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It’s back to school time Colorado! Teachers are in full swing of making lesson plans and mapping out educational activities for their new students. 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. Kids all over the area in Denver are gearing up for the school bell, but it’s never too early to get those field trips booked for the fall and winter semesters. From zoos and aquariums to museums and historic sites, here’s a great list of field trip ideas in Denver that will be a helpful resource for teachers and school administrators!
Outdoor Field Trip Ideas
Go Green! Denver Botanical Gardens
The unique aspect of Denver Botanical Gardens is there are two great locations to visit that are both managed by the garden organization: Chatfield Farms in Littleton and York Street in Downtown Denver.
- Chatfield Farms Littleton: A 700-acre native plant refuge and working farm located along the banks of Deer Creek in southern Jefferson County. There you will find the Earl J. Sinnamon Visitor Center, the historical Hildebrand Ranch, a restored 1918 dairy barn and silo, and the Deer Creek Schoolhouse which was originally built in 1874. There are also lots of nature trails and numerous wildflower gardens. The area is well known to feature a variety of bird species, so it’s a great place to go bird watching!
- York Street Gardens: Situated on 24 acres, York Street offers a wide range of gardens that reflect an ever-widening diversity of plants from all corners of the world. There is also the Freyer-Newman Center which houses the Helen Fowler Library, art galleries, classrooms, the School of Botanical Art & Illustration, and the Copper Door Coffee Roasters coffee shop.
By having both locations in two different cities in the area, students are able to experience bits of historical education, and nature learning and have some hands-on fun out and about in the sun!
Dig It: Dinosaur National Monument
Though located several hours outside of Denver, Dinosaur National Monument is a must-try for field trips in Colorado! Complete with breathtaking cliffs, river-flowing canyons, and petroglyphs etchings, the monument has a number of hiking and biking trails, and river rafting options. The National Park Service offers free Junior Ranger and Junior Paleontology programs where participants earn a free badge when they complete a booklet of activities. Whether you’re looking to teach your students science or history, Dinosaur National Monument offers so many opportunities to explore.
Rock On: Red Rocks Amphitheater
One of the most famous outdoor performance venues in the world, Red Rocks Amphitheater is just a short drive from the Denver city limits. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds, and animals from both regions. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. There’s a great Visitor Center featuring interactive educational displays about the geological and musical history of Red Rocks. There’s also a Colorado Music Hall of Fame inside the Trading Post! Student groups can take one of the many short hikes to immerse themselves in the Red Rocks environment.
Indoor Field Trip Ideas
Dive In! SeaQuest Littleton
Experience underwater life like never before at SeaQuest Littleton the ultimate land and sea adventure! 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 Denver metro area.
Unsinkable: The Molly Brown House Museum
Whether you’re a student on a field trip excursion or a tourist in the area, the Molly Brown House Museum is a must-see in Denver. Margaret Tobin Brown captured the world’s attention for her brave actions during the sinking of the RMS Titanic. She was subsequently known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” although during her lifetime she was referred to as “Maggie” not Molly. Here at the museum, you will visit Brown’s 1889 home, one of the first “modern” homes built in the West – it includes electricity, central heat, and indoor plumbing. You’ll learn about Brown’s fascinating and incredible life, from instant mining-town wealth to labor reform and the stages of New York. The mission of Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum is to accurately portray the story of Margaret Tobin Brown within the context of her life. It’s a wonderful tribute to Brown showcasing artifact and personal items collection, and educational programming.
It’s a Kid Thing: Children’s Museum of Denver
A field trip to the Children’s Museum of Denver isn’t just fun and laughs! It’s an opportunity for students to learn in small group settings and actual work in hands-on scenarios in a number of STEM-related activities! For more information, check out our guide to STEM Education here. This children’s museum offers educational programs designed for preschools, elementary schools, daycares, and homeschool groups. These programs are designed to inspire and engage students through interactive experiences and artistic creativity.
Denver has a variety of field trip options to choose from, with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that can fit in any semester of the school year. There are a number of amazing, fun, and educational experiences out there when it comes to school field trips in Colorado. This list has some of the best of the best! From SeaQuest Littleton, to museums or artistic adventures, this list offers great suggestions to make a classroom learning experience feel like the trip of a lifetime!