Field trips are a huge part of every homeschool families year. There is nothing better than hands-on experiences in which the kids can see the practical application for their sit down work at home. For example the Minnesota Zoo hosts a math day at the zoo every November. During this field trip the kids experience first how math is used each and everyday at the zoo. Learning the importance of being able to calculate how much a bear weighs with how much it needs to eat throughout the day. During our walks at our local state park the kids are able to see the gradual changes of the forest. At the History Festival they are able to go back in time to learn the successes and failures of the people before them.
Below I have listed field trips according to regions. I will be updating these lists as I get new and great ideas! Make sure you check back often! I would like to thank Miranda Jerabek at Explore Minnesota for helping me build a great list of fun field trips. If you do not see one of your favorites listed below, please contact me so I can get it added with the others.
Northwest Minnesota Field Trips
Lake Bronson State Park and Activities:
Explore Minnesota Lake Bronson
Located in the transition zone between the prairie land of the Red River Valley and the aspen parkland to the east, this park offers a diversity of wildlife habitat. Climb the historic tower for a view of the area. Water recreation is very popular. 14 miles of hiking, 9 miles of cross-country skiing, 4 miles of snowmobiling; boat, kayak and canoe rental. Hike-in and canoe-in campsites are now available.
Explore Minnesota Comstock House
This home belonged to a prominent railroad builder whose daughter became the first female president of Radcliffe.
- Ornate 1882 house with varnished oak & butternut trim
- Original Queen Anne Eastlake furniture & tapestries
- Guided tours
Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County:
Explore Minnesota Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County
Our Hjemkomst Center museum houses and interprets the Viking ship replica Hjemkomst & its historic 1982 voyage to Norway. See award-winning documentary about Robert Asp and the voyage completed by his children. Heritage Hall hosts a variety of different traveling exhibits of interest to a variety of ages.
Evergreen Fun Park:
Explore Minnesota Evergreen Fun Park
Family fun center offering go carts, mini golf, bumper boats, climbing wall, bouncy house, Power Wheels, batting cages, Evergreen Express train, Jr. go carts, water wars, family laser tag, laser maze, mineral mining and outdoor maze.
Character Challenge Course:
Explore Minnesota Character Challenge Course
Come experience one of northern Minnesota’s most exhilarating destinations! Set in a grove of mature pines and overlooking the pristine Potato Lake, guests will overcome fears, experience a 370′ zip line, take a plunge off a 30′ Giant Swing platform and so much more. High obstacles up to 35′ in the air will challenge participants like they have never been challenged before. Not only will families and touring groups make incredible memories, but persona growth will be challenged as well.
List of Parks and Forests:
Explore Minnesota Parks and Forests
Northeastern Minnesota Field Trips
Grand Portage National Monument:
Explore Minnesota Grand portage National Monument
Reconstructed fur trade depot, Ojibwe Village exhibit, and 8.5 mile historic Grand Portage trail. Living History, Park Ranger guided programs/demonstrations, Ojibwe Village exhibit, fur trade history, area history; historical demonstrations, historic cooking and baking demonstrations; Visitor Center, and gift shop.
Minnesota Discovery Center:
Explore Minnesota Discovery Center
As the Minnesota iron mining industry exploded at the turn of the 20th century, people seeking economic prosperity and freedom immigrated to northern Minnesota from nations around the globe. Immigrants brought few material goods on their journey, but with them the rich traditions and customs of their homelands. Minnesota Discovery Center, formerly known as Ironworld, preserves this important period of American history through museum displays, traveling exhibits, special events and more.
Explore Minnesota Split Rock Lighthouse
- Restored lighthouse, keeper’s home, oil house and fog signal building
- Guided tours offered or explore on your own
- Lakeside photo opportunities
- Exhibits on the lighthouse, North Shore and Lake Superior shipping
- Museum store with lighthouse, nautical and north woods gifts
Scenic State Park:
Explore Minnesota Scenic State Park
So named because many would say it is the most scenic state park in Minnesota. You will have to come judge for yourself! Camp in the modern campground; or you might want to venture back into one of the canoe or backpack sites on one of the seven pristine lakes in the park. 14 mi of hiking, 3 miles of cross-country ski trails and 10 mi of snowmobile trail. Boat, canoe and kayak rental.
Great Lakes Aquarium:
Visit Duluth Great Lakes Aquarium
Great Lakes Aquarium is located on the harbor in Duluth, just off exit 256B on I-35. Featuring five daily programs, this hands-on discovery center inspires guests to explore animals and habitats found in the Great Lakes Basin and other waters of the world.
Places to Stay:
Explore Minnesota Places to Stay
Central Minnesota Field Trips
Sea Life Aquarium at MOA
Visit Sea Life Home School Programs
Homeschool week is offered twice a year each fall and spring, usually hosted during October and April. There is also an option to do a behind the scenes tour. If you think you would like to do the behind the scenes tour a reservation is needed. The discounted rate is unbeatable and definitely worth the cost.
Minnesota Zoo Education
The Minnesota Zoo has a wide variety of activities during the year. They host not only a homeschool day, but a math day, language day, and other great educational classes. The zoo is also home of one of the Imax theaters in Minnesota.
Minnesota Children’s Museum
Minnesota Children’s Museum offers discounts to homeschool families. Each and every room is dedicated to allowing kids the hands-on opportunity to explore the world around them. Learning through play and playing to learn! Serious fun happens here! Located in Minneapolis and Rochester.
Walker Art Garden
One of my favorite places to visit as a kid. The art museum was great, but my very favorite part was and still is the sculpture gardens. There is something awesome about being outdoors amidst art. It combines two of the things I enjoy in life.
Southern Minnesota Field Trips
Simply Charming Ceramics
Simply Charming Ceramics in Albert Lea
Pumpkins, ornaments, birds, mugs, and more! A mother daughter team with over 20 years of experience. Take a painting on canvas class or paint your own ceramics! A great time to bring out the artist inside you! Located in Albert Lea, MN at the Skyline Plaza.
Check out their Facebook page for more information!
Big Island Rendezvous
Step back into time with fur traders, mountain men, Indians, and civil war soldiers. Get a taste of old fashioned candy, stew, and giant turkey legs. Listen to folk music, listen to the footsteps of cloggers, and watch Indian Ring Dances. The Big Island Rendezvous Offers education days Thursday and Friday for public, private, and homeschool groups.Saturday and Sunday are open to the public. This event is held the first weekend in October and held at Bancroft Bay Park in Albert Lea. To learn more check out their Facebook page.
Rochester Art Center
Is dedicated to offering opportunities for people of all ages to learn and understand art. They desire to enchance their community through art.
Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo
Located in Byron it is a short drive from Rochester. This zoo has native to Minnesota animals on site. Animals such as a mountain lion, raccoon, skunk, bobcat, and even buffalo. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a camping trip this is a great family destination. Oxbow Park has free admission which makes for a great day trip! If you love Oxbow like my family does check out Friends of Oxbow website. These are folks who are dedicated to making Oxbow Park and Zollman zoo the best it can be. They do an amazing job fundraising and raising awareness about Oxbow Park and the zoo.
One of our favorite field trips of the year the History Festival takes us back in time to the pioneers, knights, and the civil war. Each exhibitor has a different hands on part of history. A few of my kids favorites is trying on armor, face painting, tomahawk and spear throwing, weaving, and candle making. Hosted the second week in October Weds through Friday is reserved for educational days for school age kiddos. Saturday and Sunday is open to the public.
Little House on the Prairie
From my experience Little House on the Prairie is usually one of the first books or series that most homeschool families read together. Walnut Grove brings these sweet books to life. In the summer months you will be able to watch a play, tour the house where Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Cari, and Jack the bull dog lived. Located in the north west corner of Minnesota it is a fun trip back to the days of the Ingall’s.
Minnesota State Parks
Growing up my Minnesota State parks were part of my childhood. I have amazing memories of camping, hiking, swimming, and playing with my family in the Minnesota woods. Each state park has it’s own unique beauty, activities, camp grounds, and more. There are over 67 state parks scattered all over the state. For events and programs check here. For fall fun color activities click here.
Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch
Located in Austin, Minnesota this pumpkin patch offers fun for the whole family. Horse drawn wagon rides, a silo slide, hay piles to jump and play, and every munchkin born in the last year receives a free pumpkin.
Tweite’s Family Farm Adventures:
Explore Minnesota Tweite’s Family Farm Adventures
Come on out and enjoy the traditional 22 acre theme park with all if is amusements and activities. Or add to the day, by taking on the challenge of the Adventure Corn Maze.
National Eagle Center:
Explore Minnesota National Eagle Center
The National Eagle Center is an environmental interpretive center on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha Minnesota. We offer wild eagle viewing, interactive exhibits, cultural and historical displays. Live eagle programs conducted by a naturalist interpreter each feature a live eagle.
Explore Minnesota Lark Toys
Lark Toys, with over 20,000 sq. ft. to explore, is one of the largest independent specialty toy stores in the country. Voted “Best Toy Store in Minnesota.” Highlights include: hand-carved wooden carousel to ride, LARK-made wooden toys, games and puzzles, quality developmental toys, science and nature, arts and crafts, large book store, café, handmade fudge, ice cream and candy, miniature llamas, antique toy museum, and an 18-hole outdoor mini-golf course.
Blue Mounds State Park:
Explore Minnesota Blue Mounds State Park
Blue Mounds State Park is full of natural surprises. Start with the Sioux quartzite cliff, rising 100 feet from the plains. A bison herd grazes on the prairie. Prickly pear cactus blooms in June and July. A sea of prairie grasses and flowers sway in the wind. The park is also a favorite for birdwatchers who want to see nesting blue grosbeaks and other birds.
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center:
Explore Minnesota Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
Nestled amid the hardwood forests and river bluffs of southeastern Minnesota, Eagle Bluff offers programs for families, visitors, students, and individuals alike. Challenge yourself atop our high ropes course, join us for a get-away weekend, or explore our 11 miles of trails.
Pipestone National Monument:
Explore Minnesota Pipestone National Monument
Pipestone quarries visited for centuries by American Indians to acquire the red pipestone for crafting pipebowls for their sacred ceremonial pipes; visitor center, museum, orientation film, exhibits, gift shop, with pipestone carving demonstrations (May through October) by American Indians, ¾ mile trail along Pipestone Creek, Winnewissa Falls, and tall grass prairie. Great place to experience American Indian culture, nature, photography, and bird watching.