Ohio Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Nothing breaks up the homeschool week like a field trip! In fact, some homeschool families purposely schedule four-day homeschool weeks so that they can use that additional day for extracurricular activities, homeschool cooperatives, or day trips to visit educational sites.
To help you locate fun things to do in Ohio, we’ve organized some field trip ideas by geographical area. Plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable map of Ohio. 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 [at end of article]! Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Buckeye State.
Field Trips in Northwest Ohio
- Airstream Factory Tour, Jackson Center – Factory tours are often a student favorite. On this 1 ½-2 hour tour held every weekday at 2pm, your homeschooler will get an inside look at the production of travel trailers and touring coaches. This could make a wonderful tie-in to lessons on transportation, simple machines, or even the industrial revolution.
- Back to the Wild, Castalia – Most homeschoolers are completely fascinated by the rehabilitation of wild animals, so this is one of those field trips in Ohio that everyone in the family can get excited about. Every year, Back to the Wild rescues over 2,000 animals in the state. In addition to the regularly scheduled programs the center offers, you can schedule a private tour by appointment or set up a group tour for a larger homeschool group.
- Bicycle Museum of America, New Bremen – There are so many unique places to visit in Ohio, including this museum showcasing more than 300 bikes from throughout the history of cycling. This would make a wonderful tie-in location for homeschool studies on transportation, the science of motion, or even inventors and inventions.
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont – The very first presidential library ever built in the U.S. was for the 19th president, Rutherford B. Hayes. At the center you can explore the library as well as a museum and Speigel Grove, the estate which was home to several generations of the Hayes Family.
- Seneca Caverns, Bellvue – Will you be studying geology in your science curriculum this year? Since Ohio has over 500 caves and caverns, you’ll never run short of homeschool field trips to backup your studies. Seneca is one of the area’s largest underground caverns, and even includes a flowing water source. Gem mining is available at the site, as well.
Field Trips in Northeast Ohio
- Amish Country Ohio, Millersburg – This is one of the family activities in Ohio that you might want to dedicate more than one day for. Be sure to include stops at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, Shrock’s Heritage Village, and the German Culture Museum so that your homeschoolers can truly get a feel for the traditions and culture of of these groups.
- Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown – Founded in 1919, this museum was the first ever dedicated wholly to American Art. Every month, Butler offers free family programs where docents give educational tours of the current exhibits and lead in creative art exercises. Art classes for students are offered through the museum, too.
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland – There are over four million specimens housed in this amazing museum, which highlights artifacts from the fields of paleontology, zoology, archaeology, mineralogy, ornithology and many others. The museum offers hands-on adventures for families and students throughout the year.
- National First Ladies’ Library, Canton – This field trip opportunity is made up of two separate buildings: a museum and the home of first lady Ida Saxton McKinley. Costumed docents provide tours of the home. The Education section of the library website includes lesson plans that could be used before or after your visit.
- William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, Canton – With seven of our country’s presidents born in the Buckeye State, presidential sites are high on the list of Ohio field trips. Canton is where the 25th president, William McKinley lived during his career as lawyer and politician, so it’s natural that his presidential library and museum would be found here, too.
Field Trips in Southwest Ohio
- Center of Science & Industry (COSI), Columbus – Homeschool families love day trips in Ohio that include plenty of hands-on science fun. This facility features more than 300 exhibits including a dinosaur gallery, a space dedicated to big machines, and an area focused on energy. Youth ages 12 and up can learn even more by becoming a volunteer at the museum.
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus – Doing a study of biomes in your homeschool? This facility highlights the plant life from biomes such as a tropical rainforest, a desert, and a high mountain region. The conservatory is surrounded by 90 acres of botanical gardens to explore. Ever-changing, educational, traveling exhibits mean that you can learn new things each time you visit.
- Gorman Heritage Farm, Evendale – Learn the ins and outs of how a real family farm operates. Guided tours explain the history of the farm and get you up close and personal with the animals who live here. Printable scavenger hunts add even more educational value to your visit. Summer camp sessions at the farm focus on topics from veterinary medicine to gardening.
- National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton – The airplane lover in your homeschool will be thrilled by an educational field trip to see one of the largest collections of missiles and aircraft in the world. The visit would be a good tie in to both World War II and nuclear energy, as the actual bomber that dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki is on display here.
- Tecumseh Outdoor Drama, Chillicothe – Although the outdoor drama about the legendary Shawnee leader is reason enough to visit this site, your homeschoolers will also be able to take a behind-the-scenes tour of how the drama is created and stroll through a small Native American museum.
Field Trips in Southeast Ohio
- Blue Rock Station, Philo – Have you ever seen a house built entirely of discarded trash? If not, a tour of Blue Rock Station will open your eyes to creative ways to work toward a more sustainable future. Discover a greenhouse made entirely of plastic bottles, a shower heated only by the sun, a wind turbine tower, and many other environmentally conscious efforts going on at this experimental center.
- Buckeye Furnace, Wellston – Homeschoolers will be fascinated to learn how iron objects were created in the 1800s by visiting a reconstructed charcoal-fired blast furnace. Iron deposits in places around Ohio led to the construction of these furnaces during the 19th century. In addition to the reconstructed furnace buildings, there is also a museum on the site and multiple hiking trails to explore.
- Campus Martius Museum, Marietta – Marietta was the first organized settlement of the Northwest Territory. Campus Martius was the name of the original fortification on the site, during the time of the Ohio Indian Wars. This museum highlights how the US expanded beyond the original 13 colonies and how the Continental Congress created the Northwest Territory.
- Hocking Hills State Park, Logan – When you want to see spectacular rock formations in the Buckeye State, you head to Hocking Hills. Here, you will encounter several examples of recess caves such as Ash Cave and Whispering Cave which will enhance your geology studies. Multiple waterfalls can be discovered in the park, as well.
- The Marietta Castle, Marietta – A single educational trip to this home could open up opportunities of study in Ohio and American history, 19th century architecture, furniture and design, and the lives and culture of 19th century Americans. Keep an eye out for specific “Day at the Castle” events for students which include hands-on crafts and games from the era, as well as demonstrations of how food was prepared.
OH 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.