Discover how some of Florida's early industries were shaped by the natural resources of our state!
Designed by the educators at Cracker Country
What to Expect
Designed for Students in Grades 4-8
What makes Florida a good place to raise cattle? What resources do we get from the forests around us? Did orange trees always grow here? Why was steam power important to 19th century Floridians?
Please Note: This tour takes place in the Florida Forestry/Cattle Ranching exhibit building and the Steam Engine Pavilion. This tour does not include the Cracker Country living history museum.
Dates: Tuesday - Fridays on the following dates:
Oct. 23 - Dec. 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.
One of our educational guides will lead your group through activities and exhibits:
Florida Cattle Ranching: 500 Years of Tradition - This exhibit, which has toured the nation, is filled with artifacts and stories of the history of cattle ranching in Florida from the arrival of the Spanish to the present day.
Pack Like a Cowhunter - Decide what to pack for a cattle drive and make a leather craft to take home.
Liquid Sunshine - Explore the history of citrus in the Sunshine State and sample some home-grown orange juice.
What Is It? - Discover the functions of some of the equipment used in our industries in this interactive classroom activity.
Florida Forest Discovery Center - Go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the natural history and stewardship of Florida's forest lands.
The Power of Steam - Experience our collection of antique stationary steam engines!
10:30 Florida Cattle Ranching: 500 Years of Tradition
10:45 Pack Like a Cowhunter / Leather Craft
11:00 Florida Forest Discovery Center
11:15 Liquid Sunshine: Florida Citrus Display
11:30 The Power of Steam
11:45 What Is It? Industry Interactive Activity
12:00 Florida Waterways
12:15 Tour Ends
12:15 - 1:00 Gift Shop* & Picnic Lunch (optional)
*At the conclusion of your tour, groups may choose to shop in the Cracker Country General Store, which will be open for your convenience from 12:15-1:00. Please inform us during the reservation process if your group plans to visit the store.
The store will be open by reservation only from 12:15-1:00 pm. Please indicate on your tour reservation request if your group would like to visit the General Store.
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.
The Florida Industry Tour aligns with several Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies & Science:
Grade 4 Standards: American History 4 + 6; Earth and Space Science Big Idea 6; Physical Science Big Idea 9 + 10
Grade 5 Standards: American History 1, 3, 6; Economics 1; Physical Science Big Idea 9, 10, 13
Grade 6 Standards: Physical Science Big Idea 13
Grade 7 Standards: Geography 2; Physical Science Big Idea 11
Grade 8 Standards: American History 1 + 4; Physical Science Big Idea 9
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.
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.
Groups are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are provided for use after the tour ends at 12:15pm.
Please leave all lunches and coolers in a vehicle until it it time for lunch.
Please note there are no food services facilities on the Fairgrounds.
The Florida State Fairgrounds requires one adult (teacher or chaperone) per every 10 students. All required adults receive free admission for the field trip. Adults accompanying the group beyond the required number of chaperones pay $8 each.
Chaperones and adults are responsible for the behavior of the group and are required to supervise and stay with students at all times during the visit.
All adult chaperones must arrive on time and enter the field trip with the school. The gates into the Fairgrounds will be closed once the field trip program begins, so late chaperones CANNOT be admitted.
Some Helpful Information
Forms of Payment
Food & Drink
Beautiful day & location. Tour guides are very knowledgeable.
Leather making was interesting. Enjoyed the scavenger hunt too.
Tour guide was great. Very interesting learning about Florida History. Steam engines are very neat.
The unique hands-on activities for the children! The visual from the past. Historical information shared. Awesome!
Kids had a lot of fun and learned so much!
Students were thoroughly engaged in the many hands-on activities.
The kids loved stamping the leather. I enjoyed seeing the chuck wagon.
Well organized, very informative, guides managed the group well, made connection to student's experiences.
I will always remember how much my students enjoyed the tour & learning about cattle ranching and steam engines. Great hands-on activities.
I will always remember the information provided about crackers, steam engines and cows. Things I never knew!
Upcoming Events, Historical News, Ticket Releases, and Special Programs Designed for You!