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The last of the hot summer days are upon us and by now most new students in the Constitution state are getting backpacks filled with supplies. Teachers are busy making lesson plans and mapping out educational activities for their new flock of learners. Field trips are an important part of the school year learning and teachers of elementary through high school students are always looking for new ideas. In Hartford and Bridgeport and everywhere in between, educators can start to get those field trips booked for the fall and winter semesters. From zoos and aquariums to museums and historic sites to choose from, this quick list of field trip ideas in Connecticut will be a helpful resource for teachers and school administrators!
Outdoor Field Trip Ideas
All Aboard! The Essex Steam & Train Riverboat
The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat takes you on a trip down the water into the heart of the Connecticut River Valley. Go on a journey in one of the vintage coach cars as a steam locomotive pulls you into scenic New England towns. The Becky Thatcher, a touring riverboat, cruises into inlets, through coves, and along the rocky shoreline of the Connecticut River. There are also opportunities to do some great sightseeing and fun activities for field trip groups. This is a fantastic way to dive into the history of Connecticut and the importance of how the Connecticut Colonies helped shape the United States as we know it today.
Go Jurassic: Dinosaur State Park
There are more than two miles of trails at Dinosaur State Park that cover a variety of habitats, including a red maple and shrub swamp and great meadows. Basaltic rock that once flowed as hot lava eventually covered the habitat of Connecticut’s dinosaurs. Then in 1966 Edward McCarthy was excavating a rocky site when he turned over a slab of gray sandstone and saw something very exciting: six large, three-toed footprints. Within a few weeks of the discovery, the site was established as a state park. For years excavation continued and hence the name Dinosaur State Park. The park offers great field trip options for groups including interactive exhibits and weekend workshops!
Merry Go Round: Bushnell Park
Known as the first public park in America that was publically funded, Bushnell Park features memorials honoring Civil War and Spanish-American War soldiers and amazing forests and treescapes. With beautiful fountains and statues around the park, there’s a playground for the little kids too. Field trip tours will get the chance to tour around the park, taking in the great outdoors and absorbing some wonderful Hartford history all in one day. But one of the most iconic features of the park is the Bushnell Park Carousel! This vintage 1914 carousel is a magical highlight of the park, and it’s a great way to wrap a fun-filled day of field tripping!
Indoor Field Trip Ideas
Dive In! SeaQuest Connecticut
Experience underwater life like never before at SeaQuest Connecticut, the ultimate land and sea adventure! Located in Trumbull, SeaQuest offers a wide variety of field trip options for schools, designed to make learning fun and engaging. Students will interact with animals from all over the planet and learn about behind-the-scenes operations at SeaQuest! Age-specific Field Trip adventures are designed for learners of all ages. It’s a great field trip destination for students, parents, and teachers in the Atlanta area.
Weird Science: Connecticut Science Center
Located right in Hartford, the Connecticut Science Center features over 200 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, and daily programs and events. The Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for visitors of all ages. Students are exposed to topics and subjects in geology, astronomy, physics, and more. Because the activities are so educational and interactive, it makes for a great field trip destination to have students work in pairs or teams and be tasked with completing assignments during their visit. Along with the scientific aspects, the center also hosts a children’s gallery and the Connecticut River watershed experience.
It’s About That Time: American Clock and Watch Museum
Take a fascinating trip back in time at the American Clock and Watch Museum! Designated as one of Connecticut’s cultural treasures, the museum was founded in 1952 and then opened to the public in 1954. There’s about 10,000 sq ft. of exhibit space with over 1500 different clocks, watches, and vintage timepieces! What makes the visit so unique is that many of those clocks chime & strike on the hour, sending a musical sound bouncing around the walls. There’s a reference library and an amazing gift shop that offers a wide variety of clock-related gifts and books.
Connecticut has a unique and colorful list of field trip options to choose from. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that can fit in any semester of the school year. These amazing, fun, and educational experiences are some great choices for school field trips in Connecticut. From SeaQuest Connecticut , to museums or artistic adventures, this list offers great suggestions to make a classroom learning experience feel like the trip of a lifetime!