FFTC’s Top Field Trips in the Twin Cities

As both a homeschool mom and a public school mom, I adore field trips. I get to learn along with my kids and their friends. I’ve collected my top 10 homeschool field trips that I’ve experienced with my kids.

Whether field trips are associated with something being studied or just a way to switch up the monotony of the school weeks, the Twin Cities is full of options for out-of-the-classroom/out-of-the-home learning.

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    Field Trips to the Theatre

    Autumn Ness in Matilda at Children's Theatre Co.
    Autumn Ness steals the show in her roll as Mrs. Wormwood. Production Photos by Dan Norman.

    Children’s Theatre Company

    South Minneapolis | Tuesday-Friday mornings, 10:30 am | Currently playing shows | $5-$10/student

    Children’s Theatre Company has never disappointed me.  Not all the stories are ones I would necessarily choose, but I’ve always walked away grateful and amazed that I had the privilege to see the show. What makes Children’s Theatre so incredible is that every single show is taken seriously: Prime Time Shows and Student Matinees. 

    Usually after the student matinees, some of the actors come out and chit chat with the audience and answer any questions.  And again, they take every single question seriously.  Every single one. 

    CTC offers a study guide that you can find and print before the show. Therefore, you work through it before and after your visit with your students.

    Classroom Field Trips: Classroom Teachers need to submit the online Ticket Request Form that is at the top of each Show’s field trip page.  Six weeks before the show CTC needs a confirmation of the number of students and adults attending.  Four weeks before the show, pay for the tickets. When you arrive, you will be greeted in  the ticket office lobby to give your final headcount and be welcomed to the show.

    HomeSchool Field Trips:  You must be enrolled in the Homeschool Family Program.  The Homeschool Program tickets do not require a ticket minimum, but you MUST be enrolled in the Homeschool Family Program.  Students who are homeschooling or enrolled in virtual education are included in this program.  Apply Here

    Nature-Based Field Trips

    two females Bird Banding at Lowry Nature Center Bird Banding at Lowry Nature Center[/caption]

    Lowry Nature Center

    Victoria in Southwest Metro | Mondays-Fridays | 2 hour programs, chosen by you from a variety of topics including history, ecology, nature play | 

    I have been doing field trips with my kids for 10 years now, and this was by far my favorite field trip to date. The naturalists who taught the programs were fascinating and catered to the ages of kids in our group.  Most importantly, the cost is determined by the size of the group, it’s one of the least expensive school trips we took (not counting the free ones). 

    The program was slow in a good way. We weren’t hurried from activity to activity. We discovered pieces of history, explored the nature preserve and played in the play area –even the big kids.

    STEM Field Trips

    Summer Camp


    South Minneapolis | Schedule workshops M-F | Workshops centered around robotics, coding, technology, science and other STEM-themed activities | Price varies depending on the workshop chosen

    Snapology designs its classes to teach STEM-based concepts through toys.  And let’s be honest, the toys used most often are LEGO.   This is a GREAT way to teach our kids technology.  And maybe some of the chaperones. 

    Again I need to admit that I did not go on the field trip with our homeschool co-op, but I did organize it. My kids have been here frequently on various occasions and are big fans of  this studio.

    Setting up this field trip was one of the easiest I have ever set up.  You fill out the form at the bottom of the link and they will contact you and answer all your questions.  

    girl climbing at Minneapolis Bouldering ProjectActive Field Trips

    Minneapolis Bouldering Project

    North Minneapolis | Schedule climbs from 8 am-4 pm, M-F | Bouldering is rock climbing without ropes | Group rates vary starting at $10/student 

    My family members are 100% major fans of MBP. All the kids love it.  It’s interactive and the act of climbing encourages kids to learn problem-solving skills in a super fun way.  And it’s even good for a parent/teacher to learn how to instruct from a distance when someone asks for help (instead of getting all up in their business which is what I’m prone to do). 

    MBP takes safety precautions extremely seriously.  There is a three foot mat on the floor throughout the entire building and around the climbing structure. Before you are allowed to touch the climbing walls, staff teach you how to fall safely.  Therefore collecting safety waiver forms and getting chaperone ratios correct can be a little tricky on this one, but it’s completely worth it. 

    Your students will be gushing about this for years to come.

    Minnesota State Capitol at dusk
    Minnesota State Capitol – Image Used With Permission from Minnesota Historical Society

    History Field Trips

    Minnesota State Capitol

    St. Paul | Schedule tours M-F | Various Tours | $0-$8/student, minimum of 10 students

    Confession Time (Again): While I have never brought a group of students to the Minnesota State Capitol, I have taken a tour myself when I was a student. I have heard other families endorse the state capitol tours. Personally, I loved the tour 30 years ago.  And now the Minnesota Historical Society has developed options to cater to what you are most interested in.

    Most importantly, visitors interact with history, architecture, and governmental operations. Tours include options for preschoolers through high school seniors and are various lengths as well. 

    Possible tours include: “General Capitol Tour” | “Taking Issue, Making a Stand” | “Art Treasures in the Capitol” | “Rally Round the Flag Civil War Tour”

    Free Field Trips

    Image Courtesy Minnesota Opera – Project Opera

    Minnesota Opera

    Warehouse District, Minneapolis | Schedule Tours M-F | Behind the Scenes Tour | FREE

    Even though it was one of the coldest days of January 2018, we had a field trip. And by golly, we were going to get there.  Because Minnesota Opera performs on the Ordway stage, it needs a permanent space for rehearsing, production development, and office work is located in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District. Besides being a fun stroll to take on its own, the Warehouse District is even more fun when you can pop in and explore the interior of one of the buildings.

    Our tour guide took us to the top floor all the way to the basement showing us props and backdrop designing, costume creation, and marketing. And at the end of the tour, we were given a souvenir to remember our experience.  It was really fun and fascinating. The field trip opened the students’ eyes to the fact that opera is alive and well and interesting. 

    Serving Field Trips

    Feed My Starving Children

    Warehouses in Coon Rapids, Eagan , Chanhassen | 3 Shifts during School Hours, M-F | Hand-pack meal packets for the malnourished around the world |  FREE

    We return to Feed My Starving Children  every year.  Everyone who comes (beginning at age 5) is invited to pack nutritional packs that are distributed through partner organizations in areas of need. 

    Many public schools/organizations come to pack food knowing that FMSC will not preach at their students even though this is an unapologetically Christian-based service project.  FMSC welcomes all hands of any/no faith.  Every volunteer is needed and important. Keep in mind that FMSC strictly follows the adult-to-child ratios and health guidelines.
    Learn More Here.

    Art Field Trips

    Rum River Art Center
    Rum River Art Center

    Rumriver Art Center

    Anoka | M-F, by appointment | Art project workshops | $10-$20/student depending upon the project

    We were eagerly welcomed with smiles when we arrived at Rumriver Art Center.  We had scheduled a mixed media project and went right to work. For 90 minutes we were led through an involved project that was easily completed (or almost completed) by the beginners and challenging enough for the seasoned artists to enjoy (it was maybe a bit simple, but still super fun for them).  The teachers are enthusiastic about teaching and about the creative process. 

    Field Trip Tours

    kids playing giant chess at Union Depot
    Image courtesy Union Depot

    Union Depot

    St. Paul | Schedule during the weekday | Tour | Group of 25 is $90 (breaks down to $3.60/person)

    Truth be told, I haven’t taken a field trip to Union Depot, but I did bring a large group of families to the Union Depot. We learned about the history of the railroads in Minnesota and about the way Union Depot is used today.  The facility is large and beautiful with stories throughout the entire building.  There are hidden gems to look for and delightful stories to hear.  I love the Union Depot.  History at work in St. Paul.

    Animal Field Trips

    The new baby female, born Monday August 24th, is the 6th calf born to Clover and the 19th giraffe birth at Como Zoo in the last 22 years. The yet-to-be named female weighs 135 pounds and stands 5’ 8” tall. Como’s current herd currently consists of Clover, Daisy, Skeeter (father), Sky, and the new female.
    Image courtesy Como Zoo

    Como Zoo

    St. Paul | Monday-Friday | Zoo Exploration and/or Zoo Education Class | $0-$4/person suggested donation

    We had a great time exploring, learning, eating our lunches, and exploring a bit more before we had to get on the bus.  To schedule with a trip to the zoo, fill out the interest form and they will contact you.

    These field trips offer a variety of educational experiences.  There are dozens upon dozens of field trip opportunities in the Twin Cities.  Be creative.  Reach out to different businesses to see if they give tours or if they are able to bring in programming for your classroom.  Never be afraid to ask.  The most obscure idea may be the best field  trip ever.



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