To all those 5th grade teachers and parents interested in student travel, listen up (or read up)! We know you're looking for that perfect field trip idea, something fun and exciting, educational and hands-on, but also not too far away or too expensive. We understand, and we also understand how hard it is to plan these things, especially with a large group of young students. That's why we've compiled a comprehensive list of all of our favorite go-to options for fun 5th-grade field trips. Each option is, in our opinion, an excellent mix of information and entertainment, perfectly suited yet customizable to your particular student group!
- Botanical Garden - We believe it is always important for students of this age to be able to get outside and get active, especially when there is a learning opportunity involved, which is why our number one choice for a 5th-grade field trip is a visit to your local botanical garden. Botanical gardens are places where plants are grown for a display to the public and often used for scientific study. These gorgeous expanses of outdoor land are great ways for your students to learn all about local ecology and diversity, as well as conservation, native plants, gardening, and even cooking! During your visit, you will likely encounter such additional, and really helpful, field trip tools as onsite scavenger hunt worksheets, lesson plans and/or lectures, and onsite eating options from a concession or cafe. Our Choice? Atlanta Botanical Garden - Georgia
- State, National, or Local Park - This is another really great option for your 5th graders, the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, get active, and get learning! Many cities have impressive local parks or green spaces that make really excellent areas for field trips, providing ample space for science projects, relay races, picnics, and celebrations. State and national parks are even better options providing the same opportunities as your local park, but with several more educational opportunities through such activities as wildlife observation, plant identification, and geological exploration. Teach an impromptu geology lesson on local rock formations, a biology lesson on local wildlife, and even a science and ecology lesson on local plants! Our Choice? Thousand Hills State Park - Missouri
- Art Museum - An art museum is never a bad choice for a 5th-grade field trip. Every American art museum provides a unique, diverse, and educational glance at the art of, well, the art inside its walls. At most art museums you and your student group will be able to plan a full day of fun, with several different workshops, tours, lectures, and curriculum-based activities available for your use. There is also typically an on-site dining option for your convenience. Your students will enjoy being out of the classroom and into a completely new environment, surrounded by color and creation that may even end up sparking their own imagination in a lucrative way. This opportunity is great to show 5th graders the importance of the arts, as well as give them vital information on the history of art, the presence of art in the local culture, and the possibility of personal artful contributions to society. Our Choice? Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York
- 4. Planetarium - This is absolutely the easiest way to get your student group interested and involved in the science of the skies. A trip to the planetarium usually one of the most fun, or at least most educationally fun, trips in memory for most students. At any given planetarium you will most likely be able to: catch an interstellar dome show, take a class/lesson on a special exhibit or topic, explore various informational exhibits, and even be a part of at least one if not several, hands-on learning activities about our surrounding space neighbors! This is the ultimate science field trip, one that we are confident both you and your students will enjoy for its perfect balance of entertainment and education. Your students honestly may forget this is even educational! Our Choice? Adler Planetarium - Illinois5. History or Science Museum - While this option is pretty broad, we feel that it is a classic that should not be forgotten while planning your big 5th-grade excursion. Most major cities play host to one, if not several, science, natural history, or history museums, each option offering seriously phenomenal ways to spend your field trip time. Like art museums, almost every science or history museum you encounter will give you and your student group several learning opportunities, with on-site tours, lessons, lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on exhibits. This is an especially good option for larger groups with many different interests, as your average science or history museum typically provides enough exhibits and information to spark even the pickiest student's interest. Another common occurrence with this option is a typical on-site dining option, though you should definitely check before you go. If they don’t provide meals on-site, pack a picnic and spend some time outdoors near the grounds of the museum! Our Choice? Exploratorium - San Francisco
6. Water Excursion - This is another field trip idea that may seem a little vague, but there are so many different avenues you can take with this option depending on where you are, how much time you have, and what kind of learning/celebrating you want to do. We have seen student groups do everything water-related from a local woodsy Stream Team conservation and ecology lesson in a small creek to a day at the beach collecting sand dollars, learning about sharks, and soaking up the sun. You could even take your 5th-grade class out on a boat excursion, with several educationally themed cruises, sightseeing cruises, and fun cruises available in most major port cities. The sky's really the limit with a water field trip (or maybe the ocean is the limit). You could even head to your local lake and teach your students about the importance of local fish diversity while fishing! The bottom line with this option is this: students love getting outside and getting active for field trips, especially when it involves swimming! Our Choice? Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures - Virginia
7. Farm or Orchard - Just like a trip to your local botanical garden, a trip to a local farm or orchard will be an excellent way to get your students outside, into nature, active, and learning, all while having a really great time. Agriculture and food production are very important aspects of physical science and life in general that seem to be slipping away from importance in the school systems, which is another great reason to consider this for your fun field trip. Students will be immersed in the hard-working and hands-on world of food and livestock production, both providing excellent ways to teach your students about local ecology, agriculture, conservation, and animal agriculture, as well as biology and life sciences. Your students will be able to interact with farmers and animals, and probably even eat some fresh fruits or veggies. This is one you’ll definitely want to pack a picnic for! Our Choice? Peter Wentz Farmstead - Philadelphia
8. Aquarium or Zoo - Another classic class field trip option is your local zoo or aquarium! This is always a hit with students, a highly interactive chance for them to get up close and personal with creatures and ecosystems they normally don’t encounter! At your local zoo, your 5th-grade class can explore various habitats and learn all about the species, a great chance to teach them all about animal science, biology, geography, and ecology. The same goes for the aquarium, though typically with much more ocean-oriented geography to be explored. Both options typically provide hands-on learning activity options, as well as live animal demonstrations, workshops, and special events and/or student field trip days. Not only will your students be pretty busy running around and learning all they can about all they see, but they will also be gaining important social interaction skills with the busy crowds all around and you’ll be enjoying all the great side educational and eating options throughout. Our Choice? Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Colorado
9. Zipline and Ropes Course - Zipline and aerial ropes course adventure parks are new trends popping up around the nation, really fun, challenging, and thrilling activities for any adventure seeker, perfect for young energetic students! At your typical zipline and ropes park your students will be able to zip through the trees in the safest manner possible, take part in challenging aerial obstacle courses, and learn essential team-building skills in the most immersive and hands-on way. Many companies rent these places out to work on team building as well as fitness. Your student group can do these two things and learn lessons about the science of motion, energy, and physics! Most of these parks are located in really scenic areas, so this is also a great opportunity to sight-see and learns about your physical surroundings. Impromptu geography and ecology lessons can be used here, with native flora and fauna to learn about everywhere you look! Our Choice? Adventureworks Zip Line Tours - Arkansas
10. Theater - A field trip to your local theater is a great, immersive, and really entertaining way to get your student group involved in the arts! Seeing a live show, musical, or musical performance will excite your 5th grader's creativity and get them thinking about their own talents in the arts, as well as serve as a fun celebratory trip option as well! If you have a class play or concert coming up, send the students to the big(ger) stage and show them what it’s all about, you’ll have tons of fun watching too! If you opt for a night show take advantage of the opportunity to eat out locally, for a day show pack a picnic and enjoy the local park or green-space! Our Choice? Nothing beats New York Broadway.