School Groups & Field Trips

Connect with Illinois’ past and introduce your students to the canal that built Chicago! Our I&M Canal Boat Tour is a fantastic way to give children a first-hand look at life in the 1840s, featuring our replica, mule-powered packet boat, period-dressed crew and, the star of the show, Moe the Mule!

A school field trip to the I&M Canal Boat and the I&M Canal Visitor Center is a fun and engaging way for students to learn about a host of themes: U.S. transportation, westward expansion, technological innovation, immigration, urbanization and more. Tours cover a variety of social science, history and STEM topics that meet the Illinois State Board of Education’s Learning Standards.

Each I&M Canal Boat Tour is an hour long, beginning with a 10-minute Mule Tending 101 Class in which students will learn all about our intrepid canal mule, Moe. From there, the students will enjoy a narrated ride on the LaSalle Canal Boat with our trusty crew dressed in period clothing.

The I&M Canal Boat Tours run from the end of May through the end of October, weather permitting.

For more information, contact us at [email protected] , or call (815) 220-1848. To start booking your field trip, simply fill out the Field Trip Grant Application below and submit it to [email protected] for consideration.

Other Things To Note:

Walking distance from the boat, the I&M Canal Visitor Center offers special I&M Canal exhibits and programs as well as a café and gift shop.

The visitor center is conveniently located at the junction of I-80 and I-39, just off U.S. Route 6, only 10 minutes west of Starved Rock State Park.

The I&M Canal Boat is located at Lock 14, A St & Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail, La Salle, IL 61301.