Some of the best memories from grade school are made at field trips. Field trips offer students something they can’t get from lectures or textbook pages — hands-on fun! Here are some metro Detroit attractions to visit with your students. They’re great places to make memories and, of course, learn something too!
1. Belle Isle Nature Center (Detroit)
Availability: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
Take a guided hike on the center’s 1/8-mile interpretive nature trail and enjoy both indoor and outdoor animal exhibits. Programs include a fallow deer feeding, a hands-on activity and biofact discovery time.
2. Detroit Historical Museum (Detroit)
Availability: Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Admission: Varies by program; teachers/chaperones are free
Various tours, programs and workshops, including a facilitated experience that lets students engage, think through and draw conclusions about Detroit’s tumultuous summer of 1967 and a trading game in which students must barter with each other for furs and goods.
3. Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit)
Availability: Tuesday-Friday at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
Admission: Free admission and bus transportation for students in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties
Lead your own visit or let one of the DIA Gallery Teachers guide you. All guided field trips explore art to build skills in creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and active collaborative learning.
4. Michigan Science Center (Detroit)
Availability: Wednesday-Friday (hours vary, also Tuesdays from Oct. 8, 2017, to Jan. 7, 2018)
Admission: Varies by experience you select
Interact with more than 250 hands-on exhibits that explore space, health, physical science, engineering and more. You can also bring the Michigan Science Center to your school through its Traveling Science program!
5. Detroit Zoo (Royal Oak)
Availability: Monday to Friday at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 students/teachers/chaperones in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties ($7 for those outside of the tri-county area)
Give your class a dose of Vitamin Z at the Ford Education Center inside the Detroit Zoo. Learn about animal needs, life cycles, conservation efforts, zoo careers and more.
6. Diamond Jack’s River Tours (Detroit)
Availability: Monday-Friday May 1 to Oct. 31 at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
See 16 miles of the U.S. and Canada Detroit River shoreline, ocean-going and Great Lakes ships, a light house, yacht clubs, the fire boat, parks, ship terminals, a mail boat and much more.
7. Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores)
Admission: $5/students, $8/chaperones, teachers are free
Investigate how different groups of people used the property from the time when Native Americans inhabited the area to today, explore the Ford House through a docent-led tour of the home or take a self-guided iPad tour that lets students navigate the historic landscape through the perspective of the Ford Family.
8. Ford Rouge Factory Tour (Dearborn)
Availability: Monday-Saturday from 9:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. (tours depart every 20 minutes, check for closure dates and plant non-production dates)
Experience the action of the real-life factory floor where the new Ford F-150 is made. View today’s sophisticated assembly of cars and trucks by both robots and highly skilled tradesmen.
9. Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn)
Availability: Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Unleash your students’ inquisitiveness and help them understand the history of America’s most powerful innovations. Sit on the very bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, explore the Allegheny — one of the world’s most powerful steam locomotives — and more.
10. Legoland Discovery Center (Auburn Hills)
Availability: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (6 p.m. on Sundays)
Inspire your students’ imaginations with educational play that harnesses the limitless creative possibilities of Lego bricks.
11. The Parade Company Studio Tours (Detroit)
Availability: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Special prices for groups available
Venture into ParadeLand and experience a behind-the-scenes look at America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van. Learn more about the Parade’s fascinating history, explore the 200,000-square-foot storyland of floats and see how award-winning artisans bring it all to life.
12. Arts & Scraps (Detroit)
Availability: Monday, Wednesday or Friday
Admission: Varies by age and number in group; teachers/chaperones are free
Let your students’ imaginations run wild. They’ll think, create and learn while re-imagining recycled industrial materials. Curriculum themes are available or you can create a customized topic.
13. Cranbrook Institute of Science (Bloomfield Hills)
Availability: Oct. 3, 2017 to June 8, 2018 (hours vary, closed Mondays)
Admission: $12/student; teachers/chaperones are free
More than 80 field trip programs, as well as special and permanent exhibits, planetarium shows and seasonal events. Meet science professionals who are active in their fields and get the opportunity to interact with a unique, world-class collection of objects and artifacts.
Looking for more Detroit field trip ideas? See our list of places to visit in Detroit.