San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site preserves the location where Stephen F. Austin established his colony for 297 American families in 1823. Walk in the footsteps of Texas’ early pioneers at what was once the social, economic, and political center of Texas, as well as the capital of the provisional government of Texas at the start of the revolution. The historic site and museum are 45 miles west of downtown Houston, off of I-10, near Sealy.
Planning the Field Trip
Hours and Reservations
Guided school field trips are offered Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please request a school field trips at least two weeks in advance by contacting the site. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact: Eleanor Stoddart, Educator or call 979.885.2181 (ext. 2).
School Group Fees
- The fee for most field trips is $4/student.
- Teachers, bus drivers and chaperones (one per 10 students): FREE
- Contact us for information on reduced rates for additional chaperone/parent attendees.
From I-10, travel north on FM 1458 (exit 723) through San Felipe. The site is located on the right, on 2nd Street.
Things to Consider
- San Felipe de Austin State Historic site is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Teachers and chaperones will be responsible for supervising students during their time at the museum, and may be asked to help facilitate some of the rotation activities.
- No food or drinks are allowed inside the Museum. Backpacks and lunches should be left on the bus. Some portions of the school field trip are outside, so please wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Most schools picnic at the nearby Stephen F. Austin State Park.
- Field Trips are designed to meet 4th grade curriculum requirements. With notice, they can be modified to suit the 7th grade curriculum.
Field Trip Activities
4th Grade Social Studies TEKS Connections
4.1 (B, C), 4.2 (A, E), 4.3 (A, B, C), 4.6 (A), 4.8 (A, B, C), 4.9 (A, B), 4.10 (B), 4.12 (A, B, C), 4.14 (B), 4.15 (A), 4.16 (A), 4.17 (D), 4.20 (A), 4.21 (A, B, C, D, E), 4.23 (A, B)
Learn more about 4th Grade Social Studies TEKS Connections.
Visits to the museum will involve a guided tour of the new 10,000 square foot museum. Highlights include a desk once belonging to Stephen F. Austin, an original log cabin, a cast-iron printing press like the one used to publish Travis’ “Victory or Death” letter and hundreds of artifacts recovered during archeological digs at the state historic site. Interactive digital displays will encourage students to delve deeper into life in the colony, and will give them a chance to take on the role of a delegate to the meetings leading up to the Texas Revolution.
Tours will also include hand-on activities on a variety of topics:
- Archeology – students will learn what archeologists do, what artifacts are and what they tell us about the past, and will try their hand at sorting and classifying the most common types of artifacts found at San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site. Ongoing archeological investigations at the site (in season) will give students a chance to see archeologists at work, and to see the latest discoveries as they are uncovered.
- Clothing in the past – students will learn about typical clothing worn by settlers, and have the opportunity to handle and try on replicas of period clothing.
- Flags – San Felipe de Austin had its own flag, though only one was ever made. Students will learn about the symbolism of the flag, and will design their own flags.
- Toys and games – children lived in San Felipe, and students will have the chance to play with some of our replica toys that would have been available to children at that time.
- Money and bartering – Though actual cash money was scarce in the colony, settlers were able to obtain what they needed by bartering and trading. Students will work their way through an exercise to demonstrate how goods were exchanged.
- Prospective colonists – How did Austin decide who was allowed to come to the colony? Through role-playing, students will consider the qualifications and characteristics of a desirable candidate.
- Printing demonstration – San Felipe was home to some of the earliest newspapers in Texas. Demonstrations of how documents were printed at the time will show the technology available in the colony, and the amount of effort needed to print newspapers and other documents.
- Museum store – Time in the Museum Store can be included in the schedule! However, space is limited, so we ask that students be supervised by chaperones. If you want your students to have time in the store, we prefer to make it a part of one of the rotations to control the size of shopping groups.
- Picnic lunches and Stephen F. Austin State Park – Most field trip groups picnic at the nearby Stephen F. Austin State Park (about 1 mile from the historic site). We will coordinate your picnic reservation there as part of your confirmed booking. Groups can plan for a short (self-guided) nature hike following lunch at the Park or can bring recreational equipment like soccer balls for the lunch time. It is possible for smaller groups (approximately 50 or so) to coordinate lunch at the historic site, most likely across FM 1458 from the museum.