FREE and Low-Cost Field Trips,
FunDays, Museums, & Stuff!
Kids learn as they move, see, smell, hear and touch the things in their surroundings. With todays budget crunch, let's face it, it can be a real challenge finding fun things to do with our children that doesn't break the bank. We've provided an ever growing list of places to vist that will engage your children in the activity of learning, but trust me, they won't even notice.
We are continually updating this list of nation-wide fun activities, so be sure to check back often.
If you have information about fun activities in your area that are either free or inexpensive, we'd love to share them with our friends.
The museum is open for visitors seven days a week. Every day you can inspect and photograph over thirty pieces of major rolling stock and locomotives. Visit the Chase depot that served more served more than one railroad when in service. Take self guided tours free during the week or on Saturdays pay a small price to enjoy a special guided tour.
The guided tour covers the history of the Chase Nursery and proceeds through the facility and the museum's display passenger train. There is a charge of $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for children six through eleven.
The museum is open from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. for self guided tours. Train ride reservations can be made on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.
The non-profit Alaska Museum of Natural History fills a special need for science education in Alaska. No other organization in the state educates exclusively on Alaska's unique geological, cultural, and ecological history.
First Saturdays for Families is a free program that helps teach children about art and encourages them to be creative. Stop by on the first Saturday of each month (excluding holidays) to learn about one artist whose work is in the museum, and then make your own project based on what that artist does.
There is no cost to participate in our events and kids get to keep their art projects. It's a perfect day for kids ages 4-12 and their families. No registration is required. Just stop by the museum any time between 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month.
ASU Art Museum - Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
P.O. Box 872911
Mill Avenue and 10th Street
Tempe, AZ 85287-2911
The Crocker offers a variety of programs for children, teens and families. From their in-depth Art Workshops to After-school Programs, Crocker Art Museum offers many ways to engage children with art.
Homeschool Days are designed for small homeschool groups and individual families. These special days feature a trail of docent spotlight talks throughout the Museum, a hands-on art workshop and a post-visit art education activity to do at home. The experience is appropriate for children four and older and features art works in both the permanent collection and special exhibitions on view.
When booked in advance, Museum tours are free for youth groups in Sacramento County and $2 for groups from other counties. Required chaperones are free, and additional chaperones are $4.
Crocker Art Museum!
Where the past and the future meet and creative visions coalesce. Join us for various free events, check calendar for details. Admission is free.
California African American Museum!
600 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
The Arboretum offers many classes, programs, seminars, lectures, and other educational resources for people of all ages. It also hosts many horticulture-related shows & expositions. Those wishing a more hands-on experience can join the Los Voluntarios volunteer organization.
301 North Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA, 91007
Get ready to explore the wild and wacky worlds of mysterious creatures, fascinating habitats, and phenomenal science hands-on! So, wind up your mental motor and cruise on down to surf some brain waves with the Frizz!
- ► Wacky Science Sundays every Sunday with two FREE shows: 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Wacky Science Sunday Theme — Wahoo! Are you ready to take chances, make mistakes and get messy?! Well then get ready to shrink down and explore the world of germs! Sundays in March we'll learn about the super duper germ fighting structure that is our brain!
Performances FREE with Museum admission to the San Diego Natural History Museum.
San Diego Natural History Museum!
1788 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Coyote Point Museum provides educational experiences for our diverse, multi- generational community through wildlife, gardens, exhibitions, and programs that relate to the global environment. Our programs and exhibits expand children's sense of wonder, create keen observers and provide interaction with what they are learning!
FREE each Sunday! Get free admission on the first Sunday of every month. There is a $5 parking fee for non-members at park entrance.
Coyote Point Museum
1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Since zoos are about education, Central Florida Zoo has scheduled Homeschool ZOOventure Classes. Registration is free for the Zoo's 2009-2010 Homeschool classes. The event will feature displays, games, giveaways, curriculum ideas, animals, and the chance to hear presentations by Daniel H. Franck, Ph.D., the renowned Senior Science Content Specialist for K12, Inc.
This exciting event will take place in the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center Regularly scheduled ZOOventure classes are available for homeschool students.
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
3755 NW US Highway 17-92
Sanford, FL 32771
Explorations V Children's Museum is offering home school workshops during the school year. The sessions will be offered on the second Thursday of each month and will consist of a science series and a cultural arts series. Classes will be held during two different time slots each month.
The science series will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., for children ages 5-8; and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., for children 8-14 The cultural arts series will be held at 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., for children ages 5-8; and from 10 to 11:30 a.m., for children ages 8-14.
Explorations V Children's Museum
109 North Kentucky Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801-5044
Enjoy an afternoon of free, themed family at Centennial Olympic Park's Fourth Saturday Family Fun Day! The event is full of interactive, entertaining and educational activities for children. The Park invites civic organizations, hobby enthusiasts, artisans, school groups and entertainers from around the Southeast to participate in the program.
Activities include educational programming, specialty workshops, touring shows, street performers, family-friendly performances, children's crafts, life-size chess games, appearances by on-air personalities, local sports mascots, contests, prizes and more!
The upcoming Saturday Family Fun Days are from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Centennial Olympic Park
285 International Blvd NW
The museum is free to the public on the first Sunday of every month (up to 15) and Thursday Evening, Kraft Free Family Night from 5 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Permanent displays like the Allstate Foundation presents Play It Safe, Treehouse Trails, and BIG Backyard will bring families together on a wonderful learning expedition.
The Zoo is home to over 100 mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. From regal bald eagles to adorable ponies, the Zoo shelters these creatures and gives us a chance to observe and learn about the animals we share the world with. Brit Spaugh Park and Zoo is unique for several reasons ... the Park and Zoo are free to everyone and there is wildlife throughout the park. Driving, or walking, you can have an enjoyable visit. All areas are stroller and wheelchair accessible.
The Park is open all year from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. The zoo hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
The Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum was established to both preserve its past and to educate all who visit as to the role this sprawling prison farm has played in our state's history.
Once called "the bloodiest prison in America." the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has emerged as one of the most progressive and well managed prisons in the entire United States.
The museum is open Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and major holidays. No admission is charged to visit the museum, donations are accepted to help defray the cost of operation. For more information contact Marsha Lindsey, Museum Director.
Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum
Angola, LA 70712
Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art — Join Karen Kramer Russell, the curator of Native American art and culture and curator of the Shapeshifting exhibition, for a look at the remarkable creative expression of Native American artists past and present.
Explore the wonders of our blue planet and celebrate Earth Day with performances, art and activities! Meet artists, get a close look at New England's secretive vernal pool inhabitants, create artworks to take home and more!
FREE PE CLASS - The class combines warm ups & stretches from Chinese martial arts, tai chi, yoga, & general fitness activities followed by numerous games, and group activities for a one hour class that keeps them coming back for more. (It is not a martial arts class).
Our Hands-on Interactive Program (HIP) sessions will take home school students on an in-depth exploration of space, physical and life science concepts complement our hands-on exhibits. These programs are thematic and cover grades 1-12 in specialized units. Each program is conducted in one of our dynamic learning environments and lasts 35-45 minutes. Program capacity is 25 students and up to 10 adults.
The Detroit Science Center!
(corner of Warren Ave. and John R Street)
in the University Cultural Center
5020 John R Street
Detroit, MI 48202
This is a place of horticultural beauty. The Botanical Gardens is a 52-acre living museum that is bringing visitors in to discover the essential needs of plants in our lives. Public awareness is the goal of this beautiful garden; to conserve and protect our fragile planet.
The Botanical Gardens is free to all school groups and children under 12 years of age. There is free admission all day on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. The Garden is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m weekends and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed Mondays.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
900 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.
There is free admission all day on Tuesdays during off-peak months (January through April, July through August, November through December). Admission is also free on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. during peak months (May through June, September through October). On Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. admission is free year round.
Wave Hill is open April 15th through October 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and October 15th through April 14th from 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wave Hill is closed Mondays except for Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterns Day, closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Wave Hill: New York Public Garden and Cultural Center
West 249th Street and Independence Avenue
Bronx, NY 10471-2899
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery offers free opportunities each year to explore, dream and learn. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and the facility closes at 8:00 p.m.
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, OH 45414
Come visit the State Museum of Pennsylvania and absorb the history of Pennsylvania. The museum's collection includes Civil War exhibits, clothing of the past, a fine arts collections, popular culture, and astrology. The general admission to the museum is free. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
300 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0024
Culture and Heritage Museums
History Series: Surviving in the Past - If you lived here long ago, you couldn't take your survival for granted. Today we watch TV shows about survivors in faraway, exotic places, but back then, you would be the survivor here at home. Recommended for ages 5 - 10; all are welcome. Program length: 3½ hours; 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1444 Brattonsville Road,
McConnells, SC 29726
Discover the connections between people and nature through engaging hands-on activities, special presentations, and planetarium shows. You are free to move at your own pace. Round out your day with a walk on our nature trail and a picnic in the picnic area. Schedule is subject to change. The program is at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road,
Rock Hill, SC 29732
Free Family Night
Children's Museum of Houston is dedicated to child-centered learning. During Free Family Nights enjoy the ultimate learning experience with fourteen galleries of non-stop, action packed fun and spotlight performances. Spark imagination in your child and watch the creativity come out. These activities are for children of all ages.
Children's Museum of Houston
Houston, TX 77004
Discover how Brigham Young and his family lived in the 1800s. Room by room, the story of family life in the 1800s unfolds. Rooms include the playroom, the family store, the fairy castle, and the gracious sitting room, where each evening the Young family exhibited their talents and sang and prayed together.
The Beehive House was built in 1854 and served as home to Brigham Young when he was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and governor of the Utah Territory. Admission is free. There are free guided tours beginning every 10 minutes, Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays.
67 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Come to the place with all the oddities; the place where you will find all of those items that were found in the attic of Uncle Albert's old trunk. Marsh's Free Museum has a shrunken head, Mary Lou the skeleton, odd stuffed and mounted animals such as a sheep with 8 legs and one head.
Marsh's Free Museum
109 South Pacific Avenue
Long Beach, Washington 98631
Visit the Milwaukee Zoo and take a trip to a faraway exotic places. The zoo holds over 1,800 different species of mammals, fish and birds. This is a place to educate, entertain, and inspire everyone.
To help bring the Milwaukee Zoo to everyone they are offering Family Free Days. The Family Free Days are offered on Saturdays during zoo hours, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens
10001 West Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226
Additional Links for FREE and Low-Cost Events
- Free Outdoor Movies & Concerts - Tuolumne & Calaveras County California
- Calaveras & Tuolumne Area Events for 2008 - Mother Lode & Big Trees Area (California)
- California San Francisco Bay Area Field Trip Directory - Homefires Journal of Homeschooling
- Go City Kids - Events Calendars for Major Cities
Updated: April 07, 2012