Homeschool Field Trips in Michigan
There are so many fun things to do in Michigan, particularly when you are fortunate enough to be a homeschooling family with the flexibility to learn on the go! Whether you have homeschoolers who are interested in how cars are built, what you might find in a shipwreck, or how ancient Native Americans communicated, there is a field trip for it in the Wolverine State.
Almost any field trip can be an educational adventure. To ensure that it is, you should take some time before your trip to create some goals of things you want to learn on your excursion. Research the back story of any historical places you will be visiting, and for natural sites, be sure to take along physical or virtual field guides to enhance your explorations.
To help you locate family activities in Michigan, we’ve organized some great homeschool trips by geographical area. Plan out each of your field trip ideas on this printable map of Michigan 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 [at end of article]!
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Wolverine State.
Field Trips in the Northern Peninsula
Adventure Mining Company, Greenland – Not many people can say they’ve toured an old copper mine. Walk through the tunnels and view the places where both copper and silver were extracted. Hardhats and headlamps are provided. There are also biking and hiking trails around the mine site.
Iron County Historical Museum, Caspian – Designated as the “Log Cabin capital of Michigan,” this unique historical treasure that includes an art gallery, a mine shaft exhibit, a one-room schoolhouse, multiple restored log cabins, and a historic church building. Living history workshops for children are scheduled regularly, too.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise – When you arrive at these waterfalls near Lake Superior, you’ll immediately know why it’s nicknamed “Rootbeer Falls.” The unique brown color is from the tannins of the cedar swamps that drain into the river. Enhance your online science curriculum with this fascinating excursion.
Field Trips in the Northern Lower Peninsula
Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, Alpena – Prepare yourself for 9,000 square feet of immersive exhibits on shipwrecks and archaeology. Explore shipwrecked vessels close up — even without getting wet. (Note: if you can’t make it here for a visit, the staff hold live broadcasts on a wide variety of maritime subjects.)
Pond Hill Farm, Harbor Springs – When planning fun day trips in Michigan, don’t miss your chance to feed the pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, and geese at this working farm. Your trip can include a hayride, as well as a chance to fling vegetables to the animals on the “Squash Rocket” slingshot. This is a wonderful and interactive way to learn about farming.
Raven Hill Discovery Center, East Jordan – The second Saturday of each month offers families free admission to this educational center from noon until 4 p.m. Get hands-on with history, science, and the arts with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Artistry, Mathematics) programs for all ages.
Homeschool Field Trips in West Michigan
Air Zoo, Kalamazoo – When it comes to things to do with children in Michigan, this should be near the top of the list. This Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum has over 100 aircraft and spacecraft plus interactive exhibits and flight simulators. There are homeschool discovery days scheduled the first Tuesdays of each month.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids – Plan on spending a full day at this unique gardens that seems planned with children in mind. A giant tree house, a dinosaur dig, and playful pools in the shape of the great lakes are just a small sampling of things that your homeschooler will fall in love with at this site.
Sarett Nature Center, Benton Harbor – This destination is the ideal place to explore wetland wildlife and habitats. There are so many potential educational tie-ins to middle school science including aquatic life, insect studies, birds, and ecology. There are many activities geared to families on the schedule, including programs specifically for homeschoolers.
Homeschool Field Trips in Central Michigan
Curwood Castle Museum, Owosso – James Curwood, an author and environmentalist, built a writing chateau in the 1920s that overlooks the Shiawassee River. It was later turned into a museum. The self guided tour will introduce you to the life of Curwood and also give you insights into early conservation efforts in America.
Potter Park Zoo, Lansing – How do animals survive in different climates and habitats? What careers are available in wildlife care? Why do some animals have fur while others have feathers? These are just some of the questions that you can discover answers for when visiting this zoo which is home to over 160 different animals.
Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park, Cass City – One of the most exciting art and communication tools of ancient Native Americans were petroglyphic writings. You can visit this archaeological site for free Wednesdays through Sundays or via a use permit. There is also a mile-long, self-guided walking trail featuring peaceful forests and the remains of a 19th-century logging camp.
Homeschool Field Trips in Southeast Michigan
Ann Arbor’s Fairy Doors, Ann Arbor – In the early 2000s small “fairy doors” began appearing in random public places around the city of Ann Arbor. A visit to try to find each of the doors would make a lovely addition to a fairy tale study.
Henry Ford Museum Complex, Dearborn – Although one of the more expensive day trips in Michigan, this destination has an enormous amount of educational value. Just a few of the things you’ll learn about on your visit are the history of agricultural technology, the study of mathematics through the years, and how cars are made.
Motown Museum, Detroit – Discover the true story of how one man’s vision turned into one of the most successful record companies of all time. Visit the actual control room where much of the iconic music was produced and see the restored apartment where founder Berry Gordy Jr. and his family lived. This would make a tremendous tie-in for a Black History Month unit study.
Michigan 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.