Field Trip Activities

We welcome school groups and home school groups to Newlin Grist Mill for field trips. We offer a wide variety of interdisciplinary hands-on tours, demonstrations, and programs that are adaptable to different curriculum, age groups (preschool through high school), and educator needs. Combine topics in history, technology, nature, and environmental studies for a unique field trip experience designed just for your students. All field trip activities are aligned with Pennsylvania educational standards in history, science and technology, biological and physical sciences, ecology, and watersheds and wetlands. Field trips integrate the unique historical and natural resources at Newlin Grist Mill to create unique opportunities for learning and fun. See below for the field trip activities you can choose from.

Depending on group size and length available for a field trip, teachers should choose between four to six different activities that meet their teaching and curriculum needs. Call 610.459.2359 or email to schedule and for pricing.

Backpack Programs

Students become real-life scientists with our hands-on environmental Backpack Program. The program is designed to inspire students to become actively engaged through inquiry-based learning and citizen science in our 160-acre outdoor classroom.  Whether they are dip netting for macroinvertebrates in Chester Creek, searching for Monarch butterfly caterpillars in our fields, learning how to tell a bull frog tadpole from a green frog tadpole at the frog pond, or helping us find signs of woodpeckers in the Beech Forest, your students will gain a deeper understanding of environmental topics and practical skills that they can use in all areas of their education.  All backpack programs are designed to run outdoors and are written to meet PA state education standards. Click here for more information.  PreK – 2nd grade

Mill Tours

Students will take a guided tour through the 1704 grist mill and experience the power of water, learn about the history of technology and simple machines, and see how corn is transformed into corn meal. Students will also be able to try their hand at sifting and compare the differences between mill-ground and hand-ground corn. PreK – High school

Miller’s House Tours

Tours of the miller’s house focus on every day colonial life. In the 1739 historic structure, students can compare and contrast their lives today with the lives of the miller and his family. PreK – High school

Blacksmith Shop Demonstrations

Students visit the operating blacksmith shop and see a demonstration of how blacksmiths plied their trade. The blacksmith will discuss the kinds of objects made in the shop and talk about the role of the blacksmith shop in colonial America. All groups will take home an S-hook for their classrooms. PreK – High school

Historic Cooking

The two main ways to cook in colonial America were over an open hearth or in a bake oven. In this program, students learn about both cooking methods and use historic recipes to make a delicious snack to take home with them at the end of the day. Peanut and dairy products may be used in this program, please disclose any food allergies upon registration. 2nd grade – 5th grade

Story Time Field Trips

Using interactive storytelling techniques, story programs combine books, music, finger plays, movement activities and more. Story programs are designed to engage and challenge children in preschool and kindergarten with topics in both history and nature. PreK and K

Pond Life Study

Students visit the frog pond to explore the plants and animals that call the pond home. Using dip nets, students will explore the different parts of the pond and discover frogs, tadpoles, snails, and crayfish while learning about aquatic habitats, species diversity, and the importance of water. PreK – 5th grade

Hay Rides

Enjoy a hayride around the 160-acres grounds of Newlin Grist Mill. Possibly spot wild animals such as hawks, deer, and fox. This is the perfect addition to complement any program or tour. PreK – High school

Habitat Hike

This nature hike immerses students in a series of different habitat types, where they will use scientific observation skills to discover differences between habitats and learn how habitats change over time. 1st grade – 5th grade

Seasonal Nature Hikes

Seasonal nature hikes engage students in active observation of the natural world around them. Students explore the park by focusing on environmental changes related to the seasons in the plants, birds, insects, and other animals throughout the park. PreK – 5th grade

Water System Walking Tour

This one mile walking tour teaches students how the water system of the mill operates. It focuses on importance of topography and surveying land, changing the landscape into a machine, and how the headrace of the mill operates. 3rd grade – High school

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Additional Note

Newlin Grist Mill


Recent flooding resulted in damage throughout park. Grounds, offices, & trails are closed to public. For your safety, please do not enter park.

Thank you for your cooperation.

For more information, please read this message from our director. (Updated 9/1/20)