Want to make history come alive this summer for your family? Check out 10 fun field trip ideas for you and your family! Listen to your favorite G.A. Henty audio adventures as you travel with your family to create your own “extraordinary adventures”! Go ahead, create fun family memories that will last a lifetime!
- Spend the day at a historical site significant to your lessons. There are thousands of historical sites in the United States and it’s likely that there are at least one or two close to where you live. Spend the day exploring one to bring the history in your lessons to life.
- Like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is home to numerous historic sites and attractions that played a role in American history. For instance, there is Carpenters’ Hall, the meeting place of the First Continental Congress, or Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were brought to life. Then there is Pennsylvania Hospital, the country’s first hospital, which was co-founded by Benjamin Franklin. The Liberty Bell Center is home to the iconic symbol of freedom for America. And who doesn’t want to see the U.S. Mint, where pocket change and commemorative coins are made? http://historicphiladelphia.org
- In Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, you will be transported back in time to meet tradespeople, women, members of the enslaved community, shopkeepers, and political figures that call Williamsburg home. With so much to see and do, there is something for everyone—history lovers, makers, and fans of architecture. Get caught up in the historic moments taking place around you. Take a scenic carriage ride through the city for a unique perspective on transportation in the 18th century. https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/
- Walk through your state or city capitol. This is a valuable chance to learn about government and the history of your state or city.
- Take a walk through a notable cemetery. It might seem morbid but touring the cemetery will give you an excuse to talk about the well-known people who are buried there and the history behind them. It is important to show your children where their own family is buried too.
- Learn more about ancient history by visiting an archaeological site. In America, there are a wide range of archaeological sites to visit, most related to Native American culture, that can let your kids get a window to the past as see how archaeologists work.
- Find out more about presidents, thinkers and important people at historic birthplace museums. Do you live near the birthplace of a famous person? Take your kids along and spend the day learning about the impact this person made on the world.
- George Washington Carver National Monument is a fun place to visit! Plan to spend a couple of hours or a whole day discovering nature, trying out experiments and learning about George Washington Carver. Many activities at George Washington Carver National Monument are from the everyday life of the 19th century – like washing and drying laundry the old-fashioned way. These hands-on programs help us to imagine young George’s life on the Carver Farm. https://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm
- Charlottesville is a hotbed of presidential history, thanks to several presidential homes in and around it. The largest and most popular, Monticello, was Thomas Jefferson’s home, which reveals quite a look at Thomas Jefferson the man. From the architectural details (look for the dumb waiters built into the sides of the fireplace in the dining room) to his personal items in his bedroom and office (they are basically one and the same!), Monticello is quite the showplace.
We visited here with our family several years ago and loved it! The gardens alone are amazing! http://home.monticello.org
- Ask to show your students around a local fire or police station. This way, they can learn more about these municipal workers and how they respond to emergencies.
- Walk in the footsteps of the past on a historic trail. Travel the same roads as people did hundreds of years ago with an education bike or hike on a historical trail.
- Learn about the first settlers in your area. When did they arrive? Why did they settle in the area that you currently live? What did they do for a living when they arrived?
- At Plimoth Plantation families can travel back in time to when Native Americans and the Pilgrims cohabitated. The bicultural museum offers an interactive learning experience, utilizing interpreters, exhibits and programs to teach about the Wampanoag people and explore issues that have affected their community throughout the ages. Kids typically have the choice to have a Pilgrim or a Wampanoag experience.
- Learn how mail works at the post office. Let your students write letters and visit the post office to mail them to gain a better understanding of how our US mail system works.
- See the past in action by visiting a historical reenactment. A Civil War reenactment or a trip to a historical town like Gettysburg, PA can help bring American history to life for your children.
- Touted as a turning point, the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in 51,000 casualties — the war’s bloodiest battle — as the Union squashed General Robert E. Lee’s second invasion of the North. At the Gettysburg National Military Park, you can examine this conflict from start to finish, beginning at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center. Here you will find interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and relics of the battle, as well as more extensive information in the Resource Room and the Museum Bookstore. http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/
- Appomattox Court House – A historic site where Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant in the American Civil War. Listen to our audio adventure, With Lee in Virginia, as you travel to this National Park!
- Learn about the Creation of the world at the Creation Museum and Noah’s Ark Encounter in Petersburg, KY. The state-of-the-art Creation Museum allows you to venture through biblical history, stunning exhibits, botanical gardens, planetarium, petting zoo, zip line adventure course, and much more. This 75,000-square-foot facility has welcomed over 2.5 million guests since opening.
Plus, check out the new Ark Encounter! The Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this modern engineering marvel amazes visitors young and old. https://creationmuseum.org/