Students, especially youngsters like 4th graders, not only enjoy field trips but are greatly influenced by their teaching power. While a simple field trip across town would help your kids learn, imagine what would happen if they went to one of these top class trip destinations? Explore the possibilities and consider a 4th-grade class trip to one of these top 7 attractions around the U.S.!
1. Petrified Forest National Park - Arizona - Part of Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona, the Petrified Forest is an incredible site chock full of science for your visiting student group. Named for the fallen trees which date back to the Late Triassic Period of 225 million years ago, your group will encounter an abundance of petrified wood, interestingly shaped rock formations and a variety of wildlife. Students are encouraged to come and explore the natural history of this amazing earth through paleontological programs, nature walks, and ranger-led tours through the massive Arizona park.
2. City Museum - St. Louis - Fun and educational is just what you want from a field trip, right? Housed in the former International Shoe building in downtown St. Louis, the City Museum combines engineering, industrial objects, and physical science into a fun learning environment. The City Museum is an award-winning establishment that makes learning fun with a wide assortment of exhibits, playrooms, exploration zones, and more! There are outdoor as well as indoor exhibits including an aquarium, a skate park on the third floor, a small Ferris wheel on the roof, and MonstroCity outside, a hodgepodge of industrial objects put together to form something completely unique and wild.
3. Mammoth Cave National Park - Kentucky - The longest known cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its significance in the geological study. Your group will delight in a trip to this underground wonderland of rock formations and waterways. The ranger-led activities are offered by season and may include Frozen Niagara Tour, Domes & Dripstones Tour, the Wild Cave Tour, and many above-ground activities such as birding and nature walks. Rangers will be able to further go into detail about how Mammoth Cave is one of the most scientifically significant cave systems in the entire world, about the history of its discovery, and how studying caves can help our futures.
4. Bryant Family Farm - Kansas City - For all children, learning proper nutrition and where food comes from is highly important. At many working farms, students can do just that. In Kansas City, the Bryant Family Farm is a multi-generational family-owned and operated farm producing organic meats and grains for the health-conscious public. There are more than just cattle here but milking goats, grass-fed turkeys, chickens, pigs, and even an alpine buck. The Bryants believe in emphasizing clean, healthy living and all of their animals and grains are free of antibiotics and are kept and cared for humanely.
5. Conner Prairie - Fishers, IN - Living history museums are very popular and wildly educational, as exemplified by Conner Prairie in Indiana. Conner Prairie is based on 19th century Indiana, complete with old homesteads, animal stables, Native American camps, and a Civil War Journey. You're likely to interact with costumed guides playing the role of a 19th-century farmer or soldier, the animals as they roam about their pens or the demonstrators at the Craft Corner as they make authentic crafts. Explore the William Conner Homestead, one of the oldest homes in Indiana, learn how to dye clothes the way they used to, how to make candles, how to barter at the Trading Post, and much more!
6. USS Midway Museum - San Diego - One of the country's longest-serving aircraft carriers is now an open museum in San Diego's Embarcadero. The USS Midway, now retired, plays host to a floating museum complete with 29 restored aircraft, 60 exhibits, and two exciting flight simulators. Groups are encouraged to tour the ship at their leisure using the downloadable audio tour guides, though school classes are offered the added benefit of educational programs. The fourth-grade program is entitled "On Board with Electricity and Magnetism," which illuminates why electricity is needed onboard an aircraft carrier, and how it works.
7. Bok Tower Gardens - Lake Wales, FL - Open since 1929, Bok Tower is not just a botanical garden but the site of a national historic landmark, the Singing Tower, as well as the lovely Pinewood Estate and extensive Visitor Center. Begin at the Visitor Center and watch a short film on the history of the attraction, view art exhibits, and then head out on your own or on a guided tour of the property. Pinewood Estate is open for visitors to explore and while you may not be able to go up inside the Singing Tower, you can surely hear their daily concerts with the historic 60-bell carillon. There are also grade-appropriate educational programs available for Guided Adventures and Discovery Days.