55 Simple and Memorable Field Trip Ideas

We all know that field trips are fun- we have all been there. But when you are on the side that you have to plan them, it becomes a bit less fun, and a lot more stressful. It does not really need to be, though, because there are so many fun things out there that your middle schoolers will love to do.

In this article, we will give you 29 excellent field trip ideas. And remember, these are just ideas- there are tons more out there! Get creative!

1. Zoo

I don’t know what it is about the zoo, but there is just something about the zoo that makes it one of the best places on earth. And this is true for most ages, not just preschoolers. Running around, finding favorite animals, discovering new ones, and learning more about animals that may be endangered is so fun.

Your middle schoolers will think so, too. Many zoos offer free (or at least discounted) admission for field trips, as long as they’re booked in advance. (Source)

2. Water Park

Visiting a water park is a great way to either say goodbye to warmer weather or to celebrate the return of it. The best thing about many water parks is that they have arcades too, so those who do not like swimming can just try to win the giant plushies and lava lamps that we all envied as children.

3. Art Museum

An art museum is a great way to infuse culture into middle schoolers. Most are old enough to know museum etiquette, and the museum can introduce them to so many different art styles, types of people, and countries. They may come out thinking about art in a completely different way.

4. State and National Parks

If you live by a state or national park, consider yourself incredibly lucky, and then go get in there! This is a great way to expose middle schoolers to nature, and it helps them to love the outdoors if they do not already. State and national parks are beautiful, and they give the perfect opportunity to teach about the importance of taking care of the environment!

5. Movie Theater

You can never go wrong with a movie. All kids like movies. As long as it’s rated G or PG, and you have parental approval, the employees will be ready with popcorn and drinks in excess for your middle schoolers to enjoy.

6. Aquarium

Like the zoo, it is impossible to go wrong with a trip to the aquarium. Many aquariums have rehabilitated animals, which presents a great opportunity to teach about the importance of picking up after ourselves, and not throwing trash in the ocean. It is never too early to help kids become environmentally conscious.

7. Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens give the wonderful chance to be outside, and it provides a controlled environment to do so. They are beautifully landscaped, and they usually have pretty fountains and waterfalls that provide a really calming atmosphere.

An added bonus: it is easy to reinforce what your middle schoolers have been learning about plants in science classes with what you see!

8. An Actual Theatre

Exposing middle schoolers to the arts should be considered an essential part of their education. And, what’s more, going to plays just makes kids feel mature and important. Maybe it is just because of the way the phrase “going to the theatre” sounds when someone says it with a British accent. If that wasn’t enough, then the fact that education in fine arts is proven to increase students’ self-confidence, self-understanding, communication skills, and cognitive abilities. (Source)

9. Go on a Hike

This is a good field trip for many reasons. Exercising is an important thing to get in the habit of at a young age, and nature is something that everyone should appreciate. And, as if that was not enough, learning about rocks and rock formations is fascinating, too. This is a great way to combine what you’re teaching in class with what the kids are experiencing in real life.

10. Planetarium

The planetarium is another one of those places that are impossible for someone to not enjoy, even if they are starting to act more and more like a teenager. Besides, middle schoolers will understand the concepts and words used at the planetarium a lot better than elementary schoolers would.

11. Local High School

If there is one thing middle schoolers love, it is that they are going to be in high school soon. Take advantage of that! Take them to high school productions of plays, on tours of the high school they will be going to, and to other high school concerts and athletic events.

12. Local Colleges

While college is still far off for middle schoolers, it’s never too early to give them a good impression of college. Communicate how important a college education can be, and do not forget to mention how fun college life is, either. Get them excited about college before the application process rolls around. The best part about this trip: it’s free!

13. Library

Going to the local library is always a good idea. There is so much to learn (Dewey Decimal System, anybody?), and it is a great way to encourage kids to read. Making this trip coincide with a book report project or readathon might help them to check out books, too!

14. Government Buildings

A government building may be fun to tour. This includes things like the state Capitol building, or maybe even a local government office. There are often tours of the bigger buildings, and these are great opportunities to help students learn more about the government system in our country.

15. Local Festivals

Taking your middle schoolers to local festivals is another great field trip idea. Every town has some sort of interesting festival that they are known for. Take advantage of teaching the kids about the history of their town! Some examples are music festivals, farmers’ markets, local races, and holiday events.

16. Railroad

Local railroads may be hard to come by, but if you are lucky enough to have one in your area, they have tons of history. In addition to this, taking train rides is so much fun. Middle schoolers will love learning about the history of the railroad, taking a ride, and let’s be honest- the concessions on the train will help, too.

17. Local Factories

Going to local factories or businesses is another really great opportunity for middle schoolers. Exposing them to how things work is a great way to help them on the path toward finding out what they want to do in their life. When they see how many types of businesses work, they can better figure out what they like and what they don’t.

18. Amusement Park

Amusement parks are tons of fun. That said, they do require a bit more effort as a field trip. Especially if you are a public school teacher taking 20-30 kids with you, you will need chaperones, permission slips, and plenty of focus, because middle schoolers can wander off.

19. Just a Regular Park

This one is almost effortless, and it is still so much fun. Going to a park, sitting in nature, having a picnic, and then just playing exploring is so good for kids. Getting that time to just relieve stress is key to creating a balanced lifestyle for middle schoolers.

20. Historical Monuments

Historical monuments are there for a reason. They exist to teach us about the people and events that came before us. So why not introduce your middle schoolers to these amazing monuments? They are beautifully built, and being in a historical spot to learn about something that happened before is such a cool experience. What if there is not a monument in your town? There probably is, but if not, a neighboring town will definitely have one.

21. Caves

Caving is such a blast. If you live near a cave, taking middle school students caving would be a fantastic field trip. Before you go, make sure you check the difficulty level of the cave, so that everybody can participate. This is a great way to either introduce or just reinforce what students are learning about rocks, erosion, weathering, and more.

22. Historical Buildings, Homes, or other Sites

This is a great way to learn about specific people that may have had a huge influence on your town, organizations that shaped how your town functioned, or just other historical events that may have caused your town to be built in the first place.

Middle schoolers will love seeing places that appear in books they have read or movies they have seen, and if they are not familiar, they will just enjoy seeing the collection of old things.

23. Local Fire Station

Visiting the local fire station would be a very fun field trip for those who have dreams of being a fireman, but it will also be fun for those who don’t. Kids find it fascinating to learn about the process of it all: seeing the fire station, the fire trucks, and asking the firemen what their typical day looks like is a great way to get them engaged.

24. Local Police Station

It’s the same for the local police station. Not only will kids learn a lot about the government and what police do, but they’ll also learn that they don’t have to be afraid of all police officers. This is a great way to help middle schoolers become more comfortable around police and other emergency personnel. In addition to this, seeing the inside of a police officer’s car is sure to keep middle schoolers occupied: there’s a lot there!

25. Pottery Studio

There are several commercial pottery studios sprinkled around the country that anybody can use. So why not make a field trip out of it? Middle schoolers love working with their hands, and one thing that always makes field trips extra special is a souvenir that they can take home at the end of the day.

26. Fish Hatchery

If you live near a fish hatchery, this would be a really interesting field trip for middle schoolers. It does smell weird, but kids will love seeing the process that they go through in the hatchery. They will get to see a couple of different kinds of fish, and this field trip also gives the added benefit of some outdoor time.

27. Aviation Museum

An aviation museum is another excellent idea for a field trip for middle schoolers. Even if some students are not obsessed with planes and vehicles, the things that one can see at an aviation museum are undeniably fascinating.

Students will get to see several different types of planes, learn about famous pilots and wars, maybe see a rocket, and learn how aviation has changed since it first came into practice.

28. Local Power Plant, Dam, or Locks

This is another information-filled field trip. Though many dams and locks may not have tours, they usually have plenty of signs with blurbs to read that will provide for a lovely, self-guided tour. A lot of power plants will offer tours, though. In these places, middle schoolers will learn so much about modern technology, how things are powered, and more.

29. A Walking Tour of Your Town or City

Obviously, if you live in a big city, this may not be the safest idea, but if you feel you can conduct a safe walking tour of your town or city, do it! Even if they have lived in the town or city for a long time, many middle schoolers may still learn something about the town, and they may find something new to do. Pick a few destinations beforehand so that you can show your students the best-kept secrets of your city.

Remember that these ideas only scratch the surface of possibilities for fun field trips for middle schoolers. Students will appreciate any effort to add variety to their learning, so get creative!

30. Farmers Market

The Farmer’s Market is a great way for students to become involved in the community. Beforehand you can teach them about farming and how important it is to support your local farmers. Then you can take them to the market and let them pick something out or learn about all of the different produce. There are also sometimes animals there that they can pet.

Many communities host Farmer’s markets on Saturdays, so you might need to find out if your local farmer’s market takes place during the week!

31. Animal Shelter

The Animal Shelter is an awesome field trip not only for the kids but for the dogs and cats as well. The animals in animal shelters have often been neglected and abused. All they want is some love, which the kids will gladly give. It may inspire some families to adopt and give the animals a loving home.

32. Recycling Center

Learning about recycling is important. Visiting a Recycling Center might not be the most entertaining for the kids, but they will learn a valuable lesson about the importance of recycling and why we do it. They will also learn how to recycle and what can be reused, from plastic to paper to clothes.

33. A Hospital, Clinic, Dentist’s Office, etc

It is always a great idea to take the children to certain places where they can learn about different professions and what they could be when they grow up. Some kids may be scared of the hospital or doctor, but this way they can learn that doctors and nurses are here to help them.

If you can’t get the hospital to offer a tour, consider a tour of just any local clinic of a medical professional. Perhaps even a parent of a student in the class could offer a tour so that kids can learn about different professions.

34. Bank

Going to the bank may not sound the most fun to elementary school students, but they can learn important information that isn’t being fully taught in schools. Kids can go behind the scenes and possibly get a tour of the vault as well as learn how to write a check and what the purpose of a credit card is.

35. News, TV, or Radio Station

These field trips are fascinating because you can see the behind-the-scenes of the studio that the online viewers or listeners don’t get to see. The children will love to see the cameras and recording equipment, maybe even meet the people that their parents watch on TV every morning. Some kids could decide that this is the career path they want to move towards. The world always needs people to tell stories and report on what’s happening.

36. Local Business

It’s always important to highlight and remember local businesses. Local business owners would love to give back to the community by giving a tour to the students, inspiring them to chase their dreams. You never know which field trip is going to spark interest and help a kid decide what they want to be someday.

37. Restaurant or Bakery

Going to a restaurant or local bakery is something that children will love because they can get a behind-the-scenes tour, as well as some sampling of the food or treats. It will probably end up being one of their favorites since food is involved. Many local businesses will offer tours free of charge. (Source)

38. Senior Care Facility

Taking the elementary school students to a retirement home is a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of service and learning from their elders. Children can oftentimes be egotistic because their brains aren’t fully developed. Volunteering is a great way to teach them compassion and kindness, and it will make the residents’ day as well.

39. Sporting Game

Sporting games are purely an entertaining field trip, and the students will be very excited. Most areas in the United States have a sports team, but even if you don’t live near a major city, you can find some minor league teams as well. Taking the students to a baseball or soccer game is probably the most common sport for a field trip. (Source)

40. Theatre

Going to a theatre to see a play is also very exciting and entertaining. Communities almost always have a local theatre putting on a play for all ages to enjoy. You could even take the students to a play at the middle school or high school in the area. Make sure to pick an age-friendly play that they are willing to sit through for a few hours since young kids have a hard time sitting for long periods of time.

41. Movies

Going to the movies is a great indoor winter activity and very exciting for the children. It can get expensive, but there are also oftentimes group rate discounts, especially for schools. Maybe the movie field trip can be at the end of a big test as a reward. Don’t forget to get popcorn!

42. Orchestra

Going to the symphony or orchestra is a very special experience that not every child would normally experience. Classical music is very healthy for the brain. These days, everybody wants to listen to recorded music, but it’s important to instill a love of live music in the newer generations as well.

43. Pumpkin Patch

Fall is always a fun time of the year, and there are so many activities to do! This includes going to the pumpkin patch. Oftentimes, pumpkin patches not only have pumpkins to pick out and carve, but hayrides, mazes, and fun foods to try. My favorite pumpkin patch treats as a kid were apple cider donuts.

44. Picnic

Picnics are easy and simple, probably costing zero dollars to the budget. All you have to do is make sure that every student brings a lunch from home and a blanket to sit on. Then all you have to do is take the class outside, set up the blankets, and they can sit with their friends and eat their lunch. Field Trips don’t always have to be big and extravagant.

45. Waterpark

The waterpark could be a great end-of-the-year activity since it needs to be warmer weather to go swimming. This field trip idea would probably need the most organizing, but it will be much worth it when it all comes together and you can celebrate the year together with students, parents, and teachers. This activity is recommended for older elementary school students that know how to swim.

There are endless opportunities for elementary school field trips! These young students are excited and curious about everything. Many of these places are free of charge and are happy to give a tour or experience to the students. Just make sure to plan everything out in advance and find enough chaperones to supervise the kids alongside the teachers. Good Luck! (Source)

46. Explore a Local Recreation Center

Another great local resource that students can explore is a local recreation center. Finding and understanding available resources in the community is an important skill for kids as they transition to adulthood. A field trip to a recreation center can also emphasize the importance of health and lifelong physical activity to students as they begin to have more control over their lives.

47. Volunteer at a Food Pantry

Field trip education can be about more than just the sciences; giving high school students opportunities to serve in the community can be an important way for young adults to build character.

Many local food pantries would welcome the assistance of a large group of high school students. Taking a field trip day to volunteer at a local food pantry can help students understand more about supply chain management, while simultaneously helping them to build empathy.

48. Visit a Technology Company/Area

Technology is another area experiencing lots of growth. Helping to expose more students to areas like this can help give them direction when they may have none, and can also help fill a societal need.

If possible, arrange for students to take a field trip to a local software company where they can have opportunities to see the background processes of coding, system networks, and other tech phenomena. Showing students something like a server room, or cable management practices could be beneficial as well!

49. Visit the Capitol or Other Government Building

Whether it’s for History class, Political Science, or just to increase students’ social understanding, taking students to visit a capitol building or other government building can be both interesting and thought-provoking. This can be beneficial for all students as citizens, whether they are interested in pursuing education or careers in government or not.

50. Plan a College Visit

With students looking to the future, being able to get them on a university campus can be extremely helpful in guiding them in their decisions. Planning to visit a campus—or multiple campuses—could be a beneficial experience, especially for those on the fence about going.

Many colleges love to welcome high school students for campus visits and tours. Additionally, students may feel more comfortable being able to do a visit with friends and other peers with similar interests. Since Juniors will be thinking about which colleges to apply to, plan these trips preferably during students’ Junior year!

51. Plan a Photography Trip

With the invention of smartphones, and the popularity of Instagram, all students like to be both the photographer and the model. You can provide a field trip for them by taking them somewhere unique to take pictures and teaching them about principles of good photography, like lighting, balance, and the rule of thirds!

Alternatively, you could take them to a studio and allow them to take portraits or shoot other professional pieces, such as jewelry.

52. Plan a Painting Trip

For your more artsy individuals, you could consider planning a day trip to somewhere scenic where they could practice their painting skills. They could practice landscapes, nature scenes, or even portraits in nature.

53. Plan a Geological Trip

Another trip that could be fun is a trip to a location of geological significance. This could be something visual, such as being able to identify different strata on the side of a mountain, or something more tactile, like digging in an area for pieces of archeological or historical significance. It could even be something as simple as comparing rocks and their features depending on the area in which they’re found.

54. Do a Service Project Using Just Serve

We mentioned service in some of the above ideas (food pantry or homeless shelter), but you could also consider planning your own service project! Whether that’s planting trees locally, visiting an old folks’ home to visit with the residents there, or picking up trash.

There’s actually a great free website called Just Serve that allows you to quickly find service project needs for local non-profits. You could probably find something easy.

Allowing students to plan and prepare their own service activity can get them more engaged and help them feel like they can make a difference themselves.

55. Visit an Escape Room — or Any Activity Just for Fun!

Finally, we’d encourage you to be okay with some field trips being just for fun. Let your students go to an escape room, an amusement park, or a pool just for fun. Students need a break sometimes too!