and hot and coats for chilly winter mornings.

Protect the park. Park rules are in place to protect fragile resources and visitor safety. Before your participants enter the park, please remind them:

  • Touching and/or climbing on the ruins is strictly prohibited.
  • Use quiet voices, especially inside the church and museum.
  • Clean up after yourself, especially during meals and snacks.
  • Stay on the trails.
  • Leave rocks, plants, and artifacts, (such as pottery pieces and stone tools) where you find them so others will be able to enjoy them.
  • Enjoy park wildlife from a comfortable distance.

The Picnic Area is located outside of the back (east) garden gate. Feel free to use the area, but please ensure that you leave the area cleaner than you found it. Trash cans are located nearby. If the cans are full, please remove the bag and replace it with extra bags, located in the bottom of the can.

The park's resources are a national treasure. All of us need to do our part to ensure that it endures for future generations.


Showing results 1-6 of 6

  • Tumacácori National Historical Park

    Adobe Engineering Challenge

    Ball of adobe mud

    The structures and ruins at Tumacácori have been standing for well over 200 years and are made of nothing more than mud, rocks, and sticks.  Explore the engineering principles that make it all possible.

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Seventh Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Architecture, Architecture (Building Styles and Methods), Art, Earth Science, Engineering, Historic Preservation, History, Mathematics, Science and Technology
    National/State Standards:
    STEM topics, varies by grade level
  • Tumacácori National Historical Park

    Mission Mystery

    students and ranger inside adobe church pointing at clues

    Students use the features and characters of Mission San José de Tumacácori to investigate a mysterious whodunnit. 

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    American Indian History and Culture, Archaeology, Family Life, Hispanic or Latino American History and Culture, Historic Preservation, History, Language Arts
    National/State Standards:
    4-5.RL.1, 4-5.RL.3, 4-5.RL.6, 4-5.RL.9, 4-5.RI.1, 4-5.RI.3, 4-5.RI.6, 4-5.RI.9, 4-5.RF.3, 4-5.SL.1, 4-5.SL.2, 4-5.SL.3, 4-5.SL.4, 4-5.L.6
    6-8.RH.1, 6-8.RH.2, 6-8.RH.4, 6-8.RH.6, 6-8.RH.7, 6-8.RH.8, 6-8.WHST.7
    mystery, whodunnit, investigate, mission, sources, interview, argument
  • Tumacácori National Historical Park

    Padre Kino's Quest

    Illustration of black-robed Kino with horse

    Padre Kino - mathematician, navigator, cartographer, astronomer, diplomat, linguist, and propagandist? Students explore the journey of a missionary from Europe to the Santa Cruz River valley and the villagers of Tumacácori.

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
    Literacy and Language Arts,Math,Science,Social Studies
  • puppet show in progress with rabbit, pack rat, and mantis

    Explore the ruins in a safe and respectful manner including the popular “secret room.” Enjoy a puppet show that describes the building and use of the Casa Grande. Your visit will features hand-on learning. We may examine cotton by working to remove the seeds, or use mano and metate to grind flour. We may make a pinch pot to take home. We may play a game thousands of years old. We may color paper models of the Great House. So many possibilities, call us!

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Pre-Kindergarten-Second Grade
    American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Biology: Plants, Botany, Community, Environment, Family Life, Historic Preservation, History, Landscapes, Social Studies, Sociology
    National/State Standards:
    American History:AZ Strand 1:Concept 1: PO 1/PO 2/PO 3
    American History:AZ Strand 1:Concept 2: PO 1/PO 2
    Visual Arts:AZ Strand 1:Concept 2
    Visual Arts:AZ Strand 2:Concept 3
    Music:AZ Strand 2:Relate, Concept 3
    Theater:AZ Strand 1:PO 101/PO 104
  • Students stretch paper timelines along a modern wall

    Explore the ruins in a safe and respectful manner including the popular “secret room.” Hohokam Culture agriculture, trade, and the building and use of the Casa Grande are topics investigated. The visit features hand-on learning by creating timelines to fit cultural changes and inventions into context.

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Biology: Plants, Botany, Commerce and Industry, Community, Environment, Family Life, Geography, Historic Preservation, History, Hydrology, Inventions / Inventors, Landscapes, Regional Studies, Social Studies, Sociology
    National/State Standards:
    American History:  AZ Strand 1: Concept 1: PO 1, PO 2, PO 3
    American History:  AZ Strand 1: Concept 2: PO 1, PO 2, PO 5
    American History:  AZ Strand 1: Concept 3: PO 2
    Visual Arts: AZ Strand 1: Concept 1: Create, Strand 2:Relate
  • Tumacácori National Historical Park

    Tumacácori in Five Senses

    child's hands, muddy

    Tumacácori in Five Senses explores life at the mission through taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight.

    Field Trips
    Grade level:
    Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
    Science,Social Studies

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8067
Tumacacori, AZ 85640


(520) 377-5060

Contact Us