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10 of My Favorite Field Trip Destinations

Updated on October 12, 2016
Cades Cove, Great Smokey Mountains Park.
Cades Cove, Great Smokey Mountains Park. | Source

Trips for those who love to learn.

As a homeschool family we have always enjoyed getting out of the house in order to find new and interesting places to visit. I would love to share with you some of our favorite field trip destinations. These are scattered out a bit so if you are not in our local area there just might be something close to you. This list is spread between 4 states but they are not the only places in these states that we have visited or even enjoyed visiting. There are so many that it was really hard to just narrow it down to 10 but here it goes. Our list in no particular order:

  1. The Creation Museum – Petersburg, Kentucky: The Creation Museum was created from the mind of Ken Ham, founder of Answer’s in Genesis. This one is a bit on the expensive side ($30 for adults and $16 for kids) but I highly recommend that you check it out at least once. It’s the only museum in the country that exhibits natural history from a Biblical perspective. They start off with creation and go through the Bible and display different exhibits that really makes the Bible come alive. They do offer free days and special group rates for schools, homeschools, youth groups, etc. They have a ton of special events.
  2. Krohn's Conservatory – Cincinnati, Ohio: It was built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era. It contains a showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. The Conservatory changes throughout the year with special exhibits and programs, including the ever-popular “Butterfly Show,” where thousands of butterflies are free to fly throughout the show room in a specially-themed garden. You can always visit the famous rainforest waterfall and exotic plants on permanent display in the Palm, Tropical, Desert and Orchid houses as well. The admission is relatively inexpensive but it does vary depending on the event so you will need to call ahead of time in order to find out admission for the exhibit you would like to see. We went during the Butterfly Show and we have also been during Christmas when they have it beautifully decorated for Christmas. Lights and Poinsettias abound.
  3. The Greenville Zoo – Greenville, South Carolina: When we lived in South Carolina this was one of our favorite places to visit. Because it was so close and the price was VERY reasonable we went quite often. Although it’s a smaller Zoo than many others it offers many of the same wonderful experiences that a lot of the larger Zoo’s offer. It has special Homeschool classes and more that your kids can take. As well as special events. The admission for this zoo is $9 for adults and $5.75 for kids (2 and under are free). They also offer group rates for 15 or more people. We used to make a day of it by going to the Zoo and packing a lunch so the kids could play at the park that sits just outside the entrance of the Zoo. It’s a great family destination.
  4. Roper Mountain Science Center – Greenville, South Carolina: This place was another favorite for us when living in South Carolina. We didn’t go as often as we did to the Zoo but we enjoyed it none-the-less. Because it offers so many programs and exhibits there is so much to do. There is a planetarium, a historical town, and gardens. There are homeschool classes, public events and educator days and just so much more. This place is an experience. During the week, because they are part of the school system, they do education tours but 2nd Saturdays (as well as other hours) are when they are open to the public. Fees vary depending on what you are going for so you can click here to find that information.
  5. The Knoxville Zoo – Knoxville, Tennessee: This is a new place for us to visit. My first time visiting it since I was a little kid was this past year when we went on the Zoo’s Dollar Days. Dollar Day’s are awesome because admission is literally only $1 per person. So if you haven’t been and you want to check it out on a budget I recommend going during the Dollar Days event. This past Christmas we were blessed with a Family Zoo membership so we will be going quite a bit this year. Admission ($19.95 for adults and $16.95 for kids, kids 4 and under are free as well as $5 for parking) to this Zoo is much more than the Greenville Zoo but it’s a much bigger Zoo with more to offer, including a petting Zoo and summer splash pad area. I posted about our recent visit, which you can read here. They have river otter exhibit that was so cute and I am looking forward to going when all the exhibits are open and the weather is warmer than it was on Dollar Days.
  6. The Great Smoky Mountains/ Cade’s Cove – Cade’s Cove, Tennessee: This past year we also went hiking in the Great Smokey Mountains which all by itself is a wonder to behold. If you love being outdoors and hiking or just relaxing in the woods it’s a beautiful place to visit. While there we took the Cade’s Cove tour. That was so beautiful as its so full of history with the historical homes, churches and businesses nestled in the valley of the mountains. I love things like this. If you been following my blogging for any length of time you know History is a favorite subject of mine. Admission into the park is free, but if you plan on camping there are fees for that. You will have to check the websites to find out the costs.
  7. Fort Loudoun – Vonore, Tennessee: Fort Loudoun is a pre-Revolutionary War fort that was built by the British during the French and Indian War. It was built to help establish a relationship with the Cherokee Indians that lived in the area. Admission here is free. They host a number of garrison days throughout the year where the re-en actors come and live at the fort the way they would have done during the time it was built. You can experience first hand how the inhabitants lived, worked and played. As you explore the fort you can ask questions and enjoy time together as a family. There are also artillery demonstrations. It’s really cool. I recommend you check out this place with your family. Check out their events page to see what else they offer during the year.
  8. American Museum of Science & Energy – Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Do you remember hearing about secret cities built during World War 2? Well Oak Ridge was one of them. This was a city the government built out of necessity and it was not on any known maps for many years. Here is the place that built one of the first nuclear bombs that was dropped on Iwo Jima and Hiroshima, Japan. The science museum shows the history of this bomb and partly of the city as well. It also shares other exhibits about science including electricity, biology and more. It’s a pretty cool museum that a lot of people don’t know about and they offer lots of classes as well as hands on exhibits for kids. It was a really neat experience for our family and one I recommend you check out if you are ever in the area. Admission is very reasonable, $5 for adults and $3 for kids. They offer group rates if you have a group of 20+ people.
  9. Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge – Oak Ridge, Tennessee: This was another hidden gem we found. It’s also in Oak Ridge and shows more history of the town and why it was built. It also has a whole lot more. It’s bigger than it looks and offers special events, classes and more. The train layout exhibit was pretty cool as well as the kid sized doll house. I think that was my favorite exhibit. Who doesn't love a giant sized doll house that you can actually go into? Admission is very reasonable here as well, $8 for adults and $6 for kids. There are other discounts available.
  10. Green McAdoo Cultural Center – Clinton, Tennessee: This was something we stumbled upon. At the time there were no signs of any kind telling us about this place. Now you will find signs on the highway as it is publicly displayed as a historical landmark. It doesn’t take long to walk through but you can take a guided tour. You can check out more about the history on their About Page of the website. Admission is free but they do have a donation box.

It's really hard to narrow down the field trip locations to just 10 as we have traveled to some fun and interesting places. Many have been right around the corner from the places we have lived. If you enjoy educational trips I would highly recommend these places out.

*All admission prices are current as of the time of this posting. Admission prices are subject to change so please check the official websites before you head out for current pricing.

Giraffe exhibit at the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, SC.
Giraffe exhibit at the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, SC. | Source

Share With Me:

What is a hidden gem that you have discovered? I love finding out about new places.

© 2016 Dianna Marie

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