We were given FREE tickets! Who doesn’t love that?! Two hours away from our wee-lil’ town, in our state capital, our “neighborhood” zoo was offering a special, limited-time dinosaur exhibit. Naturally, I tend to veer away from dino-type offerings from the world, but as I knew it would mostly be life-sized models, my younger boys can not yet read all the evolutionary hogwash plastered on the display signs, and the Hubs and I could have an on-going Creation-focused conversation with all the Littles as we walked the tour, I agreed that this would be a fun expedition for my dino-lovin’ Super Boy and his side-kick siblings.
I won’t bore you with all the nitty-gritty of our little field trip except to give you a few tips for traveling to a long-distance field trip destination and a FREE Printable.
- Packing a lunch, easy-to-manage snacks, and water bottles to avoid the outlandish snack bar prices goes without saying.
- Backpacks are a large family’s best friend. Even little ones can tote their own necessities if given a size-appropriate pack.
- Be on the lookout for “pop up” special exhibits. Larger destinations like theme parks, zoos, and museums often have side-show attractions on major weekends or holidays to accommodate a larger crowd. (While walking the park, we spied a zoo attendant sitting on a bench holding a turtle. She invited anyone to come pet it and learn a few interesting facts. As she was hidden under a shade tree, she went unnoticed by passersby...affording us front row “seats” to the entire presentation.)
- Often, if “special” tickets have to be purchased in addition to general admission prices, those tickets are good for not ONE, but several different park perks. Or, they often can be redeemed for dollars off other attractions. If you are traveling a great distance, consider paying a few extra dollars for the “special” tickets in order to get a full-day's worth of fun. (Our general admission tickets were free from a family friend, but we still had to purchase the passes to enter the dino-exhibit. These, however, gave us half off the park tram which came in handy toward the hotter part of the day when we no longer felt like walking.)
Preparation is the key to a successful long-distance field trip. Check out these helpful sites for field trips in your area.
- Hip Homeschool Moms-a list of fun field trip destinations in EVERY state.
- Online College.org-a collection of 50 general suggestions
- Homeschool Entrepreneur-ideas for creating a field trip to explore vocational possibilities
- Factory Tours-a comprehensive info list of all tour-able factories in the US
- Field Trip Factory-partnering businesses and educators for great field trips
And now for the FREEBIE…
While on our two-hour-long trek TO the capital and the two-hour-long trek BACK home, we entertained ourselves with a few zoo/animal themed car games. Two that were especially fun were a “Name That Baby Animal” and “Name That Animal Group” guessing game. Essentially, I just called out an animal name and the first person to chime in with the correct answer earned a point. Most of the group names were unfamiliar to my kids, so, it was a great way to introduce them. Later, as we saw many of those same groups at the zoo, the kids were able to recall a few of them. I have put all of our "fun" on an easy-to-print-and-bring-along page just for you. Enjoy it on your next zoo outing or long car ride!