One of the things I most looked forward to when we began homeschooling was field trips. I could literally plan a field trip (or two) every week and be happy. However, I know that we do need to actually accomplish school work aside from field trips. I mean…looking at historical handwriting doesn’t exactly teach you how to write, ya know? Nevertheless, I have compiled a list of fun and educational field trips that can be added to any homeschool.
While I would love to take field trips every week, its simply not possible with our family schedule. So, I try to plan big field trips that will coincide with our studies and work in shorter, half-day (or less) field trips as we can do them. So far, this has been a great way to not only add in some additional learning opportunities, but also give us some much needed breaks in our studies.
59 Fun and Educational Field Trips
- Zoo – Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo! Be sure to print off some scavenger hunts or fun printables to take with you too.
- Children’s and Science Museum – Science museums are a great way to let kids explore the world of science on their level, as well as do some fun, hands-on learning.
- State and National Parks – State and National parks are a not only a great way to see the country, but to learn more about nature and the history of a state/area.
- Nature Walks – Take a nature walk in your area to collect leaves, study trees or look for animal tracks.
- Aquarium – Aquariums are a wonderful way to explore the world of the ocean. Many aquariums offer hands-on activities for kids to learn and explore different types of aquatic life.
- Planetarium – Want to know what its like to be in space? Take a trip to the planetarium and learn more about the stars and our vast universe.
- Laboratory Tour – Some local laboratories may offer tours of their facilities where kids can learn about chemical reactions, pharmaceuticals and more.
- Arboretum – This is a great way to learn more about botany and the world of plants.
- Greenhouse – Learn more about how and why a greenhouse works by taking a tour.
- Camp Out – Take a camp out to learn more about building fires, cooking meals over an open fire and all of nature that surrounds you.
- Cave – Tour a cave to learn more about how they are formed and the different parts of a cave.
- Observatory – If you live near an observatory, it is a great way to see stars and planets on a greater scale.
- Lock & Dam – Most lock & dams may not have tours, but they do often have plaques around that tell you how things work and allow you to tour at your own pace.
History and Government
- Historical Site – Visit any historical sites in your area to learn more about your state and local community.
- State Capitol Tour – Many states have a State Homeschool Day, when you can tour the state capitol and visit with your local representative. Take advantage of that opportunity to show your support for homeschooling and your representatives.
- Old Cemetary – It may seem a little creepy, but visiting an old cemetary can give quite a bit of historical background to your area. Take some grave rubbings to study later!
- Archaelogical sites – There are many archaelogical sites around the United States, most of which are Native American. Plan to visit them on a family vacation or as a day trip if you live close enough.
- Presidential birthplaces – This is one to put on your bucket-list. Visit some of the presidential birthplaces, as part of your U.S. History studies.
- Local Fire Station – A quick phone call to your local fire station will usually get you a tour. Be forewarned, they will leave you if they get a call.
- Local Police Station – Some police stations may offer tours of their facility and city jail, if you just ask.
- Historic Trails – Take a walk in the shoes of history by visiting historical trails.
- Post Office Tour – Learn how the postal system works, mail is sorted and sent out to the correct address by taking a tour of your local post office.
- Historical Reenactment – If you live near where historical reenactments take place, go! If you don’t, plan a trip at some point. Its a great way to make history come to life for your kids.
- Theater – Get group discounts to a local/community or city theater to learn more about plays and acting.
- Museum – Learn more about past and even upcoming artists at a museum.
- Art Studio – Some art studios will allow you to observe an artist or even take a class.
- Local Festivals – Most states have numerous local festivals that you can visit. They are a great way to hear music, see arts & crafts and learn some local history. Some even have pioneer days, where people dress up in period costumes for the occasion.
- Orchestra or Concert – Many college or community/city orchestras will offer discounts to school groups. This is a great introduction to music for children.
- Photography – Have kids take their own photos to learn about lighting, focus and more.
- Pottery Studio – Learn how a kiln works and possibly make your own small piece of pottery.
- Visit sites famous authors wrote about – Do your kids love to read? Learn more about the places their favorite author(s) wrote about with a fun tour.
- Michael’s – most stores offer craft classes for adults and children, you just need to enroll
- Lowe’s or Home Depot – These stores also offer classes for children. Check their schedules to see what you can build!
- Jewelry Store – Kids can learn how gold is soldered, rings are resized, about different metals and possibly even about designing their own jewelry.
- Tour a local factory – This could be a car, toy, bread or any other manufacturing plant that allows tours.
- Railway station/Train Ride – Learn about the railway system or take a train ride to see how people used to (and some still do) travel across the country. This would be great opportunity to learn the history of the train.
- Farm – There are many different types of farms to learn about. Visit a local farmer to learn about planting and/or harvesting, raising animals (dairy farm, chicken farm) or just how a small, local farm works.
- Aviation Museum – If you live near an aviation museum, I highly recommend visiting. Combine it with some studies of pioneer aviators and how the industry has changed.
- Fish hatchery – This is a great way to learn how fish are fed and reproduced to be given to fish farms to continue their growth for the fish industry.
- Bakery/Donut Shop – If you live near a Krispy Kreme, they do offer tours for small groups. Otherwise, check with your local bakery. This is a fun way for kids to learn how cakes and pastries are made. (KK allows kids to decorate their own donuts too!)
- Recycling Plant – This a great trip around Earth Day to teach kids how the recycling process works and why its important.
- Local Orchard or Farm – We used to live near a couple of orchards/farms that allowed families and groups to come and pick pumpkins, apples, pears, etc. Often times you can coordinate tours for larger groups, like a homeschool group or co-op.
- Local Power Plant – Have your kids ever wondered where electricity comes from? This is a great way to teach them first hand.
- Lumber Mill – Lumber mills are a great way to teach kids how the wood industry works. And if you’re lucky like us, they might even have a logging company to show kids how they cut down trees.
- Nursery – Take a tour of your local nursery to find out what plants are native to your area, what plants thrive in your climate and how to care for them.
- Ghost Towns – There are more ghost towns around than you think, especially if you live in an older state and rural area. They are full of history and wonder. It can make for some great exploring and even fantastic creative writing prompts.
- Historic homes tour – Take a tour of historic homes in and around your town. Its a great way to learn more about where you live and how it became what you see today.
- Tour of your town by bike or on foot – This is a great way to see and read all those historical plaques in your town, that you drive by so quickly.
- Local animal shelter – Visit a local animal shelter to find out more about what they do and how you can you help (even if you’re not interested in adopting a pet).
- Visit a local entrepreneur – If your town has someone that has grown a business from the ground up, they may be willing to speak to kids about how to grow a business or give them some tips in starting their own. This is a great activity for older students wanting to start their own business.
- Water Treatment Facility – Learn more about where your water comes from and how its cleaned when you tour your local water treatment facility.
- Local Newspaper – Find out how the journalism world works with a tour of a local newspaper.
- Veterinarian – Children can learn what a vet does and why it is important to have your pets checked regularly with a tour of a veterinarian’s office.
- Library Tour – Most homeschoolers are more familiar with their local library than anything else. However, have they learned how the dewey decimal system works or why its used? Ask for a tour of your local library for them to learn more!
- Bank – Touring a bank is a great way to learn about financing, money and how banks work.
- County Courthouse – Take a tour of your county courthouse to learn more about the offices held there, tour a court room and talk to a judge to find out more about what they do.
- Local TV station – If you live in a large enough city (or even close to one) that has its own television station, coordinate a tour to learn more about how the world of television news works.
- Print shop – Visit a local print shop to see how they print not only small items (copies for offices), but large banners and the different techniques and signage they might use.
- 4-H Fair – Visiting your local 4-H Fair is not only a great way to support local kids, but also a great time to teach your own kids about farm animals and how they are cared for and raised.
What fun and educational Homeschool Field Trips have you taken?