The Rhode Island Historical Society offers unique field trip opportunities for students of all ages with our guided School Walking Tours! An experienced guide will lead your class through the streets of Providence and tell the stories of the important people and events of the city, and discuss how the city has changed over its nearly 400 year history. Please see below for more information on the Walking Tours we offer:

($3 per student, $60 minimum) Step back in time and explore the streets of Providence through the lens of Avi’s Something Upstairs. This book has been captivating young readers for three decades with its blending of time travel, ghosts, fact, and fiction! We’ll walk the same streets as Kenny and Caleb, visit the waterfront, and see the very house that the story in which the story is set! Students will learn about life in 1800, Rhode Island’s involvement in the slave trade, and the traits of historic fiction.

Recommended for: Young readers, fourth grade or above. The tour is 90 minutes long and covers one mile. Students must have finished the book, or be nearly finished, before participating in the tour.

The Avi’s Something Upstairs walking tour is most often paired with a tour of the John Brown House Museum. Students will take the outdoor walking tour, and then visit the museum to experience life in the 18th century.


Benefit Street: A Mile of History  ($5 per student, $100 minimum)

Created in the mid-18th century “for the benefit of all,” this colonial thoroughfare shows off an enviable collection of 18th and 19th century wood-frame houses. Although the street gives the appearance of being a museum mile, it is actually a vital urban neighborhood enhanced by on-going preservation efforts since the 1950s. The tour will discuss the architecture, industry, and life of Providence and how it has grown and changed over the last 380 years. 

Recommended for: Middle and high school students. The tour is 90 minutes long and covers one mile.


H.P. Lovecraft: A Literary Life  ($5 per student, $100 minimum)

Rhode Island-native H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) had a fondness of walking the streets of Providence and using the city as a backdrop for his numerous science fiction and horror stories. This tour will explore the East Side, looking at buildings connected to and described within several stories and personal letters of the prolific author.

Recommended for: Middle and high school students. Tour lasts 90 minutes and covers one and one half mile of hilly ground. 


Women’s History Walk  ($5 per student, $100 minimum): This walk celebrates the courage, spirit, and achievements of remarkable women. As educators, entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists, women like Helen Metcalf (founder of RISD), Sarah Helen Whitman (poet, spiritualist, friend of Edgar Allen Poe), Lillian Gilbreth (industrial engineer), and Christiana Bannister (hairdresser and philanthropist), made heroic and lasting contributions to our community. This tour explores the remarkable contributions made by women to RI’s history.


Custom tours: Call for availability and price.


To schedule your group, or for more information, please contact Tour Coordinator at (401) 331-8575 x362 or at jbh@rihs.org