Homeschool Field Trips in New York
Although the reasons that families choose to homeschool are many and varied, one “perk” of homeschooling that almost every family agrees on is its flexibility. When you need to push schooling to the afternoon because of morning appointments, that’s no problem. When your math curriculum isn’t working for you, you simply try another one. And when your routine has fallen into a rut, you can jump in the car and head out on a learning adventure!
Fortunately, there are an abundance of places to visit in New York with children. To help you find the best field trip ideas in New York, we’ve organized them by geographic region. Browse the list below and get your homeschoolers involved in choosing which ones you’ll visit first. You can plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable New York map from Time4Learning. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve even included a free download of Time4Learning lesson plans 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’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in The Empire State.
Homeschool Field Trips in Western New York
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Amherst – Step back in time to explore life in 19th century New York. Explore 11 historic buildings, including 6 houses, 2 schoolhouses, a barber shop, a church, and a reproduction blacksmith shop. This is one of those fun day trips in NY that every member of the family will find enjoyable.
Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda – Every physical science course has a unit on “simple machines,” and here is the perfect opportunity to see those machines in action. This unique museum is home to a large carving shop where up to 80 workers used to assemble wooden carousels. The museum hosts regular educational workshops for students, too.
Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rochester – If rain is in your forecast, then this destination should be on your weather radar. With a science museum, planetarium, and nature center all in one location, you’ll want to plan to spend a full day exploring all the RMSC has to offer.
Springdale Farm, Spencerport – How many families can say they’ve toured a robotic milking center? Yours will, if you head to this 200-acre public demonstration farm. Much of the work of the farm is done by adults with developmental disabilities thanks to a unique partnership with Heritage Christian Services. This is agricultural education at its best.
Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester – It doesn’t have to be Women’s History Month to focus your homeschool attention on one of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Visit the home of Susan B. Anthony, which is also where she was arrested for voting in 1872. This field trip will probably appeal most to students in upper elementary and above.
Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo – No matter the season, you are likely to find wildlife for viewing on this 264-acre nature refuge. Animals from the entire region take advantage of its ponds, marshes, and woodlands. Activities for families include a Nature Maker series, guided full moon tours, and the yearly Insectival event.
Homeschool Field Trips in Central New York
Animal Adventure Park, Harpursville – Were you one of those homeschooling families that was transfixed by awaiting April the giraffe’s pregnancy and birth online? Even if you weren’t, you’ll be transfixed by her and the other giraffes in person at this destination. This is one of those New York day trips that will definitely please the animal lovers in your family.
Bundy Museum of History and Art, Binghamton – Three separate buildings comprise the Bundy Museum campus: the Bundy House, the Carriage House, and a gallery space called “32 Cedar.” Things to discover here include a vintage barber shop, exhibits from the Victorian era, and an African gallery.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca – The perfect complement to any bird study would be a trip to the headquarters of the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity. Here you’ll find an observatory with chairs, telescopes, and bird feeders; interactive exhibits that bring birds to life in sound and video; identification aids and binoculars you can borrow; and a chance to learn much more about birds than you knew before.
Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse – This free-admission gem is a wonderful way to kick off a more extensive tour of the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor. Here, you can hop aboard a full-size replica of a canal boat, explore the historic 1850 Weighlock Building, and discover what life would have been like in a canal town in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Utica Children’s Museum, Utica – Imagine a place where you can play dodgeball on a lighted LED dance floor, explore what it would be like to be a grocery store clerk, climb on board a life-size wooden train, and find out how much you would weigh on Jupiter. There are more than 60 exhibits and experiences throughout four floors of play space.
Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen – When you need a field trip that will let you stretch your legs and get active, this is the place for it. Your students will love the 1.5 mile hike that takes you winding past multiple waterfalls and rock formations. Educational programs on topics like animal tracks and invasive species are available at various times in the park.
Homeschool Field Trips in Eastern New York
Iroquois Indian Museum, Howes Cave – This venue promotes Iroquois art and artists and celebrates Iroquois culture and diversity. The museum is built in the ancient longhouse design and includes many interactive exhibits for children. There is a 45-acre nature park where you may spot deer, racoon, and a multitude of birds.
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook – Are your children involved in the Junior Ranger program? They can receive a badge at this site while learning about the 8th president of the U.S. and his residence, Lindenwald. In addition to the guided tour, be sure to take the time to walk the many trails on the property.
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, Poughkeepsie – Galleries you’ll encounter at this site include: Early Learning Junction, River Town, the Science Center, Imagination Playground, My Backyard Adventure, and a Children’s Garden. There are multiple art and science-focused drop in programs for toddlers and preschoolers throughout the week.
Museum of Innovation and Science, Schenectady – There’s no better way to complement your homeschool science curriculum than with the interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and hands-on science explorations you’ll find at MISCI. On the website, you’ll find a variety of educator resources that can extend the learning from your trip, too.
Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Irvington – Will you be studying The Legend of Sleepy Hollow this homeschool year? Then you may want to make a stopover at Sunnyside, the home and grounds designed by the author himself. Guides in period dress will share stories of Irving’s life and literary career with you on your tour.
The Wild Center, Tupper Lake – When it comes to things to do in New York with children, The Wild Center should go near the top of your list. In addition to river otters, an outdoor fort-building area, 450 species of live animals, and miles of nature trails, the center has recently added the Wild Walk—an elevated trail across the treetops.
New York City has a host of educational destinations. Explore more homeschool field trips in New York City.
New York 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.