Field Trip ideas for Exploration to 1850

If you are using Exploration to 1850, please share your ideas with us.
Post Reply
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Field Trip ideas for Exploration to 1850

Unread post by Marie »

Field Trip ideas for Exploration to 1850.

More ideas might be found on the Ideas board for Adventures:

And the thread about Writing a State History Report in EX1850: ... 613#p66613
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Leif Erikson

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:08 am

For those of us in Minnesota, I didn't know there was a statue of Leif -- or Leiv -- on the state capitol grounds...
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

For ADV, EX1850, & 1850MOD

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 7:31 pm

+ For some history themed trips, we ended up in Vincennes, Indiana at the George Rogers Clark Memorial and the park 2 miles up the road where Fort Sackville was. Ouabache Trails park? (that's pronounced Wabash)

+ and we won't talk about my canceled Jamestown, VA field trip. 6 years in the planning.... canceled. Isn't there a verse or two in the book of James about that? LOL.

+ Never did the Levi Coffin house in Richmond, IN (underground railroad). or Prophetsown.

+ Oh yeah ---- the museum at the ST. Louis Arch --- great for Lewis and Clark and whole westward expansion.

+ St. Louis has lots of good field trip destinations.....

Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota


Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:04 pm

We love MANY of the field trips on state history, US history, history of various people groups, state industries, etc. And don't forget that much info on these can be found online, even if you can't visit the actual site.

* Fort Snelling has homeschool days in the fall (1827=frontier & fur trade, 1860s=Civil War theme days), as well as group tours and weekend family events. Located between Mpls. & St. Paul.

* Sibley House in Mendota - fur trade days, Sibley was 1st governor of the State of MN. Mendota was first permanent European settlement here. Open in good weather - no lights or heat (1836). Homeschool days & house tours, also site on River History Walk, City of Mendota Walking Tour, & Wakan Island Walking Tour. Located just across the river from Fort Snelling, in a nice spot for picnics & skimming rocks on the river. Mendota is also tucked between Mpls. & St. Paul.

* Stillwater Warden's House Museum. Site of original state prison, located in Stillwater (trivia: "Stillwater Prison" is no longer located in Stillwater!). Guide shares much exacting & enthusiastic MN history. (1853)

* Stillwater Trolley ride, request emphasis on logging industry rather than famous authors and such who have homes there (1830s-1870s)

* The Landing (formerly Murphy's Landing), reenacts the changes over the 1840s-1890s. They transplanted many original MN homes from different eras. Located in Shakopee.

* Oliver Kelley Farm (1850), kids can really steer a plow, plant a garden, etc., located in Elk River

* John H Stevens House - next to Minnehaha Falls in South Mpls., site of historical events in city and Territory (1850)

* Wells Fargo Museum (1849 Gold Rush info to 1866 Stagecoaches), free and surprisingly hands-on, located at the Wells Fargo Bank in Downtown Mpls.; the light rail stops a block away (another good field trip experience), and a lunch area is on the 2nd floor of the building in between the rail stop and the bank

* MN State Academy for the Blind (1866), could visit when studying Louis Braille (1809-1852), located in Faribault where you can also visit the school for the deaf, woolen mill, cute little Rice County museum, and River Bend nature center where you can eat lunch in a teepee.

* Zoos and aquariums and nature centers for the study of animals (MN Zoo in Apple Valley includes aquariums,
the biggest aquarium is at Mall of American in Bloomington, and good nature centers are Woodlake in Richfield and River Bend in Faribault, among many others)

* The MN Landscape Arboretum (in Chaska) and the conservatory (in Como Zoo, St. Paul) for the study of plants, or possibly a florist such as Bachman's
Last edited by Julie in MN on Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:48 pm, edited 13 times in total.
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Science: Animals

Unread post by 705emily »

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:12 pm

The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the top 5 zoos in the country. It's also very close to the Creation museum. We hope to check it out when we visit the museum!

Hope you find lots to fill your trip with exciting memories!
Irmi Gaut
Julie - Staff
Posts: 1046
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Skipping around in EX1850 for a field trip?

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Momills wrote:I am using Ex -1850 (we are on week 8) with my 5th grader and 3rd grader with three little ones in tow.

Here is my problem, we are planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA, the week of Thanksgiving. We have been to Williamsburg several time before and this will probably be our last trip for awhile. I feel like I should try to skip some of the world history and get to the American History so that my dc will get more out of our trip. They have a program called Revolutionary City where actors are re-enacting events leading up to, during and after the War. I feel like the we have just scratched the surface by not studying more prior to our visits.

So, what should I do? Should I skip and then try to fill in the World History later to get back on track? Has anyone done anything like this before? Should we just do some reading on the War and jump back into our schedule when we get back and cover the Rev War more in depth later?
Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:27 pm by kellybell
Oh, what a fun trip that will be.

I think most of us have run into situations where we are going somewhere and want to prepare our kiddos for it.

Last year, we set aside our usual homeschooling history and read John Wesley Powell's journal of his trip down the Colorado RIver. Then, we went to the Grand Canyon. The summer before, we read some books and visited some websites on Mount Rushmore before visiting that. We also laid aside ECC to study the Wright Brothers (and flight in general) right before the 100th anniversary of their Kitty Hawk flight. When the anniversary date arrived, my mom flew to visit us. The kids thought it was awesome that Grandma flew on the 100th anniversary date! I was surprised that neither pilot she had that day mentioned it.

I would say just to lay aside EX-1850 for a week or two and hit the websites and get the brochures. Give a general background of the war and then concentrate on Williamsburg. Teach them where it is on the map, watch some videos and learn why it is important. Then, enjoy your trip. Take pictures, make scrapbooks, etc.

When you get to that point in the curriculum, it will be fun to say, "Hey, I remember that!" Cover it deeper when it's time to. Right now, learn the background of the war and then talk about what you'll see on your trip.

Sometimes it's better to cover things twice like you'll probably be doing. Hit it once quickly and not so deeply, and then when you hit it again, it will be so easy and more understanding will naturally sink in.

Sounds like a great trip.

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:50 am by cbollin
From the "we almost took our Williamsburg trip" files... My idea is to add in a few book basket books on Williamsburg, and Yorktown. And spend some time to review Jamestown. The 3 cities are really close. You've got to get over to Jamestown too, right? And that will be review. You did a lot of Jamestown already in EX1850. Any material now on Williamsburg and/or Yorktown will be "preview", then hands on (field trip) and then in depth study whenever it is in EX1850. Keep it simple that way.

You probably have seen the websites for Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg... there are various teacher lesson plans and stuff like that on there to help get other ideas. Sounds like a fun thing to add in next Friday on light and independent Friday. OH wow! I just glanced at the week 9 grid. That's the Friday where you play colonial games on Friday.

Sounds like it's going to work just great.

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:35 pm by Heidi
What fun!

I use to live in Fredericksburg where I was a tour guide for nearly 5 years for the home of George Washington's sister - Betty Lewis (Kenmore Plantation). Naturally, I learned tons about the colonial time period and we were taken all around for free to many of the Colonial places as part of our job. It was a great job! I learned to love this time period.

Last year we did Adventures - American history overview. We were very fortunate that on the History Channel a whole series came on about the Revolutionary War. It was great to learn about it, read about it with the book basket books and then see it! It was an in-depth series too. Then guess what - I found the series while looking for something else - in the library!

If it were us, we would set aside "regular school" and re-read as many book basket titles from Colonial times as possible concentration on biographies (George Washington, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, Lee, Randolph, and especially the ones who lived in VA) - somehow history is always more interesting when learning about actual people - makes it seem more real, do colonial crafts and cook a couple colonial recipes. And of course, I would go to the library and check out the history channels series on the revolutionary war and watch it again - it will take several days to watch - even as much as a week.

Before I got there, I would look up to see what "events" will be offered and get signed up - since you have been there - you know what I mean. If you can afford it - rent a costume, eat at one of the restaurants, ride in a buggy, etc.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Field Trip ideas for Exploration to 1850

Unread post by Julie in MN »

There are lots of virtual tours online these days. Some are more fun than others, but almost all will have good photos and lots of info. Here are a couple of good ones:

Mount Vernon (George Washington's home):

Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home). For the videos, click "launch the flash tour" and then "launch Monticello explorer" and then one of the links in the "tour" column:

P.S. If my links get broken, or if you want to find another virtual tour, you can just google "virtual tour" for the site you want to "visit"
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Columbus Ships

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We saw a replica of one of Columbus's ships when we were visiting family in Florida this year. The tour we saw doesn't seem to be very well publicized, so I thought I'd post the schedule here, in case it will be harbored near you this summer:

The ship was very SMALL! I tried to find a measurement comparison & found this quote:
  • "In a time where it is common to see cruise ships over 1,000 feet in length and carrying several thousand passengers, it is hard to fathom (no pun intended) how Columbus was able to cross oceans in sailing vessels that were about 15 meters, approximately 50 feet in length."
    ( ... and-pinta/ )
Also, the tour website has some good info if you are not able to see the replicas in person:
At the bottom of the page are links to more info.
And in the middle of that page is a link to a 6-minute film featuring the same Columbus Foundation, posted on the City of Dubuque website, from when the ship came up the Mississippi to Iowa.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:43 am

Mega Field Trip to D.C.

Unread post by mnmmomjen »

ArkArmyWife wrote:The Army finally did something right!! My husband is on temporary duty at Fort Belvoir, VA for four months (until end of April), and we are staying less than five miles from Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate. This "just happens" to be the year we are studying American history (EXPL1850). We couldn't pass up this opportunity to be this close to D.C. while we are studying American history.

Does anyone have any tips on "must see" field trips for our stay? Of course, we are planning to do the obvious (Smithsonian museums, White House, Capitol, Pentagon, Arlington, memorials, etc.). We've also purchased an annual pass to Mount Vernon so we can visit there frequently. Anyone from this area (or familiar with the area) who could recommend your favorite sites? Thanks so much for your input!
Check out Luray Caverns in Luray, VA. It may be a bit of a drive from where you are, but it is worth it to see the absolutely beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. There is an audio tour each person follows, and the caverns are just stunning. Well-lit, and easy to follow path throughout. Check out

Hope you can see this! Enjoy!
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Mega Field Trip to D.C.

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

You can also go visit Thomas Jefferson's Home.

If you are willing to drive a little, there is a TON of history. Several battlefields: Gettysburg, PA is only a couple hours drive. Battle of Antietam in MD isn't far either. I LOVE that one. It had a really big impact on me as a child. Battle of Manassas and Fredericksburg/Spotslyvania/Chancellorsville Battlefields (all very close together) are even closer than the first 2 I mentioned. Williamsburg is great to see. It is about 3.5 hrs or so from there along with Jamestown. Of course, you are also about 4 hrs or so from Philadelphia, which you aren't super close to in TX. Give me time, I might think of more. LOL!

Sorry...I'm from this area. :-)
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Re: Mega Field Trip to D.C.

Unread post by cbollin »

Colonial Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:26 pm

Re: Mega Field Trip to D.C.

Unread post by CharleneHoell »

We went on this free walking tour of the monuments in D.C. a couple of years ago and loved it! The guides are very informative and you gain historical knowledge of the city that is not found in most history books...and all they ask for is a small donation!
It was my kids favorite thing we did that summer!

Married to a wonderful husband for 18 yrs
Daughter of the King!
Been loving MFW for 8 years!
Ds 10th grade
Ds 8th grade
Dd 5th grade
Ds 2nd grade
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Trip to Amish country

Unread post by gratitude »

ckd0822 wrote:My mother's family is from Pennsylvania and we have the opportunity to go to our reunion in the heart of Amish country near the end of July.
I thought I would have my DH dictate some information for you to me since he is from that part of Pennsylvania and his grandfather was a Dunkard Brethren preacher.

In Lancaster County there are 3 groups of Ana-baptists that are from Switzerland and Germany. Here is some information about each one:
The Amish drive grey buggies with a horse on the side of the roads. They live without electricity.
Their are two types of Mennonites. The more conservative drive a black buggy with a horse. My DH thinks they also live without electricity.
The slightly less conservative Mennonites drive cars that are all black; they are known as the black bumper Mennonites. They live with electricity.
The Amish and Mennonites dress very similarly so it is difficult to tell them a part by dress. The women wear dresses and hair coverings.
The third group of anabaptists is the Dunkard Brethren. They drive regular cars and live with electricity. They do not have TVs. The women wear calico dresses and head coverings. The men always wear long pants.

The Amish actually branched off of the Mennonites while still in Switzerland. The Amish to this day speak German. The Dunkard Brethren were from Germany, and today speak English.

If I was taking my kids today I would want to explain ahead of time 'why' from scripture they have chosen to live and dress as they live and dress. Even though they have done enough Pathway readers and R&S books to have the idea. I often explain their ancestors dressed and lived like the people in their readers. They don't seem to question that they did, or that we don't dress that way. I loved my DH Brethren relatives for their warmth, kindness, sincerity, and obvious fruit of the Spirit. It comes across in all of their Christmas cards too.

A few other facts:
The Amish don't even like having their pictures taken. There are tours, but they aren't done by the Amish. You will see them driving down the roads in their buggies (gray for Amish, black for Mennonite). If you go in an Amish store it won't have electricity, but it will have beautiful hand made items.

So enjoy!
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:34 pm

Colorado Trip

Unread post by carlamom2ansnm »

schelean wrote:We are headed to Colorado in July. We will be participating in a family mission trip in Gunnison. We will have most afternoons free to do as we please. We will also have time before and after the mission week to travel and see Colorado. I know there are many wonderful things to see and do. We love lots of fun but also really enjoy sites/activities that connect to our history. I know many of you on the board will have lots of ideas, tips, and suggestions. I would love any input you have!

Dawn - I know you are in Colorado. I spoke with you at the Arlington, TX convention (many times :-)) You had some great tips. I would welcome any other input you have to offer! BTW, for anyone that has the opportunity to hear Dawn speak at convention - don't miss it! She was one of our favorite speakers. My friends and I loved her practical tips and have implemented many! Thank you Dawn! It was great getting to finally meet you at the convention.
I just thought I'd mention a fun thing (non-educational lol) that I remember doing as a child when we were driving through Colorado. Many of the ski slopes have coaster type rides going down them. They were so much fun! I loved them, but don't even remember what they're called. Heck it might not even be anything new for you, depending on where you're from, but thought I'd mention it just in case.
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Colorado Trip

Unread post by momma2boys »

We lived there for 2 years - here are some of my suggestions:

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs - just pretty and a unique place to visit.
Royal Gorge Bridge just outside of Canon City - this is fun and educational.
Butterfly Pavillion in Denver area - fun and educational.
Aspen is really pretty in the summer - spring for the gondola ride and spend some time at the top of the mountain. Gorgeous views and fun live entertainment. Purely fun!

Those are off the top of my head. We didn't have the opportunity to sight-see a lot while there, but we really enjoyed what we were able to do! Have a great trip -
Anna (CO)

Still married to the love of my life
Mom to two boys, 13 and 11 - both adopted and with their own unique special needs

We've done ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR and on to EXPL-1850 this year!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Colorado Trip

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We've been to Denver enough that our son decided to settle there. We have some fond memories.

- I'd try right away to get a reservation to tour the Denver mint. Those fill up fast. I've never been able to schedule a tour enough in advance :(

- When I had little choo-choo-train fans, an exciting event was to just go inside the restored train station (free, ... 3&Itemid=4 ) or take the Denver light rail to the end and back (be careful you know your trip times, as we got stuck). There's also a real old-time train ride in Durango I think, I'm sure it'll show up on tourism things. They have a train at Pike's Peak and at Royal Gorge, too, but that isn't an official historic site so it felt a bit showy to me. Okay enough on choo-choos.

- We love the Rocky Mountain National Park. If you drive up the mountain in the park a ways, there is a spot where a dam broke and these giant boulders spilled out, with water splashing over them. It's very lovely, and a powerful reminder to me of what the great flood must have been like. There is also one of those cute little vacation towns down below, called Estes Park (includes the hotel where the "newer" movie The Shining was filmed, not sure that's of interest though!). These are just north of Denver/Boulder. You might want to stay at the Denver level a couple of days before heading further up, to prevent anyone from getting mountain sickness.

- We also enjoyed visiting the headquarters of Focus on the Family. If you time it right, younger ones can do a lot of things. I just liked the bookstore :) and the atmosphere. It's south of Denver in Colorado Springs, ... enter.aspx

- Garden of the Gods is also impressive (I renamed it God's Garden LOL). Also in Colorado Springs.

- We enjoy visiting the Air Force Academy, on the way to Colorado Springs.

- It isn't too far up the mountain to see some old cowboy type places. I might not bother with the cute towns of Blackhawk & Central City because they aren't kid-friendly (we couldn't even let our child use a bathroom on one trip), basically they are now gambling towns - although I've heard they're adding tours and such, and the buffets can be nice. There is, though, a touching old graveyard up by Central City. Also, Buffalo Bill has his own little gravesite and museum in Golden ( )

It might help to see what things the most people mention :)
P.S. The TV series Dr. Quinn was set in Colorado somewhere between EX1850 and 1850MOD. I posted about some episodes for 1850MOD here, but there may be some earlier episodes that relate to EX1850? ... 578#p50578
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Colorado Trip

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Gunnison is more south... So, I would go to the Great Sand Dunes. Take the cog railroad up Pikes Peak, or drive up it. Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is great. Oh, go to the Colorado Springs Zoo (I like it better than our Denver zoo). Go on over to Manitou Springs for some good shopping. If you come up to Denver, go to the Denver Mint. Then of course there is Elitches (an amusement park, but not as big as a Disney park, more of a Six Flags sized park). Our capital building's dome is actually covered in gold (not copper or bronze as in most places), and is currently getting redone.

Go to for the map and the tourist book. Take a rafting trip down the Arkansas River. Mesa Verde is in the southern part of the state - check out the cliff dwellings there. If you like to camp, bring camping gear. There are a couple of Alpine Slides - but I think that's only Breckenridge and one here on the west side of Denver at Heritage Square.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: Colorado Trip

Unread post by momxnine »

I'm jealous. :-D I LOVE Colorado! My oldest daughter and I took a "girls" trip there about 10 years ago (right after she got out of high school) and hiked Flat Top Mountain near Denver and then spent a couple of days down in the Springs (which was our favorite!). We went up Pikes Peak among other things. You'll be a little bit of a drive from the Springs & Denver, so I would just do a search on all the things to do near Gunnison. The Sand Dunes was one of the places we wanted to go to, but it didn't work out. Looks like a really neat place. In the other direction, Silverton is a neat place too and they have a gold mine that you can go down into. My husband & son were there a few years ago. No matter where you go, it'll be beautiful and you'll create great memories.

Just a FYI about Royal Gorge if you decide to go there. My mom & dad were there just a couple of days ago for a vacation with my brother's 3 girls. It cost them $110.00 to get in the gate!!! I don't know what all that includes and I don't know if you can just walk across the bridge for free or not, but be prepared to spend some $$$.
Vicki in SW MO.

Mom to 9, ages 10 - 31, Grammy to 4
Married 32 years, homeschooled for 25 years; 6 graduated, 3 to go
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:06 pm

Re: Colorado Trip

Unread post by schelean »

Thanks to all of you for such great ideas! This board is such a wealth of information. :-) I can't wait to see many of these great places!
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Williamsburg Va and Exploration to the 1800's

Unread post by kw4blessings »

SarahP wrote:We are in the very early stages of considering a trip to Colonial Williamsburg for Thanksgiving. I would love to hear from anyone who has been. We are doing Exploration to the 1800's and I thought it could be a wonderful tie-in. It would be a 7.5 hour drive from North East Ohio and a significant expense - hotels, gas, food, lodging for 5 or more etc. Is it fun, is it historically accurate and educational, is the lodging comfortable? Any feedback would be welcomed!

Sarah P
Hi Sarah,
I hope you all are able to make the visit. I would highly recommend it. We live in central VA and have visited Col. Williamsburg several times.

I would recommend definitely doing your research and purchasing admission tickets that allow you to see all the "inner workings". It's possible to go and just walk around for free, but not worth the time and effort to come so far. I just found on the website that there is an online game called RevQuest that you can play to prepare for and tie-in to your visit. I know nothing about it, but it looks neat, so check that out. There are tons of options in W'burg for lodging, and parking there is generally free, so you may find something nice/cheaper a short drive away (Hampton Inn, etc)

Check out the calendar on the website as well. There are tons of events going on everyday (some included with admission, others not). So, yes, it is fun, historically accurate, and very educational if you take advantage of the daily events. :)

If you are there for Thanksgiving day, there are several of the taverns that serve an authentic 18th century Thanksgiving meal. Looks pricey, but would be amazing, I'm sure. It's obviously dinner time here, because I'm getting really hungry just thinking about it!

Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
Post Reply