Educational Mission and Programming Philosophy

Through our educational programming, OCHS aims to encourage community interest in, and engagement with, the stories and history of Ontario County in a way that promotes critical thought and reflection. To that end, many of our reoccurring and one-time educational programs are designed to give participants unique opportunities to engage with history. Our more traditional styled educational experiences have been revitalized for today’s visitors and participants. We have programs for all ages to enjoy! Read on to learn more about our educational programs. Contact Director of Education Benjamin Falter ( with questions.

Walking Tours

Join us from Late May-October for regularly scheduled walking tours highlighting different historical facets of our community. The current walking tour program highlights historical watering holes in Canandaigua. Tours will share information about the temperance movement, women’s rights, prohibition, and more. Tours will meet at the county park at the intersection of Main Street and Ontario Street in downtown Canandaigua. No payment required to attend. Donations to support the work of the Ontario County Historical Society are appreciated. Upcoming tour dates can be found on the events page. Contact Director of Education Benjamin Falter ( or call the Historical Society with questions.

Virtual Winter Speaker Series

Join us this winter, from the comfort of your home, for a series of four monthly talks, December through March. The theme for the 2024-25 Winter Speaker Series is Photography. More details coming in the fall. Previous winter speaker series about textiles, can be viewed here.

Hands On History

Interested in trying your hand at historical crafts such as candle making, butter churning, paper making, weaving, or ice cream making? Contact Director of Education Benjamin Falter ( to inquire about booking a Hands On History program. Perfect for school groups, scout troops, or homeschoolers! Programs starting at $50.

Coming Soon: History Mystery Traveling Trunks

A new way to interact with artifacts and documents from the Ontario County Historical Society! Rent a box containing replica materials from the historical society and use those items to solve a mystery. Encouraging critical thinking, reading comprehension, and historical awareness, these kits will be a fun new spin on a classic staple of museum education. These kits will be geared primarily for teens and preteens, but can be enjoyed by anyone who likes solving puzzles and mysteries! Interested in learning more? Willing to volunteer as a tester for the program? Contact Director of Education Benjamin Falter (


Interested in having Director of Education Benjamin Falter speak to your group or organization? Contact him at about topic options and upcoming availability. Presentations at the Historical Society start at $50, travelling to your group or organization for a presentation starts at $100.

Upcoming Events

Ice Cream Social

Visit the Ontario County Historical Society for a demonstration of hand cranked ice cream making. View artifacts and historic photos related to ice cream. Sample freshly made ice cream. $5 per bowl of ice cream. Toppings and dairy-free alternative available. 2024 date TBD.