With school back in session, you may be seeing some long faces around the house. Bye-bye to those carefree summer days! These kids will start daydreaming in class, wishing to hear those two magic words … “FIELD TRIP!”
Why leave it to the teacher to plan the field trips? You can do it too, and you don’t have to homeschool either. Get some good bonding time as a family! And, it really doesn’t have to cost you a thing. Here are some ideas for free field trips that may be available in your area.
Restaurant Kitchen Tour
Some restaurants give a free tour of their kitchen during less busy hours. Make some calls and see if there are any establishments in your area that are willing to do this. What a great opportunity if you have an aspiring chef!
We were fortunate enough to be related to someone, who was related to someone, who was married to a firefighter. We received the star treatment: a full tour of the firehouse, a fire safety lecture, a demonstration of how firefighters put on their gear, and a chance to sit in one of the fire engines. But, even if you don’t know anyone at the fire station personally, most stations welcome visitors, even drop-ins.
Many museums, including aquariums, offer free admission days certain times of the year, some as often as once a month. Go to their website, and check their calendar. When going during one of these free days, it’s best to plan to be there early, in case there’s a long line to get in.
Some of you may already live in rural areas, but for us, suburbanites, visiting a farm is a big deal. If you’re planning a farm visit, check their website for some learning resources. The one we went to had a fun scavenger hunt game online that you can print out ahead of time.
Many factories offer tours during the week. The funnest one we’ve been on is a tour of a candy factory. Some of these places are hidden in not-so-attractive industrial areas. A Google search might turn up some interesting factories that will allow you to visit at no charge.
I tend to think that going on a hike means having to go to the middle of nowhere, but I learned there are a few places in our area that are great places to hike. The most recent trip we took was on a nice paved path, so no special shoes or gear needed. There were also some interesting finds along the way, like an old cemetery, which sparked some questions from my kids.
If you live near a military base and know someone with access inside, this is a great trip to plan. My son was excited when we drove past the large planes and he spied soldiers in marching formation. There may even be museums, that are rich in history, open to the public. The kids had so much fun that they didn’t have a clue they were “doing school.”
What are your ideas for free field trips?
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