School Tours & Programs

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum provides engaging field trip experiences for students. Aligned with state standards, our tours and programs will enhance any curriculum.

Tours, programs and workshops must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance. Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation letter with an invoice and other important information. Full payment is due two weeks prior to the program date. Your field trip is subject to cancellation if your payment is late.

One adult per every 10 students is FREE. Please note, due to space constraints, we cannot accommodate additional chaperones.

PDF Download our 2016-17 School Programs Planning Guide  |  Field Trip Guidelines


Maritime History Tour

Recommended for grades 2-6

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle is the perfect setting to learn about the geographic, economic, social and cultural developments of the Detroit River and the Great Lakes waterways. This 90-minute guided tour will teach students why Detroit is located on the river, how the Great Lakes provide transportation routes for shipping goods and people and the roles the Great Lakes played in the War of 1812 and World War II.

Time: Wednesday - Friday, 10 - 11:30 a.m or 12:30 - 2 p.m. 

Group Size: 10 minimum, 75 maximum

Cost: $5 per student

PDF Download our Maritime History Field Trip Guide for more information and pre-visit lesson plans.

Self-Guided Experiences

Recommended for grades 2 – 6
The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to offer educators the opportunity to guide students as they explore our exhibits, examine artifacts and uncover Detroit’s history on their own. In self-guided experiences, teachers and chaperones work with small groups of students to facilitate activities provided by the museums.

Students become “history travelers” as they explore museum exhibits and answer questions using our ‘Passport to Learning’ booklet. Each student will receive a booklet with questions and activities that encourage interaction with the exhibits. Chaperones and teachers help them facilitate discussions, as well as provide passport “stamps” to mark completed activities.

‘Passport to Learning’ programs last approximately 90-minutes and are available at both the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

Tour Times
Wednesday – Friday
10 – 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 – 2 p.m.

 •  $50 for up to 30 students
 •  $100 for 30 – 60 students
 •  $150 for 60 – 90 students
 •  $200 for 90  - 120 students


Homeschool Field Day at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum

Wednesday, October 12, 201610 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 Homeschool students and their families are invited to a special program day at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle! Students will explore the geographic, economic, social and cultural developments of the Detroit River and the Great Lakes waterways through a series of 30-minute hands-on workshops. Families can choose which workshops they will attend and record their participation on a Field Day Scorecard.


  • 10:00 - 10:30 - Welcome and orientation
  • 10:30 - 12:00 - Concurrent workshops on the half hour
  • 12:00 - 12:30 - Bring a lunch to enjoy in our lunchroom
  • 12:30 - 2:00 - Concurrent workshops on the half hour

Workshops include

  • Learning about Michigan geography by labeling lakes, rivers and ports on a giant Great Lakes floor map
  • Participating in how to tie nautical knots.
  • Handling and interacting with items from the 18th century fur trade.
  • Identifying maritime flags and decoding a secret message.
  • Exploring Great Lakes freighters and the cargo they transport. 

The cost is $5 per person (students and adults)

Great Lakes Transportation Workshop

Recommended for grades 3-5
The Great Lakes are an integral part of our history, geography and economics. In this 90 minute program, students will learn about transportation on the Great Lakes and Detroit River, from 1701 to the present day. They will label the lakes, states, rivers, and ports on a giant floor map, attempt to navigate a “waterway” using only the sound of buoys, and learn to communicate using bells, whistles, flags and other languages of the lakes.

Time: Wednesday - Friday, 10:00am - 11:30 or 12:30pm - 2:00

Group Size: Maximum 30

Cost: $200

pdfDownload a list of State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations met by this program.


How to Book a Field Trip

Call a Group Sales Coordinator at 313.833.7979 or complete the short form below.

Register for a tour

Date & time
Group info