Almost as good as final bell
That’s right, those days when you could escape the confines of your desk and spend the whole day (sometimes days, even) with your friends, passing it all off as a “school learning exercise” were unforgettable. From wandering around aquariums and museums to planetariums and outdoor adventures in matching colored shirts and buddy systems, field trips were coveted rites of passage for students to experience learning outside the classroom.
But what were some of the best school field trips? And have they changed? Let’s take it back to the era of bowl cuts and scrunchies to investigate the best field trips we’ve all had (in no particular order).
Sliding pole, need we say more?
Our tour of the local fire station was our first brush with heroes, outside of the caped crusaders that littered our comic books. We got to sit in the firetruck and slide down the pole while also coming to the realization of just how heavy their suits were. And at the end of the tour, every boy and girl wanted to be a future firefighter.
Cattle. Pigs. Chickens. Sheep. Horses. It was like our own personal petting zoo. What more could a kid ask for? From learning about crops and caring for animals, touring a farm help put food into perspective – realizing how many people one farmer could actually feed was jaw-dropping. If it wasn’t for those childhood allergies, the farm might have just been the cream of the crop when it came to field trips.
For kids who still have the whole world in front of them, not much was more fitting than the planetarium. Looking through giant telescopes into space and learning firsthand about the wonders of our universe was eye-opening to say the least. And let’s be honest, what kid didn’t crack up when they learned about Uranus or the first time? Admit it, you just snickered didn’t you?
To the far reaches of space above us to the lowly depths below us, the aquarium was like the planetarium in a lot of ways. We discovered a whole new world right below our feet. From schools of beautifully colored fish and fascinating coral reef ecosystems to scary sharks and other wonders of the deep blue, the aquarium made us realize there’s much more than what meets the surface. Petting a stingray – c’mon, how cool was that?!
From the hot safari of Africa to the cold harshness of the arctic, zoos were on every kid’s field trip radar. A full day of petting, seeing and learning about the world’s cutest mammals, scaliest reptiles and creepiest insects was more than a young kid could soak in at one time. Walking around on a hot day with a cup of Dippin’ Dots made it even sweeter.
Every kid should experience the wonder-filled festivities of their local state fair, and what’s a better time than during a school field trip. Call it an exercise in social studies, if you want, but a field trip to the state fair was perfect for many reasons: all the funnel cakes your young stomach could handle, carnival rides and games galore, live music and cool arts and crafts pop-up-shops. With $20, a kid could live like a king all day!
That concludes this trip down filed trip memory lane, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t more fun-filled destinations that got kids excited to “go to school” on field trip days! Here are some honorable mentions:
- Recycling center
- Police station
- Sporting event
- Pumpkin patch
Did your favorite field trip make the cut?
Now, if only we could get field trips reinstated as adults during work week … sigh.