The struggle for independence is more than charts, trends, and abstract academic theories.
It is the story of what Patrick Henry labeled “wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty!”
Re-live that great struggle with us and bring the American Revolution alive!
As you arrive, you’ll be placed in “townships.” You’ll stay with your township throughout the day and visit a variety of village posts. After everyone has arrived and is on the main green, the regulars will check you for contraband. If smugglers are found, they will be arrested in a brief recreation of the “Gaspee Affair.” The excitement begins when the American minutemen attempt to come to the rescue.
After the opening skirmish, you’ll be off to participate in several hands-on stations. Text books come alive as students participate in these fun and challenging activities.
After you’re done with your village posts, you’ll have a brief lunch. You’ll be given a soldier’s ration of lemonade, cornbread, cheese, an apple and dried beef. If that’s not enough, visit the Bakery, General Store, of Hawk’s Head Publick House. You can also feel free to bring your own food to supplement your ration.
After lunch, students get to participate in a mock battle, a recreation of the 1775 Battle of St. George’s Tavern. Colonial Townships will use their martial drilling training to defend the tavern behind a dry stone wall while the Redcoat Townships will attempt to march on the tavern.
Tour content may vary
The Stamp Act
In 1765, King George the III levied a tax upon the American Colonists known as the Stamp Act; a fee to be paid on every form of printed document. Decide where you stand as an American. Will you pay your tax or stand firm against the Tax collector Andrew Oliver? “No Taxation without Representation!”
The Admiralty Court
Experience the injustes of the meritime Admiralty Court led by loyalist judge Robert Auchmooty. Students will be put on trial for smuggling, and attempt to win their freedom before a kingsman who acts as judge, jury and prosecution.
The Quartering Act
King George ordered the Colonists to surrender their homes to British Regulars whenever called upon. Americans would have to house and feed the soldiers under the Quartering Act law, even if they had to temporarily live elsewhere. You may even witness firsthand the type of illegal search of private quarters that gave rise to our Fourth Amendment!
A Well Regulated Militia
Fall in line and learn to march, turn, and fire your musket as a enlistee into the township militia. This training may prove useful if the Regulars intend on attacking the township!
Learning the trade of a Blacksmith entailed committing to a seven-year apprenticeship. What how iron was forged into useful tools, or how pewter was transformed from molten metal to toy soldiers.
18th Century Games
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Experience various games children would play during the 18th century. Try your hand at Trapball, Hoop and Stick, the Game of Graces, and more!
As a young boy, not yet sixteen years of age, George Washington copied out a set of instructions regarding proper social behavior in a book he titled, ‘The Rules Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” Learn the proper way to conduct yourself in the atmosphere of 18th century social protocol.
After England announced its intention to govern in various avenues in American living, King George took an investment in cloth. Many Colonists took to a patriotic stance to refuse trade with English broadcloth.
When should we arrive?
At least 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour.
What is the minimum/maximum group size?
We require 60 people to book a tour. Once that anchor group has set a date, any number of participants may join that tour up to our maximum of 850 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?
Many schools do bring lunches for the students, as the ration provided is modest. You will be given a picnicking area for whichever you choose.
How do we get there?
See Map for driving directions.
What is the typical age group for this tour?
This tour’s educational content is geared towards 5th grade curriculum, but is fun for all ages, young and old.
Do I need to group my students a certain way before I get there?
We group all of our guests into labeled “townships” of roughly 35 each. If you would like to do that before your arrival, it will save a few minutes in the parking lot upon arrival, but it isn’t required. All of our tour leads are prepared to greet and assist you when you arrive. They will provide you with all necessary paperwork and directions, and assist your students with lining up into straight lines behind the township flag for your group(s).
Do I need to cover any specific topics with my students before the trip?
Not unless you wish to. As with all of our programs, our historians teach as they go. Extra knowlege can help, but is not required.
Do I need reservations?
Groups need reservations, but individuals may join a tour in progress if space is available.
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!