The Heritage Hikes program is a fun and interactive way for third-graders to discover local history through Victorian architecture and home life. Tours are offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The house is an easy walk to Lafayette Park for a picnic lunch afterward (lunch arrangements can be made in the case of rain).


The Heritage Hikes program is free to San Francisco public schools for third-grade classes only, but donations are always accepted.

SFUSD 3rd Grade Teachers will be contacted directly with signup information by Volunteer Coordinator Pam Larson 

If you are an SFUSD 3rd Grade Teacher and would like to participate please contact

Pam Larson  Email: sfheritagevolunteers@gmail.com PH: 415 441 3000 x14

Heritage Hikes, Nathaniel Y. Downes

The program has three components:

  1. Classroom study —  Teacher-led in-class activities with lesson plans provided by Heritage in our "Architrunks" (Now available in both digital and traditional formats) Architrunks are multimedia resources for teachers to share with their students. The trunks consist of a Teacher guide, educational video, picture slide show accompanied by a script, maps, and other supplementary materials. 

  2.  A docent-led house tour — a student version of Heritage’s Haas-Lilienthal House tour where docents teach what life was like more than one hundred years ago for children like them.

  3. A teacher-led neighborhood architectural treasure hunt — students and teachers are provided with treasure maps for the neighborhood, where they spot and check off building features they’ve learned about.


Heritage Hikes is currently suspended due to the closures necessitated by COVID-19. Program lead Pam Larson has created a virtual resource for teachers to utilize during this time (click here). This slideshow of photographs helps students become familiar with the extensive details that characterize Victorian homes, from shingles and gables to finials and sunbursts. The slideshow concludes with a virtual walkthrough of the Haas-Lilienthal House, which highlights specific room details for students.

Teachers may want to access this pdf, which includes supplementary information on Victorian Architecture.


2007 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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TEL: (415) 441-3000   

E-MAIL: info@sfheritage.org

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