Field Trips
Who says homeschooling has to happen at home? Most homeschoolers will tell you that they spend almost as much time out of the house as in it. Field trips are learning opportunties that offer fun ways to make every life experience a learning experience. You'll also find tips and strategies for planning, managing, and attending field trips with your homeschool support group.
Resources
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

Community Field Trips in Texas
CiCi's Pizza Field Trips
CiCi's Pizza offers Lunch & Learn Field Trips for school groups. This is a hands-on workshop at CiCi's designed by teachers to help kids develop basic math skills. Students use pizza ingredients and other related items to solve problems, and in the process make and enjoy their very own pizza! They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced math level curricula.
Factory Tours in Texas
Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP)
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) operates two facilities - one in Washington, D.C., and one in Fort Worth, TX. Tours are offered at both facilities. You'll see millions of dollars being printed during a tour of the BEP. The tour features the various steps of currency production, beginning with large, blank sheets of paper, and ending with wallet-ready bills! As the U.S. Government's security printer, the BEP is responsible for the design, engraving and printing of all U.S. paper currency. A world leader in printing technology, the Bureau also produces postage stamps, White House invitations, Treasury obligations and other U.S. securities.
Zoos & Wildlife
Ellen Trout Zoo
The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin offers animal exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
Dallas World Aquarium
The aquarium features more than 85,000 gallons (321,800 l) of saltwater with marine life from around the world. Walk through the 22,000-gallon (83,280 l) tunnel to experience a panoramic view of reef life. Many animals found at the top of the food chain can be seen in the Predators exhibit. Ten 2,000-gallon (7,571 l) displays present marine life from around the world - Palau, Southern Australia, Lord Howe Island, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Bahamas, British Columbia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan. Representing the waters of four continents, three oceans and various seas, the aquarium gives a glimpse of the underwater world. The South Africa outdoor, lagoon-like exhibit represents both plants and animals from the southern tip of the African continent. The Orinoco - Secrets of the River rainforest exhibit represents the relatively unknown South American Orinoco River basin.
El Paso Zoo
The El Paso Zoo is an eighteen-acre home to more than 600 animals of over 250 species in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Paraje, Birds of Prey, American Biome, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands, Asian Endangered Walk, and an Elephant Complex.
Dallas Zoo
Founded in 1888, the Dallas Zoo is the oldest zoo in the state of Texas. Encompassing 95 developed acres, the Zoo offers a look at animals exhibits throughout the park. The Monorail Safari takes visitors on a one-mile tour, lasting about 20 – 25 minutes, through the six habitats. Passengers have the sense of gliding through the wilderness. Live educational narration during the ride adds to the sensation of being on a real African Safari. Also offers special events and educational programs.
Houston Zoo
Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.5 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 3,500 exotic animals representing more than 700 species.
International Exotic Feline Sanctuary
The inhabitants include bobcats, cougars, jaguars, leopards, lions and tigers, among other species. Sixty-six felines call IEFS home, with spacious habitats, pools and houses. A visit to IEFS includes a guided tour, during which your guide will share stories of how each feline came to IEFS and fascinating facts about similarities and differences between each feline. Your guide will also assist you with the privilege of up-close photography with some of the world's most fabulous felines.
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquarium
The San Antonio Zoo is located at the headwaters of the San Antonio River -- just minutes from the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Artesian water flows through the Zoo grounds, an abandoned rock quarry where tall oak, pecan, and bald cypress trees provide cool summer shade. Limestone cliffs surround the naturalistic enclosures and make dramatic backdrops for many of the animal habitats. Along the riverbank, humid, tropical conditions prevail, while a short distance away, semi-arid hillsides dominate. San Antonio's temperate climate makes it possible to keep most animals in outside enclosures year round.
Fort Worth Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo has more than 5,000 native, exotic and endangered animals from 435 species, all in a lush, beautifully landscaped environment. Also offers special events and exhibits, and educational programs.
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio, the world's largest marine life adventure park and family entertainment showplace, presents a splashy lineup of more than 25 sensational shows, thrilling rides, animal attractions and educational experiences for all ages. It's actually four parks in one on 250 acres: a show park, a rides and slides park, a water park and an animals park.
Cameron Park Zoo
You'll find many rare species living together at the Cameron Park Zoo, the nation's newest natural habitat zoo, located in Waco. At the zoo, you'll see zebras run with giraffes and antelopes as they would in the wild of the African Savannah. Perhaps you'll even watch as a playful White-Handed Gibbon taunts a pair of black swans, just as he would in his native homeland.
The Texas Zoo
Located in Victoria, The Texas Zoo features animals exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
Caldwell Zoo
The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler has over 2,000 animals representing 250 different species. Visitors to the Zoo are provided with a close-up experience with lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras grazing in natural East Africa habitats. The natural rolling topography of the zoo provides a breathtaking glimpse of these magnificent animals with barriers virtually hidden from view. Visitors can dine with the animals at the Chakula Café and watch in wonder how lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras live in natural habitats in predator/prey relationships.
Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is located in Corpus Christi. Your experience begins on the walkways which feature images of whales, rays, dolphins, sharks, and the Gulf of Mexico itself. You enter the building by walking under our ignature "waterfall" representing a full submersion into the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteer guides are stationed throughout the Aquarium to explain exhibits and answer questions. You not only travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf but also have the opportunity to observe dive shows, feeding demonstrations, and have a "hands on" experience with sharks, stingrays, hermit crabs, and more.
Abilene Zoological Gardens
The Abilene Zoo is located in Nelson Park and maintains a collection of both plants and animals. The animal exhibits are surrounded by plants native to Texas. Highlights include a Discovery Center, the Hyena Exhibit, and the Black Bear Exhibit. Also offers educational programs, tours, and special events.
Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is a visitor oriented zoological and botanical park dedicated to the preservation of nature. The Gladys Porter Zoo is located on 31-acres in central Brownsville. The Zoo's living collections are comprised of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates from most major ecosystems. There are over 1,500 animal specimens, representing approximately 400 species, 47 of which are listed as endangered. The botanical collection is comprised of over 250 species and subspecies of tropical and neo-tropical plants.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Just 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, visitors to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center can observe over 1100 animals representing 50 species and from five continents roaming free over 2700 acres. It is a safe haven for some of the worlds most endangered species including a host of native animals.
Rainforest at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens in Galveston offers a rainforest in a 10-story glass pyramid. It features a 55-foot tall canopy of tropical foliage, which blocks out much of the blazing Texas sun. The Pyramid is a verdant jungle full of Tarzan-type air-root vines, vibrant flowers and luscious fruit such as bananas and papaya. Explore the mysteries of science at the Discovery Pyramid, and take a rocking and rolling ride through the universe at the Ridefilm Theater. See spectacular images leap from the screen of our six-story IMAX 3D Theater.
Field Trip Tips & Guidelines
How to Plan a Successful Field Trip
One of the highlights of homeschooling is a fun field trip. With the flexibility that homeschooling offers, the world is our oyster, right? Why read about something in a book when you can go experience it firsthand. Planning field trips, however, can be stressful. It doesn’t have to be, though. Read through tips that can help you plan successful field trips for your homeschool group.
Field Trips 101
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
The Ideal Homeschool Field Trip
Guidelines for planning a great outing with your homeschooling kids. This post is written by an experienced homeschooler who loves to get out and about to learn in a variety of ways.
Homeschooling Field Trips :: Planning an Adventure
Field trips make learning fun for you and your kids, and they give everyone a break from the routine of books, pencils and computers. Field trips are a wonderful way to instill the value of lifelong learning in your children, as you both experience and discover new places together. Sometimes getting out of the house for a day gives you a little inspiration, or a spark of curiosity, reaffirming just why you chose to homeschool in the first place. These ideas will help you make the most of your field trips.
Field Trip Report Form
This handy printable form lets your child record a written record of your field trip visit.
Field Trip Guidelines for Homeschool Groups
This letter can be used to establish an understanding about homeschool groups when you organize a field trip.
10 Rules for Taking Field Trips
At the beginning of each school year, it would be a good time to have a field trip manners lesson with your support group. Parents and children alike sometimes need to think about what it’s like to be a docent or tour leader. Perhaps your group would even like to consider creating some field trip rules. The rules in this article are ten examples.
Field Trips in a Large Family
There are lots of things to love about a large family, but being agile and moving about quickly isn’t really one of them. Learning in action and experiencing something first hand is one of the best things about homeschooling. It’s often what really sets apart our education from that of a traditional brick and mortar school. It is worth it to make the effort for field trips, though it doesn’t necessarily make them any easier!
Field Trip Planning Form
Helpful form for getting organized when planning field trips. Free and printable.
5 Steps to a Successful Field Trip
Summer is a great time for field trips. Your schedule may be a bit more flexible, making it the perfect time to head out and explore! Field trips are an excellent way to enhance the learning done during the previous school year and inspire future learning. Planning and enjoying a field trip for a group or for your own family is easy. Here is a list of ideas to make the most of every experience.
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