Historic Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling

Called Bdote by the Dakota, the land where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet has been a gathering place for more than 10,000 years. In the early 1800s, the U.S. military built Fort Snelling, beginning the process of American settlement on Dakota land.

Academic Standards: 

All programs support state of Minnesota academic standards in social studies.

Field Trip Options

"Fort Kids" STEM Program

Tuesdays–Fridays • 10 am–4 pm
June 12–Aug. 31, 2018 (except July 4 & Aug. 18–19)

The Fort Kids STEM-focused program engages children’s curiosity about science, technology, engineering, and math through exploration of the historic fort. Through hands-on activities, exploration of places and concepts, and use of their imaginations, kids will discover that there is more to history than meets the eye.

We provide group leaders with the educational packet to lead their group around the historic fort, as well as questions that will encourage critical thinking skills. After participating in the STEM-focused program, groups are invited to stay and experience regular daily activities at the fort.

  • Free parking
  • Picnic area available
  • Each child receives an award

Reservations are required. There is a fee for cancellations less than two weeks before the scheduled field trip.

Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Cost: $6 per student


Historic Fort Snelling Tour

During their 90-minute tour of the site, students will learn the story of Bdote and Fort Snelling through hands-on activities, demonstrations, and conversations about the long history of the area. The tour includes the story of Dred and Harriet Scott, an enslaved couple who lived at the fort and later sued for their freedom. Students are also introduced to the complex relations between the Dakota, Ojibwe, and U.S. government. Allow extra time to watch a short film in the visitor center and to climb the Round Tower.

Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Cost: $6 per student