Educational Programs

Programs at the Fort:


Join the King's Army


This experience includes enlistment into a period army where students drill with wooden muskets and are guided through marching, loading, and firing exercises. In the process the group learns about flintlock era tactics and the role of the common soldier.

Group leaders can choose French and Indian War (1750s), American Revolution (1770s) or War of 1812 themed-programs. The program also includes an animated guided tour of the Fort.

Duration: 2 1/2 Hours   Cost: $9.00/student   Maximum: 120 persons

Work and Play in the Fort





Includes a full tour of the Fort, participatory musket drill and 18th century game.

Group leaders can choose French (1750s), British (1770s) or American (1812) themed-programs.

Duration: 3 1/2 hours  Cost: $11.00 per person  Maximum: 120 persons.

Day and Night in the Fort


The most complete of our programs, providing an educational and enjoyable experience based on the daily life of a soldier of the garrison before 1815. Infantry drill with wooden muskets, artillery and fortification training, cooking, baking, and fatigue duties. After supper clothing and daily life programs. Finish the evening with a "Weird Tales Walk" to the post cemetery. In the morning cook breakfast and take a guided tour.

Duration: 1:00 pm - 11:00 am  Cost: $40.00 per person  Maximum 30 persons

Recommended only for ages 8+. Minimum 3 adult leaders needed.



 Overnight Visit

For groups eager to spend a night at Old Fort Niagara, but unable to arrive during the afternoon. We particularly recommend this program for groups composed primarily of 4th graders, or about 8 years of age. Participants must be at least seven years of age for their own safety. Three adult leaders must be on hand at all times.

We will endeavor to treat visitors like the refugees who have passed through Fort Niagara over the years. The program will feature a musket demonstration, games, a discussion of the role of men and women here at the Fort and other facets of daily life. We finish the evening with folklore on our "Weird Tales Walk."

Like the "Day & Night" program, the "Overnight Visit" can be modified as to period or special requests.

Duration: 7:00PM-11:00AM  Cost: $30.00/Student   Maximum: 30


Programs That Come to You

A Soldier's Life

This program features an in-class visit by a member of the fort staff, dressed in the military uniform of one of the fort's historic garrisons. The primary objective is to increase audience understanding of daily life in the target time period - with a special emphasis on activities and conditions at Old Fort Niagara.
Using the uniform itself, as well as other items representative of a soldier's personal equipment and belongings (knapsack, haversack, clothing, blankets, games, utensils, grooming supplies, etc.), the trials and joys of everyday life will be brought to life.

Students will be able to see and touch reproductions of historic clothing and equipment, making a direct connection with the history of their region. They will also gain a greater understanding of many of the following educational concepts:

  • The past as more than just names and dates
  • The political development of western New York during the period of focus
  • The diversity of community within Fort Niagara
  • The processes necessary for life in a pre-electric age
  • Forms of entertainment popular during the period of focus
  • Vocabulary appropriate to the program
  • "A Soldiers Life" can be tailored to a period which matches the educational goals of the individual school or educator. Programs focusing on the 18th century French and British, and early 19th century American  occupations of the Fort are available.

Duration: Half or Full Day               Cost: $150/$250

The Gold Laced Coat

As this title suggests, this program utilizes characters and themes developed in Helen Fuller Orton's novel, The Gold-Laced Coat, to introduce students to the French occupation of Fort Niagara and Western New York. The central element of the program is an in-class visit by a uniformed French "officer," who will use the adventures of Captain and Phillipe DeCroix, Pierre, Red Bird, and Abbie as a backdrop for an interactive presentation on the true life of French soldiers and civilians in the fort, utilizing both reproduction and original artifacts to bring the past to life. "The Gold-Laced Coat" will seek to increase student understanding of some of the following education concepts:

  • The past as more than just names and dates.
  • Fact versus fiction, and the novel a source of both.
  • The diversity of the community within Fort Niagara and the Great Lakes during the French period of occupation.
  • Transportation and geography in 18th century America.
  • An introduction to the Fur Trade and the commercial forces behind colonization.
  • An introduction to the French and Indian War.
  • Vocabulary appropriate to the program.

Duration: Half or Full Day                 Cost: $150/$250

La Femme Sauvage

Old Fort Niagara is pleased to present a new school program- "La Femme Sauvage." La femme Sauvage is translated from the French meaning "The Native Woman." Old Fort Niagara's Native Interpreter will come to your school or organization to share Native history. There are endless ways that Natives have helped shape the history of North America and it is important that we all recognize and remember that. It is also important that we realize that although Natives played an important role in our history, they are still here and are still helping make history today. Topics currently offered are:

  • 1812: Haudenosaunee Involvement- a closer look at the involvement of the Six Nations in the War of 1812
  • Beavers and Broadcloth- The growing relationship between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans from pre-contact through the French and Indian War. Focus on trade and waterways.
  • Foodways- Traditional foods, past and present. Discusses preparation and harvest. Demonstration available upon request.
  • Women of the Iroquois- Women and their importance in the Confederacy. Emphasis is on respecting one another. Exercise included.
  • Iroquois Around You- The Six Nations in Your Backyard? Topic covers geographic locations and some differences between nations of the Confederacy.
  • Diplomacy- Discusses problem solving and different wampum belts. Exercise included.
  • Three Sisters- Learn the ways our three sisters were utilized. Craft included.

Duration: Half or Full Day                  Cost: $150/$250

Hours of Operation

The Fort is open year round with the exception of New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Jan - June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • July - Aug - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sept - Dec - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.


Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales and charitable contributions.

Donate today!


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