Field Trips at the Grist Mill

Come bring your class for a day at the Grist Mill and Gardens!

Travel back in time for a special field-trip experience featuring tours of our heritage buildings and gardens, old-fashioned games and lots of hands-on activities. No matter your curriculum focus, our heritage site has a lot to offer.

  • Western Canada’s only working waterwheel-powered flour mill
    A perfect opportunity to explore how simple machines can work together to make amazing things
  • Beautiful heritage gardens
    Inspired by the paintings and diary of Julia Bullock Webster when she visited the Similkameen in the 1890’s, the grounds provide the perfect location for plein air painting, journaling and more
  • Hands-on displays in the 140 year old White Building
    A variety of interactive displays let students learn about the history of the area, how our mill turns a field of wheat into fresh flour ready for baking, and more
  • A fully-appointed summer kitchen
    In the heat of the summer, almost all cooking, baking and preserving happened outside in structures like these. It’s also a great place to dye fabric, make candles, do laundry and more.
  • Lots of wide open spaces
    Large lawns are the perfect place to explore dozens of old fashioned races, games and other pastimes
  • A productive garden
    This site has a long history of growing unusual heritage crops, from rare heritage wheat and the monstrous zucca melon to over a hundred varieties of heritage apple. Follow along, from seed to harvest.

Leading you through the days activities will be our General Manager, Chris Mathieson and our Miller, Cuyler Page. Together, they have more than fifty years of curriculum-connected museum program experience designing, delivering and evaluating community-based learning experiences for tens of thousands of students.

All of our hands-on learning experiences allow students to learn by doing. Using curriculum-inspired content, students participate in various activities in order to come to a greater understanding of the relevant concepts. Students will also practice communicating their experiences and observations, through interaction with our leaders, teachers, and peers. We hope they gain understanding through observation and play, drawing their own conclusions through the exploration process.

Our Program Opportunities

Guided Site Tour (All Ages | Avail. Sept 15 – Nov 30 and April 15 – June 30 | $6.50 / Student)
Explore our gardens, summer kitchen, heritage house and working grist mill with one of our engaging facilitators. There are many hands-on displays to try, and lots to see! We’re always happy to modify our tour to match the interests of your group, so let us know what you need. (90 mins.)

Home Sweet Home (All Ages | Avail. Sept 15 – Nov 30 and April 15 -May 31 | $8 / Student)
Learn about the rhythm of domestic life during the era when our grist mill was in operation; learn about the kinds of chores and activities a child might engage in. We might bake some bread, do laundry, work in the gardens, churn butter, play heritage games and more.  (120 mins)

The 3Rs (and the 3Ds) (Ages 6 to 12 | Avail. Sept 15 – Nov 30 and April 15 – May 31 | $8 / Student)
Class is in session! Students will experience 1890’s curriculum, learning the famous 3 Rs (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic) as well as the 3Ds (deportment, decorum and discipline). (90 mins, 30 students max)

Seeds for the Future (Ages 6+ | Avail. Mar 1 – May 31 | $8 / Student)
Discover the infinite potential of seeds as we explore this site’s own unique seed collection and some of the amazing things that can be grown from a humble little seed. Depending on the age of the group, we may cover seed identification, seed saving, growing basics, seed crafts, pollinators and more. (120 mins)

June Discovery Days (All Ages | Avail. Wed & Thur in June | $7 / Student)
If you can’t decide which program to try, why not get a taste of them all? In June, join us staff and volunteers as you guide yourselves around our 12 acre site, experiencing all it has to offer; try a craft in the Apple House, do a chore in the Summer Kitchen, explore the heritage buildings and lovely gardens, get a tour of our working waterwheel-powered flour mill, discover the importance of Keremeos Creek to local agriculture, wildlife and more. (Plan for a 3 hour visit, including time for lunch.)

Campout at the Grist Mill (Ages 8+ | Avail. evenings in June & Sept | $20 / Student, add $20 more for dinner and breakfast)
Bring yourself and your tents and join us for an evening of activities and an old-fashioned campout in our creekside campground or on our mill lawn.  A flashlight tour, age-appropriate heritage crafts and campfire activities are included in this exciting adventure. We’re also happy to provide dinner and breakfast for your group–please let us know when you register. (Arrive at 5:30PM, finish at 9AM.)

If none of our programs are quite the right fit, we might be able to set up a custom experience for you and your group. Please get in touch!

Need Lunch? We’re also happy to prepare healthy and tasty bagged lunches for your class at $7/person.

For additional information about planning your visit, including the most frequently asked questions, check out this page.