*Sings in my Bobby Womack voice* When it’s cold OUTSIIIIIDDDEEEE, GIRLLLLLL… *record scratches* you just want to stay in the house, don’t you? I know. But, you know that I know that the kids aren’t having that. Oh no, ma’am. And honestly, getting some fresh air and a change of venture can be just what the doctor ordered during a long, cold winter. So, today I’m sharing a HUGE list of field trips to get y’all out of the house and into these wintery streets to continue learning and having fun at the same time. Y’all ready? Here we go.
Indoor Places to Visit
Skating Rinks Going skating, whether ice or roller, is always a fun field trip to take in the winter. Some rinks have homeschool days, so be sure to check to see if rinks near you offer that.
Trampoline Parks Taking the kids to a trampoline park will let them burn off energy from being cooped up in the house. Woo hoo! A quick Google search will find parks near you.
Museums Visiting museums in the winter is one of the best ways to spend time learning indoors. Here’s a directory of museums around the United States. It’s divided by state and by category. Many have guided tours and lesson plans to enhance the opportunity for learning.
Aquariums What can be more magical than seeing sea life up close and personal, especially when it’s cold outside? This list of aquariums around the United States will help you find ones near you.
Local Factory Tours Taking a factory tour is definitely a memorable experience for all. Find tours near you here.
Planetariums Have kids interested in space? Visiting a planetarium is a fun and educational field trip to take in the winter. Go here to locate local planetariums nearby.
Historic Homes, Buildings, and Sites History comes to life when you’re able to visit the places where it actually happened. Get out of the house and visit historic mansions, notable homes, and historic landmarks near you in the winter and beyond.
Take a Tour Many places offer tours to go behind the scenes and get a peek into how things work. Some examples are:
- TV Station
- Fish Hatchery
- Pet store
- Recycling Center
- Virtual Tours (Here are sites with 300+ virtual tours available)
- Civil Service Stations (Fire, Police, EMS call center, etc.)
Just do a Google search to find places like these near you, and check to see if they offer tours. Some may even have lesson plans, too.
Ninja Gyms If your children are into parkour or just like running and jumping over things, then a trip to a ninja gym will be one of the best field trips ever. Some even have dedicated days and/or classes for homeschoolers. You can find a list of ninja gyms here.
Local Plays and Performances Winter time is great for taking in a show. Look for high school plays, music performances for children by orchestras and bands, and local acting or dance group performances for children. These usually offer the opportunity to meet the performers before or after the show, which is always a fun experience.
Indoor Play Centers You can never go wrong with visiting an indoor play center for a field trip. Places like an arcade, indoor playground, or even Chuck E. Cheese will be a hit with almost all kids (& the occasional parent, too. 😉 )
Community Centers Your local community center is a fantastic place to check into for one-off field trips. Between events open to the public and being able to meet up with friends to swim, for open gym, or for a class, community centers have a lot to offer in the winter.
Bowling Alleys Check your local bowling alleys for days they’re open in the morning and/or afternoons to enjoy some bowling without the crowds and usually at a discount.
Volunteer Spending time doing something for others is always a wonderful reason to take a field trip. Check with your local nursing homes, animal shelters, and food banks to see how your family can help.
Art & Pottery Studios Small art and pottery studios would love to have you visit. Check for their drop-in dates or special events to give them a try.
Local Book Stores Visiting a quaint book store filled to the brim with books, or spending time at Barnes and Noble playing with the train set or getting to read the newest Raina Telgemeier book before it reaches the library is a wonderful field trip in my opinion. You may even stumble upon an author event or story time while you’re there. How fun would that be?
Botanical Gardens Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t be in a beautiful, blooming garden. Find a list of indoor conservatories here.
Local Government Buildings Learning about civics? Why not take a trip to your local courthouse, or city or state government building? This article gives good ideas for learning about local government first hand.
Libraries Always go to the same library? Take a field trip to visit a new library every couple of weeks to see what other libraries offer. Every library is different, and the children may find new books that they wouldn’t have seen at their home library.
Note: Many participate in a reciprocity program where you can use your library card to check out books from their library as well. Check with your home library to see if they participate.
Outdoor Places to Visit
Ice Skating Rink I mentioned ice skating above in the indoor section, but ice skating was made for the outdoors in winter, right? Lace up some ice skates and hit the rink for some real winter fun. Grabbing a hot drink afterward is the icing on the cake.
Zoo Yes, zoos are great places to visit in the winter, too. Seeing how the animals behave when it’s cold opens up a new and different learning opportunity to the children. Here’s a list of zoos around the United States.
Local Parks Visiting local parks in the winter is an adventure waiting to happen. Parks have so much to do and see all year-round, and winter offers its own brand of magic. Head to your local metropolitan, wildness, state, or national parks to bird watch, look for and identify animal prints, take a nature hike, or check out their nature center. Sledding, snow shoeing, and skiing might be available at the parks, too. Oh, and don’t rule out the playgrounds while you’re there. When dressed appropriately, those can be loads of fun.
Other Fun Ideas
Take an Off-Season Vacation Going on vacation is the ultimate field trip. Off-season vacation spots can save you lots of money and let you avoid crowds who are there during peak visitor season.
Visit Another Homeschool Family Who said a field trip had to be to a public place? Visiting another homeschool family’s home is a great way to spend an afternoon. The kids can do crafts, build a snowman outside, learn to knit, read aloud, or make cookies together. The mamas can chat and help the kids. Days like that are something everyone talks about for years to come.
Hopefully, this long list of ideas gives you tons of ideas to continue taking field trips with your children, even if it’s cold outside. Did I miss somewhere? Let me know where in the comments below.
Happy homeschooling! <3