School Program Options

School trips typically begin at 9:30 am and, depending on whether a program is included, finish around 11: 45 am. Our programs are designed for 3rd and 4th grade students.  Each class may schedule a Mansion Tour and one program or a Mansion Tour only. The maximum capacity on the Mansion tour is 20 people. The cost of adding a program is $50 per class, an invoice will be sent by email at the time of scheduling.

If you would like to schedule your trip or find out more information, please use the School Tour Inquiry Form.

Mansion Tour

Designed specifically for 3rd and 4th graders, students will hear the story of John Bidwell’s journey to California and his early life adventures.  While using the historic home as a guide, we will explore the lives of John and Annie Bidwell in the 1800s.

Available Programs

1800’s Gadgets

This program complies with 3rd and 4th grade CORE and Academic Standards. Interactive and engaging, this program allows students a look back in time to the late 1800s. Students look at gadgets used in several aspects of daily life. How did people in the 1800s communicate over long distance? How did they make their food? What did they do for fun? We discuss these topics and more in a fun, interactive way. The program culminates with the students playing a game called “Guess the Gadget.” Students will be divided into small groups where they will attempt to determine the function of 1800s mystery gadgets, and then share their results with the rest of the class.

Gold Rush

This program complies with 3rd and 4th grade CORE and Academic Standards. This is a hands-on program that allows students to experience the life of a miner during the Gold Rush. Students learn about how the Gold Rush unfolded, who participated, where people came from, what were miner’s lives like, and how the Gold Rush changed California. The class is then divided into groups and given the chance to try their hand at gold panning.


This program complies with 3rd and 4th grade CORE and Academic Standards. This program focuses on the unique relationship the Mechoopda Maidu Native Americans had with the Bidwells and Mechoopda culture. Students learn about Mechoopda culture at Chico Rancheria and how it has changed.

Students gain an understanding of how integral natural resources were to Mechoopda culture by participating in a natural resource-artifact matching game.