One of the freedoms of homeschooling is that you can take your family vacations based on when you want to, not when the public school calendar tells you to. Today we’ll continue with our trip across the United States for fascinating field trip ideas.
Massachusetts: The Freedom Trail. Located in historic Boston, this The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, every one an authentic American treasure with a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.
Michigan: The Henry Ford Museum. Located in Dearborn, Michigan the Henry Ford is home to several attractions. The Henry Ford museum is perfect for any automobile enthusiast as it showcases the history of Ford Motor Company. In addition to showcasing the history of Ford Motor Company, the museum also features various other exhibits pertaining to American history.
Minnesota: The Mall of America. Is it a mall? Is it a theme park? It’s both! Take a little time out for fun at the second largest mall in the United States. There are 520 stores throughout the enormous three level mall. There are multiple attractions such as the indoor theme park Nickelodeon Universe. This theme park includes roller coasters, rides, games, and other attractions. Additionally, the mall includes the Underwater Adventures Aquarium. Enjoy walking through a 300 ft. tunnel and staring at sharks, turtles, stingrays, and multitudes of fish. Other attractions in the mall include; Lego Land, a Movie Theatre, and a flight simulator.
Mississippi: The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. The Museum has brought life to local maritime history and heritage through an array of exhibits on shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, wetlands, managing marine resources, charter boats, marine blacksmithing, wooden boat building, netmaking, catboats/Biloxi skiff, shrimp peeling machine and numerous historic photographs and objects. The Museum also conducts year round educational programs and a summer Sea-n-Sail Adventure Camp which teaches youth about local maritime heritage.
Missouri: The Gateway Arch. Per the website: Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the spread of freedom and democracy from “sea to shining sea” inspired Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece of modern design. The 630 foot stainless steel Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role as the gateway to the West. Visitors to the Gateway Arch can tour the Museum of Westward Expansion, ride the tram to the top, and watch the movies Gateway to the West and Monument to the Dream.
Montana: Yellowstone National Park. It is not only the world’s first National Park but also one of the largest. Per the website: With over 10,000 thermal features, you can watch for the very first time as steaming geysers erupt in all their glory. Or at first light you can view bear, bison, elk and wolf—from a distance—as they cross over 3,472 square miles of untouched landscape. The experiences are timeless. Just what you’d expect from a place where little has changed since it opened over 135 years ago.
Nebraska: Scotts Bluff national Monument. Towering eight hundred feet above the North Platte River, Scotts Bluff has been a natural landmark for many peoples, and it served as the path marker for those on the Oregon, California, Mormon, and Pony Express Trails.
Nevada: Ward Charcoal Ovens Historic Park. The six bee hive looking ovens were built around 1876 to provide charcoal for two silver smelters located at Ward. At one time Ward was the largest town in White Pine County with a population of 1500. The ovens are made from quartz welded tuff that was quarried from the nearby hills. Charcoal was only made here for a few years due to the silver smelters shutting down and then there was no need for the charcoal. Through the years the bee hive ovens have been used as a hideout for stagecoach bandits and a shelter for stockmen and prospectors.
Not all field trips have to be to museums. Our country has too many historic sites to count. These are just a small sampling of what is available to us. We’ll continue tomorrow with even more amazing sites that we can find as we drive across the United States.