Sometimes I think the word "homeschooling" can be somewhat misleading. People imagine children sitting at desks at home all day long working in workbooks in a classroom-type setting. But often this is not the case, thank goodness! :)
Homeschoolers really have the freedom to take learning with them wherever they go. Life itself is a classroom, and experience is often the best teacher.
I have compiled a list of 25 field trip ideas just to perhaps give you some inspiration. Some of these are pretty obvious, and some you may have never thought of before! Any of them could be done with just your family or with a whole support group. Think about the unique places and opportunities in your area and take advantage of them!
1.) Home or birthplace of a famous person
Was a President, pioneer, war hero, or other famous person from your state? Many of these people's homes and birthplaces are open for tours.
2.) State or National Park
These are great places to learn more about nature and history! There are often educational ranger programs available as well.
Many factories offer tours. It is always neat to see how things are made. Perhaps there is a product that is manufactured only in your area.
4.) Radio or TV station
Go behind the scenes and find out all that really goes on everytime you flip on the dial. Some might even offer students a chance to be on radio or TV!
5.) Fishing and/or camping trip
Give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you can feed him for the rest of his life! This can be a fun family or group activity with lots of hands-on science involved!
Tour your favorite restaraunt, ice cream shop, or pizzeria! Some even give children the opportunity to make their own goodies in the kitchen! Yum! :)
7.) Paint Your Own Pottery Studio
Set up a class for your family or group. Paint pottery pieces as gifts or family keepsakes!
Visit a real working farm! See where our food comes from. Milk cows, ride on a tractor, feed the animals, etc.
9.) Local Festival
Visit a local family friendly festival in your area. Many places have some sort of annual heritage festival that may have lots of learning opportunities like crafts, storytellers, demonstrations, and such.
10.) Horseriding stable
Learn to ride and help care for the horses.
11.) Fire station or police department
Visit these brave heroes who put their lives on the line for us each day. Learn about what they do, their equipment, and their vehicles. Learn important safety rules, too.
12.) Rest Home
Older folks have so much to share, and many in rest homes LOVE to see children visit! Bring some gifts, sing some songs, and perhaps interview a few residents.
13.) Train Ride
Many places have old train depots, train museums, or scenic railways.
14.) County Courthouse
Visit your local courthouse. Find out who works there and what they do, check out old county records, sit in a courtroom and watch the proceedings.
15.) City Hall
Stop by and visit the mayor or watch your city council in action.
16.) State Capitol
Tour your state's capitol building and learn its unique history and architecture. Arrange to meet with your state legislators. Watch your legislature in session and find out how laws are made.
17.) Gospel concert
Attend a local church singing or see a professional group perform. Enjoy some music appreciation while being blessed spiritually as well!
18.) Watch a play
Many local theaters and drama teams put on plays that are family friendly. Some groups put on special plays based on favorite children's books. Many homeschoolers also participate in community theaters as actors themselves!
19.) War Memorial
Most areas have some sort of war memorial to honor war veterans. Visit one nearby and learn about the many who have made sacrifices for your freedom.
The zoo is a great place for all ages to see animals you might otherwise only read about! Many offer special tours and classes too.
Watching fish and other sea life can be so peaceful and educational as well. This can be another opportunity to get up close to animals you don't see everyday like sharks, crabs, or even penguins!
A planetarium is a very neat way to learn about the wonders of outer space without ever having to leave the ground!
23.) Greenhouse or Garden
Get down in the dirt and learn how plants grow! Perhaps let your children try out their own green thumbs!
Ahh the library...a homeschool family's best friend! Take a tour and find out all your local library has to offer. Learn about the Dewey Decimal System, and get your children their own library cards. Many libraries offer special educational workshops, clubs, storytimes, and reading programs as well.
There are many kinds of museums everywhere! In most places you can find various science museums, history museums, art museums, or some other type of museum. Travel to a museum that is focussed on your child's interests!
Do you have any other interesting field trip ideas to add? Post them in the comments section! I would love to hear about your family's favorite homeschool field trips!!