New York City is one of the most exciting and most visited places in the United States. With its sky-high towers, multi-cultural experiences, and many museums, it is easy to see why. One of the best things about New York is the state itself but also the many surrounding areas. They offer a wealth of valuable experiences. Kids can explore the visual arts, various types of day camps, science programs, cultures from around the world. Living in this area gives homeschool families many day trips to explore the art of learning. Below you will find our 10 favorite New York homeschool field trips to make homeschooling fun and interactive.
Our Top 10 New York Homeschool Field Trips
Did you know that New York State was founded on July 26, 1788, making it the 11th state to join the Union. New York tells a story of American history and how we became what we call “The Melting Pot.” New York is so amazing that it is essentially the place where America becomes a multi-cultural and diverse place today. It comes as no surprise that this state is the perfect place for the crazy number of different field trips. Here, we have put together a list of the best homeschool field trip ideas to help you make your lessons come to life.
1. 9/11 Memorial Museum
It is extremely difficult to fathom that this fateful day, September 11, 2001, is coming up on its 20th anniversary. For most of those millennials out there, this is the day that this generation will remember where they were and what they were doing. Much like the previous generations who saw the assassination of President Kennedy and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Only is 911 part of American history now. The footprint of the twin towers stands as a solitary place for many of those who live in New York City.
While this is not necessarily a field trip that is fun-filled and full of laughter, it is one of those that many would consider necessary. The 9/11 Memorial Museum offers guided tours to help you find your way around the museum. Besides, they offer somber exhibits that do not allow any video or photography. More so, this museum could easily be considered living history, as many of those who work there and experienced this event themselves.
For middle school students, the attacks on September 11th, 2001 is a historical event. In this video, you will get a quick overview of what to expect when walking through the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York.
There is a cost per person to get into this museum, and there are group rates if taking a large number of students. You may consider coming with your homeschooling group or community to receive a group discount. This is one of those educational opportunities you would not want your student to miss out on. Further, due to the pandemic, the 911 Memorial Museum is offering virtual tours on their website.
2. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
This historic statue is one that dates back to 1875 and represents the true heart of America. This particular home school field trip will take you around 5 to 6 hours to tour both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Many adults will find this particular field trip humbling as lady liberty represents all of the many cultures we have the joy of learning about in this great country. This day-long New York field trip starts with a ferry ride to the great statue and allows students and parents guided tours inside of the statue.
Watch this 2-minute HD tour of Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.
This is one of those day trips that you will need to plan for eating out somewhere or bringing a sack lunch. There are a ton of great places to stop and have a picnic.
Ellis island will likely take you the longest to get through and offers guided tours for your homeschool field trip. What’s even better is that Ellis island offers free guided tours and does not require any reservations. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis island offers some great educational programs to help enhance the learning experience.
3. King Manor Museum
Manor museum is not in New York City, but rather, in Jamaica, New York. Historic home to Rufus King re-open for tours by reservation only in September 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rufus King was considered a framer and signer of the US Constitution and was a New York senator in the late 1700s. This is a great field trip idea for homeschool students who are learning about American history. High school kids who can better grasp current events surrounding our constitution will truly enjoy this 19th century home and museum.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, this museum is closed to school groups. However, fortunately for you, as this is a homeschool trip, you can be a visitor. Admission is extremely reasonable at only $5 an adult and only $3 a child. This is a great family opportunity to see multiple historical exhibits and make history come to life.
4. National Museum of the American Indian
As an extension of the Smithsonian museums, the National Museum of the American Indian exhibit breathtaking artifacts and images of early Indians in the United States. The museum is free to visit and is ideal for children and adults of all ages. Homeschoolers see first-hand all of the amazing historical artifacts displayed throughout this museum’s entirety.
The National Museum of the American Indian features both permanent and traveling exhibits. Some of the exhibits travel all across the world, making the experience even more exciting. Further, the Smithsonian website offers some great educational programs and activities to improve the experience for your student and family as a whole.
Watch this short clip before taking your child to explore the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
5. Supreme Court of the State of New York
Located in Manhattan, New York, there is no better social studies homeschool field trip than the State Supreme Court. Ideally, for middle to high school-aged kids learning about the way of government, this marble and art inlaid historical building is one to set your eyes upon.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York does offer guided tours for free. You can expect your tour of this building to last as long as two hours. If you want to make this an entire day trip, you may consider adding something else to your itinerary. As a typical government building, you can expect that this one is Open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Take time on your visit to read and learn about all of the different historic rooms and explore the gift shop!
Here is a helpful crash course of the structure of the course system for all homeschool parents. Things parents should know before taking the students to a walk through the court. Trust me. The questions will come.
6. Staten Island Children’s Museum
The Staten Island Children’s Museum should be at the top of your list for some of the best New York homeschool field trips. This is one of those day trips that will literally take you all day long to get through this amazing children’s museum. Located in Staten Island, New York, this building features subjects from science to environmental education to art activities, and more!
Various exhibits include the Green Living Room, where kids explore what it means to be environmentally conscious, or visit the ladder 11 exhibit where children can climb in and out of a fire truck and pretend to be a firefighter. Kids can even explore the nature of the rainforest! They will love exploring the sounds, colors, rainforest rivers, and playing in the canopies just like they would in a real-life rainforest. Museum even features a section called Portia’s stage where your homeschoolers can participate in the arts.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this children’s museum is currently closed to guided tours and visits. However, they are still conducting day camps with Covid conscious seating. These different exhibits are meant to elicit every curiosity for children and allow them the space to learn and explore their curiosities.
7. American Folk Art Museum
One main thing New York is known for is its eclectic and open mind to the arts. The American Folk Art Museum focuses on many different artists from all cultures within the United States. And the best thing about this museum is that it is free of charge and would be a great day trip when taking time to go through. The museum features art as early as the late 1700s through today. Young adults studying a particular section of art and history in a high school setting may appreciate what they see more in this museum.
The American folk art museum features permanent and traveling exhibitions. They can accommodate families are and can give tours in a group setting. There are various educational activities that you can find on their website to help guide you through your visit. This is considered to be one of the best American art museums in the United States.
8. American Museum of Natural History
In homeschooling, when teaching about things like history and science and nature, kid’s eyes tend to glaze over. However, pair that with a trip to the American Museum of National History, and you will see your children’s eyes light up with wonder. Located in New York City, New York, this museum has been providing “ooh’s and aah” for 150 years, showing people things that only we can imagine in our dreams. Having featured exhibits from all around the world, kids can experience science and natural history like they never have before.
Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time of your day in this building. This is the perfect activity for the entire family to enjoy. Even have to convince your kids to come back to the house. Standard in this museum is artifacts such as real-sized Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, elephants, whales, and many more eye-popping mammals of history.
This museum has featured exhibits such as mummies from Egypt, Dinosaurs, Darwin, and Climate Change. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only a limited amounts of people are allowed in the museum at a time, so be sure to reserve your ticket and your time in advance. The general admission cost for adults into this museum is $23 and an additional $13 for each child. There are discounts for students with an ID.
9. Central Park Conservancy
You can’t say that you’ve explored New York City without taking the time to go to Central Park. The Central Park Conservancy is one of those day trips that will take you all day long to go through, and you still will not see everything. Kids will love being able to see many of the well-known sites of this 843- acre nature park. Kids will enjoy seeing firsthand the many sculptures and nature exhibits that Central Park has to offer.
Further, many homeschool field trips don’t necessarily allow kids to climb up on rocks and pretend to be adventurous. However, Central Park has tons of rocks and other things for kids to become the floor version themselves. One of the best things about this New York trip is the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to go to it and it can take all day long. I would recommend going here in the late spring or summer when you can enjoy a nice picnic near one of the many gardens of Central Park.
10. Pelham Bay Nature Center
When it comes to a list of field trip ideas, New York field trips never cease. Pelham Bay Nature Center is a must-see educational activity to get your homeschool kids out of the house. Known as Pelham Bay Park, which features orchard Beach, it’s a fun way to stay cool on a really hot day. Learn about marine life while still participating in fun beach activities, then pausing for a nice barbecue picnic lunch. This center features public barbecue grills, various eateries, fishing, hiking trails, and so much more.
Watch this video to find out where to find the secret walk in the Bronx.
There are some small fees associated with different areas of the nature center, but it is a relatively inexpensive homeschool field trip for families. Break up your field trip and visit one of the historic houses on the property. Yes, there are even museums that are available to the public. Time to explore the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum located in this center. This particular mansion and Museum has been around since the early 1900s and features tons of educational activities and resources.
New York City Trip Tips
Have I already said that New York field trips are the best? If I have not, I’m saying it now. New York field trips are some of the best education field trips that a state can offer in the entire country. Families come from all around the United States to see what kids who live right in New York have right in their backyard. With that said, there are some things to consider when planning your day trips:
- New York is expensive to eat in… so consider field trip ideas that allow you to bring a sack lunch for yourself and all of your homeschoolers.
- There is a lot of walking typically with any New York field trips, so pack lite and wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t be fooled by all of those tall skylines blocking the sunlight because sunburn is still possible when walking along the streets of New York, New York! Make sure you pack some sunscreen if you are planning a trip in the late spring or summer.
- When wandering around New York, you can’t help but want to take tons of pictures with your phone…possibly leaving you with an empty battery. Plan to take a phone charger with you.
- Wherever you plan to go, attempt to find their website and see if there are any other programs or educational resources that you can use to enhance your visit.
4 Virtual Field Trips to Do from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the entire world with their masks on, and jaws dropped. Unfortunately, this pandemic has left many museums closed, and activities blocked off from homeschooling and public school students. However, where there is a will, there is a way! Here you will find several great virtual field trips that include guided activities and museums for kids who are homeschooling and can’t take a normal trip.
1. Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera House was first founded in the 1800s and has brought people from worldwide to see the amazing arts in opera. In the face of the Covid pandemic, the center began providing virtual tours to provide continuing education about the arts. Even better is that this particular trip does not have any fees associated with the virtual tour.
2. United Nations Headquarters
Since taking a tour of the United Nations is currently not an option due to the Covid pandemic, children of all ages can take a tour virtually! The United Nations headquarters is currently offering several different virtual tours, including the Black history tour, Focus on women virtual tour, and the UN architecture virtual tour. The United Nations headquarters also excepts and guided group tours virtually with a live person. When it comes to great virtual field trips, where are you have a live tour guide, you almost can’t beat it.
Watch a short tour of the UN HQ:
There is a slight fee associated with each person who will be attending the virtual tour. Individual tickets for adults are $10 each, and children are $8s each. reality reasonable in cost.
3. Anne Frank House
While New York City offers a great deal of cultural awareness about the Holocaust, this is one of those virtual trips that genuinely will capture the heart and mind of your child. Kids around the age of middle school read the diary of Anne Frank and try to put themselves into her experience as they read her treasured diary. Your kids will be guided through the various rooms of the house, exploring where every member of the Frank family stayed.
The Anne Frank House website features many different programs and activities to help you and your child through the secret annex and the text.
4. Great Wall of China
With virtual field trips, you can now sit in the comfort of your own living room while learning about The Great Wall of China. This virtual field trip allows children to learn about when the wall was built and walk along the cobblestone roads around the great mountain in China. Some parts of this virtual tour are free, while it does cost a small fee to explore other parts of the great wall of China. This particular activity can be enjoyed by families together or by kids of all ages.
Watch some videos and inform yourself about China’s great wall before you include the virtual tour in your homeschool program. Kids will ask many questions, and it is better to be prepared.
People will always go on trips to see the many amazing sites that New York has to offer. Take homeschool learning to a whole other level for children of all ages when considering taking them on explorative experiences. One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that you can do everything as a family. Here we hope that all of these different suggestions will help you figure out the best activities for your family and your homeschool kiddos.