Most kids will agree that field trips are the best days of their school year. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to make these happen more often than their traditionally schooled peers. Iowa has so many places you can visit with your children. If you’re wondering “what is there to do in Iowa”, we’ve compiled a list of educational things you can do in Iowa with your kids.

The first thing you should do is download this printable map of Iowa. Next, read through our list of field trips ideas in Iowa and have your child locate some of these important places on the map. You’ll also find free Time4Learning lesson tie-ins that you can download at the end of this post to help supplement your homeschool field trips. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.

Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Hawkeye State.

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Field Trips in Iowa Northwest Region

Field Trips in Northwest Iowa
  • LaunchPad Museum, Sioux City – LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is your answer for family-friendly, educational play, and discovery. It provides affordable family fun featuring hands-on and interactive exhibits through the Family Fun Night hosted on the 2nd Thursday of each month, STEM with a scientist, which features an expert local scientist who will bring hands-on activities and Farm-Tastic Learning, activities focused on agriculture and farming! Your homeschooler can enjoy learning about crops, farm animals, and farm equipment.
  • Kaleidoscope Factory, Pocahontas – Have an aspiring artist in the family? Or a little scientist? The Kaleidoscope Factory is a must see and a great place to enhance your science curriculum. Your little one will learn the law of reflection in action and be captivated about the “magic” inside a kaleidoscope by seeing one completed right before their eyes.
  • Prairie Pedlar, Odebolt – Take learning outdoors and enjoy the beauty and magic that Prairie Pedlar has to offer. Each garden plot is a history lesson that explores the utilization of plants spanning generates. If your homeschooler wants a more in-depth experience, the Green Team Kids Club offers morning sessions for children ages 5-12. The club offers an introduction to gardening, simple garden tasks and a take-home project.

Field Trips in Iowa Northeast Region

Field Trips in Northeast Iowa
  • Carnegie Cultural Center, New Hampton –  Watch your homeschoolers imagination come to life at the Carnegie Cultural Center.  This is a perfect complement to a homeschool diorama project. Kids of all ages will enjoy the 23-foot long diorama “Main Street Circus Parade” where elephants shuffle in brightly colored advertisements and circus wagons parade through New Hampton circa 1910.
  • Allamakee County Historical Society Museum and Genealogy Research Center, Waukon – Take a trip down memory lane and let the Allamakee County Historical Society Museum and Genealogy Research Center help you trace your family tree. Genealogy is all about understanding the history of your family. The Museum also features a virtual tour of the old Allamakee Courthouse built in 1861. Wait! There’s more, the Log Cabin and the Red Schoolhouse take you back to an earlier time.
  • The Fish Aquarium & Hatchery, Guttenberg –  An aquarium is a fun, educational place that parents and children can enjoy together. The aquarium exhibits a variety of Mississippi River fish and trout found in local streams. In the early spring months, Northern Pikes are hatched in the hatchery.  Your homeschooler will enjoy on-site activities and can even have their questions answered by a biologist.
  • Crystal Lake Cave, Dubuque – Does your homeschooler love to explore? Look no further than Crystal Lake Cave.  You and your family will enjoy gem hunting and cave tours. This incredible cavern is home to beautiful mineral formations that have continued to grow for millions of years.
  • Dutton’s Cave Park, West Union –  With so many things to do in Iowa, caving is just one more to add to the list. Your homeschooler is sure to be intrigued by the two springs that flow out of the 50-foot vertical limestone wall directly above the cave opening and feed a small creek that runs through the park. The park is also a great place for hiking, picnicking and camping.
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa – Homeschooling allows families to fuse a day at the park with an educational opportunity.  Some of the most amazing places to visit in Iowa with your kids are the different cave systems around the state. With lots of caves to explore, wildlife, and camping your homeschooler will have a lot of fun and learn about the Native Americans as well as the history of the caves.
  • Beed’s Lake Spillway, Hampton – Enjoy a wonderful day with your family at Beeds Lake State Park.  Choose to relax at the lake or enjoy the various activities such as hiking, bird watching, and having a picnic. Either way, your family will certainly appreciate the natural beauty this park has to offer.

Field Trips in Iowa Southwest Region

Field Trips in Southwest Iowa
  • Loess Hills National Scenic Byway, Percival – Take your family on an afternoon drive that will take their breath away. The hills, made almost entirely of windblown soil stretches about 200 miles long.  This unique geological formation has plenty of places to stop, learn and enjoy.
  • Viking Lake, Stanton – At Viking Lake there is an abundance of wild flowers, plants, and wildlife. From beavers, turkeys, muskrats and ducks to shore birds and white-tailed deer. With so much to see and explore, your homeschooler is sure to love this educational trip!
  • Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center, Orient – Explore the beautiful birthplace of Henry A. Wallace, US Vice President and enhance your history curriculum while you’re at it! There are kids cooking classes available, garden workshops and a farm apprenticeship program. So be sure to check those out too!

Field Trips in Iowa Southeast Region

Field Trips in Southeast Iowa
  • Toolesboro Mounds National Historic Landmark & Visitor Center, Wapello – Complement your history lesson with a day trip to a local historical site. The site includes the burial grounds of local Native American cultures. Displays in the museum cover the history of the area including excavations and items found at the site. Displays also include miniature recreations of the homes and describe the lifestyle of the Native Americans who lived there.
  • Old Fort Madison, Fort Madison – Let your homeschooler discover what life was like at a U.S. fur trading. You and your family will be intrigued as you learn about the local Indian Tribes, the living conditions of soldiers in the War of 1812, as well as Iowa’s involvement in the war. Daily activities include the Fort life experience, musket demonstrations and interactive discussion.
  • Swinging Bridge Park, Columbus Junction  – Swing on by to the Columbus Junction Swinging Bridge, a 262-foot swinging pedestrian foot bridge. Although it swings, suspension bridges are light, flexible and strong. Enjoy the cool air and scenic views as you walk across the bridge.
  • Harvestville Farm, Donnellson – Some of the cool things you can do with kids when you visit this farm in Iowa are enjoying the 10-acre corn maze, wagon rides, and special fall events. Check out the homeschool field trips for pre-school and elementary age students the farm offers!

IA Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.

Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experience at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.