Homeschool Field Trips: Make Amazing Memories

I don't know about you, but I grew up in public school and some of my very favorite days were field trip days. No desks, no tests – just an adventure somewhere!

I'm firmly convinced that most homeschool families need to add LOTS more homeschool field trips to the calendar. Experiential learning is so much fun for kids of all ages and can create beautiful family memories.

Field trips are a great way to add a sense of adventure and fun to your school year. Not only are homeschool field trips a great way to explore new ideas and topics, but your field trips will create memories your kids will cherish forever!

Homeschool field trip ideas are everywhere! My daughter would tell you that I can make a field trip (or unit study) out of anything, including trips to the post office and taking the dog to the groomer. Learning is life, and life is learning.

In case you need a few more concrete ideas for your field trips – I've got you covered. Let's dig in!


Exploring your local area can provide great opportunities for learning and discovering more about your community. We love being tourists in our hometown! You can plan so many field trips based on what is in your local community.

Here are some of the things we could choose in our small town:

  • A walking tour of the outdoor art pieces in our small downtown
  • Our small marine life center
  • Our Fine Arts Center which has seasonal exhibits and an outdoor art park
  • A 9/11 Memorial park
  • A bell-ringing service that happens to honor local veterans
  • A tour of our historic courthouse
  • A tour of our tiny airport
A tour of our tiny local airport was one of our favorite homeschool field trips.
We learned so much visiting our local airport.

Visiting local businesses is another great way for homeschoolers to learn about entrepreneurship, economics, and how businesses are run. Get in touch with local businesses and ask if they can set up visits for homeschool groups! Some local business field trip ideas include:

  • A retail shop (like a bookstore or gift shop), where kids can learn about inventory, displaying goods for sale, hiring employees, how cash registers work
  • A visit to a local farm, where you can learn about agriculture and sustainable food production.
  • Your grocery store, where the produce manager can talk about how they keep all that fresh food on display all the time
  • The post office, to learn how mail gets routed and sorted
  • A local pet store, to learn how all the fish and animals are cared for before they find their new homes
  • Your community fire station or police station, where you can learn about the important work that first responders do.
  • A tour of a local library, where you can learn about the resources available to you and participate in fun activities.

What touristy stuff is available where you live (or nearby)? i know sometimes as locals we avoid tourist attractions – but they can be great learning opportunities! Some of our most memorable field trips have been tourist attractions.

Where I live we have a nearby National Park with various visitor centers; we have a history tour of our downtown (which was raised above sea level creating an “underground”); and small museums dedicated to local industry and memorabilia.

In addition, many of our local native American tribes have art and history museums in our local area. Visiting, learning, and supporting the art and culture of indigenous people is one way to honor them and and the land we live and work on.

A calf named Tiny in a pen, being petted by a girl's hand.
Loving on the calves at a local raw dairy farm.

Paying a visit to new shops and restaurants is learning too, while supporting your local community! We have made field trips out of shopping for curriculum or art supplies (and paired that with lunch), ordering books at our local bookshop, buying gifts for friends and family, and just poking around antique shops to see what we find — LOTS of good conversations pop up in antique stores!

EXPLORE THE Great Outdoors

Getting outside is so much more than just getting fresh air! The outdoors offers endless opportunities for homeschoolers to learn about nature, get exercise, and explore local nature trails. Here are some ideas for field trips that get you outside and exploring!

Why not make a scrapbook of every local park in your area? Make it a goal to visit and document every local park in your area. This is a great way to get to know your community, play on all the playgrounds, and maybe discover some new favorite places. Some things you could document include:

  • The park's location, size, and features
  • The types of plants and animals you see in the park
  • Any historical or cultural significance of the park
  • Your kids' playground ratings

State parks and national parks offer some of the most stunning natural landscapes and educational opportunities. Plan day trips to state and national parks in your area to learn about your local environment, wildlife, flora and fauna. National Parks have days with free admission, too!

Park visitor centers often have educational programs including short films, interactive exhibits, and ranger-led talks (or hikes). And if you can't visit in person, many parks have educational resources online to download and use to take a virtual field trip!

I know, as a mom, I drive by a lot of state parks on our various excursions and there are still so many on our list to visit. A lot of learning and fun happens outside:

  • Waling, hiking and exploring trails
  • Birdwatching and looking for other wildlife
  • PE, exercise, and physical activity
  • Finding treasures: rocks, shells, wildflowers

You don't have to go far to experience nature – even just taking a nature walk near your house can be a great way to learn about all the creatures and plants that share your neighborhood. Some things you could do on a nature walk include:

  • Identifying different types of plants and animals
  • Collecting samples of leaves, rocks, and flowers to examine later
  • Observing changes in the environment, such as seasonal changes in plant life

EXPLORE Historical Sites

History was my least favorite subject in school, because I never could understand what they wanted when I wrote papers (only class I ever got a C in). Now? I LOVE history and learning about life and living in times past. And I've learned enough to be grateful for the time in history I was born… I'm very happy to live in a place with running hot water and washing machines.

We don't have any permanent re-enactments in our area, or living history museums – maybe you have some near you? Be sure to take advantage of them! We do have some fairs, festivals, and events where re-enactments happen, so we put those on our homeschool schedule.

Here are some more ideas for field trips to plan:

  • Visiting a colonial village will help your kids learn about how work-intensive daily life was in the past and how people lived without all the technology we have today.
  • Famous battlefields can teach about military strategies and tactics and can bring about deep conversations around war, peace, philosophy and more.
  • Renaissance fairs are full of learning! They have royalty, jousting, and usually lots of traditional crafts like metal smithing, leather work, sewing and weaving. Not to mention the food!
  • Presidential libraries and museums, where you can learn about the life and legacy of a U.S. president.
  • Event memorials are full of learning. Our local town has a 9/11 memorial, and a nearby community has a Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.


Museums are a great way to learn about a wide range of topics, from science and art to history and culture. Even in small towns, there are often local museums that are overlooked and underutilized by the community. Ask around or do some research to find out what museums you have near you. You might be surprised to discover hidden gems that you never knew existed!

Here are some museums we have within a 2 hour drive:

  • A museum dedicated to our local timber industry
  • A Fine Arts museum with rotating exhibits
  • Museums from our local Native American tribes
  • Naval and coastal museums
  • Even a virtual community museum

Take advantage of everything your local museums have to offer, from guided tours to interactive exhibits. Many museums also offer workshops, classes, and other educational programs that can be a great way to learn and have fun.

And of course, if you're near a big city there will be LOTS of museums of all kinds to explore! In Seattle, we have cool stuff like the Living Computer Museum, the Pinball Museum, the Museum of Popular Culture, and the Museum of Flight, as well as many more traditional museums.

Sculpture of two cormorants in Port Angeles, Washington.
A walk downtown while running errands.


The growth of adulting classes out there in the world today tells me that many of our kids are growing up with gaps in the life skills department. Your homeschool days don't need to be simply about academics – life skills count!

Learning doesn't just happen in classrooms and textbooks – it happens in our everyday lives too. By exploring the world around us, we can learn about the things that make up our daily routines.

Some great daily life field trip ideas include:

  • A trip to the drug store can include discussions on becoming a pharmacist and how doctors prescribe medication, or keeping in touch with friends with cards and snail mail
  • Thrift stores are great places to discover treasures and find materials for hands-on projects, find that next favorite sweater, and talk about reusing items
  • Dropping off recycling or a trip to the dump can spark ideas on green living and taking care of the earth
  • Passing road projects or construction can be great learning about how communities function

Some of our most deep and interesting discussions have come while we are driving around running errands. These little pieces of daily life are so easily discounted, but connecting with your kids during these times can be so meaningful and so learning rich.


Sometimes, field trips can just be about fun! Some of our best field trips have been just purely to get out of the house and experience something new. Like:

  • iFly homeschool day (we flew in a wind tunnel! SO COOL!)
  • Spending a couple hours at an indoor trampoline park
  • Visiting our local game farm that has bears retired from making movies
  • Checking out a big city farmer's market
  • Road tripping to visit homeschool friends
  • Taking a trip to the beach and exploring tide pools
A girl exploring a tide pool.
We love exploring tide pools!

FIELD TRIPS WORK FOR Students of All Ages

Students of all ages and grade levels love having new experiences and hands-on learning – from the elementary grades to high school students. Adults too! I know I'd rather learn the types of trees in my local area by taking a nature hike and feeling the bark beneath my fingers than doing a worksheet – any day.

I love how deep learning goes on field trips and how much my daughter remembers from our excursions. Experiences are often more memorable than reading, watching videos, or other traditional learning styles. When we experience something firsthand, it creates a stronger impression in our minds and is more likely to stay with us.

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