Middle school students are ready to dive into field trips that go beyond a simple outing away from the classroom. And the best middle school field trip ideas you can come up with for this age group combine fun with educational activities. Plan a safe field trip your middle schoolers won't soon forget.
Restaurant Field Trips
Restaurants are a great place to take kids on a field trip because they can go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen, learn about the different jobs in the restaurant industry, see examples of food safety and watch the chefs prepare recipes. Restaurants can include a pizzeria, fast food chain and a diner, to name a few. Contact any restaurant's manager to set up your field trip.
Post-9/11, airport tours aren't as readily available as they once were. But there are still plenty of airports that do offer tours. These tours will take middle schoolers through the terminal, ticketing process, baggage handling and more. Check with smaller airports near your city if the larger airports near you are no longer offering tours. The airport's administration offices should have complete information on tour schedules for your group.
Sanctuaries are great places to get up close and personal with a variety of animals and learn about the environment, natural resources and so much more. Sanctuaries are usually very accommodating to tour groups large and small. Most do ask that you call the sanctuary to schedule an appointment beforehand.
Want to watch a letter's journey through the local post office? Walk through the back doors of the post office. Students can see the machines sort the mail, watch the workers handle the mail and learn more about how the post office works to bring letters, packages and even bills to their parents' homes. Try to visit a larger post office in your area, then arrange a tour at a rural post office so kids can see the difference in the setups. Call the post office's local number to ask about a group tour.
Learn about plant families and their diversity all year long. During a greenhouse tour, students can see everything from cacti to tropical plants that probably don't grow in your area. Some greenhouses also have herb gardens to add to your learning experience. Call the greenhouse well in advance to set up a tour. Some require 2-3 weeks notice.
Retirement homes are full of lively seniors who would love to share stories from their childhood. Many are talented entertainers who can tell great jokes, sing, dance and perform a magic show. Plus, visiting the elderly with children is a great lesson in teaching respect. Call the retirement home's director to see if your group can be accommodated.
Middle school children can handle a little more freedom than elementary school children, and a museum is a great place to break your classroom into small groups to explore art, natural history, technology and science museums. The museum director can schedule your group for a behind-the-scenes tour.
Sporting events are a great reward for middle school students. Many sports teams have special days built into their home games to honor students for their academic efforts. Contact the team's events coordinator to find out which days are set aside specifically for students.
When the weather warms up or before the park shuts down for the winter, take the kids to an amusement park to blow off some steam. Contact the amusement park in advance to see if they could give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the amusement park's operations.
While the individual stores help make up a mall, there's an entire business group you don't even see when you visit your favorite shopping mall. Students will learn about how businesses lease the space, how inventory is managed and what makes a successful shopping mall. Contact the mall manager for your behind-the-scenes tour.