For more than a hundred years, Vulcan has embodied the story of Birmingham. At Vulcan Park and Museum, we bring this story to life for students through tours, exhibits, and live theatre performances. Add-ons, classroom resources, enrichment activities and outreach programs enhance the experience. Our educational programs excite students through inquiry-based learning and serve students of all ages and learning styles. At the end of each tour, students ascend Vulcan’s Observation Tower for an unforgettable view of Birmingham.

Student Tours

Standard aligned tours of Vulcan Park and Museum, featuring fresh air, spacious views, and a trip up Vulcan Tower!

Alabama Teaching Standards Info

Guided Tours begin as early as 9:30 am! Offered Monday-Friday, year-round

Guided Tours

Standards aligned tours tailored to each age group focusing on the iron industry, growth of Birmingham, and of course Vulcan! Docent led portion takes place outdoors and is followed by a self-guided museum tour aided by scavenger hunts.

Add-ons include a peak inside Lone Pine Mine to discuss early mining and a teacher led hike down Kiwanis Vulcan Trail for some extra exercise!

Cost:  $6 per student; $6 per chaperone. Teachers admitted free.

Limited to no more than 60 participants, including adults, per timeslot

Includes entrance to park grounds, Vulcan Center Museum, Observation Tower and Gift Shop.

Anything is Possible Theatrical Tour

Performed by two actors in Vulcan Center Museum, Anything is Possible tells the story of the people, materials, and ideas that transformed Birmingham from a sleepy cornfield in Jones Valley into a dynamic industrial city and the cradle of the modern civil rights movement. UAB playwright-in-residence Lee Shackleford authored this engaging work to cover over 150 years of Birmingham and American history.

Best for grades 3-6

Limited to no more than 50 participants, including adults, per timeslot

Cost:  $8 per student; $8 per chaperone. Teachers admitted free.

Includes entrance to park grounds, Vulcan Center Museum, Observation Tower and Gift Shop.

Self-Guided Tours

Vulcan accommodates groups wanting to design their own tour experience. We have ample outdoor space, spacious views, plus Kiwanis Vulcan Trail and Lone Pine Mine to round out your visit. Scavenger hunts can help students engage with the exhibits and are available at ticket booth and front desk inside Vulcan Center.

Cost:  $6 per student; $6 per chaperone. Teachers admitted free.

Includes entrance to park grounds, Vulcan Center Museum, Observation Tower and Gift Shop.

Request a Tour at Vulcan Park and Museum

Tours should be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apply to book a tour

Make it a Museum Day!

To enhance your students’ experience and help streamline paperwork and travel costs, Vulcan Park and Museum recommends a piggy-back tour with Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark among other cultural institutions.

Meal Delivery Partners

Vulcan Park and Museum has partnered with Chick-fil-A Five Points South and Jimmy John’s to offer affordable, healthy, and convenient lunch options for our school groups.

Chick-Fil-A Lunches

For more information, please call 205.930.8000 or email cfa5pointscatering@gmail.com

Jimmy John's Lunches

For more information, please email brett@hooverjj.com

Grant Support

Thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, we can sometimes waive or reduce field trip costs for classrooms, primarily from under-served school districts. Opportunities for grant-supported field trips and outreach programs are limited. To apply for a grant assisted program, please fill out the form below.

Apply for a grant assisted Program

Field Trip Program FAQs

Who evaluates Vulcan Park and Museum’s educational programs?

Evaluators come through our Education Advisory Committee, which is made up of experts in the field of child development, social studies, fine arts, and other disciplines. Additionally, teachers are asked to evaluate their field trip experience. Vulcan Park and Museum staff regularly review teacher and Education Advisory Committee evaluations and fine tune educational programs accordingly.

How do students learn at Vulcan Park and Museum?

Students learn by exploring their natural curiosities about where they live and what they see in the exhibits. At Vulcan Park and Museum, they are invited to push buttons, turn knobs, look through stereoscopes, and make other choices that reflect their natural interests and questions about their environment. On a Guided Tour, students are encouraged to ask their docent questions. In the case of Anything is Possible and Self-Guided Tours, students are encouraged to learn socially through discussion with teachers and one another.

What is the educational value of a Vulcan Park and Museum tour?

One of the best things about Vulcan Park and Museum is that it both conveys facts and excites interest in learning about our region’s history; teachers can take advantage of this excitement back in the classroom. At Vulcan Park and Museum, students can:

  • Imagine working in Lone Pine Mine
  • See Vulcan at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair
  • Learn about famous and everyday people who made the dream of a city based on iron and steel a reality
  • Take in view from atop Red Mountain of Birmingham and aerial views of the region from Vulcan Tower

Linn-Henley Gallery expands upon the Birmingham story through periodically changing exhibits. Its exhibits amplify content found elsewhere at Vulcan Park and Museum.

Will students be able to go to the top of the tower?

Almost always. Weather permitting, students ascend Vulcan Tower for an unforgettable view of the region – usually at the end of their visit. This is one of the most unforgettable features of a school field trip. On rare occasions and as a safety precaution, Vulcan Park and Museum closes the tower because of inclement weather.

How can I integrate a VPM tour with classroom goals?

Educational content at Vulcan Park and Museum can be adapted to meet classroom goals in a variety of subjects. While the most direct connections are with Alabama and United States history, students who come to Vulcan Park and Museum also explore geology, metallurgy, mythology, map reading, and fine arts. Vulcan Park and Museum encourages students to think critically and comprehensively about our great symbol and the region it represents.

What can I do to prepare my students to be receptive to learning at VPM?

Please take time before arriving at Vulcan Park and Museum to prepare your students for their visit. Studies show that students learn better in museums if they are prepared to be receptive to the content through materials such as our Teachers’ Guide. Studies also suggest that if teachers take time to answer seemingly small questions before the visit – about the gift shop and restrooms, for example – students are more attuned to learning. Vulcan Park and Museum has several suggestions in the Classroom Resources section of the website and in the Teachers’ Guide. Each Guided Tour has suggested readings and online resources.

Will students be able to visit the gift shop?

Visiting our gift shop, The Anvil, is part of the Vulcan Park and Museum experience, and is included as part of all tours. We ask teachers and chaperones to limit the number of students in the gift shop to 6 at any one time. We also ask teachers to inform their students that we do have a gift shop in advance so that students can be prepared to purchase a souvenir if they wish.

Can I have a picnic lunch at VPM?

Absolutely! There are picnic tables on the east side of the park. Vulcan Park and Museum features one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces and many school groups opt to spread out on the lawn rather than use the picnic tables. Picnic table use is free, but you are encouraged to schedule their use in advance. Contact our Museum Programs Manager at fieldtrips@visitvulcan.com to add a picnic to your visit.