Student Field Trips

Sugar and Spice Trade

Sugar and spices are today part of daily life, but historically they were expensive luxury items. As Dutch merchants, the Philipses traded in spices and later owned a sugar plantation in Barbados. Enslaved and free people were involved in both the production and shipping of sugar and spices, as well as in converting them into yummy baked goods in the American colonies.


This program includes a tour of the museum, with emphasis on the history of the spice trade, sugar, and cooking in the 18th century. Tour can be adapted to different age groups.

Sugar and Spice Workshop:

This program includes an interactive, sit-down activity: a combination talk and hands-on activity about the history of sugar and spices. Students will learn about the types of plants that sugar and spices come from, and have the opportunity to touch, smell, and grind their own sugar and spice mix in mortars and pestles in pairs.

Grades: K-6

This program is suitable for kindergarten through 6th grade.

Number of Students: up to 60

This program can accommodate up to 60 students in two groups - one group will tour the museum in small groups and the other will do the activity, and then switch.

Time: minimum 30 mins

The sugar and spice workshop takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Museum tours last 30-60 minutes, depending on age group. Field trip coordinators should plan a minimum of 1.5 hours (with introduction and organizing time), or 2 hours if the group eats lunch on site.

To Book:

To book this program for your class or school, please contact education coordinator John Farrell at Yonkers public schools please allow a minimum of 6 weeks if using Connect Kids funding.