Educational Field Trip Ideas

Fun Places to Take Your Kids

Taking your kids on field trips is an enjoyable way to relax and bond with your family. You are creating wonderful memories for the whole family.

The bonus is that they can learn about variety of subjects in a fun and entertaining way and get a well rounded education. They get a chance to get away from the classroom, and learn that education is something they can get everywhere. Many of these ideas are free or low cost, and you can also learn a great ideal while your children are learning.

You can supplement your kids education whether they go to school, or you home school them. Your kids are more likely to be motivated to learn when they can associate them with real life experiences.

Apple picking is one of a huge list of ideas for family fun that is also educational.
Apple picking is one of a huge list of ideas for family fun that is also educational. | Source

While the availability of certain types of places will vary due to location, most localities have a number of places that are excellent for field trips. You can incorporate these field trips into your lesson plans, or make them lessons in themselves. You can research some topics ahead of time, or simply learn together when you get there. Many places have signs and placards that provide information about what you are seeing. By reading these signs together and discussing them, your children will learn about a variety of different subjects.

In addition, some places offer tours or guides who are available to answer questions. I like asking the guide questions and then encouraging my children to do the same.

Here are some ideas for locations that you can easily take your kids to for field trips.

Disney Field Trip

Amusement Parks and State Fairs

Amusement parks are probably at the top of most kids' list of field trips they would like to attend. There are lots of things to see and do, and the rides are exhilarating and entertaining. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of learning that needs to take place. But there is learning that is taking place.

They learn about frugality as you show them how to make the best use of their limited funds. They learn patience as they wait in lines for the best rides, and they learn compromise and negotiation as they decide which ride to go on next.

They can also learn about science topics such as torque and gravity as they learn about how the rides work with a little bit of extra research. They can learn about probability as they learn how the games work.

A fireworks display is a great field trip for children.  They can learn about pyrotechnics, photography, and society.
A fireworks display is a great field trip for children. They can learn about pyrotechnics, photography, and society. | Source

Community Festivals and Special Events

Most communities have festivals that provide great learning opportunities. Here in the central Ohio area, we have an Arts Festival, an Asian Festival, a Jazz and Ribs Fest, Red, White and Boom fireworks, the Circleville Pumpkin Festival, as well as a number of other events. You can take your children to these festivals so they can learn about societies, culture, art, and food.

Factories

Most parents and teachers tend to forget about factories as places to go on field trips. Factories that make food or toys are great places for children to learn about industrialization, mechanization, economics, marketing and a number of other topics.

In Columbus, Ohio, there is a whistle factory, a donut factory, and a brewery that offers tours. Don't limit yourself to factories though. The Municipal Water Treatment Plant also offers tours.

Don't limit yourself to places that offer tours though.

How about going to a car wash place to explaining mechanization from inside the car? At one car wash place, you can look through a window from outside the car as it goes through the mechanized car wash.

Watch a construction site from a distance and explain how the machines and tools are being used.

Go to the airport and watch as the plans take off and land.

Farms

Your kids can pick fruit or vegetables and learn about agriculture or nutrition. They can ride tractors or go on hay rides to learn about transportation and farming equipment. They can learn about different animals by seeing them first hand and feeding or petting them.

Many farms offer a chance to harvest plants. Children will enjoy learning how the food they eat is "made", sampling a variety of species of the apples or pears, and choosing their own apples, pears, pumpkins and other food to take home.

Historic Sites

Historic sites, especially places that provide characters dressed in period costume, help bring history to life for children. They can see how things were different in different eras and learn about how people lived during that time. A field trip to a historical site can pique your child's interest in history, sociology, inventions, and architecture.

Museums

Museums usually come first to mind when thinking about field trips. There are many different kinds of museums, and each of them are already designed to provide information about the subject, whether it is an art museum, a science museum, a historical museum, or other type of museum. It is easy to walk the children around and look at the items. Be sure to ask the staff about other opportunities that are offered at the museum that are geared to your lesson plans or your children's interests.

Identifying butterflies is one of the fun activities at Franklin Park.
Identifying butterflies is one of the fun activities at Franklin Park. | Source

Parks

Taking the children to parks allows them to be out in nature, get some exercise and play games. They can enjoy learning in large open spaces and be able to run around and speak loudly if they wish, within reason. They can see plants and animals in real life without having to be limited to photographs in textbooks, and be able to experience them with their senses. Here are some fun things to do at the park.

  • Teach them a new game, such as Frisbee golf.
  • Go on a nature trail and teach your kids about different types of plants, birds, and climates.
  • Create a treasure hunt by making a list of items for them to find.
  • Teach them how to navigate around the park with a compass or a GPS device.
  • Have an outdoor picnic or barbeque.
  • Ask you park if they offer additional services such as camping, nature walks, and other special events such as a lesson on how to start a fire without matches.

Public Buildings

There are many places that can help your children learn about city, county, or federal services. These places vary significantly in terms of use and function. Think about taking your children to a library, a fire station, a state house, or a federal building. You can discuss government, history, politics, architecture and a large number of other topics at these places.

Stores

You may not think of a store as a particularly fun field trip, but they can be. Whether it is a gift store or a grocery store, you can teach your kids about making decisions as a consumer, the store's marketing strategies, sales tax, counting money and making change.

Identifying animals, their habitats, and the ecosystem are some of the fun things to learn when visiting a zoo or an animal safari.
Identifying animals, their habitats, and the ecosystem are some of the fun things to learn when visiting a zoo or an animal safari. | Source

Zoo and Animal Safari

The zoo or animal safari provides an opportunity for the kids to learn about animals from all around the world. They can learn to identify the animals, and their classifications.

They can learn about different habitats, and climates and how the animal has adapted to living in that climate. They can learn about ecosystems and ecology.

They can also learn about the importance of green living and sharing the planet with plants and animals.

What's your favorite field trip location?

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Home school Field Trips

When you are thinking of field trip ideas for school children, be sure to look into a variety of possible places that meet your needs and your child's interests. By taking your kids to many different places, they can get a full range of experiences that will help them really get to know the world in which they live. They will also be able to apply their lessons to real life situations.

Field trips are a lot of fun. Children get a chance to get away from the classroom and experience real life adventures that provide great memories and a wonderful chance to bond with their family.

© 2013 Shasta Matova

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Comments: "Educational Field Trip Ideas" 16 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA Author

That's a great idea Tamara. Thanks for that. Our universities do things for Martin Luther King Day, and offer arts classes in the summer. They probably do other events too. Definitely worth looking into.


tamarawilhite profile image

tamarawilhite 3 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

Look for events at local universities, like Engineering Day or Earth Day activities. These events may take place on a work day or a weekend, but they are generally free to the public.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Rachel, Factory tours are fun, especially if the factory makes food or things that children use. We went on a cookie factory tour, and as an adult, I've been to a beer brewing company, and it is interesting to see how things are made.


MeltedRachel profile image

MeltedRachel 3 years ago from United Kingdom

I hadn't thought about factory tours before - what a great idea.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

That is a great suggestion Aurelio. That sounds like something older children would learn from and enjoy. I know that mall managers are busy people, but they might be willing to spare the time for new consumers.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'll suggest this one since there seems to be a lot of school groups visiting: shopping malls. But don't bring the class to shop, which they probably do, but go behind the scenes with the mall manager to show what goes into running a mall: deliveries, security, waste disposal, decorating, etc. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Chrissie. Learning is a lifelong experience, and by going to places like these, it can be fun and rewarding as well. That's true, it does help kids keep their minds active during the summer.


chrissieklinger profile image

chrissieklinger 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

As a parent and former teacher I take my kids to a lot of these types of places even though they are not home schooled. Summer is a great time to do many of these things and keep your kids active and using their skills when they are not in school! Great hub!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Celeste, summer is indeed a great time to take your kids out for educational experiences. Festivals are a great way to expand you children's education.


celeste inscribed profile image

celeste inscribed 3 years ago

Great ideas, especially with summer just around the corner. Unfortunately the farms in our area are too concerned about liability and they don't offer tours. A pity because they are dairy farms and I would have loved to do a tour of a dairy. Anyway we have great parks and museums and will visit those instead. Festivals (in season) are great options too.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks pstraubie48. That's true, public school children can also go to these same field trips, but I think that going in a smaller groups can benefit in a different way.

Thanks moonlake. I know many parents who make field trips like this a part of a child's vacation even when they aren't homeschooling.

Thanks talfonso. I hope you get a chance to share this hub with your friend so she can get some field trip ideas.

Thanks midget38. Variety is important. I thought I was providing variety for my daughter, but she told me "we always go to places where we walk around and look at stuff." I realized I had to find places that had more hands on activities.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I agree, variety would be the key because everyone would be tired if asked to go to the same place and do the same thing every time. Thanks for the reminder!


Rae Lane profile image

Rae Lane 3 years ago

Wonderful ideas that can be set into motion no matter where a family is located! Thank you!


talfonso profile image

talfonso 3 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

I love those field trip ideas! In fact, I have a friend whose kids (yes, all of her kids) who are homeschooled. I gotta share this Hub with her, but since it's Lent and I can't post any social media posts outside of network marketing, music education, saving live music in theatrical performances, achieving goals, and religion, I'll do so on Easter.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Great ideas. I never home schooled but this all sounds like great fun and learning to me. Voted up.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Great suggestions. These are field trips every child should go on, public school children as well as home schooled children.

My Momma took me on many field trips around our neighborhood and state teaching me so much I may not have learned as a child.

thanks for sharing this.

Sending many Angels your way today :) ps

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