Please note these are suggestions only and are not necessarily endorsed by the MPE Board of Directors. Information about times, availability and costs are subject to change. Please contact the facility before visiting to ascertain current information.
Thanks to Alyse Smith for compiling these field trip opportunities.
Note: Retired homeschool mom and MPE member Traci Matt has written a Kindle eBook all about field trips, which we highly recommend: http://ow.ly/Kg9ga See her list of favorite field trip destinations as well!
- Agriculture Hall of Fame – Offers several different programs, including field trips, for groups.
- Arts Education at JCCC – Offers school shows, master classes, camps, workshops, lecture/demonstrations, teacher workshops.
- Bump City – Gage Center – A giant indoor playland. Activities for ages three and over include: in-ground trampolines rope swings inflatables slam dunk basketball Monster Mountain indoor climbing wall foam pit and more. All groups must have a release waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian to participate.
- Burr Oak Woods Nature Center (Blue Springs, MO) – From its website: “Burr Oak Woods was purchased in 1977 and the Nature Center was built in 1982, the first nature center in the State of Missouri. … Natural features on the area include steep forested hillsides along Burr Oak Creek (the namesake of the property), large limestone boulders and outcrops, restored prairies and woodlands, and a trail complex that will guide visitors through many of the listed features.”
- Carolyn’s Country Cousins (Liberty, MO) – Homeschool Pumpkin Patch Tours and Special Needs Tours in September and October. In the Fall: Carolyn’s Country Cousins is open September to October from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- City of Fountains Foundation – Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains,” since it boasts more fountains than any city except Rome. Self-guided tour of the beautiful fountains either by foot or by car.
- The City Market/Arabia Steamboat Museum – The City Market, nestled in a redeveloped historic district. The outdoor farmer’s market is where you will find just about everything under the sun-from fresh produce, garden plants, herbs and flowers to toys and gifts. Don’t miss the other treasures found here, including shops, restaurants, galleries and the Arabia Steamboat Museum. While the market is open seven days a week, Saturdays are particularly lively, as farmers from across the Midwest offer their produce and products for sale.
- Clark’s Point – Overlook the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers at Clark’s Point and take in the awesome view of both Kansas Cities. A marker commemorates the occasion of Lewis and Clark’s camping there in 1806. Address: Downtown, 8th & Jefferson, Kansas City, MO.
- Dole Institute of Politics – The Dole Institute of Politics is a balanced and bipartisan facility. Our mission is to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners, and writers. The Robert J. Dole Archive and Special Collections is home to one of the nation’s most significant collections of a nonpresidential politician, and is relevant to governmental, political, domestic, and world affairs of the latter 20th century. It contains a wealth of primary source materials including papers, photographs, and objects.
- Emerald City Gym – Are you looking for a fun, safe place to take your group? If you don’t want your kids swinging from your ceiling, bring them to Emerald City! Emerald City offers private events for groups of all sizes. Our 24,000 sq ft gym includes in-ground trampolines, slides, tunnels, rope swings, our HUGE foam pit, a maze, zip-line, mini rock wall, slam-dunk basketball, and more!
- Ernie Miller Nature Center – Ernie Miller Park has three miles of trails for you to hike and explore. The Nature Center is open daily with educational exhibits that include live animals, native to Kansas, for you to see. We host field trips for homeschool families throughout the year. You may also schedule a program on your own year round.
- Federal Reserve Bank Visitors Center – The Money Museum – At the Money Museum, walk-in guests, students, and scheduled groups can learn more about the economy and the Fed through interactive exhibits that explore banking, payments, and how monetary policy decisions impact a family’s bottom line. In addition, all visitors can view inside the cash vault operations. Admission and parking are free, and all ages are welcome. Every guest leaves with a free bag of shredded currency.
- Truman Courthouse in Jackson County, Missouri – Visitors to Independence should stop by the 1827 Log Courthouse. This was the first courthouse in Jackson County, Missouri and in the 1930s, then-Judge Harry S. Truman held court there while the main courthouse was being renovated.
- Frontier Army Museum – A museum of one of the finest exhibits of 19th century horse-drawn vehicles is the Frontier Army Museum. Various displays portray more than a century of the history of the Army in the West.
- Grinter House – Enjoy the Grinter House, an 1857 two-story southern colonial home, which was the site of the first civilian post office in the Kansas Territory.
- The Hallmark Visitors Center – The Hallmark Visitors Center presents a lively overview of the world’s largest greeting card company. This 10,500-square-foot center walks you through 12 exhibits covering the 85-year history of Hallmark Cards, Inc. and the processes used in greeting card production.
- Harry S. Truman Farm Home – The 33rd President was born to a farm family in nearby Grandview, Missouri. The Harry S. Truman Farm Home is where Truman spent part of his childhood and returned to as a young man. Operated by the National Park Service.
- Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum – The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum was established to preserve the papers, books, and other historical materials relating to former President Harry S. Truman and to make them available to the people in a place suitable for exhibit and research. Consistently ranked among the top tourism destinations in the Kansas City region, no visit to America’s heartland is complete without a trip to the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
- The 1855 Harris Kearney House Museum – “We offer tours of the Historic 1855 Mansion that played a role in the development of Westport, MO and the Westward Expansion. We also offer workshops such as beginning knitting, continuous strand weaving, genealogy, Tea & Etiquette, and Victorian Christmas Decorations, as well as special events including a speakers series, our Ice Cream Social and the Westport Lost Arts Fair. A Westward Expansion classroom/field trip experience is a favorite of students! Visit our website or give us a call for more information.”
- Johnson County Museum – Admission to the Johnson County Museum allows entry to all three museum galleries: the signature exhibition “Becoming Johnson County” including the 1950s All-Electric House, the children’s exhibit Kidscape and the changing exhibition gallery. Also, check out the Lanesfield Historic Site in Edgerton, Kansas.
- Kaleidoscope – Kaleidoscope, a free, hands-on art experience for elementary age children, has been offered for years by Hallmark Cards, Inc. During a 55-minute session, children journey through the “Imagination Machine” to a whimsical world where they can explore under the sea, outer space, a country cottage and a big city.
- Kansas City’s City Hall – Kansas City’s art deco-styled City Hall, completed in 1937, has a breathtaking view of the city from its 30th floor.
- KCCG’s Beanstalk Children’s Garden – A unique and fun field trip destination for children of all ages, the Beanstalk Children’s Garden offers children and adults the opportunity to learn about nutrition, plant science, food production and more. As part of the learning process, visitors are encouraged to use their senses to see, touch, smell, and taste growing plants. During tours, children are given vegetables and fruits fresh from the garden for tasting.
- K.C. Pumpkin Patch (fall) – K.C. Pumpkin Patch is Kansas City’s premier all-inclusive, educational pumpkin patch. Come and see the lifecycle of the pumpkin from seed to fruit. It’ll grow before your eyes! Check out our honey bees and see why we need them at the pumpkin patch. If you are real adventurous, tryout your milking skills! Other farm highlights include: Old barnyard petting zoo, John Deere tricycle track, Spook-tacular haunted barn, Zip lines, Mine Shaft Hill Slide, scarecrow maze, Pumpkin Express train, Tractor Drawn Hayrides, Live entertainment and FREE campfire on weekends. MUCH, MUCH More!
- Kansas City Zoo – Come to the Kansas City Zoo for affordable, family fun!
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art – The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design is located next to the Kansas City Art Institute, one of the Midwest’s premiere art schools. The Kemper offers changing exhibits throughout the year in addition to permanent displays such as the Dale Chihuhly chandelier crafted at the Waterford Crystal Company.
- Lanesfield School Historic Site – Visit the Lanesfield School Historic Site, a tribute to rural schooling. It consists of a restored one-room schoolhouse, outbuildings, and a visitor’s center featuring an exhibit on Kansas’ one-room schools called Just Plain Simple: The One-Room School in Kansas. The school is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Legler Barn – The Legler Barn is a historic stone barn built on the Santa Fe Trail in the 1880s. It now houses a pioneer museum, trunk shows, living history and more.
- Linda Hall Library – The largest privately funded library of science, engineering and technology in the United States is in Kansas City.
- Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site – Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site offers students an opportunity to discover history where it happened. Hands-on activities with our animals, wagons, and stagecoach make visiting Mahaffie fun for children and a valuable tool for educators! Mahaffie also offers daily 1860s living history activities depending on the time of year; weekends in April, May, September and October, and Wednesdays- Sundays Memorial Day through Labor Day. Living history activities include stagecoach rides (weather permitting), visiting the historic Mahaffie farmhouse, our new interpretive livestock barn, blacksmith demonstrations, and cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse kitchen. Mahaffie also hosts two homeschool days: Spring Homeschool Day, and Fall Homeschool Day.
- Moon Marble – “We have made wooden toys and game boards for many years, but always had difficulty finding varieties of marbles for our product. We wanted marbles that we had as children like Bumble-Bees, Cub Scouts, Puries, and so on. In 1997 this “need” led us to the opening of the Moon Marble Company store. The store is located near the intersection of K-32 & Hwy 7 in Bonner Springs, KS. We stock machine made marbles in a multitude of colors and designs in sizes from pee-wees to 50mm. In addition, we carry traditional toys & games as well as gift items for all ages.”
- Museum at Prairiefire – “The Museum at Prairiefire is committed to innovative learning in science, the arts and natural history. Through a founding collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as with other cultural and educational institutions in the nation, the Museum at Prairiefire is a place that provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history, the arts and science in our region and around the world. The Museum engages visitors and students of all ages with world-class exhibitions, important programming, and significant educational and STEAM opportunities.”
- Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – The Museum is one of the nation’s top general art museums, featuring art from a variety of periods and cultures and offering a number of special exhibitions and programs. Located on the grounds is the Kansas City Sculpture Park, featuring 13-larger-than-Iife works by Henry Moore.
- Potter’s Haven Art Studio – “Choose a ceramic item from our large selection of bisque. Then, once you have decorated it with glaze we will fire it in our kiln to create that one of a kind piece of art for you. For younger artists we have many smaller items that can be painted with acrylic paint and taken home the same day. We also have an party room available for larger groups to come and enjoy time together. Let us help you celebrate your birthday, baby or wedding shower, or do some team building. A great way to create some unique and special gifts. We also have activities available for Scout Troops, non-profits, and daycares/schools. If you are interested in learning more about pottery we also provide clay building classes.”
- Powell Gardens – “A trip to Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, is the cure for “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Whether visiting on your own or partaking in one of our guided experiences designed for youth, Powell Gardens will inspire while delighting all of your senses. With four major-themed gardens including the 12-acre edible landscape the Heartland Harvest Garden, an indoor conservatory and our new youth garden Fun Foods Farm, there is something for everyone.”
- Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails – Best known as the hometown of Harry Truman and named the “Queen City of the Trails,” Independence, Missouri was the starting point for the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails. Over 80 shops, stores and restaurants line historic Independence Square. Information about the area can be found at the Independence Tourist Information Center located at Main and Truman Roads.
- Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site – The Shawnee Mission, like many other missions, was established as a manual training school attended by boys and girls from Shawnee, Delaware, and other Indian nations from 1839 to 1862. Reverend Thomas Johnson established the Mission which also served as an early territorial capitol, supply point on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, and a camp for Union soldiers during the Civil War.
- Shawnee Town 1929 – A museum and division of the City of Shawnee’s Parks and Recreation Department. The museum will help visitors experience a typical day in and around the 1920s farm community of Shawnee, Kansas, through collections, programs, events and exhibits.
- The 1950s All-Electric House – Whether you’re a child of the 50s or just curious about lifestyles back then, The 1950s All-Electric House at the Johnson County Museum of History offers an eye-opening look at the technology of the times. Futuristic features include: hidden televisions, electric curtain openers, trendy appliances and “moonglow” lighting. The house has been meticulously restored to its original appearance as a show home for Kansas City Power and Light. Step inside this “house of the future” and it’s suddenly 1954 all over again!
- Union Station/Science City – Visitors to the restored Union Station, the nation’s second largest rail station, will discover a world of history and excitement. The 380,000 square foot station features free three-hour parking and a and Hall complete with 90-plus foot tall ceilings and two 3,000 pound chandeliers. In its heyday, the daily train traffic peaked at 217 and all of the soldiers who fought in World War II traveled through the station.
Field Trips Outside Kansas City
- Field Trips to a U-Pick Orchard in Overbrook, KS (thanks to Teresa Scheuerman)
- Kansas Aviation Museum (Wichita, KS)
- Kansas Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS)
- Kansas Learning Center for Health (Halstead, KS) – Health Education programs for all ages of students, preschool to high school, as well as family day events.
- The Exploration Place (Wichita, KS)
- World War II Field Trip Guide – A guide to 450 sites in all 50 states where homeschooling families can learn about World War II. This free illustrated guide helps families find WWII museums, planes, tanks, ships, submarines, POW camps, and more.
How To Plan Field Trips
In a recent “Homeschool Hints” podcast episode, Annette Vaughn, shared her best strategies to plan field trips, including cost-cutting strategies, research, and catering to different ages and grades. She organizes regular outings for a group of 20+ families in the Kansas City area!
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