Kentucky Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Think you know all there is to know about Kentucky? You might be surprised! When you explore it from the perspective of a homeschooling family, you may discover all kinds of new places to visit in Kentucky with children. That’s because it’s a state with a wide variety of natural wonders, cultural treasures, and historical landmarks — perfect for enhancing your current homeschool lessons or even inspiring new ones.
Homeschoolers have the unique flexibility to pick up and head out on Kentucky day trips any time the urge strikes. To help you find the best field trip ideas in Kentucky, 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 even plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable Kentucky 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 Bluegrass State.
Homeschool Field Trips in Western Kentucky
Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green – The Kentucky Museum is on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Docent-guided tours are available for students old enough to benefit from them. This would be a wonderful complement to a Kentucky state unit study as there is a heavy focus on local and state history.
Owensboro Museum of Science and History, Owensboro – With museum admission only $5 per person, this budget-friendly destination should definitely be on your list. At this location, you can tie in lessons on speed and velocity, coal mining, and even how state government works.
Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, Owensboro – Not every botanical garden includes multiple themed gardens for children, but this one does! There is even a full size playhouse for kids, as well. Educational options include 1st Saturday activities and a “Little Sprouts” program.
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, Wickliffe – What if you could visit the actual site of a Native American village? Imagine the educational possibilities! The museum displays many of the excavated items from the site and when you climb the Ceremonial Mound, you’ll have spectacular views of the bluff area. There is even an archaeology day camp in the summers.
Homeschool Field Trips in North Central Kentucky
Boone Country Arboretum, Union – When you need a chance to apply your homeschool lessons to the outside world, this is the ideal place for it. There are over 3,600 trees and plants to discover here, 2.2 miles of walking trails, themed gardens, native grasslands and woodland areas, and classes and events throughout the year for the whole family.
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington – It’s no surprise that if you want to learn anything and everything about horses, you can do it in Kentucky. This site includes the International Museum of the Horse, the American Saddlebred Museum, a walking barn tour, a blacksmith facility, and much, much more.
Louisville Zoological Garden, Louisville – There is a ready-made educational experience for you at the Louisville Zoo by becoming a Backyard Action Hero. Download any of the learning guidebooks to discover hands-on animal activities you can do right at home. But, don’t worry — there is plenty to explore at the zoo, as well!
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Georgetown – Not many field trips fascinate homeschoolers more than factory tours. Each weekday, students can take a 1-hour tour of the facility to learn about how over 2,000 vehicles are assembled daily by people and robots. This is the ideal STEM-geared field trip.
Homeschool Field Trips in South Central Kentucky
Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Stearns – Do you have a train-lover in your family? Then you’ll love this opportunity to combine train history with an exploration of the history of lumber and mining with the train ride to the Blue Heron Mining Camp. There are occasionally special tours, too, such as a Polar Express excursion.
Daniel Boone National Forest – Although you would certainly need more than a day trip to explore this forest that stretches across 21 Kentucky counties, this is still a great destination for exploration. Educational focus areas could include the natural stone arches, the Red River Gorge geological area, rock shelters used by prehistoric peoples in the area, and wetlands that provide homes for hundreds of different creatures.
Heavenly Haven Farm and Ziplines, Columbia – Cap off an agricultural study with this fall-time field trip that includes a traditional hay ride, a petting zoo, a nature trail, two ziplines and a swinging sky trail.
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, London – Step back into the pioneer era of Kentucky at this attraction open on Fridays and Saturdays. Seven historic buildings are open for touring and there is a reproduction grist mill where you can see corn being ground. Your active homeschoolers will love the Treetop Adventure, too.
Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave – Besides being an incredible geological adventure, a visit to Mammoth Cave includes more than just a little historical learning. Caves, forests, groundwater, wildlife, and centuries of history are subjects that you’ll be able to explore further with this day trip in KY.
Homeschool Field Trips in Eastern Kentucky
East Kentucky Science Center & Planetarium, Prestonsburg – On the campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College is a STEM-focused field trip that is out of this world. With both planetarium and laser light shows available, you’ll want to come back more than once to learn about space science the interactive way.
Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Ashland – This low-key children’s museum is the perfect blend of hands-on learning and immersion in local history. Subjects students will encounter here include 19th century schooling, the music of Eastern KY, World War II, and space science.
Kentucky Reptile Zoo – Although the key purpose of this non-profit is providing venom for pharmacological uses, educating the public about snakes and other reptile species is a close second. In addition to tours, there are live reptile shows available three times daily including one where you can view a venom extraction.
Southfork Elk View, Jackson – Did you know that Eastern Kentucky is well known for being home to herds of elk? Due to a long-term elk restoration project begun in the 1990’s, the elk population in the state is over 10,000 strong. This viewing spot of one of KY’s largest herds is surrounded by wetlands, ponds, and a variety of plant and animal life.
Kentucky 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.