Field Trip ideas for 1850 to Modern Times

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Field Trip ideas for 1850 to Modern Times

Unread post by Marie »

Field Trip ideas for 1850 to Modern Times.

Cemeteries & War Veterans

Unread post by cbollin »

As odd as this might sound.... we've been visiting a local cemetery and looking for a few markers that are for veterans of various wars. We even found a lot of rows of graves related to flu epidemic at the end of WW I.

It might seem weird to others. But thought I'd share that anyway. When I old enough my parents took me to various great uncles' funerals who had serve in wars. So, it didn't seem weird to me to use a cemetery for a tiny field trip.


Near Cincy.... (aka Northern Kentucky)

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:31 am

* Harriett Beecher Stowe house
* William Taft National Historic site
* maybe the Behringer-Crawford Museum (I haven't been there, but it claims on its website that it has interactive displays for kids)
* Newport Aquarium is still having its Winter Family Days pass through the end of Feb.
* Cincinnati Fire Museum – it would be about the history of firefighting.
* And don’t forget to check out Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s website and look through the Attractions list over there. Several museum’s and historic stuff listed.

Julie - Staff
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Washington D.C. Field trip...ideas?

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

RB wrote:I know we will do the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington memorial, etc. My thought is one day at the Smithsonian, one day at the National Zoo. Any other ideas?
Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:26 am
Author: TriciaMR

Over towards Manassas, VA there are some Civil War sites. I don't know if you can take the metro out that far or not now.

You could spend a week on The Mall and still not do everything. The Smithsonian is great. When my folks visited me, I want to say we went to the Library of Congress (or something to that effect) and got to see the Magna Carta and some other early documents on display - that was cool.

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:03 pm
Author: gressman9

We have taken two family trips to D.C. Just be prepared to take the Metro (don't drive in D.C!). Also be prepared to walk, and walk, and walk! Our feet were killing us both times. So bring a stroller if you have anyone under age 5....even the ones who don't normally need it might!

We loved the zoo. It is the best one we have ever been to. We made the mistake one year of thinking that there was a large acquarium in D.C. too, but it was tiny.

The Smithsonians are cool....except you might want to see if Answers in Genesis has a museum guide. We had a hard time walking around the Natural History museum. I felt like I was always saying...."that's not true....we don't know if that's true....etc".

There is an FBI museum....if you have boys old enough...I think there is a minimum recommended age on that one... and it costs.

I loved the National Archives, Lincoln memorial, etc. Our children thought they were a little boring. They had been excited until a security guard broke the news that the movie "National Treasure" wasn't really filmed there. So much for their enthusiasm! But it was still cool to see the Declaration of Independence.

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:17 pm
Author: Julie in MN

Many moons ago when I stayed in DC for a while, I loved the parks. Each one seemed to be unique, with cool things to see -- statues, fountains, stairways, landscaping. No cost, no wait, no shushing :o) And my kids have always liked interacting with a place best -- running, sitting, exploring, touching... Just thought I'd mention that option.

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:13 pm
Author: Marcy KY

We were just there in October.

Keep in mind that the "Smithsonian" is many many different museums including Natural History, American History, Air and Space, Nat'l Gallery of Art, Botanic Gardens, etc.

The Air and Space museum was our very favorite.

The Natural History Museum is cool, even with the dinosaurs, but the dinosaurs are a small part of it. All of the animals grouped by continents are very cool. And my son love the rocks and gems displays. We've seen other dinosaur stuff, so we really didn't spend much time there.

You probably won't get in to see the White House at this late date. You have to petition your representative months in advance for a tour date and time. The Capitol is the same. We did manage to get a personal Capitol tour though, so you may have time to ask for that.

Our other favorite thing to see was the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery.

Love the zoo, but would put it toward the bottom of the list of things to do on my first trip there, because there is just so much else.

We also really like the Postal Museum, especially during Adventures, it would be great to see also and pretty low key.

One of our other very favorite things to do is the C&O Canal tour. You'd have to catch a cab there, the Metro doesn't go that direction, but it's worth it!

My 7-yr-old history buff really wanted to see the Declaration of Independence. Other than seeing it, he wasn't that interested in the National Archives, so we just went to see the documents and left. He also wanted to see war memorials. Over by the Lincoln Memorial are a couple, so you might want to spend an afternoon over there. It's quite sobering.

The Metro (subway) is very family friendly and safe, and the way to get around, besides your best walking shoes. Very easy to navigate. They have great maps and there are guard desks at each stop if you have questions. A few of the metro stops are very busy (Metro Center, Union Station to name a couple), but for the most part the stops are quiet and there isn't much there to distract your little one. I would enlist the older 2 in helping keep everyone together.

And yes, almost everything is free! There is a charge for the C&O Canal tour that I mentioned. But most all of the Smithsonians, zoo, monument tours, etc. are free.

Have fun!

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:49 am
Author: RB

This information is great! Thank you SO much!

I had no idea that you have to petition your representative for a White House tour. The last time I was there was when I was 9 :) Well, just seeing it will still be cool for the kids. to make choices when there is so much to see and do :)

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:56 pm
Author: Heidi

This may be a bit much but, I grew up and lived just outside DC until I was 32, then lived in Frederickburg (50 miles south) until 42. You just did Adventures - overview of US history.

DC - I have a book called God's Signature over the Nations's Capital by Catherine Millard. I do not know your financial ability, and it has been a long time since I have read it - but, she used to give tours that specifically highlighted the wonderful Christian heritage that is all over the place in DC that most tours now ignore. The book might detail it if you can not afford the tours. Or google it and see who might offer such tours.

Smithsonian - as Marcy pointed out - is many museums - and though very worth it all, quite extensive and it is exhausting and requires much walking. One must wear excellent already worn in shoes. It is all definitely based on evolution - so take along AIG's guides as suggested.

For kids who just studied Adventures I would take them to;
1) Mount Vernon, where George Washington spent most of his life from around age 17 and up and through Revolutionary War and after his presidency, is beautiful and well worth the long waits usually there. It has extensive grounds with many plantation outbuidings. I do not remember what program they have for kids - but they have one - ask for it. This is in Alexandria, VA.

2) Gunston Hall, which is George Mason's home who is the man who wrote the Bill of Rights (has a colonial kitchen program for kids). Also has extensive grounds and plantation outbuildings. This is near Fort Belvior, VA.

3) Sully Plantation, I forget whose home this is but it is a relative of Lee (daughter?) (has a colonial school program for kids) and request the kids' programs. This is near Dulles Airport.

Fredericksburg, VA - - is 50 miles south and very lovely also. It has:
1) The boyhood home of George Washington - called Ferry Farm where you can do an archaeological dig.

2) His sister, Betty's home - Kenmore Plantation and Gardens (I worked as a children's tour guide there for nearly 5 years - ask for the children's guide for your homeschool - I did tours for homeschoolers all the time) is absolutely worth a trip as are a few more places right along the main street in the beautiful town and not nearly so much walking -

3) and you can take an old fashioned trolley to take you to all the places and get a pass that includes it all (definitely not free though) -

4) plus it was also a very famous battlefield during the Civil War - so you can get both sets of history in one place. It has both confederate and national cemeteries, a beautiful drive where you can still see Civil War trenches for miles at a stretch - it still blows my mind!

If I ever get back - I would take my kids to the above places- I used to teach 4th grade - which is the year they do VA history.

I hope this was not overwhelming.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:07 pm
Author: dhudson

We took our oldest to Washington DC when he was 6 and my husband was also at a convention so the two of us did DC on our own and it was fine. We stayed at a hotel near the metro which made travel easy, although I would plan metro times at off peak hours to avoid congestion. We are going back in May with all three of ours 9, 6 and 6 and are really looking forward to it.

I did get this book for my oldest the first time and will probably get it for all three this time around called, "A Kids Guide to the Smithsonian." It gives tips but also has places to fill in for each Smithsonian and questions based on each museum. It's like a guided journal and was a great keepsake.

I second the suggestion for Mt Vernon! It was probably the highlight of the trip even over the White House and Capitol tours. George Washington was an amazing man and I didn't realize how many things he invented or improved. There are also grape vines on the estate which was a great visual as we had studied, "He is the vine and we are the branches." but since we live in Colorado we hadn't seen many grape vines.

I'm sure you'll have a great trip!
Last edited by Julie - Staff on Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:04 pm
Okay, I may have been a little over-zealous field trip organizer for a year or two :o) But we learned a lot about the US by learning about our own state... And don't forget that much info on these can be found online as virtual field trips.

Late 1800s - Minnesota
* Cahill School - typical one room schoolhouse (1864), spend a full day in school, with the option to bring bonnets and tin pail lunches; located in Edina
* Faribault Woolen Mill (1865), once one of 800 in the central US, now one of three, and still the site of all steps from wool to blanket
* Fort Snelling sometimes does a Civil War theme (1860s), hosts homeschool days in the fall, group tours, and weekend family events. Located between Mpls. & St. Paul
* Alexander Ramsey House - First Governor of MN "Territory," typical Victorian house (1872), tour house or take Irvine Park Walking Tour; located in St. Paul
* Northfield Museum - capture of Jesse James (1876), including post-Civil War/Reconstruction issues, how a bank robbery back then really meant everyone would lose all their money, and the bravery of heroes (ask tour guide to emphasize heroes, not exciting bank robbers)
* Mill City Museum - from 1880 to 1930 Mpls. was called the Flour Milling Capital of the World; located in downtown Mpls., several blocks from Metrodome light rail stop, and in the other direction it is within walking distance of the Stone Arch Bridge & Mpls. Riverfront Walking Tours.
* Gedney Pickle Factory has only one plant & provides pickles to a large part of the US (1881), also can learn about "Kosher"; located in Chaska
* James J. Hill House - biggest we've seen, 36,000 sq.ft., railroad builder who started from nothing (1891); located in St. Paul, not far from capitol, across from Cathedral (& Summit Av. Walking Tour)

First half of 1900s - Minnesota
* American Swedish Institute, Minnesota's "only castle" built by the owner of the Minnesota Swedish newspaper (1904), located in South Mpls.
* State Capitol, with many historic paintings, statues, etc (1905), free tours
* MN State Academy for the Deaf (1910), could visit when studying Helen Keller (1880-1968); located in Faribault where you can also tour the school for the blind, woolen mill, cute little Rice County museum, and River Bend nature center (can eat lunch in a teepee)
* Lock & Dam No. 1 - we didn't find a tour but learned lots by watching, exploring, & reading posted info (1917), located right behind Minnehaha Park in Mpls.
* Walk through Downtown Minneapolis - many streets & bldgs. named after historic figures (Marquette, Nicollet, Washington, etc.); can look at Foshay Tower 1929 (no tours, but good art deco, modeled after WA Monument, became a hotel in 2008) & several bldgs. being restored
* The Depot Ice Rink & Hotel (& water park), built inside 1899 train depot, open to the public but skating hours are limited; located in downtown Mpls. along Washington Av.
* Stillwater Lift Bridge (1931), a modern type of "drawbridge," fairly rare, developed after War Dept. demanded more easily navigable waterways; we had a good tour by the actual bridge operator, set up with nice MnDot Public Affairs Coordinator
* Hennepin History Museum (1938), the museum was small, the library is definitely the best part - bring along names of ancestors from Hennepin County to look up & find lots of little details about them, located right across from the Mpls. Institute of Arts.
* Fort Snelling National Cemetery (1939), bring a veteran's name to search for on the index & then find the grave, or volunteer on a Memorial Day, located across from the Humphrey airport (Mpls Terminal 2)
* Pavek Museum of Broadcasting (1920=first commercial broadcast), packed little museum with fun activities such as making your own radio broadcast or TV game show, located in St. Louis Park.
* Old Dutch Foods - Minnesota potato chip factory for the midwest & Canada (1934), tour goes from potato to bag, located in Roseville.
* Fort Snelling sometimes does WWII themes -- they even bring in real veterans to talk to! (1940s)
* State Capitol and grounds has memorials to several recent wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) and to other historical events; free bldg. tours and $2 brochures available for self-guided walking tour of the grounds
* X-Cel Black Dog Power Plant (1950s), tour big energy plant, plus their eagle nests up on top of the tower. Located along the MN River in Burnsville.
* University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - walk, drive, or take trolley tour; includes apple varieties invented in Minnesota (1958), located in Chaska

Second half of 1900s - Minnesota
* Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (1982), tours given by interesting retired guys; located in downtown Mpls., light rail stops in front.
* Minnesota History Center Museum (1992, with many other years covered); their formal tours are very structured towards a narrow age range, but are good. They usually host a homeschool day in the fall, reservation required. Located next to the state capitol in St. Paul.
* Midway Stadium - home of St. Paul Saints, hosts a fun education day game, usually in May (1993), located on Energy Park Dr. in St. Paul, near Snelling Av.
* Minneapolis Light Rail, Hiawatha Line (planned in 1970s, opened in 2004), or general walk thru Mpls. viewing more recent architecture, including the IDS Building (1975), etc. The easiest place to park and board is at the Mall of America, basement level; technically this is NOT a park-and-ride location, and you should SHOP if you park at the mall :) but I tried several actual park-and-rides which were full to the brim.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by cbollin »

In Indiana:

*In Mitchell, IN Spring Mill State Park has a living history village mid 1800's.
and as long as you are in Mitchell, you may as well stop by the Gus Grissom Memorial for when you study the Space Race. also, a Gus Grissom stuff at the entrance to Spring Mill State Park, but the memorial up the road in town, has a playground. (nothing fancy y'all, but I love small towns)

*Conner Prairie

*lots of stuff in Indy including President Benjamin Harrison house and James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home


in general, look around your town at the courthouses and local museums. Usually lots of easy field trips for modern time history.

Have fun!

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Civic Field Trip

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Our city is probably going to close 4 of our 7 libraries (one of which is very close and we use a lot). I'm going to sign up to speak during the meeting, asking the city to be more creative about the libraries rather than closing them. (I'm not the only one go to speak, but several people will speak for different reasons.)

Postby TriciaMR » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:00 am
Thanks everyone for praying. I gave my little speech (we only had 3 minutes). Toni came with me (can anyone say Field Trip?!). Several other people came besides the 3 of us from our HOA board and spoke about it, so that was encouraging. Also, we found out the county we are in has serious issues with the city closing the libraries.

The library in our neighborhood is the 2nd most used library in our entire city, and they are planning on closing it. Our HOA president found a document that the developer gave the land to the city for the library on the condition that they keep the library open for 50 years. They're about 14 years shy. They counsel members seemed shocked that there ever was such an agreement.

Anyway, it was good to be involved and do our civic duty.
Julie in MN wrote:Trish,
I missed the prayer request but that was interesting to read about. Cool field trip, too! It's so great when we can demonstrate our concerns and beliefs to our children by showing them our actions, not just our words. My kids sometimes need reminders about that... maybe I'll read your post to ds :o)
Posted by TriciaMR » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:09 am
It was interesting to go. They had some "ceremonies" at the beginning - we just had elections for 5 City Counsel members. They could only swear in 4, because there is a recount going on for one.

I think it was good for the city counsel to see the face of a child that is going to be affected by the closure. And it's not just my kids. There are lots of kids that use the library here in our neighborhood. I'm always surprised at how many teens are in there after school. I realize some of it is to get on the internet so mom and dad don't know what they're up to, but I see them there reading and checking out books, too. Lots of families use the library. And, I know I've seen several tutors who meet their students there. I don't know where they are going to meet once the library is closed.

Anyway, our city does broadcast and record the Counsel meetings, so I've now used up 3 of my 15 minutes of fame My husband watched some of it with the boys, but once we started talking about the closing of the libraries, one of the boys got too upset. But, the way the Mayor treated some of the people who spoke made my husband not want to vote for him again. Toni was probably my protection from getting drilled by the counsel.

Most of those who spoke, spoke about the library closings. But, the last lady spoke because she needs information from the city to prevent the foreclosure of the whole condo development she lives in. It was good to see the Mayor specifically direct the city attorney to help this lady - had him give her his direct line and said, "Call his office tomorrow, and we'll get you this information." I think it was good for Toni to see that there are ways you can get help when you need it.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Field Trip ideas for 1850 to Modern Times

Unread post by dhudson »

We went to Yellowstone between weeks 15 and 16. Yes, it was winter but it was great timing for school. We learned about how the National Parks got started. How Teddy Roosevelt loved to come to Yellowstone and then how Woodrow Wilson started the National Parks Service. It was a great vacation/field trip and it was a perfect way to talk about how the US finally began to understand conservation of our natural resources and the change in society and government. If you have the 2nd/3rd grade supplement we read "Stone Fox" which is set in Jackson Hole, WY and is on the way to Yellowstone from one of it's gates. It was a magical trip and even if you can't (or want to) go in winter, 1850 - MOD times is a great time to go.
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