Vermont Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Pulitzer prize-winning author Pearl Buck once said of Vermont, “All in all, Vermont is a jewel state–small but precious.” For homeschool families, this is especially true, because there are so many natural, historic, and cultural treasures packed into this little state. Between the diverse flora and fauna, amazing museums, variety of historic sites, and the farms and factories open to the public, there are an abundance of things to do in Vermont with kids.
To start planning your field trips, use this printable map of Vermont. You’ll also find free Time4Learning lesson tie-ins that you can download at the end of this post to help supplement your Vermont day trips.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Green Mountain State.
Homeschool Field Trips in Northern Vermont
- Ben & Jerry’s Factory, Waterbury – Kids love seeing behind the scenes of most any manufacturing process, but when the product being created is ice cream, there is even more enthusiastic interest! The 30-minute guided tour of this factory includes a tasting at the end, and the outside area includes a playground and views of dairy cows and views of the Worcester Mountain range.
- ECHO Leahy Center, Burlington – If you are trying to find ways to complement your homeschool science curriculum, this is one of the best places to visit in Vermont with kids. STEM education at ECHO supports the idea of science literacy and real-world problem solving. While the traveling exhibit is always changing, permanent exhibits highlight the Lake Champlain Basin, including the ecology, wildlife, plant life, and Native human inhabitants of the region.
- Haskell Free Library and Opera House, Derby Line – Opened in 1904, this historic building straddles the international line between the United States and Canada. If you are doing a unit study of Canada, your homeschoolers will enjoy following the thick black line that defines the border inside the building. The library has a collection of more than 20,000 books in French and English.
- Shelburne Farms, Shelburne – This nonprofit organization on the shores of Lake Champlain is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark. They offer numerous organized educational programs throughout the year for students in preschool through high school. It would be a terrific tie in for studies on farms, local agriculture, and environmental sustainability.
- Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne – Ice cream isn’t the only thing families can get an inside view of in Vermont. Another educational trip for students is a visit to this factory where they can see teddy bears being hand-sewn, chat with the teddy bear “doctor” who repairs damaged bears, and get an understanding of the manufacturing process from start to finish.
Homeschool Field Trips in Central Vermont
- Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, Plymouth – Will you be doing a presidential unit study in your homeschool this year? If so, you’ll need school field trip ideas in Vermont. Our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born and raised in central Vermont. A museum and education center at the site houses the exhibits and archives recounting Calvin Coolidge’s private and public lives.
- Hubbardton Battlefield, Castleton – Only one Revolutionary War battle was fought completely on Vermont soil, and that was the battle at Hubbardton. In addition to permanent exhibits on the history of the battle, there is an annual living history reenactment weekend each summer.
- Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, Montpelier – This farm is open year-round and will give kids insight into how maple sugaring works, from the tapping of trees to finished products. Walk on the maple trail, take a tour and tasting, and check out the multimedia displays in the woodshed theater.
- Stillwater State Park, Groton – Not only are there plenty of hiking, biking, swimming, and boating opportunities in this state park, but there is plenty of history to explore within walking distance as well. Within just a couple miles of the Groton Nature Center are logging roads from the 1800s, the remnants of a steam-powered mill, and stone chimneys from the 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps Camp.
- Vermont Granite Museum, Barre – Vermont has a lengthy history as a granite producer, and students can learn more about it by visiting this museum located in a manufacturing plant from the early 1900s. Museum tours are available May through October and will offer insights into the geology, technology, history, and art of Vermont’s granite industry.
Homeschool Field Trips in Southern Vermont
- Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home, Manchester – Robert Todd Lincoln was the eldest of the four sons of President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, and Hildene was his summer home. He purchased it while he was president of the Pullman Company, the largest manufacturer in the U.S. at the time. The restored home and gardens are open to the public and serve as a campus for environmental and agricultural education for high school students.
- Retreat Farm, Brattleboro – This children’s farm and forest is home to all the traditional farm animals you might expect. But when your kids need to stretch their legs further than the barns, there are nine miles of recreational trails on the property. Also nearby is the Brattleboro Specialty Cheese & Wine Shop where you can watch cheddar being made from the viewing area.
- Shakespeare in the Woods, Manchester – From August to September each year, students can reinforce their homeschool language arts program by attending one or more of Shakespeare’s plays performed in an outdoor setting. The plays are free of charge due to the desire of the mission of the group to “make art that is accessible to all audiences regardless of socioeconomic or geographical standing.”
- Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester – The 100-acre campus of the Arts Center at the base of the Taconic Mountains is a treasure for students of all ages. An educational trip to this site includes multiple galleries of permanent and rotating art exhibits. It also offers an Education Center with workshops, classes, and summer camps for kids and teens. Outdoors, the grounds of the SVAC feature the largest sculpture garden in Vermont.
- Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, West Marlboro – The education programs at the museum use live animals, artifacts, multimedia displays, and hands-on activities to engage visitors with the science and natural environment of Vermont. Homeschoolers will gain knowledge in natural history, reptiles, birds, and multiple other wildlife native to New England.
VT Field Trips Unit Study Supplement
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.