a full schedule of all our school programs, classes, workshops, and seminars

  

Educational Programs For Schools

Grades k-3

LIFE ON THE PRAIRIE

Fridays, September-Early December & January-August Costumed interpreters recreate life in the 1800s with period-appropriate demonstrations on our three historic farmsteads — the Kruger Farm (a German emigrant family farm in the late 1860s), the Jourdan Homestead (a middle-class settler’s family farm in the 1870s), and the Bell Homestead (a well-to-do cotton planter’s family farm in the 1880s). You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Students can bring a sack lunch, see farm animals and enjoy a variety of informative
history exhibits. Reservations required.

FEE: $5 per student. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.         Enroll Now

 

TRAVELING TRUNKS

September-Early December & January-August
Prepare your students for their visit to Pioneer Farms with a history-filled trunk of touch-and-see instructional materials that you can use in the classroom. Each trunk carries assorted artifacts and materials relating to life on the Blackland Prairie in the 1800s, with instructions to help you with your lesson plan and giveaway items for your students. Trunks must be reserved at the time the visit to Pioneer Farms is booked. Pick-up only.

FEE: $50 deposit, $25 rental. TIME: By request two weeks before field trip.     Enroll Now

 

FOREST DISCOVERIES

Thursdays, October-Early December, February-August
Our historic woodlands along Walnut Creek are perfect for science and nature discovery, for lessons about the environment — past and present. Your students learn about native species, how early settlers utilized them and how they remain an integral part of Central Texas’ cycle of life. Reservations required. Guided and unguided tours.
FEE: $5 per student. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

Grades 4-8

LIFE ON THE PRAIRIE

Fridays, September-Early December & January-August Costumed interpreters recreate life in the 1800s with period-appropriate demonstrations on our three, historic farmsteads — the Kruger Farm (a German emigrant family farm in the late 1860s), the Jourdan Homestead (a middle-class settler’s family farm in the 1870s), and the Bell Homestead (a well-to-do cotton planter’s family farm in the 1880s). You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Students can bring a sack lunch, see farm animals and enjoy a variety of informative
history exhibits. Reservations required.

FEE: $5 per student. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

THE FIRST TEXANS

Thursdays, September-November & February-July
Visit the authentic site of a Tonkawa Indian encampment in the early 1800s, long before Texas was a state, and learn about how the First Texans lived, worked and played, and about how they interacted with the early white settlers. A hands-on history class that will take your students back to the days of the Republic of Texas.
Reservations required. Guided tours.

FEE: $5 per student. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

TRAVELING TRUNKS

September-Early December & January-August
Prepare your students for their visit to Pioneer Farms with a history-filled trunk of touch-and-see instructional materials that you can use in the classroom. Each trunk carries assorted artifacts and materials relating to life on the Blackland Prairie in the 1800s, with instructions to help you with your lesson plan and giveaway items for your students. Trunks must be reserved at the time visit to Pioneer Farms is booked. No deliveries.

FEE: $50 deposit, $25 per day rental. TIME: By request two weeks before field trip.     Enroll Now

 

Grades 9-12

TRADITIONAL WOODWORKING

Thursdays, October-November & March-May
Not so many years ago, this would have been called a shop class — with a history twist. Students get instruction in traditional woodworking, with vintage tools in our historic carpentry shop. Learn the basics of traditional woodworking — from planes and lathes, and mortise and tenon construction to shaving horses and chisels. Three
hands-on classes. Safety training provided.

FEE: $50 per student. By reservation only. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

FORGES & BELLOWS

Wednesdays, September-November & February-May
This is the blacksmithing equivalent of our Traditional Woodworking class, complete with hands-on instruction in metal working, forges and the history behind this ancient craft. Students get instruction in the basics of blacksmithing, working with vintage
tools in our historic metal shop. Three hands-on classes. Safety training provided.

FEE: $50 per student. By reservation only. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now

 

SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECTS

Tuesdays & Thursdays, October-November & April-May
Pitch in and help us build a fence, assist our curatorial staff with cataloging and restoring artifacts, or help with any number of other jobs at Pioneer Farms — and get an opportunity to learn while your class gains community-service hours. Many of our specialty operations can become fascinating laboratories for learning. A unique history
learning experience for your class, and a big assist for us.

FEE: None. TIME: By reservation, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.     Enroll Now


Workshops and Seminars

Farm and garden

BACKYARD CHICKENS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Saturday of The Month, February-June & September-November
A beak-to-tail feather workshop on these fine-feathered friends, enough to get you going in this popular urban farming hobby. By the time you leave, you’ll be well on your way to managing a coop in your back yard. And you’ll be able to impress your friends by knowing the difference between a Buff Orpington and a Rhode Island Red.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

BACKYARD FARMING

INFORMATION CLASS
First Sunday Of The Month, March, May, June & September
A fast-paced introduction to growing your own food in your own backyard, just like the pioneers did. This short field course will touch on soil, compost, planting, growing seasons, vegetable types and more — all from our resident Green Thumb. By the time you leave, you’ll be ready to site a backyard garden, how to work the soil for best results
and what and when to plant so you can grow your own groceries.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

FRUIT TREES

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, March, July & October
A primer on everything about fruit trees in Central Texas, from planting to TLC to harvesting. More than just a lecture on fruit trees, this field class will visit small orchards like the one you can create at your home – everything from the gorgeous spring blooms to harvesting fruit in the fall for pies and jellies, an A to Z rundown on fruit trees. You may even help plant, prune or harvest your first fruit tree. Dress for an outdoor tour.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

BEEKEEPING

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, May, September & November
A buzzy introductory course on everything bee, from hives to honey and pollen to apiaries. This oldest of hobbies is hot again, and by the time you leave you should know enough to start your own colony and harvest golden goodies without getting stung —
financially, at least. This practical short-course focuses on urban beekeeping.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 1 to 5 p.m. (4 hours)

 

MEDICINAL PLANTS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, May First Sunday of the Month, August
Early-day Texans relied on a variety of native plants as cures and salves for what ailed then, and those natural remedies are making a comeback in this day of high-priced pharmaceuticals. A fast-paced workshop on what plants can be used for various treatments and cures, with some field tour to check out some native plants.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.

 

NATIVE TEXAS PLANTS

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month, March, June & September
A botanist’s tour of the plants that made Texas famous, from cedars and live oaks to horseweed and butterbrush. Many of these flowering, drought-tolerant these plants are making a comeback now in home gardens and in landscaping themes, and this class will
give you a working knowledge of what’s Texas and what’s not.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.

 

ORGANIC GARDENING

INFORMATION CLASS
First Saturday of The Month, February-April, October-November Shrink your carbon footprint and save money in this introduction to organic gardening. Relying on many growing practices from the 1800, before the days of nasty chemicals and before “O” gardening was the only way. Thrift, smart, tasty gardening.
Old is new again. Taught at our historic sites.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

THREE SISTERS: A HISTORY GARDEN

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday Of The Month April & September.
The Native Texans in this area were the earliest farmers, growing so-called Three Sisters Gardens of Indian maize, tepary beans and cushaw squash —three plants that help care for each other as they grow. An organic gardening lesson is included. Taught
at a real Tonkawa Indian site, where they once grew these gardens. How cool is that?

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

Trades

BASIC BLACKSMITHING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February to December Fast-paced introduction to blacksmithing teaches you the fundamentals. Basic hammer skills, three of the five basic ways to work metal (cutting, drawing and bending), identification of “found” metals, and even a first project. Safety training
included. Come ready to make the sparks fly. Materials provided.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

BLACKSMITHING 2.0

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February-December
Once you learn the basics of blacksmithing, it’s time to expand on that knowledge and learn the other two basic ways to work metal: Upsetting and forge-welding. And that’s exactly what’s in store during this fun, informative class, offering instruction in small projects. Materials provided. PRIOR COMPLETION OF BASIC BLACKSMITHING REQUIRED.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

KNIFEMAKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Third Saturday-Sunday of The Month, February-November Blacksmithing meets cutlery and weaponry in this specialty class where students apply their skills as a smithy to learn how to make a knife. The hands-on sessions include hammer skills, designs and more. Materials provided. Must be at least 18 years old to
enroll. PRIOR COMPLETION OF BLACKMITHING 2.0 REQUIRED.

SITE: Smithy. FEE: $150. TIME: 10 hours over 2 days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Best idea I ever had for a Sunday afternoon . . . A great class.” —Tom Peters, Austin

 

DECORATIVE METALWORK

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Saturday-Sunday Of The Month, February-November.
With the basics under your belt, learn to decorate the projects that you make. This introduction to the decorative side of blacksmithing includes decorative twists, scrolls, finials and sculptural elements to make any project look beautiful as well as functional. Walk away with a sculpted project of your own. Materials provided. PRIOR
COMPLETION OF BLACKSMITHING 2.0 REQUIRED.

SITE: Blacksmith Shop. FEE: $150. TIME: 10 hour over two days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

PLANES IN THE WOODSHOP

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday in March, May, July & October
A primer on the wood plane, a ubiquitous woodworking tool that has been around since the Romans used a crude version to shape wood. Our current models date to a design perfected about the time of the Civil War, a tool that was a staple with frontier
Texas woodworkers. Learn how to make this sharp cutter work for you.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

HAND-TOOL WOODWORKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday of The Month, February-November
Learn the basics of working wood the old-fashioned way. By hand. This short course in the types of hand tools that were used to work with wood in the 1800s shows the proper ways to use them and the way to keep them sharp. A fascinating afternoon of
hands-on history. In an historic woodshop.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1-5 p.m.

 

RESTORING ANTIQUE TOOLS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Third Saturday-Sunday of The Month, April and September Learn how to take an old, rusted, neglected woodworking tool, the kind you find for 99
cents at a swap meet, and turn it into a collectable gem – as good or better than a new one. Students can bring an old tool to restore:. Wood chisels, wood planes, axes and blades are recommended. Sharpening and polishing instruction not included.

SITE: Wood Shop. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (8 hours over two days)

 

TANNERS PRIDE: LEATHERWORKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Saturdays. By reservation: 837.1215
Working leather was a valuable skill on the Texas frontier, and you can learn how to
treat, trim and turn leather into belts, bags and other items. This four-hour, hands-on class gives you the basics, and our chief tanner will show you several techniques to home your skills.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 


culinary

DUTCH OVEN COOKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, April & May
Say hello to delicious pies, biscuits and more from Texas’ official state cooking pot — the Dutch Oven. Learn the technical and tasty aspects of cooking in this historic cast- iron delight. You’ll leave this demonstration class hungry to try your hand at this truly historic cooking method. Materials provided.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


SAY CHEESE

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, March, July & November
Learn how to make cheese from common ingredients purchased from your local grocery store. Workshop includes ingredient lists and principles of making soft cheeses, taught in a fast-paced lesson at an historic homestead. This demonstration class is all about cheese. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


GRANDMA’S PIES: SCRATCH BAKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, March-May & September-November Learn how to build a delicious pie from scratch, from the crust and filling to the baking time and time-saving techniques, just like your grandmother once used in her kitchen. This fast-paced and fun workshop comes with some simple take-home recipes
with which you can amaze your family and friends.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.
“I learned everything about Dutch Ovens . . . and feel like I’m ready to live on the frontier a century ago when Texas was young.” — Judy Whyte, West Lake Hills


HOT OFF THE SKILLET

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, February & June.
Pioneer Texans were masters of this basic skill, and you can be, as well. Learn the basics of cooking on cast iron, a staple of kitchens in yesteryear and a skill that’s making a comeback. As you learn, you can help prepare and serve a frontier meal — on an authentic cast-iron stove with authentic cast-iron cookware. The only place in the Austin area where you can learn original Texas cooking skills like these. After this class, you may not want to go back to your All-Clad and Calfalon ever again.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


CANNING & PRESERVING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Second Saturday or Sunday Of The Month, October & February. Canning and preserving the harvest from your garden was a pioneer staple, and this
hands-on class covers the supplies you’ll need, which fruits and veggies to chose, preparing your space, the types of jars and more. You’ll leave with knowledge to preserve your own harvest, with handouts and samples to boot. 12 students maximum.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


CURING & SMOKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, April, September & October
It’s more than just backyard grilling nowadays, and this afternoon class will give you all you need to know about trading up to curing and smoking meats at home. Armed with enough know-how to serve up some scrumptious meats that aren’t a bit black or dry, but are flavorful and just right, you’ll learn about smokers and smokehouses. Straight from the pioneers, in the days when curing and smoking was the only way to
preserve meats. Now, it’s become a hip artform.

SITE: Texian Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


RANGE BARBEQUE

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, February & May
You’ll quickly heat up the campfire or grill after this fun, historical lesson on barbeque techniques that are straight from the 1800s, and much simpler and tastier than some modern recipes. From meat to sauce, this speedy lesson in Texas meats is sure
to please when the meal hits the plate. With Lone Star recipes straight from the trail.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $30. TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “The cheese making class was a fun day for our girls’ group, especially using a log cabin as a classroom. It felt like we were on the frontier. We enjoyed every minute.” — Darla Hutchinson, Pflugerville


Textiles

SPINNING BY WHEEL

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, March, July & November.
For hundreds of years after the spinning wheel was invented in the 11th century, this talent was a staple of home life — and the Texas frontier was no exception. Almost every home had a spinning wheel that turned the cotton and wool into thread and yarn.
Come commune with history and learn time-honored skill that now hip again.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

KNITTING: A STITCH IN TIME

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, March & October Second Sunday Of The Month, June & July
The yarn, the needles, the techniques. This information-packed afternoon will instruct you on all the basics about an historic and traditional skill that is super hot these days. You’ll also get a taste of the history of knitting, right in our 1800s spinning room, from our resident textiles expert.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

QUILTING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, April & November Second Sunday Of The Month, May & August
Quilting has developed from a frugal necessity to a fine art form. Come learn the basics that every pioneer woman learned at her mother's knee. Students will learn basic geometric piecing and various quilting methods. They will leave with two quilted pillow tops and the instructions for finishing them.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

BASIC WEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, April, July & September.
Learn the warps and wefts of weaving, in this introductory class to weaving, the historic production of fabric. This class offers the basics, so you can leave with a hankering to weave. When you leave, you should know the difference between shedding,
picking and battening — and get rolling on your first project. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

LOOMS 2.0

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, May & September.
A follow-up class to Basic Weaving, where you’ll learn the skills to polish your new talent as a loom-person. Various techniques and loom types are part of this fast-paced lesson that is designed to expand your knowledge from the basics to you can explore
your inner-weaver. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

SEWING: PLAIN & FANCY

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, April & August.
The art of sewing is time-honored, a staple of past generations and a hobby for most of the present. Learn about stitches, patterns and techniques in this fast-paced introductory workshop, a must for anyone who would like to sew – either by hand or on
a machine. Taught in our historic textile room, with an Old Texas aura added for free.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

RIGID-HEDDLE WEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second and Third Sunday Of The Month, March & September Learn the basics on this easy and most versatile type of loom, the Rigid-Heddle. Two- class instruction includes measuring out the warp, how to warp up the loom and different techniques for weaving on it. Participants will leave with a yard of cotton
cloth. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $175. TIME: 8 hours on 2 days, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

CROCHET BASICS

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of the Month, May & September Second Sunday of The Month, February
Used by the pioneers to create a wide variety of goods, crochet is one of the basic crafts that will start you creating wonderful projects. Students will learn the basic stitches and terminology in this hands-on class, and should leave the class with a completed pillow top. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.


Heritage

BASKETWEAVING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Sunday of the Month, May and November
Learn how to make baskets from wood fibers and reeds, to create both decorative and useful containers for your home and garden. Learn the basic techniques in an afternoon, with a take-home project to boot. Make a Market Basket in May and an
Oil/Vinegar Basket in November. Materials provided.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 1 to 4 p.m.

 

PYSANKY: DECORATED EGGS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, March-June & September
Learn to decorate eggs using the wax-resist method brought to America by Ukrainian settlers. You will be shown how to draw a pattern on an egg and how to plan out the color order for dyeing while being taught about the history of this ancient Ukrainian tradition. Using a candle flame and a writing tool known as a “kistka,” you will melt beeswax and build up your designs while moving your eggs through a succession of dye baths. When completed, you will melt off the wax to reveal the jeweled tones of your finished eggs. Eggs will be blown before leaving class. Decorated eggs can be displayed
and enjoyed for many years to come. Mininum age: 13 years. Purchase supplies at class.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

LINTKNAPPING

HANDS-ON CLASS
Second Saturday Of The Month, February, May, September & October
A beginners guide to the art of working stone, from flaking to shaping and arrowheads to gun flints. This is ancient skill that dates back hundreds of thousands of years, and was used in frontier Texas by the Native Texans and the settlers. A taste of cutting stone, taught at a Native Texan site. Students must bring gloves and protective eyewear.

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SOCIALS

LECTURE SERIES
Second Sunday Of The Month, February-November
In the late 1800s, Victorian-era Texans often gathered on Sunday afternoons for conversation and enrichment — read that lectures on a variety of genteel topics. Our Sunday Socials feature historical authors, topical lectures and perhaps a few Texas
characters who are feeling a bit Victorian. A two-part program with light refreshments.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $10. TIME: 2 hours, 2 to 4 p.m.

 

SACRED SPACES, HISTORY PLACES

HANDS-ON CLASS
Fourth Sunday Of The Month, April, June & August
Explore your inner artist in this introductory sculpture class with a Texas history lesson woven into it. Find out about the lifestyles of the Tonkawa Indians in this part of Texas before the arrival of white settlers, and how they developed sacred, restful
spiritual areas that you can recreate in a garden at your home. Materials provided.

SITE: Tonkawa Encampment. FEE: $100. TIME: 10 hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

BUILDING WITH LOGS

INFORMATION CLASS
First Saturday Of The Month, September & November
Before the Civil War, logs were as common a building material in much of Texas as pine studs are today. Learn the basics of this architecture and construction in this hands-on workshop. Taught by our expert on all things log, this class is a primer on
early-Texas history. Not the Lincoln Logs briefing you might get online.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

OWNING OLD HOUSES: A PRIMER

INFORMATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, February & March.
A step-by-step guide to historic preservation, from architectural styles to what to look for in buying to how to properly repair and restore your Dream Home — and keep it from becoming a Money Pit. Learn about building techniques from Texas’ past. An
informational class taught by our restoration team.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.

 

GIRLS OF GRIT

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Sunday of Month, September-November, February-May Women and girls changed the face of Pioneer Texas. Come walk through the pages of Lone Star history and learn about the lives of women and girls who helped settle Texas. See early-day costumes, get a take-home history booklet. Great for mothers, daughters,
Girl Scout and Brownie groups.

FEE: $10 per participant. TIME: 2 hours, 1 to 3 p.m.

 

CANDLEMAKING

HANDS-ON CLASS
First Sunday of Month, February & May Second Sunday Of The Month, October & November
Learn how the pioneers made their own candles, for lighting, ceremonies and more. Students will leave with their own hand-dipped candles, as well as the information needed to produce candles at home. Materials provided.

SITE: Cotton Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

CROCHETED RAG RUGS

HANDS-ON CLASS
Saturdays. By reservation: 512.837.1215.
Learn how to make rugs from cloth scraps and a colorful assortment of other materials, just like the pioneers. Rag rugs, once a staple on the Texas frontier, are making a comeback today. Learn the basic techniques, then practice and finish your
rug — in class or on your own. Taught by our expert rug weaver.

SITE: German Farm. FEE: $50. TIME: 4 hours, 1 to 5 p.m.

 

SOAPMAKING

DEMONSTRATION CLASS
Third Saturday of the Month, March, April & May
Soap has been around since ancient Babylon, and this short course brings you into the modern world on how to make this lathering cleanser. Everything you’ll need to know is covered, from ingredients to methods to the finished product, is covered. When you
leave, you’ll be able to make your own scented or unscented soap with flourish.

SITE: Cotton Farm FEE: $40. TIME: 4 hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE IN THE 1800s

INFORMATION CLASS
Third Saturday of Month, February, June & September
Learn about historic home design and construction in Texas during the 1800s, from
Greek Revival to Sunday House to Victorian Eclectic. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll know the difference between Dog Trot and Dog Leg, and Board and Batten from balusters and a balustrade!

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.

 

PRESERVATION 101: A PRIMER

INFORMATION CLASS
Fourth Saturday Of The Month, February, June & September
A step-by-step guide to historic preservation, from architectural styles to what to look for in buying to how to properly repair and restore your Dream Home — and keep it
from becoming a Money Pit. A hands-on class taught by our restoration team.

SITE: Sprinkle Corner. FEE: $30. TIME: 3 hours, 1 to 4 p.m.


Scouting Programs & Workshops

CAMPOUTS / TEAMBUILDING

Fridays & Saturdays. By reservation: 512.837.1215 or PioneerFarms.org
Boy and Girl Scout groups can camp overnight with Texas history, during which time they can complete requirements for history and many other badges. Other weekend activities available on request, with our instructors or ones from your troop. Secure, close-in facility with cookout area.

FEE: $10 per camper. TIME: Late afternoon arrival.

 

ARCHERY

Saturdays & Sundays. By reservation: 512.837.1215 or PioneerFarms.org
Our certified archery range at an authentic Tonkawa Indian camp site is just the ticket for a history-filled weekend Scout activity for Cub and Boy Scout groups, adjacent to a nature exploration area where various Scout achievements can be earned. With a rangemaster and equipment on site, we’re ready when you are.

FEE: $10 per participant. TIME: Daytime hours.

 

CIRCLE OF FIRE

Friday & Saturday Nights.
By reservation: 512. 837.1215 or PioneerFarms.org
Experience a council-fire gathering practiced by the First Texans in the early 1800s, under a centuries-old oak tree where Tonkawa Indians once camped. Two hours of Native American history with real Nineteenth Century artifacts and a flute concert, to which you can almost hear the coyotes howl in response. Great for groups. Cookout area available.

FEE: $15 per participant, $200 minimum. TIME: Sundown.

 

Boy Scout Merit Badges

Reservations required: PioneerFarmsAustin@gmail.com
Taught in an historical setting. Class size is limited, filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Fee is $15 per badge, plus materials. One per day.

 

METALWORK

Second Saturday of The Month, February-November, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Learn about metallurgy, alloys, and non-ferrous and ferrous metals in a single class, taught in an historic 1800s blacksmith shop. Meet the requirements of this popular badge in one day. No knives made.

 

LEATHERWORK

Fourth Saturday of The Month, March-October, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Learn the ABCs of this frontier Texas trade, in our saddlery shop. You can meet the requirements of this popular badge, and take home a hand-made souvenir, as well. Projects vary from class to class.

 

COOKING

Third Saturday of The Month,
February, April, May, June, August, September, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Come plan a menu and learn how to cook on a wood fire, just like the pioneers did. Lessons then are applicable today, in this three-hour class for a required merit badge. Great fun and historical.

 

INDIAN LORE

Fourth Saturday of The Month, February-October, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
What better place to get this history merit badge than at a real campsite of the Tonkawa Indians that once populated Central Texas, at least a far back as the 1600s. Everything you need for this badge, at one place.

 

WOODWORK

Second Sunday of The Month, February-November, 1-4 p.m.
Bring your Totin’ Chip and we’ll teach you all about basic woodworking, from saws and shaving horses to planes and lathes. Taught in an 1800s carpentry shop. You’ll leave with the badge and ready to go to work.

FEE: $15 per badge, plus materials. TIME: About 3 hours each, may vary.

 

CUB SCOUT BELT LOOPS / PINS

Saturdays & Sundays. By reservation: 512.837.1215
Classes to complete most pin and belt loop requirements in one afternoon for Geography, Geology, History, Collecting, Cultures, Weather, Wildlife Conservation and the Texas Badge. Everything you need. Others available by advance request. For dens or
entire packs.

FEE: 1st loop/pin $10, others $5 each. TIME: 45 minutes each, 1 to 3 p.m.


Community Service

Have community-service hours you need to complete for a school, community organization or court requirement? Pioneer Farms offers a supervised program for youths ages 10-18 in which they can achieve their
hours and learn about Texas history at the same time.

 

GROUP ACTIVITIES

PROJECTS School classes, civic and religious groups and community organizations that are looking for community-service and team-building projects to complete are welcome at Pioneer Farms. A variety of projects for all skill sets and ages are available and, as an all-volunteer organization, we always welcome a helping hand. For more details and a list of available projects, e-mail us at PioneerFarmsAustin@gmail.com.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

FESTIVALS From our spooky Halloween show to the Christmas festival to the Austin Family Music Festival to our other events in spring, summer and fall, Pioneer Farms can always use school and community groups looking for community-service hours to help us out. Complimentary admission and other perks are available. For more details and to sign up, e-mail us at PioneerFarmsAustin@gmail.com.

 

WEEKEND WORKERS

ON-SITE Youths completing community-service hours for graduation credits or a court are welcome at Pioneer Farms on Saturdays and Sundays, so long as you register in advance at PioneerFarmsAustin@gmail.com. Participants must follow the rules and will be closely supervised. They will help preserve Texas history by doing various chores, most of them outdoors, at our historic sites. Hours will be signed off for as they are worked. Pioneer Farms retains the right to decide which participants to accept or decline, based on attitude and aptitude, among other factors. Slots in this program are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The hands-on history lesson that comes along with this service is an added bonus.

 

CLASS PROJECTS

CREDIT Students completing class projects are welcome at Pioneer Farms on weekends, provided the projects are reviewed and approved in advance at PioneerFarmsAustin@gmail.com. Participants must follow the rules and will be closely supervised. They will help preserve Texas history.