Revolutionary War Overnight
The Revolutionary War Overnight on the grounds of Colonial Chesterfield at Riley’s Farm combines our popular day time Revolutionary War Adventure with an evening of living history fun in our recreation of a New England farmstead from the 18th century. During your stay, you can expect plenty of authentic characters, great food, fun activities and contests with delicious prizes!
A typical journey begins in the evening at 5:00 PM when guests are assigned a cot in their sleeping quarters, take part in an orientation meeting and are then divided into groups called “townships.” Students then undergo martial training as well as a few additional activities not usually featured on our day trips. After a enjoying a full meal accompanied by live 18th century music in our Hawkshead Public House, guests will be paid an inspirational visit by the legendary Patrick Henry, while rounding out the evening with apple crisp! Cabins and marquis tents will typically house weary guests as they slumber soundly in preparation for a very full day!
At dawn, overnighters explore some of the farm’s vast 760 acres by reconnoitering the top of a local hill and standing watch for the British army. After skirmishing with the redcoats, guests will return to the tavern to enjoy a farm breakfast of eggs, bacon, french toast casserole and orange juice. By the time breakfast is over, games and last minute preparation will be a welcome respite before the day’s Revolutionary War Adventure!
Tour content may vary.
Participate in extended martial drilling time learning advanced skills and maneuvers for the battle to come! Participate in competitions against your fellow militiamen to display your ability as a soldier.
Living History Stations
Learn the craftsmanship of an eighteenth century villager as to try your hand at dipping candles or writing letters with a quill pen.
Authentic Tavern Meal
Enjoy a fine feast of Sally Lunn bread, candied carrots, mash potatoes, and roast beast served within the Hawk’s Head Tavern. The atmosphere comes alive as you partake of your meal while being serenaded by live musicians playing period tunes.
The Tavern is known to have visitors congregate to, even Mr. Patrick Henry himself has been seen to frequent the area and educate the patrons by way of his speech, “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death”.
Experience the sleeping quarters of the eighteenth century within marque tents. Make certain you have a warm bedroll in the bundle of your accoutrements, it is known to be cold in the mountains.
Restrooms and Showers
For your convenience, our restroom facilities include all the essential modern amenities. Each restroom has two private showers with hot water for those who have use of it.*
Mount up and move out as we march about the various trails that weave around the mountains on our 760 acre countryside. Be forewarned, it is best to take up your musket and prepare for an encounter with the British Infantry that parade the grounds.
Breakfast and 18th Century Games
Enjoy an amazing breakfast of eggs, bacon, and french-toast pudding within the tavern. Afterward, partake of some leisure time of games on our town green just prior to the day tour’s beginning.
When should we arrive?
What is the maximum group size?
Groups can be a maximum of 112 people.
Can we buy food?
There is on site food at the Bakery and Restaurant which can be ordered or purchased throughout the day. A “soldier’s ration” of cornbread and beef jerky is normally provided unless we are otherwise instructed by your school or group leader.
Can we bring our own lunch?
Most schools bring lunches for the students, and they will be given a picnicking area for lunch.
How do we get there?
See Map for driving directions.
What is the typical age group for this tour?
This tour is geared towards 5th graders, but is fun for all ages, young and old.
Do I need reservations?
My compliments on the superb “American Revolution School Tour” that John Muir Middle School experienced on Wednesday. You, Sgt. Major Harmon, Master Villareal, Master Drazin, and Miss Shaddix all played your roles brilliantly. I’ve been teaching American History for over thirty years, and have visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, Plymouth, Sturbridge, Mystic Seaport and other “living history” sites as a tourist, so I feel qualified to give you an enthusiastic “thumbs up” on the quality and quantity of information that was entertainingly presented at each of the rotation sites. You certainly make effective use of the three-and-a-half hours!
Thank you for a wonderful field trip yesterday! Since I am New England born and bred, I wondered how you could live up to my Revolutionary War expectations. Well I must say you surpassed them! Thank you from the entire 5th grade class at the Academy of Academic Excellence! We had a great time! All of you did a bang up job and we plan on returning next year. Thanks again!
Academy for Academic Excellence
Our 8th graders had a superb field trip to your Revolutionary War session in December. I was truly impressed with the professionalism, dedication, authenticity and true-life experiences the students enjoyed. (I was a docent for Massachusetts historical sites, as well as for the Ventura County Historical Society.)
It goes a long way when you show a child a book with information about the history of the world they live in. When you give that same child the opportunity to see it first hand, hear, and feel the sounds of the past now you have given that child a lesson that will last a life-time. God Bless You!
I would just like to thank you immensely for the wonderful adventure you and your staff took my students on yesterday. They came to school today with a true love of the country and a renewed love of history. They read a story in class today called, “…If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution” and as soon as the story was over, the talk about yesterday began. They loved every minute of their time there…Thank you once again for all of your hard work in bring this period of
history to life for my students.
Linda Vista Elementary
My class chaperones and I really enjoyed your reenactment of the Revolutionary War. All Day long I heard comments such as: “wow, this is fun,” “I’m learning something new,” “I never knew that,” “Now I understand…”
Our trip was excellent and I know my students learned more than what I had been teaching from our textbook. Thank you for making history come alive for my students and me.”
Arroyo Verde School
“I was at the farm on Friday March 22nd with my daughter’s school. I’ve been a mom for 22½ years and have been doing field trips for over 17 years, and yours is by far the best one EVER!!! And it’s not just because our last name is Riley. Everyone was so nice, knowledgeable, polite, professional and in character most of the time. I seriously loved it and will be back with my husband and the rest of the family. Thanks for everything.” –Debi Riley
“My class just had its field trip today and it was fantastic! All of the kids thoroughly enjoyed it and really experienced the Colonial Life we have been studying. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. This was one social studies lesson that even my most fidgety pupils did not consider “boring” even for a moment! Well done!” — Carmella Danella
Santa Ana, California
“We are looking forward to visiting your farm again. It is our school’s favorite fieldtrip. After two years, we have students asking when we are going and signing up early!”
– Shannon Cabanas, Cobalt Middle School
“To all the folks at Riley Farm–Thanks for all the great work you do! All the best,” –Walter Fay,
Executive Producer “The Patriot”
“We just attended with our Charter school, Gorman learning center. My 13 year old Stephen, and 7 year old Jessica really enjoyed the interactive/reinactment of the Revolutionary War. But to tell you the truth,I think I enjoyed it just as much. I only wish I could have brought the other sons, age 15..Mark, and 17…Luke. They would have loved it also. So, we will attend future engagements if possible. Thank you so much again. We had a WONDERFUL time!!!” –Diana Spink, Panorma City
“A touch of Colonial America on the West Coast. The Rileys have done their research! The authenticity of food, clothing, sharing of colonial trades, shelter and surrounding environment is truly remarkable. Participating in a battle … was a definite highlight…”
Pam Combs, 5th Grade Teacher
Bryant Ranch Elementary School, Yorba Linda
“A visit to Colonial Chesterfield…is the perfect way to start our year. As we study the Revolutionary Period and pioneer days…I often see students’ faces light up as they recall adventures (“we shot at the British from behind that stone wall”) and other lessons learned “out at the farm.” You make history “come alive” …thanks!
Ted Campbell, 5th grade teacher
Pachappa School, Riverside
“Thank you for the most wonderful field trip I have ever hosted for children. Your knowledge of history, the authenticity of your facilities, the beauty of the surroundings, and the love of history that you shared with the students are very much appreciated. All 112 students and teachers from Discovery Elementary School thank you!
We are already planning our next visit. We never thought it would be possible to take the children back in time, but you have done just that! What a priceless opportunity. Thank you again for the experience.”
Fifth Grade Teacher, Discovery Elementary
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my visit to your farm yesterday with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. It was a wonderful, peaceful day, as well as educational. Smelling the clean air, hearing the birds chirping, seeing the lovely countryside and feeling the warm sunshine was so relaxing. And watching your beautiful children playing in the tall grass
was enchanting. I felt like a guest at your home rather than a visitor at a tourist location. And by the way, the apple pie was one of the best I’ve ever had!
Thanks for the great day!