We love to take homeschool field trips. It’s a totally different experience than when I was an elementary school teacher in traditional school. Then field trips consisted of a huge group of kids with a few chaperones sprinkled in. I spent the entire time hoping I wasn’t losing anyone while I tried to keep children from climbing on museum exhibits or racing each other up and down the steps and elevator.
We did the traditional field trips- the zoo, the science museum, the nature museum, the apple orchard. I’ve taken my own kids to those as well. We’ve done field trips with friends, with co-op groups, with just our family. But in addition to the traditional field trips, we’ve also found some fun, out-of-the-box field trips. Here are a few unique and awesome field trips you shouldn’t miss.
Healthy Grocery Store
We had a fun and informative field trip to Earth Fare. The kids were able to see all of the departments of the store and learn how each worked. They also had some great mini lessons about nutrition as the employees talked with them about the types of food they sold and what foods were good for their bodies. They gave the kids some yummy samples in different departments as well.
I know that regular grocery stores often offer field trips as well. We’ve not gone, but our homeschool group has toured other grocery stores in the area. Earth Fare was nice because of the added benefit of being able to talk about good nutrition with the kids, but there would be fun things to learn about how regular grocery stores work as well.
Ice Cream Shop
The field trip to the ice cream shop is one that my older kids still remember even though they were pretty small when we went with our homeschool co-op. The ice cream shop employee took the kids into the back of the store and showed them how ice cream was stored in the giant freezers. They showed the kids how the ice cream was mixed and made. And the trip culminated in…ice cream- of course.
When our field trip group went to Outback for a tour, I thought it was an unusual field trip, but it turned out to be fun and very informative for the kids. We went to the restaurant before it opened for the day. The kids were divided into two groups. One group toured the front of the restaurant and the other the back. The kids had the opportunity to see how things worked for the waiters and waitresses in the front when customers were seated and waited on. In the back, kids saw how the kitchen worked and how the food was prepared.
This ended up being a good trip for all ages. Some of the older kids in our group were close to the age of being able to get a job. And it was great for them to see how a restaurant worked. The younger kids just thought it was a fun experience to be able to see behind the scenes and what was going on when they ate out and ordered food.
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about the police department trip. I wondered what the kids would actually be able to see and if it would hold their interest. I also wondered if things would frighten them- especially my younger crew. But I was very glad we went because we all learned new things, and it was very interesting.
An officer talked with the kids about safety and some of the things that the police officers do on a regular basis. The kids were able to see the emergency dispatch room as well as a juvenile holding room. They weren’t taken back into the regular holding area, and there was nothing “scary” even for little ones.
One great thing about this trip is that it gave the kids a positive image of police officers. They could view them as nice and friendly people they had met on their field trip instead of being frightened as some kids automatically are of police officers.
The fire department field trip is another one that all of us found very interesting. The kids toured the fire department itself, seeing where the fire fighters on duty slept and ate. They saw the workout room where the fire fighters stay in shape. And they saw the fire trucks and a fireman dressed out in his gear to prepare to go into a burning building.
Besides seeing the fire house itself, the kids learned about fire safety. They were taken into a demonstration house and given information about what to do if there was a fire in the house. They had the opportunity to practice getting low below the smoke and feeling the door for heat before deciding how to exit the house.
This field trip ended with a bang because there was a fire call. We were quickly escorted back into the main building as the fire trucks were prepared and the fire fighters jumped aboard to head out. It was very exciting.
Some of the most fun field trips we’ve taken are ones to places that might not normally be considered “field trips.” But we’ve learned lots from these out-of-the box field trips. Visits to places in the community and where kids get a behind-the-scenes look can be awesome field trips. If you’re looking for some unique field trip destinations, try some of these.