Most students retire much of their local exploration done during the summer season as classroom time resumes in the fall.
However, as homeschoolers, we can use this time to incorporate some field trips around the metro area while the crowds at such places have diminished after the summer rush.
Here is a list of suggested places to visit after the school year begins for our public and private school counterparts, to take full advantage of our homeschool flexibility!
1. Public parks
Most homeschoolers have probably been taking full advantage of these during the summer months as well, but now is the perfect time to increase visits or at least maintain regular visits to public parks. Playgrounds are quieter, green space is less crowded and parking is easier!
Here are a few favorites around the metro area:
- Antioch Park, Merriam. KS
- Lowenstein Park, Lee’s Summit, MO
- Leawood City Park, Leawood, KS
- Loose Park, Kansas City, MO
- Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, Lenexa, KS
- Penguin Park, Kansas City, MO
2. State parks
With a flexible homeschooling schedule, field trips to places that may be only options during vacation for most people can be great spots to visit.
State parks with hiking trails, lakes, natural attractions and more are all within a day’s drive of our town and are fantastic spots to get some healthy time outdoors and learn about a variety of science and nature topics.
Examples of parks within a day’s drive of Kansas City are:
- Hillsdale State Park, Paola, KS
- Wallace State Park, Cameron, MO
- Clinton State Park, Lawrence, KS
- Watkins Mill State Park, Lawson, MO
- Perry State Park, Ozawkie, KS
- Battle of Lexington State Historical Site, Lexington, MO
3. Child-friendly museums
This includes learning centers about a variety of topics; from art to science to history, our city has fantastic museums related to all these subjects and more.
Lines and crowds are far less likely once the school year begins for public and private schools, making trips to these places a great opportunity for homeschooling families.
Great local museums for children of all ages with homeschool flexibility include:
- Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
- Hallmark/Kaleidoscope, Kansas City, MO
- National World War I Museum & Memorial, Kansas City, MO
- Shoal Creek Living History Museum, Kansas City, MO
- Johnson County Museum, Overland Park, KS
4. Farms and orchards open to the public
With the exception of winter and perhaps early spring, a good selection of local farms and orchards offer tour opportunities, pick your own produce, or even festival/celebration days when they are open to the public.
These locations are wonderful chances to give your children hands-on activities in an environment where learning abounds.
There are many in the area, but just a few examples include:
- Shatto Milk Company, Osborn, MO
- Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, Overland Park, KS
- The Berry Patch, Cleveland, MO
- Louisburg Cider Mill, Louisburg, KS
5. Public libraries
A favorite year-round haunt for homeschoolers, the public libraries can be great places to visit during regular school hours when most students are in a classroom.
One way to freshen up visits to the library is to go to different branches around town instead of simply the one geographically closest to you.
Each location has unique offerings, services, décor and layouts to keep library visits fun and interesting.
While taking advantage of homeschooling’s flexible schedules is a smart move right now as the school year begins, it certainly need not be limited to only this time of year.
Planning ahead around the popular holiday and vacation seasons will help provide homeschooling families with great field trip opportunities year-round.
After all, homeschool flexibility is one of the greatest benefits to schooling our children at home.
We don’t have to wait for school to be “out” to explore outside the classroom freely. Rather, we can be out of our classrooms and still be learning as much as we do inside them.
Want to check out more local events? Check out the Events listed on our Facebook page!
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