Planning your field trip to the Tsongas Industrial History Center


Welcome to the Tsongas Industrial History Center at Lowell National Historical Park!

If you wish to book a school or group visit, please call our Reservations Office at 978-970-5080. You can also begin the process by filling out our “Field Trip Inquiry” form. This form will start the process and our staff will contact you to finalize your reservation.

The reservation process will go smoothly if you do the following before calling:

  • Have a range of dates in mind for your class(es) to visit.
  • We have a few openings available for the remainder of this 2024 school year. Reservations for the 2024-2025 school year will open on May 1, 2024. This year, we are offering some programs on only certain days and times of the year.
  • Examine the program descriptions on our Education Programs page. Each program has a specific theme, and some programs are targeted to specific age groups. Think about which programs best address your curriculum and grade(s).
  • Have a school calendar handy. Know when activities such as state testing dates, sporting events, or early dismissal will be. Determine what time you will need to arrive and leave.
  • Watch our "Planning Your Field Trip to the Tsongas Industrial History Center" video.


Each program has a pre-set itinerary. See the sample itinerary (pdf). The museum teacher/park ranger follows it closely and has to stay on time. Many other groups may be visiting the Tsongas Industrial History Center during your visit, so all movements are coordinated. Be sure to review your itineraries with care - we may have updated them.

Our programs run from either 9:15 a.m. to 1:25 p.m., or 9:45 a.m. to 1:55 p.m., depending on the program and day of the week. If you need different arrival and departure times to facilitate your visit, please let our Reservationists know when booking your program. We will do our best to ensure a great experience even with an amended schedule.

When booking two of the same program (for example, Bale to Bolt 1 and Bale to Bolt 2 programs) on one day, students will do the same program but on alternate schedules. Both programs will arrive and depart at the same times.

We make every effort to accommodate your scheduling needs. We can provide key program elements even within a modified schedule. Although we must observe trolley schedules and schedules of other groups, we will try to be flexible.


Groups must bring their own food and beverage. No food or beverages are available on site. We provide a place to eat in our Moody Street Feeder Lunchroom.

Please have each student pack his/her lunch in small, individual, disposable bag, labeled with the name of the student and the day’s program.

Do not put lunches in:

  • Coolers
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Large plastic bags
  • Please, no backpacks.
  • Gum chewing is not permitted.

Class Size

Each on-site field trip program can accommodate up to 30 students, with the exception of Community Connections, which can accommodate up to 25 students.


We require a minimum of two adults per program with a ratio of one (1) adult chaperone to every 10 students. There is a maximum of six adults per program. 

  • Special notes: Six (6) chaperones are required for the Community Connections program. For Change in the Making, your class will be divided into smaller groups for two concurrent activities and will need a minimum of four (4) chaperones per class.
  • Failure to provide the required number of chaperones may impact your program (delay, changes to the planned itinerary). If you can not meet the required number of chaperones, please contact us in advance to discuss.

Teacher/Chaperone instructions:

  • Stay with your group of students at all times.
  • Monitor them at lunchtime and during a visit to the museum store.
  • Escort students to the restroom(or the sickroom) and stay with them.
  • Follow behind the group to help keep everyone together.
  • Address any student misbehavior, should the need arise.
  • Please put your cell phone on silent mode.

Payment and Cancellations

If you must cancel your program, you must do so 30 days in advance of your visit. Failure to cancel a visit 30 days in advance deprives another school of the opportunity to visit. Also, staff is scheduled to work your programs within 30 days of the program. Payment, purchase order, or a call arranging other payment procedures is due 30 days in advance of your visit. We accept checks, money orders, or purchase orders, made payable to the National Park Service/LOWELL.

Fees for Programs:

  • Field Trip Programs: $225 per program of up to 30 students
  • Extended-Day Add-On: $100 per workshop of up to 30
  • January Field Trip Discount: $185 per program of up to 30 students
  • Virtual Field Trip Cost: $125 per program of up to 25 students

Financial assistance for programs is available from various organizations.

Special Needs

Notify the Reservations office at 978-970-5080 in advance if your group has any special needs or considerations--child in a wheelchair, language or hearing issues, additional students, etc. All program locations are handicapped-accessible.

Museum Store

A museum store is located in the Boott Cotton Mills Museum and in the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center. Upon arrival, let your museum teacher/park ranger know if your group would like to visit the museum store while you are at the park. A discount is available to teachers with a school purchase order or a sample of school letter-head (10% for the first 11 items, 20% for 12 or more items) To request a mail-order catalog email: with your name and mailing address.

Pre-visit / Post-visit

Our pre-visit lessons help prepare your students for their visit, and our post-visit lessons extend their learning afterwards. You can also view additional resources including primary sources, lesson plans, videos, and other multimedia options.

Group Management

We provide a museum teacher/ranger to teach each program. Classroom teachers and chaperones are responsible for all group management and discipline issues. You, after all, know your students best; your cooperation and active involvement will help ensure that the day runs smoothly! Our museum teachers will do their best to keep to the itineraries provided. Please note that these times must be followed as closely as possible since many other groups will be visiting the Tsongas Industrial History Center and Park on the day of your visit.

Name Tags

Please have students and adults wear nametags. This helps the program leader address everyone by name.


Your itinerary includes a bathroom break. Only limited facilities are available on arrival.


All programs require some outside walking, rain or shine. Have students dress accordingly, and remember to remove jackets from the bus on arrival.


The Tsongas Industrial History Center is an education partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Education and the National Park Service at Lowell National Historical Park.

  • UMass Lowell
  • National Park Service