Educational Programs

Daytime Programs at the Fort:


Join the King's Army

 This experience includes enlistment into a period army where students drill with wooden muskets and are guided through marching, loading, and firing exercises. In the process the group learns about flintlock era tactics and the role of the common soldier.

Group leaders can choose French and Indian War (1750s), American Revolution (1770s) or War of 1812 themed-programs. The program also includes an animated guided tour of the Fort. Duration: 2 1/2 Hours   Cost: $9.00/student   Maximum: 120 persons


Work and Play in the Fort

 Includes a full tour of the Fort, participatory musket drill and 18th century game.

Group leaders can choose French (1750s), British (1770s) or American (1812) themed-programs.

Duration: 3 1/2 hours  Cost: $11.00 per person  Maximum: 120 persons.




Programs That Come to Your Classroom

A Soldier's Life

This program features an in-class visit by a member of the fort staff, dressed in the military uniform of one of the fort's historic garrisons. The primary objective is to increase audience understanding of daily life in the target time period - with a special emphasis on activities and conditions at Old Fort Niagara.
Using the uniform itself, as well as other items representative of a soldier's personal equipment and belongings (knapsack, haversack, clothing, blankets, games, utensils, grooming supplies, etc.), the trials and joys of everyday life will be brought to life.

Students will be able to see and touch reproductions of historic clothing and equipment, making a direct connection with the history of their region. They will also gain a greater understanding of many of the following educational concepts:

  • The past as more than just names and dates
  • The political development of western New York during the period of focus
  • The diversity of community within Fort Niagara
  • The processes necessary for life in a pre-electric age
  • Forms of entertainment popular during the period of focus
  • Vocabulary appropriate to the program
  • "A Soldiers Life" can be tailored to a period which matches the educational goals of the individual school or educator. Programs focusing on the 18th century French and British, and early 19th century American  occupations of the Fort are available.

Duration: Half or Full Day               Cost: $150/$250

The Gold Laced Coat

As this title suggests, this program utilizes characters and themes developed in Helen Fuller Orton's novel, The Gold-Laced Coat, to introduce students to the French occupation of Fort Niagara and Western New York. The central element of the program is an in-class visit by a uniformed French "officer," who will use the adventures of Captain and Phillipe DeCroix, Pierre, Red Bird, and Abbie as a backdrop for an interactive presentation on the true life of French soldiers and civilians in the fort, utilizing both reproduction and original artifacts to bring the past to life. "The Gold-Laced Coat" will seek to increase student understanding of some of the following education concepts:

  • The past as more than just names and dates.
  • Fact versus fiction, and the novel a source of both.
  • The diversity of the community within Fort Niagara and the Great Lakes during the French period of occupation.
  • Transportation and geography in 18th century America.
  • An introduction to the Fur Trade and the commercial forces behind colonization.
  • An introduction to the French and Indian War.
  • Vocabulary appropriate to the program.

Duration: Half or Full Day                 Cost: $150/$250

 To book a program call (716) 745-7611 or email

Hours of Operation

The Fort is open year round with the exception of New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Jan - June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • July - Aug - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sept - Dec - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.


Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales and charitable contributions.

Donate today!


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