One of the chief perks of homeschooling is the ability to truly experience learning, up close and personal. The flexibility of home education means being able to pick up and explore the world around you any time you wish. The field trip method of teaching is not just fun, it’s one that tends to help children retain information about what they are studying for longer and with more depth.
Even if you are a long-time resident of Florida, you may not be aware of all the fun, educational field trip opportunities in the state. And, for the many families visiting the Sunshine State for vacation, you’ll be delightfully surprised to discover how easy it is to blend in learning with your travels! To help you locate the educational things to do in Florida with children, we’ve organized them by geographical area. Browse the list below to find the Florida day trips that are perfect for homeschool families. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve even included a free download of Time4Learning lesson plans that might be the perfect supplement for each trip!
Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Panhandle
Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site — The 19th century will come to life for your homeschoolers at this historical site that includes the Museum of Commerce, the Museum of Industry, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and a Colonial Archaeological Trail.
Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Port St. Joe — Travel back into a time in Florida’s history where statehood was just a dream in motion. Take the self-guided tour through exhibits that include a replica of the convention hall where the state constitution was ratified. This one is a must in your homeschool field trip plans.
Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach — This location lets children get hands-on with science in subjects such as robotics, electricity, natural gas, chemistry, and the ecosystem of the Emerald Coast.
Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna — Visit the only Florida state park that offers cave tours to the public. You’ll learn about stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and flowstone on your guided tour. Not all the educational places to visit in Florida are right for everyone, so make sure to read carefully about the tour’s somewhat strenuous and claustrophobic nature before deciding if it is a good fit for your family members.
Gulf Breeze Zoo, Gulf Breeze — Not every zoo offers you the opportunity to feed a giraffe, so don’t miss your chance at this destination. You’ll have plenty of hands-on encounters with wildlife here and have multiple opportunities to meet the keepers and ask them questions.
Homeschool Field Trips in North Florida
Butterfly Rainforest, Florida Museum, Gainesville — Although you’ll have the opportunity to view hundreds of different species of butterflies here, this exhibit also includes plenty of birds, turtles, fish, and other animals to see as well. Just one of the many interactive features of the Florida Museum.
The Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona Beach — STEM principles come to life when students get a chance to learn the physics behind the thrilling sport of motor racing. This behind-the-scenes view of the world’s only motorsports stadium will have homeschoolers ready for the races.
Are you a Jacksonville homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Jacksonville.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry — There is no better way to explore the history of farming than with this display which will take you through three distinct generations of farming in the Dudley family. See the traditions of a farm come to life as park staff perform daily chores, tend to livestock, and raise crops.
The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the U.S.A., St Augustine — Your homeschoolers might be surprised how comfortable they feel visiting and learning about a 200-year-old school where the schoolmaster lived on the floor right above where the students were taught!
Whetstone Chocolates Factory Tour, St. Augustine — This might be the tastiest Florida field trip of them all — children get a chance to tour an active chocolate factory plus a chance to test chocolates and confections as you tour. Learn about the history of chocolate making, too. This would be the perfect tie-in to any Willy Wonka themed study!
Homeschool Field Trips in Central Florida
Central Florida Railroad Museum, Winter Garden — Have you ever wanted to see an authentic telegraph machine or a handcar? This is the place to do it! Take a tour of a museum that chronicles the history of the two main railroads that ran through Winter Garden.
Dinosaur World, Plant City — One of the most fun, educational field trips in Florida will transport your dinosaur-loving students right back to prehistoric times. Wander among hundreds of different life-sized dinosaur replicas while learning facts about each one and how they lived.
Florida Air Museum, Lakeland — The history of the first 100 years of flight is on display at this extensive facility. Allow your family at least a couple hours to take in the Howard Hughes Aviation Collection, the Rockets and High Speed Flight Exhibit, the Amelia Earhart artifacts, and so much more.
Manatee Observation and Education Center, Fort Pierce — Manatees, or sea cows, are vulnerable to extinction, but at this environmental education and wildlife viewing center there’s a high likelihood that you will get to see one. Get a thorough understanding of the fragile ecosystems of the Treasure Coast and their inhabitants.
Skeletons Museum of Osteology — Do you have a homeschooler who is fascinated by the inner framework of the animal kingdom? This one-of-a-kind museum hosts 500 real animal skeletons in a setting of true-to-life dioramas. What a great supplement for any animal study!
Homeschool Field Trips in South Florida
Everglades National Park, near Miami — Homeschoolers can hike, canoe, and even camp their way through the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The ecosystem of the Everglades provides the perfect setting to study everything from animal habitats to plant diversity.
Perez Art Museum, Miami — This extensive art display offers both ongoing and visiting exhibits. The architecture of the building, alone, is worth a visit, but students will also be amazed by the hanging gardens and the many genres of art available for viewing from landscapes to portraits to Renaissance art.
Are you a Miami homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Miami.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers — The era of invention is on full display in this historical site where Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison had homes they retreated to in the winter months. There are even dedicated learning events just for homeschoolers!
Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach — If you’ve ever wanted to experience a Japanese tea ceremony, this is your chance. The gardens are exquisite, but your homeschoolers will also get to experience a typical Japanese train, shop, and living quarters inside the museum.
The Mound House, Fort Myers Beach — Explore 2,000 years of island life via tours and exhibits at this ancient Calusa Indian mound. Your budding historians will thrill to visit an active archaeological dig site which includes a large cutaway of a shell mound.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Keys
Crane Point Hammock, Marathon Key — If your family are nature trail lovers, then this destination is for you. You’ll very likely stumble upon wildlife as you wander through the hardwood hammocks and find trees that grow nowhere else in U.S. Also learn about the lives of the Cranes, who worked so hard to conserve this local ecosystem.
Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key — You’ll find yourself inspired to kick off a dolphin unit study after a visit to this rescue and research facility. Get interactive with these creatures by swimming alongside them in the water or just shaking their fins.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West — One of America’s most famous authors lived and wrote at this location for over 10 years. You’ll appreciate the helpful insights from the educated tour guides and will enjoy the dozens of cats who make their home here, too.
Florida Field Trip 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 for each one.