Field Trips

Educational Opportunities

Sitting at the crossroads between east and west, north and south, Native American and colonial cultures, the Gateway Arch provides a rich environment for students to learn about America’s history, as well as their own.

We’ll help you plan a program to suit your students’ specific needs and interests.

For more information on the education program offerings, please call the Education Department: 314-655-1635 or visit National Park Service website.

Reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance. To make a reservation call 314-923-3048.

Planning Your Visit

Free Education Programs Available In-Person or Virtual
All programs are aligned with national, state, and local standards and are designed for groups of all ages. National Park Service rangers facilitate audience-centered programs year round, free of charge. Reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance. To make a reservation call 314-923-3048.

In-Person Programs
All programs take place at the Gateway Arch National Park. National Park Service rangers facilitate all programs which may include role-playing, decision making, multiple perspectives, analytical thinking, and activities using replica items and historic clothing. Maximum group size is 30 students (one adult for every 10 students.) Please allow 50 minutes for each program.

Virtual Programs
National park rangers will connect with your class via your preferred digital platform. Presentations will take an audience-centered approach using a variety of practices such as period clothing, historic photos, primary sources, show and tell, music and other digital content. Please allow 30-40 minutes for each program.

The $3 National Park entrance fee is waived for bona fide educational groups, for more information fill out our Group Inquiry Form and a sales agent will contact you. 

Program topics

The National Park’s Education and Interpretation staff are happy to provide educators with a wide range of resources and workshops. For more information on the resources listed below, please call the Education Department: 314-655-1635 or visit National Park Service website.

General Museum Tour
The general tour of the museum at the Gateway Arch introduces students to the larger themes of westward expansion and the growth of the United States. Students will work with a park ranger that guides them through six different permanent exhibits on the history of westward expansion and the building of the Gateway Arch.

St. Louis from the Beginning
French fur traders founded St. Louis at what is now the base of the Gateway Arch in 1764. In this program, students will visit the “Colonial St. Louis” exhibit at the Gateway Arch Museum and learn about the ways St. Louis became a prosperous river town and trading post.

Lewis and Clark
In this museum education program, students learn about the Corps of Discovery’s trip to the Pacific Coast from 1803 to 1806, which started and ended in St. Louis. Students will also learn about the lives of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the people they interacted with during the voyage.

Heading West?
This education program introduces young students (k-2) to the basics of westward expansion using a number of exhibits at the Gateway Arch Museum.

Building the Dream: Constructing the Gateway Arch
Step back into the 1960s and learn how the tallest national monument in the United States was conceived, designed, and built.

American Indians of the Great Plains
Learn about the customs and lifeways of Plains Indian tribes and the ways westward expansion changed their lives in the 1800s. This program is designed for students in k-2 grades.

What Story is Told in these Paintings
In this museum education program, students will study three historic paintings depicting westward expansion in the 19th century and be challenged to consider how these paintings shaped popular perceptions of U.S. history.

Trial Reenactments (The Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis is closed for renovations)
Gain valuable perspective on history by reenacting one of the historic trials, which took place at the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. You will receive a script when you register. A National Park Ranger will facilitate the trial and at the end involve students in the deliberation process as your class becomes jury.

  • Freedom Suit: Dred Scott v Irene Emmerson
  • Trial for the Right to Vote: Virginia Minor v Happersett
  • Segregation Laws in the 1800s: Williams v Bellefontaine
  • Tort Liability: Franke v City of St Louis

Educational Resources

Traveling Trunks
Bring “hands on” history into your classroom. Trunks are available for a period of two weeks. A list of trunk topics and information on reserving a trunk is available on-line. The cost is $35 or $45, depending on U.S. location (additional charge for shipping to Alaska or Hawaii).

DVD Loan Program
Teachers may borrow DVDs related to westward expansion and the Gateway Arch. Titles and descriptions are available on-line.

Teacher Workshops & In-Services
Each year the education department hosts educator workshops through the year. Please watch our website for upcoming events. The education department can also help schools develop and facilitate workshops for their teachers. To learn more, please call 314-655-1635.

Open Out-doors for Kids Fourth Grade Program (formerly known as Every Kid Outdoors)
Gateway Arch National Park would like to invite you and your 4th grade class for a FREE visit to the park for the “Open Out-doors for Kids” (OOK) program! Thanks to a grant from the National Park Foundation, transportation costs for your class visit will be paid in full. This is a three-part program, which includes a pre-visit, a field trip to the Gateway Arch National Park (including a FREE trip to the top of the Gateway Arch), and post-visit elements. A virtual OOK program is also available.

For more information on the resources listed above, please call the Education Department at phone: 314-655-1635 or visit National Park Service website. 


The National Park Service and its partners welcome all visitors and make many efforts to accommodate people with disabilities in the Old Courthouse, the Gateway Arch Visitor Center, and on the park grounds. The park has accessible exhibits and programs and offers various assistive devices. The Museum at the Gateway Arch supports physical and programmatic accessibility including tactile exhibits, audio description, computer simulations, and large text reading cards.

We do not offer access for wheelchairs, scooters, or strollers to the top of the Gateway Arch due to the observation deck’s unique curvature. In consultation with our universal design citizen group, a keystone hub was designed in the lobby to house a live feed to replicate the view to the west and east from the top of the observation deck of the Gateway Arch.