Schools can find opportunities for educational, entertaining school field trips for students of all ages in their communities by focusing on specialized local organizations and workplaces. Organizations aimed at raising awareness about cultural groups or historical events or eras may offer free tours of their museums or centers. Public service facilities, such as firehouses, courthouses, police stations, libraries and power plants, and small businesses, such as bakeries or garden nurseries, might offer educational tours.
Teachers and parents may have the best luck focusing on smaller museums, historical sites and cultural sites when seeking no-cost tours for student groups. Government facilities, such as state capitol buildings, often offer free student tours with advance reservations. Airports and train stations may also provide behind-the-scenes education about how they operate. Local artists, theater groups or musicians may also be willing to give talks on their artistic processes or tours of their studios or performance spaces.
Regional and state parks can often host school groups with free guidance from a ranger to talk about plants, wildlife and ecology, or teachers may choose to lead a field trip themselves to teach about natural science. Working farms can also provide free education in agriculture, animals and running a business.
Once a free site is secured, transportation is the next challenge. Groups can walk or rely on parent chaperones or a school-provided bus for transportation. Some public transit agencies also offer free tickets for school groups. If transportation is difficult to secure, teachers can also consider “virtual” field trips, such as online tours of the White House, the Louvre or the Smithsonian Institution.