It has been said that Colorado is the playground of the U.S. With its majestic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and mountains to climb up (or ski down!), there are certainly enough outdoor family activities in Colorado to satisfy your playful side. And even if you somehow tired of exploring all the natural outdoor destinations, Colorado’s urban areas offer even more opportunities to enjoy yourself. What’s great about homeschooling, though, is the ability to combine learning with almost any recreation destination. Homeschoolers quickly learn that all historical, cultural, or natural day trips in Colorado can double as learning opportunities. To help you locate places to visit in Colorado with children, we’ve organized them by geographical area. Browse the list below to find Colorado field trip ideas that are perfect for homeschool families. Plan out each of your learning adventures on this printable map of Colorado 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, 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]!

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Homeschool Field Trips in the Great Plains Region

Homeschool Field Trips in the Great Plains Region in Colorado
  • Boggsville Historic Site, Las Animas – Doing a study on pioneer life or the Old West? Then you’ll want to add this to your list of educational trips for students. Three reconstructed homes are on the site, and during the summer there are reenactments of notable characters from the past who lived and worked in Boggsville. Feel like turning this day trip into an overnight one? There are even teepees available for camping!

  • Centennial Village, Greeley – One of the best ways to learn history is by seeing it recreated right before your eyes. This living history village gives you an inside look at what it has been like to live in the High Plains region over the last 150 years. Your visit includes over 35 historical buildings, costumed tour guides, and demonstrations of activities such as blacksmithing and cooking on an antique cast iron stove.

  • Challenger Learning Center, Colorado Springs – This STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational center offers students hands-on activities to engage in space-themed learning. Homeschool groups of 12 or more can schedule a simulator mission, but there are also public missions that you can purchase individual tickets for.

  • National Museum of World War II Aviation, Colorado Springs – On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, this museum opens up to introduce learners of all ages to the historical importance of American aviation in World War II. Through a combination of its aircraft collection, exhibits, interactive displays, and docent led tours, your homeschooler will come away with a much better understanding of both the war and the history leading up to it.

  • Picket Wire Canyonlands, La Junta – Did you ever think you might see a dinosaur’s footprint? Your junior paleontologist will have the experience of a lifetime when they get to view the largest documented assemblage of dinosaur trackways in North America. NOTE: It’s an extensive hike, but guided auto tours are available.

  • Pueblo Zoo, Pueblo – Head to this zoo on your next Colorado field trip day to get involved on a local level with conservation of animals and their habitats. If you have a large enough group for a field trip here, you may even qualify to visit at no cost. There are daily educational animal talks about the otters and penguins and you can check out an explorer pack at the front desk to add even more learning value to your visit.

Homeschool Field Trips in the Southern Rocky Mountains

Homeschool Field Trips in the Colorado Southern Rocky Mountains
  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder – Children 12 years of age and under get in free to this museum that features a mix of contemporary art from regional, national and international artists. There are constantly changing exhibits and each Saturday the museum offers families a free hands-on art project called “Art Stop.” There are educational downloads to go along with current exhibits on the website.

  • Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster – Do you have an Association of Zoos and Aquariums membership? Then don’t miss your chance to use it here, where your homeschoolers will learn about not just butterflies, but all manner of invertebrates. On special homeschool days, there are even full educational programs for learning about different insect species.

  • Hiwan Heritage Park, Evergreen – On this site, a one-room log cabin, constructed in 1893, evolved into a 23-room log structure that now houses a cultural museum. Both original and historic furnishings are viewable in the house, as well as Native American artifacts. You can take the tour to learn the history of the building and there are educational programs on everything from astronomy to geology here throughout the year.

  • Hudson Gardens, Littleton – In thirty acres of gardens, your homeschooler is sure to find out a multitude of facts about both native and non-native plants, trees, and flowers from Colorado. Programs like “Meet the Gardener” and seasonal nature hunts add to the educational value of the gardens.

  • Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Cripple Creek – Mollie’s son was the first family member to arrive in Cripple Creek in 1891 as a gold surveyor, but Mollie and the rest of the family soon followed. The mine officially closed in 1961, but now visitors can descend 1,000 feet to experience what life would have been like for early miners.

  • World of Wonder Children’s Museum, Lafayette – Preschool and elementary students will explore the following in a hands-on, experiential learning environment: bubbles, art, wind power, motion, money, and much, much more. Educator guides for some of the exhibits are available on the museum website.

Homeschool Field Trips in the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming Basin

Homeschool Field Trips in the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming Basin
  • Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway and Museum, Durango – The fascinating history of railroads, transportation, and mining are all here to be explored at this completely free museum. But for a fee, you can also take a narrated three-hour ride for even more in-depth learning.

  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs – Named “America’s only mountain-top theme park,” you will definitely be combining recreation with education at this destination. There are thrill rides and food aplenty, but also the opportunity to view cave formations such as stalactites and stalagmites that have been developing for millions of years.

  • Mesa Verde National Park – From AD 600 to AD 1300, the Ancestral Pueblo people made their home in the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. Your homeschooler will be fascinated to both view and tour the actual dwellings while learning about archaeology, anthropology, petroglyphs, and geology.

  • Museum of Northwest Colorado, Craig – When you are searching for things to do in Colorado with children that don’t break the bank, you won’t want to miss this Old-West-focused stopover. Admission is free year-round to view exhibits on everything from the Ute Indians to local native wildlife. There is an entire floor dedicated to “cowboy gear,” some of which is regularly used in films and television.

  • The Quarry Exhibit Hall, Dinosaur – Colorado is full of places to take your homeschool paleontologist, and but this will likely be a favorite. The exhibit hall is located directly atop the Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry and there you’ll have a chance to see the bones of Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Diplodicus and many others. If you are working on Junior Ranger badges, there is one available to earn here.

  • Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, Grand Junction – Over 600 exotic, tropical plants from around the world have a home here at the botanical gardens. You’ll be able to study life science up close and personal at the butterfly house and gardens and even along the trails where you will likely spot fish, toads, and turtles housed among the flowers.

CO 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.