About Rural Home
Life Program


Designed for Students in Grades 1-5

Bring your students and discover the daily lives of Florida's pioneers. Spend the morning immersed in a rural Florida community of the past and learn how a late 19th century rural family survived. Try your hand at farm and household chores, explore community buildings and learn the skills of Florida's pioneers. Students will take back to their modern world knowledge of the differences and similarities between their lives and those of children in 1898.

Your group will have a guide, dressed in clothing accurate to the 1890s, to lead their adventure. All groups will dip a candle, make a class jump-rope and shop in our Cracker Country General Store.

Time: 10am-12:30pm
Duration: 2.5 hours
Dates: Tuesday - Fridays on the following dates:
Fall: Sept. 19 - Dec. 1 (no tours on Nov. 10, and Nov. 20-24)
Spring: March 13 - May 11 (no tours on March 30 & April 6)
Student Cost: $8 per student
Chaperones: One adult (teacher or chaperone) per ten students is required and admitted for free. Additional adults pay the student rate of $8.
Chaperone Letter
Please share this letter with all accompanying adults.

Please check back August 1, 2018 to book in your group for the 2018-19 season.
Registration Form

What to Expect

Tour Guide

Each group will be greeted by their tour guide who will lead the group through interative activities that highlight how Florida's pioneer children lived in 1898.

Groups will have the opportunity to participate in various activities including a school house lesson, "recess" with reproduction period toys, laundry, a farm chore and a visit to a historic Florida home. Students will churn and taste butter, dip a beeswax candle to take home, twist a handmade rope for their classroom and learn about a period trade.

Download a Map

  • Chickens

    Tour Objectives

    1. To immerse students in hands-on interpretations of the chores and skills of 1890's rural Florida.
    2. To guide students to discover the differences and similarities between their lives and the lives of children over 100 years ago.
    3. To explore with students how the people and buildings of Florida's past connected into a community.
  • Hands-on

    Hands-on Activities

    Research suggests (and teachers know!) that engaging students in a simple, hands-on task can prevent daydreaming and help to curb restlessness.
    Students learn in many different ways: visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and social. Our field trips are designed to take advantage of all of the senses and learning styles by keeping the students moving through exhibits and involving them in activity stations.

  • Butter

    Appeals to a Variety
    of Learners

    Every learning style uses different parts of the brain. By involving more of the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn:
    Visual: Students observe museum exhibits and photographs.
    Physical: Students participate in hands-on learning experiences.
    Verbal: Students are encouraged to ask questions and participate in answering questions.
    Aural: Docents share information and promote discussion at each exhibit and activity station.
  • Butter

    Sunshine State Standards

    The Rural Home Life School Tour program meets a variety of Sunshine State Standards including many Social Studies Standards:
    Grade 1 Standards American History 1, 2, 3 and Economics 1
    Grade 2 Standards American History 1, 2, 3
    Grade 3 Standards American History 1 and Economics 1
    Grade 4 Standards American History 1, 3, 4, 6, 9
    Grade 5 Standards American History 1


Sample Tour Itinerary


9:45am Check-in
10:00 Introduction
10:10 General Store (Gift Shop)*
10:30 Laundry
10:50 Historic House / Churn & Taste Butter
11:10 Dip Candle & Twist Rope
11:30 Depot Station Office and Model Train Display
11:50 Visit a Sugar Cane Mill and Taste Syrup
12:10 School House and Toys
12:30 Tour Ends
12:30 - 1:00 Picnic Lunch (optional)**

*All groups have the option of shopping in the General Store. If your group opts not to shop, you will instead visit the Terry Store, a historical store exhibit.
**Groups are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. Cracker Country provides picnic tables and restroom facilities. Please note there are no food services facilities on the Fairgrounds.


General Store

General Store

Each group will have the opportunity to visit our gift shop.
In the Cracker Country General Store you will find a wide selection of historical toys, games, candy, books, 1890s reproductions and much more. Prices start at an affordable $0.30.

The General Store accepts cash, Visa, Master Card, and personal checks with ID. No checks or credit cards accepted from students.

Proceeds from sales in the General Store help support Cracker Country's education programs.


Policies and Payment

Group Size Minimum

A minimum of 15 participants is required for a field trip program. Groups with fewer participants may be booked for a minimum fee of $120.00 (equivalent to 15 paid admissions).


One adult (teacher or chaperone) per ten students is required and admitted for free. Additional adults pay the student rate of $8. Adults are responsible for the behavior of the group and are required to supervise and stay with students at all times during their visit to Cracker Country. All adult chaperones must arrive on time and enter Cracker Country with the school group. The gates into the Fairgrounds will be closed once the field trip program begins, so late chaperones cannot be admitted.


A $50 non-refundable deposit is due within 30 days of field trip registration. Program dates will not be held if deposit is not received within 30 days. Make checks payable to the Florida State Fair Authority and mail to: P.O. Box 11766 Tampa, Fl. 33680 The remaining balance, after subtracting the $50.00 deposit, will be due the day of your field trip. We recognize that student numbers can and do change, so fees will be adjusted based on the number of students attending the day of your tour. We regret that we are not able to accept purchase orders so please plan to pay by cash, check or credit card when you arrive.

Checks Payable

Please make all checks payable to the Florida State Fair Aurthority. Cracker Country also accepts cash, Visa and Master Cards.


Field trips may be rescheduled if alternate dates are available. Groups that reschedule 30 days or more after their registration date may be subject to a $25 rescheduling fee.


All cancellations must be in writing and emailed to Jennifer Wanecski or mailed to: Attn: Cracker Country
P.O. Box 11766
Tampa, Fl. 33680


Cracker Country field trips take place rain or shine. Please encourage your class to dress appropriately for outdoor activities.

In the event of severe weather... During heavy rain or severe weather Cracker Country may cancel your field trip the day of the tour by calling the phone number you provide. Due to Florida's quickly changing forecasts a decision to cancel will never be made prior to the date of your field trip. If Cracker Country cancels your field trip due to severe weather, we will make every effort to reschedule your group on an alternative date.

Food & Drink

No food or drink is permitted inside of Cracker Country. Please leave all lunches and coolers on the bus. There are water breaks built into your tour and numerous water fountains located throughout the museum that you may use at any time.


For the safety of historic artifacts and the comfort of all visitors, students are not allowed to wear backpacks. However, adults may bring bags if necessary.