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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.

We are excited to announce the return of Heritage Hikes for the 2023/2024 school year.

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

Pam Larson by email: or call: 415 441 3000 x14.

Teachers are contacted directly with signup information starting on Tuesday, September 5, 2023

 Signup will end on Monday, September 25 2023

Heritage Hikes, Nathaniel Y. Downes

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

Pam Larson by email: or call: 415 441 3000 x14.


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:


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. 


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 focus is primarily on Victorian-period architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th-century family. Tour highlights include a taste of sarsaparilla (root beer) plus a ginger snap cookie, a live demonstration of a laundry wringer, and an antique model train! Children are enchanted by the House, discovering what life was like over one hundred years ago in San Francisco. At the same time, they are learning about the built environment and the architecture that surrounds them. 

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

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

email: or call: 415 441 3000 x14 

Teachers are contacted directly with signup information.

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