Kansas Field Trips for Homeschoolers
For thousands of years, the place we know as the state of Kansas was occupied by multiple different Native American tribes. In fact, the state’s name is taken from one of those—the Kaw (also called Kansa or Kanza) Nation. Homeschool families living in or visiting the Sunflower State have a host of possibilities to learn more about the state’s history. For families interested in taking some Kansas day trips, you will find it easy to tie your history curriculum to numerous places where both indigenous peoples and European immigrants have lived out their American story.
But history isn’t the only subject you can learn about by taking field trips in Kansas. This midwestern state is also full of natural and cultural destinations. The next time you are wondering, “What is there to do in Kansas?” simply pull up this post of educational ideas for each of the regions of the state.
In fact, you can plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable map of Kansas 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, you’ll find a list of Time4Learning lesson tie-ins at the end of this post that can help supplement your homeschool field trips in Kansas.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Sunflower State.
Field Trips in Eastern Kansas & Greater Kansas City
- Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, Lawrence – The almost 9 million specimens and 1.2 million archeological artifacts at the Institute are used for a wide range of undergraduate and graduate research studies, but homeschoolers who visit this four-story collection will also greatly enhance their science curriculum. Special homeschool programs are available to K-12 students as well.
- Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, Overland Park – From learning about growing flowers and vegetables to better understanding Native American history, children who visit the Farmstead will leave knowing more than when they arrived. If you are looking for things to do in Kansas with kids, definitely add this fun and educational destination to your list.
- Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center, Shawnee Mission – Just outside the hustle and bustle of the Kansas City streets is this natural oasis offering three miles of hiking trails that cross multiple types of habitats, including a stream to explore. The Nature Center uses live animal displays and interactive exhibits to teach visitors more about the park’s plants, animals, and history.
- Kaleidoscope, Kansas City – You probably normally associate Hallmark™ with schmaltzy cards and movies, but did you know that at the Hallmark Visitors Center in Kansas City, they also offer a free creative arts venue for kids? Visitors in grades K-6 can access the wide variety of art materials during 50 minute sessions throughout the day.
- Kansas Museum of History, Topeka – One of the best field trip ideas for families doing a Kansas unit study is to visit the state history museum. During their tour, students will get the full scope of the story of the Sunflower state, from its days as home to indigenous tribes to recent times. Educational lesson plans are also available on the website.
- Schermerhorn Park and Nature Center, Galena – Did you know that a small part of the Ozarks actually extends into Kansas? That means that you have a prime opportunity to enhance your geography studies with a visit to this site where you can explore limestone bluffs as well as a 2,500 foot long cave. A nature center is on location, as well.
For additional Kansas field trips ideas, visit A2ZHomeschool’s Kansas Field Trips page. Do you have any additional Kansas field trips we didn’t mention here? Add them in the comments or share them on our Kansas Homeschool Support forum!
Homeschool Field Trips in the Flint Hills Region
- Flint Hills Discovery Center, Manhattan – This culture and science museum is an incredible resource for those in the Flint Hills Region. Visitors can explore over 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and traveling exhibitions. A children’s play area introduces younger students to the plants and animals of the tallgrass prairie.
- Museums of Hillsboro – The city of Hillsboro is home to four historic sites that would make for a terrific educational trip. The first of these is the Pioneer Adobe House, a Mennonite home built in 1876 from adobe bricks. Other historic sites include the Friesen Dutch Windmill, the Kreutziger School House, and the Schaeffler House.
- Red Rocks State Historic Site, Emporia – The former home of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist William Allen White is open to visitors from April through October each year. Many famous dignitaries and presidents including Theodore Roosevelt stayed with the author at his home, and artifacts and pictures are on display. Visitors can also view the printing press that White used as editor of the Sage of Emporia.
- Sunset Zoo, Manhattan – The animal lover in your homeschool will welcome a day trip to this destination with exhibits of over 200 animals. But in addition to animal studies, students can also learn about native Kansas plants in the multiple gardens located within the zoo environs. Discounted admission prices are available to groups of 20 or more, so this would be a great trip to coordinate with your local homeschool support group.
Homeschool Field Trips in Central Kansas
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Home, Abilene – The 34th president of the U.S., Dwight Eisenhower, grew up in the town of Abilene, KS. If you are looking for field trip ideas in Kansas that easily tie into your history curriculum, look no further than this museum that allows homeschoolers to find out more about Eisenhower’s youth, military career, and time as president.
- Hutchinson Zoo, Hutchinson – Education is definitely the focus of this small zoo on the prairie. For families looking for free field trip ideas, you should note that this destination has no admission charge! Train enthusiasts will love the opportunity to ride the Prairie Thunder railroad, and if you live nearby you may want to take advantage of nature camp opportunities.
- Pawnee Indian Museum, Republic – The remains of a Pawnee village were uncovered during an archaeological excavation, and are now open to visitors. Students can view the floor of a large Pawnee earth lodge as well as items made from bison bones, European metal trade items, and a star chart painted on buckskin.
- Peterson Farm Brothers, Assaria – This family-owned farm offers a unique field trip opportunity. Families of up to 8 people can actually stay overnight on the farm and visit the three farmsteads, view the crops and animals, and even take part in farm activities. This would be an ideal tie-in to a unit study on farming or agriculture.
Homeschool Field Trips in Western Kansas
- Big Well Museum, Greensburg – Do your science lesson plans include an upcoming chapter on water? If so, you might want to schedule a field trip to the world’s largest hand-dug well. This marvel of engineering was completed in 1888 and visitors can descend the giant spiral staircase to view it for themselves.
- Monument Rock and Castle Rock, Gove County – These ancient chalk beds have eroded into highly intricate spire-like designs over thousands of years. As the rock formations continue to erode, fossils can often be made out on the surface. The nearby Keystone Gallery has information about the formations that students will find interesting.
- Nicodemus National Historic Site, Nicodemus – For homeschoolers interested in field trips connected to Black History Month, this destination highlights the involvement of African Americans in the western expansion of our country. The five historic buildings on the site represent the oldest and only black settlement west of the Mississippi River.
- Sandsage Bison Range and Wildlife Area, Garden City – More than 100 bison roam this protected area, but many other wild creatures such as prairie dogs, mule deer, and migrating waterfowl inhabit the area as well. Tours to view the bison up close must be reserved in advance. The 47-acre Lee Richardson Zoo is only a mile from this site, and would make a great addition to your day trip.
Kansas Field Trips Resource
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 lesson tie-ins.