5 Great Family Field Trips

Just because school is out doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Make it a fun family affair with one of these educational, family field trip outings.

1. Museums. Whether it’s an art museum or one focused on history, these destinations—including aquariums and planetariums—offer loads of learning potential! Check out websites for those in your area, and look for special programs and events aimed at children. The best part? These non-profit organizations usually provide the programs for free or for a very nominal fee.

2. Learning Farms. Some farming operations offer tours and educational programs for children, free for the asking. It’s fascinating for kids to see where their food really comes from, to explore a garden at its peak, or to get to feed the chickens or goats on a smaller farm. Also look for petting zoos or farms where you actually pick the fruit.

3. State and National Parks. Our state and national park systems are a gold mine of learning resources for kids. A short hike on a nature trail can give your children an up-close look at the natural processes they’ve been studying in earth science. We recommend starting your day at the park’s interpretive center, where you can you get expert advice on what to see and do around the park. And don’t forget to have a chat with the park ranger—they’re a wealth of knowledge and will be happy to share!

4. Cultural Arts Events. Nothing brings an imagination to life like watching a live performance. Whether a play, a musical, or a ballet, the arts are an important part of stimulating a child’s thinking and expression.

5. Heritage Events. I have a friend whose father always took them to the Highland Games in a nearby city, which celebrated Scottish culture with games, competitions, music, and food. She loved it! Many cultural groups sponsor similar gatherings, like Native American Pow Wows. Keep your eye out in the local media for similar events, and have an outside-the-box day of learning.