It’s August and you’re in the middle of planning the upcoming homeschool year — the curriculum, the subjects, the fun on-the-side assignments. In the midst of all that exciting planning, don’t forget to incorporate field trips!

Schedule a field trip for a nice break that still includes learning! You and your kids can pack a lunch, pile in the car, and head out to learn in a different way for the day.

Need ideas? Here’s a few for every season and every kind of weather.

Fall

Leaves are changing colors, schools are back in session, and your kids have been plugging away at school for a few weeks. Maybe it’s time to treat them to a field trip!

  • Pumpkin patch – Go to a pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkins! Have fun deciding which pumpkins are just right for you, or have a contest to see who can find the biggest (or smallest) pumpkin. You could even show your student how a pumpkin gets turned into pie!
  • Apple orchards – Not only do they have numerous fun fall activities, including hayrides and corn mazes, but they also help your kids get exercise as they find the shiniest apples to fill their bags.
  • TV station – This is a great one for those cold, windy days. Get a bunch of your homeschool friends together and see if you can schedule a tour to discover what goes on behind-the-scenes of your local channels.
  • Volunteer – Field trips can include helping others, not just learning about the world. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Learn how they work, why they operate, and the stories of the people they help.

Winter

It may be cold and snowy outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up inside your house. There are multiple opportunities for field trips in the winter, too!

  • Aquarium – Go visit an aquarium to admire hundreds of different kinds of fish and other marine animals that live in the hidden world under the sea.
  • State buildings – Capitol buildings and courthouses give you insight into the government of your state and how it runs. Sometimes, they are historical buildings that teach you about the architecture of different eras while you’re learning about the government.
  • Planetarium – You learned about the world under the sea, now explore the world in the sky! Learn about the stars in the night sky, discover constellations and the beauty and mystery of space.
  • Museums – Art. History. Science. Cars. You name it, there’s a museum for it. You could even incorporate it into your homeschool lesson schedule by going to a museum that talks about what your students are learning.
  • Factories – Ever wondered how your typical everyday objects are made? See if you can get a tour of factories near you to discover how they make everything from guitars to chocolate.

Spring

Congratulations…you’ve made it through the winter. Celebrate by taking your family on a field trip! Spring is a beautiful time of year, with tulips and daffodils showing off their colors and the trees just beginning to bud again. Get outside and explore it all!

  • Local gardens – Visit botanical gardens that showcase magnificent displays of spring flowers. Or visit a gardener who’s just starting to plant their garden for an inside look at how the vegetables we eat grow.
  • A local university – Do you have a high schooler who’s looking at college? Schedule a campus tour! Campuses are beautiful in the spring, and it can be educational for your whole family.
  • Presidential homes – Visit the homes of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and more. Explore their houses, walk around the gardens, and soak up both history and sunshine.
  • Weather station – Snow. Rain. Sunshine. Clouds. The weather of spring seems as unpredictable variable as your toddler’s moods! Why not visit a meteorologist to see how they predict constantly changing weather?

TIP: Sometimes when visiting places like weather stations, it helps to schedule tours as a group. Get a bunch of your homeschooling friends together to go on a field trip as a school group! Not only will it be easier to schedule tours, but you and your kids will have more fun in the process.

Summer

Yay summer! Your kids may be off school but that doesn’t mean they can’t still learn. Field trips are a great way to keep them learning while having fun.

  • Historical sites in your area – They’re open and running full blast with lectures, tours, and live reenactments of battles and historical events so your kids can learn history in an unforgettable way.
  • National parks – What’s summer without a trip to a national park? Most parks participate in a Jr. Ranger Program, which gives your kids the chance to become a Jr. Ranger. They fill out booklets, earn badges, and talk to park rangers about nature and what makes our national parks unique.
  • Fairs and festivals – Go to your local fair for a fun experience full of music, rides, and all the fair food you could ever eat. Check in your area to see if they have any unique festivals, like a blueberry or hot chili fest.
  • The zoo – Love animals? The zoo is the place for you! Incorporate a lesson about ecosystems and animals with a trip to your local zoo.
  • A farmers market – Want some fresh produce and a fun educational trip? Go to a farmers market! Some even have livestock auctions where you can go and see how farmers buy and sell their livestock.

Some of my most memorable school days weren’t the days we spent inside doing a cool science experiment, or even the ones where we took a day off. They were the field trips. It didn’t matter if it was to the local market or a history museum…we loved them.

I think your family will, too.

What are your favorite field trips for your homeschoolers?