The American Swedish Historical Museum offers a variety of educational programs for all audiences. From school programs, to Swedish language classes to Swedish genealogy, the Museum has something for learners of all ages. 

Programs for School Children

The American Swedish Historical Museum is dedicated to sharing Scandinavian culture in America-from over 300 years of history in the Delaware Valley to contemporary perspectives on global issues. Choose from a variety of programs for K-12th grades. Programs range from 1 hour to 90 minutes and include an interactive lesson, museum tour, and a take-home art and crafts project.


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Outreach Lessons

Bring the Museum to your classroom, local library, or recreation center. These fun and interactive presentations give children a chance to experience part of the Museum collection at your location. Outreach lessons are 60 minutes, recommended group size is 25 children. Programs can be scheduled back to back for larger groups.

Cost: $100 for groups within 20 miles. Additional travel costs apply 21-50 miles away $50, 51-100 miles away $100, 101-150 miles away $150. Payment is due on the day of your program.

Bring the Viking Age to your location. Examine reproduction Viking artifacts while learning about Longships, mythology and trade. Create your own Viking rune stone, and learn how to play Viking chess (hnefatafl).

Why sit and listen to a lecture about the people and places in the New Sweden Colony when students can become the historical figures from the 1630’s! In this entirely interactive outreach program, the classroom becomes a stage on which students act out the dramatic story of the Colony from rise to fall. Students will also get to explore what life was like for the colonists by analyzing artifacts and creating a log cabin to take home.

Did you know that Minecraft, Candy Crush, Bluetooth technology, Spotify, and Skype are all Swedish inventions? This program gives students a personal glimpse into life in Sweden today. Museum staff will be on hand to introduce Swedish culture, politics, environmental policies, and technology innovations to students. This is a perfect program to pair with a multicultural curriculum.

 Explore the art of storytelling with the American Swedish Historical Museum! Children will learn about story structure and common themes through Scandinavian folklore and fairytales such as The Ice Queen, Stone Soup, and Knos the Giant. We will then create new characters and plot to act out our own fairytale! This program will also discuss Norse mythology and Viking sagas to compare how different cultures create origin stories to understand the natural world.

2020 Summer Library Outreach Program Flyer.pdf1.34 MB

Introduce children to the adventures of Sweden’s favorite storybook hero, Pippi Longstocking. In this fun and interactive program, children will act out Pippi’s antics by becoming “thing finders,” playing Pippi’s games, creating a Dala horse craft.

Explore the country of Sweden, “land of the midnight sun.” Find out how the changing seasons affect Swedish life while looking at beautiful photographs, dressing up in traditional costumes and creating

Participants will make a Dala horse craft – an icon of Swedish culture. This hands-on program will transport children across the world, without ever leaving your location.

School Groups at ASHM

Plan a field trip with your class to the Museum. For some lessons, we provide pre-visit and post-visit materials for you to use in the classroom.

Cost: Onsite programs are $5 per student, with a minimum charge of $60. One adult per 10 children is required; additional adults are $10 per person.

Payment is due the day of your visit. Scholarships are available to qualifying groups thanks to the generosity of the corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Please contact the Education Department for eligibility and availability information.

Education program scholarships are generously funded by the Swedish Council of America.

Did you know that the Swedes were the first Europeans to settle the Delaware Valley? This program focuses on the founding and legacy of the New Sweden Colony, established in 1638 along the Delaware River. Using Museum collections and hands-on artifacts, children will explore how and why the settlement began, learn more about Swedish relations with local Native Americans, and experience elements of colonial daily life, like making real butter! Discover what traces of the New Sweden Colony remain today in Philadelphia and the surrounding area - perfect for children studying Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware History.


Click here to explore the New Sweden Gallery and map!

Pre-Activity New Sweden Colony194.44 KB
Post-Activity New Sweden Colony392.65 KB
Philadelphia: The Great Experiment Teacher Resources Full Episode- A Lost World (1600-1680)  167.95 KB

The adventures of Sweden’s favorite storybook hero, Pippi Longstocking, come alive at the Museum. Enjoy tales from this beloved children’s series while traveling through the Museum galleries as a “thing-finder”, creating a Dala horse craft, and tasting Pippi’s favorite cookies – pepparkakor.

Participate in a Swedish holiday tradition – the Lucia festival. Lucia, the saint of light, has long been honored on December 13th, the longest night of the year. Children will learn the legend of Lucia, explore Swedish Christmas traditions, and experience the magic of a traditional Lucia procession. Don’t forget your camera!

Celebrate holidays the Swedish way! Even though we may celebrate some of the same holidays in the United States, Swedes have many unique traditions. From Midsommarfest, to Easter, to the Lucia festival before Christmas, children will participate in and discover how Swedish holidays differ from our own.

Learn about Carl Linnaeus and the taxonomic system he created to classify animals and plants. This 90-minute guided program explores how Linnaeus’s work is still used in science today. This indoor/outdoor program utilizes ASHM’s location in FDR park to explore the nature around us, just like explorer Pehr Kalm when he came to North America. 

Take a journey back in time to the age of the Vikings (800-1100 AD). Children will examine a 1,000 year-old sword, dress up in Viking armor, and use hands-on artifacts to discover more about this often misunderstood culture, and how we are still impacted by it today. Highlights include making rune stones and playing Viking chess (hnefatafl).

Pre-Activity Viking Lesson167.11 KB
Post-Activity Viking Lesson196.2 KB

Challenge your navigational skills as you get to know this popular Swedish sport. Participate in an environmental education activity that teaches children how to use a compass and map. Children will take part in a scavenger hunt and record findings in a field journal.

This is an indoor/outdoor program that takes place in the museum and the surrounding Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park.

Pre-Activity Orienteering259.51 KB
Post-Activity Orienteering242.08 KB

Art connects cultures around the world and the American Swedish Historical Museum is the perfect place to introduce students to the world of art. The museum was built in 1926 and features 12 galleries highlighting traditional and modern artistic Scandinavian styles. Our Art at the Museum program introduces children to the foundational concepts of art and then leads them through each gallery to find unique examples. At the conclusion of the program children will get to make their own traditional Swedish folk art to take home!  ASHM is the perfect introduction field trip experience due to its intimate setting. Your group will have exclusive access to the galleries and view one of a kind artworks that link culture and history. From towering ceiling murals to sculpture, glass works, and paintings, ASHM has it all!