School Tours

The NHA offers a number of daily programs to visitors of all ages. These programs run at pre-scheduled times, and are an excellent addition to any visit to the Whaling Museum or an historic site. Groups may choose to participate in as many of the daily programs as they would like, but reservations are required.


(Available Year-round)

Whale Hunt Presentation
(Grades 2-12)

Ready to join a whaling voyage? Sign up as a green hand and get ready for the ride of your life. The Whale Hunt is a highly adaptive, interactive, multimedia presentation and lecture that brings Nantucket whalers’ arduous experiences on the high seas to life. (45 minutes)

The Essex Gam
(Grades 5-12)

Listen to the story of the ill-fated whaleship Essex in this Whaling Museum exclusive. Experience the tradition of gamming, where whalers indulged in storytelling and socializing at sea with neighboring ships. The Essex, which was infamously attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820, influenced the great American novel, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Make sure to allot time to view real artifacts from the disaster after the presentation. (30 minutes)


(Available Seasonally)

Guided tours of the NHA’s
historic properties
(Grades K-12)

Take a tour of an NHA property (view map) with one of our experienced guides. Groups larger than 20 students may need to be split up to accommodate.
(30-45 minutes)

Fire Hose Cart House
8 Gardner Street
Open May-October

Built in 1886 and newly restored, this is the last remaining 19th-century fire house on the island. On display are artifacts from Nantucket’s firefighting history including hand-operated pumpers.

Greater Light
8 Howard Street
Open Year-round

Originally a livestock barn dating to the late eighteenth century, Greater Light was transformed into a summer home and art studio by Gertrude and Hanna Monaghan in the 1930s. A tour of Greater Light concludes with time for creative reflection and sketching.

Old Mill
50 Prospect Street
Open May-October

Built in 1746, the Old Mill is the oldest operating windmill in the country.


Oldest House & Kitchen Garden
16 Sunset Hill
Open May-October

Built as a wedding gift in 1686 for Jethro Coffin and Mary Gardner, the house survives from the period of Nantucket’s early English settlement.

Old Gaol
15R Vestal Street
Open May-October

Built in 1806, it was the town’s House of Correction facility until 1933.


(18 & under)

GROUPS OF 15+: $5
GROUPS OF <15: $5

(1 adult per 6 students is free)

GROUPS OF 15+: $15
GROUPS OF <15: $20


Payment is required on arrival. Payment is due in one lump sum, payable by cash, credit card, or check. Payment prior to arrival may be negotiated, but processing fees apply for any changes made to a pre-paid reservation.


Reservations are required for school and youth programs and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups may choose as many programs as they would like; per-program charges may apply.

To book a school or youth program or tour, contact Department of Education at (508) 228-1894, ext. 123 or via email at

All programs have been developed to complement the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. For more information on how these programs address Massachusetts and national standards, please inquire via email at


All groups must be accompanied by adult chaperones. Chaperones are responsible for the conduct and well-being of the students in their group.

A minimum of one chaperone per every six students is required for groups in grades Pre-K through 5. A minimum of one chaperone per every twelve students in required for groups in grades 6 through 12.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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