North Carolina Field Trips for Homeschoolers
It doesn’t have to be a rainy day. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a cloudy day. As a homeschool family, you can pick any day at all to move your learning beyond the confines of your home and head out on an educational adventure. Ask any homeschool parent or student, and they will tell you that one of the absolute best parts of homeschooling is educational travel. Not only can homeschool field trips put some spice into your homeschool routine, but they create the kind of learning that will often stick with your student far longer than something they read in a textbook or even watch on a video.
There are tons of things to do with children in NC. The Tarheel State is packed with cultural venues, historical landmarks, and natural wonders to explore. To help you find the best field trip ideas in North Carolina, we’ve organized them by geographic region. You can even plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable North Carolina map from Time4Learning. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve even included a free download of Time4Learning lesson tie-ins that might be the perfect supplement for each trip (grab yours at the end of this article)!
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you have the information you need to start homeschooling in The Tarheel State.
Homeschool Field Trips in the NC Mountains
Biltmore Estate, Asheville – If you thought you had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to visit a castle, think again. The luxurious, 250-room home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is America’s largest, and this educational trip will take you right back to the turn of the 20th century. Don’t miss the extensive gardens and farm once you’ve toured the house.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, Flat Rock – Where can you learn about one of the great American poets, visit with goats, and get a Junior Ranger badge? These activities are waiting for you at Connemara, home of the Sandburg family from the 1940s through the 1960s.
Grandfather Mountain, Linville – Of course you could leisurely explore this nature preserve and state park without any agenda, and you would still learn plenty, but by integrating some of the naturalist programs, interpretive ranger programs, habitat programs, and Junior Ranger programs, you’ll come away with even more knowledge.
Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee – Step back into authentic Native American history where you can explore Cherokee dwellings, watch cultural dances, and see Native American craftspeople sharing the skills that have been passed down to them from generation to generation.
Linville Caverns, Marion – Explore inside a mountain in these limestone caverns. During your tour you will learn about the history of the caverns, the wildlife that reside there, and the formations inside. Plenty of opportunities to tie into learning science on this trip!
Homeschool Field Trips in the NC Piedmont
Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill – Located on the campus of the University of NC, this museum includes works from around the world that span over 5,000 years of human history. Guided tours are available, and the website offers both pre-visit and post-visit educational materials.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont – Children will fall in love with gardening at this 380-acre property. There are regular homeschool days with educational programming offered, as well as Family Fun Workshops. There is a dedicated children’s garden on the site, too.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro – When planning out day trips in NC, this visit to a Revolutionary battlefield site should be high on your list. Be sure to start your tour at the Visitor’s Center to learn the full history of the park, then either drive or bike the tour road and don’t forget to get your Junior Ranger activity book.
Kaleidium, Winston Salem – When you need unique field trips ideas in NC, look no further than this merger of a children’s museum and a science museum. Kaleideum North includes a large science exhibit space, an environmental park, and a planetarium. Kaleideum Downtown is an experiential learning space with a literature-based theme.
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium – There are 10 interactive zones to explore at this aquarium, including a touchpool, a seahorse exhibit, and a jellyfish area. Students will become mini marine biologists as they learn facts about the ocean and its inhabitants and will gain a stronger appreciation for conservation along the way.
- High Point Public Library, High Point – There are story times and programs for all ages. Some of their programs include culinary kids, hands on science club, lego club (grades K-5), paws for reading, yoga for kids and young artists. Your homeschooler is sure to have enjoy discovering everything this public library has to offer!
Are you a Charlotte homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Charlotte.
Homeschool Field Trips in the NC Coastal Region
Aurora Fossil Museum, Aurora – There aren’t too many day trips in NC that will excite students more than an opportunity to get up close and personal with fossils. Build your child’s understanding of the geology, paleontology, and prehistory of coastal NC at this educational destination.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head – This is the location of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which are open in the summer months for exploration. Nature and history study opportunities abound here. For example, did you know that during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, a Union ship, the U.S.S. Monitor sunk in a storm just off the shore from here?
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, Carova – At the top of the Outer Banks of NC lies a beautiful expanse of beach where wild Spanish mustangs roam free. Possible educational tie-ins could include dune structure and vegetation, coastal barrier island geology, nesting habitats, and maritime forests.
North Carolina Estuarium, Washington – This environmental center includes over 200 exhibits dedicated to the estuaries and coastal rivers of NC. Here, you’ll encounter aquariums, artifacts from the Pamlico River, and can learn about the effects of hurricanes and sea level rise.
Poplar Grove Plantation, Wilmington – Within the Gullah Geechee corridor is one of the oldest peanut plantations in North Carolina. Take the manor tour, view the demonstrations and exhibits, and learn about the history of the family who ran the plantation as well as the slaves who made it prosperous.
NC Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.
Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experiences at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.
The Mendenhall Homeplace in Jamestown NC is a wonderful view into what early Quaker settlers in NC encountered in the early 1800s. These early pioneers helped found Guilford College, were instrumental in the Underground Railroad etc. Great place for students to visit.
Thanks for making sure our readers know about that one, AnnieLaura! 🙂
Carolina Ocean Studies does field trips to barrier islands in two locations: Carolina Beach (near Wilmington) and Shackleford Banks (lower part of OBX)
Thank you for making sure our readers know about those, Catherine! 🙂
The NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte NC, has multiple home school dates available throughout the year. These days provide hands on activities rooted in curriculum standards but focused around STEM in the real world. I would be happy to share additional information by email until the corresponding website page goes live.
Thanks so much for making sure our readers know about that one, Bryan! 🙂
The Tobacco Museum in Kenly, NC
Thanks for this one too, Tammie! 🙂
Country Doctor Museum in Bailey, NC. One of two in the United States!
Thanks for making sure our readers know about that one, Tammie!
We have a Homestead Museum,12buildings full of artifacts, on 4acres of Beautiful farmland. Come enjoy our History Alive!
New to the the area of Winston Salem and surrounding counties- Backyard Tortoise- a Reptile Educational Adventure! Children will have a hands on experience with turtles and reptiles from all over the world. Please visit our Facebook page- Backyard Tortoise to check out who we are and to see the work we do with these fascinating animals. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have via instant message or email ([email protected]). We also appreciate advice anyone may have on how we can be more involved with educational programs in the area. We would love to be a part of North Carolina’s Home Schooling Curriculum.
Thanks for making sure our readers know about this one, Susan! 🙂 As far as educational programs in the area, I would reach out to local homeschool groups regarding homeschool days/field trips, etc. Thanks again!
Thank you for the info!
Our pleasure, Susan! 🙂
Old Salem, Winston-Salem, NC!
Thanks for that suggestion, Jada! 🙂
Milton NC has The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern. Thomas Day was a Free Black, prolific cabinetmaker. For a time his shop was the largest furniture operation in NC, pre-Civil War. Across the street is the Old Milton State Bank, which houses the story of the town of Milton, once a prosperous tobacco and flour inspection center. Still has the original bank vault door, now a bathroom, featured on the Tar Heel Traveler last summer. [email protected] can get you more info.
Thanks for sharing that one, Angela! 🙂
Tarkil Branch Farms Homestead Museum 12 buildings full of artifacts from years past
Thanks for recommending this one to our readers, Benny! 🙂
Durham Science Museum is super fun, Airborne museum in Fayetteville starts some great conversations, NC Zoo, NC aquariums. There’s some great suggestions on your Facebook post regarding this.
Thanks for your additional suggestions, Andy! We’ll look into adding other those other field trip ideas. 🙂
Don’t forget the Educational State Forests where Rangers of the NC Forest Service love to work with homeschoolers. There are 7 scattered across the state from the mountains to the coast. Teaching children about our natural resources is their job!
Definitely something for our readers to remember, Michael! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! 🙂