Monday, January 18, 2016

Top 10 Winter Field Trips

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 The months of January and February always make me anxious about homeschooling.  The excitement of the holidays has passed and summer vacation feels so far away.  It's the cold winter days of being stuck indoors and stuck in a rut.  So to combat the doldrums of the winter months, we've brainstormed a list of Winter Field Trips to get us through to warmer days and spring break.

1. The Planetarium--We love attending our local planetarium.  There are a variety of shows to learn about everything from Egyptian civilizations to the seasons to constellations.  We have a show scheduled for February exploring the moons and planets.

2. Ice Skating--Why not take advantage of the season? Combine that extra energy, the cold weather, and PE time to try something new.

3. Local Art Exhibits--Check out your local art gallery for new artists and styles for your kiddos.  Some local galleries will even have special events with the artist and hand-on opportunities.

4. The Grocery Store--This is a fun location for the winter when so many of us are stumped for seasonal produce.  Many grocery stores will offer tours of behind the seasons locations including the freezer, deli, and storage areas.  Most also offer free samples of produce and lunch.

5. Craft Store Activity--Michael's, Jo-ann's, and many local craft stores offer in store classes and activities based on the seasons and holidays.  Check out local craft stores, ceramic stores, and bookstores as well for activity times and sales.

6. Indoor Pool--Find an indoor pool.  Even if you're not a gym member, most will offer a special daily rate.  This is another great way to break up the day and get that extra energy out.

7. Local Factory Tour--You would be surprised how many of these hidden gems there are.  We've toured jelly bean, cheese, and handicraft factories.  Samples and coupons are often included as well.

8. Local Government Building-- Contact your local police department, fire department, or city officials office.  Ask your children to prepare a list of questions before hand as these are wonderful opportunities for learning about local government.  And if you're lucky enough to live near a state capital, make sure to take a tour.

9. Library--Explore the library even if you've been there a million times before.  A behind the scenes look at how books are sorted, categorized, and archived will give you a unique look into your local library.  It might also help you discover a new part of the library that you've never noticed before.

10. Virtual Online Tours--There are countless virtual tours and field trips online.  Studying Early American history?  Look for a tour of Plymouth.  Studying plants?  Look for a field trip online about bee keeping or crop rotation.  The sky is the limit with field trips right on your computer.  Bonus: No gas money or travel expenses.

So what about you?  How are you combating the winter doldrums?  
And what are your favorite winter field trips?

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