Heritage Hikes is a fun, interactive and immersive program designed to connect third-graders to the built environment and local history via 19th century architecture and lifestyle. Details below.

Heritage Hikes is currently suspended for the 2021-2022 school year.

We will update you with more information when we plan to resume this program

Heritage Hikes, Nathaniel Y. Downes

SFUSD 3rd Grade Teachers who would like to participate should contact

Pam Larson by email: sfheritagevolunteers@gmail.com or call: 415 441 3000 x14.

Teachers are contacted directly with signup information.


In lieu of in-person tours, teachers can utilize an interactive virtual program entitled "Open Your Eyes!" (access here).

Open Your Eyes! is an introduction to the architectural details that characterize Victorian and Edwardian period houses in San Francisco, including a virtual walkthrough of the Haas-Lilienthal House. Preview program below.

Supplemental architectural information can be found here.


Heritage Hikes is free for third-graders attending a San Francisco public school. Advance registration and scheduling is required. Contact information below.


The program has three components:

 1. TEACHER-LED CLASSROOM STUDY - Guided class activities using our unique "architrunk" teaching kit (available in digital format). Each architrunk contains multimedia resources designed for the third-grade level: a teaching guide, an educational video, a slide show with accompanying script, maps, and other supplementary materials. 

2. FIELD TRIP TO THE HAAS-LILIENTHAL HOUSE - Hikes are scheduled for a Tuesday or Thursday morning and include an interactive tour of the House followed by a short walk to nearby Lafayette Park for lunch (weather permitting). Led by a trained docent, the H-L House tour focuses primarily on Victorian-period architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th century family. Tour highlights include a taste of sarsaparilla (root beer) and ginger snap cookie, a live demonstration of a laundry wringer and an antique model train. Children are enchanted by both the House and discovering what life was like over one hundred years ago in San Francisco. 

3. NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHITECTURAL TREASURE HUNT - Teachers and students are provided with maps for a self-guided group "treasure hunt" through the neighborhood to spot and check off building features they’ve learned about. 

If you are an SFUSD 3rd Grade Teacher, and would like to participate, contact Pam Larson 

email: sfheritagevolunteers@gmail.com or call: 415 441 3000 x14 

Teachers are contacted directly with signup information.