As a homeschool family, we are constantly on the look-out for places to take the children that will be fun and interesting. The best field trips are the ones that turn into a homeschool project where the learning keeps rolling! I would love to share with you what I have found in my local area.
1. Fort Matanzas National Monument in St. Augustine. This was a very interesting field trip just filled with lessons and on-site schooling opportunities! There is a free ferry ride across the inlet to the fort. The tour of the fort is guided by a park ranger. The ranger we listened to was extremely knowledgeable and knew a wealth of information off the top of his head. There is also a nature trail to explore which we enjoyed. The website gives a wealth of useful information about the fort such as worksheets to download, directions to the fort, information and stories on the history and culture of Fort Matanzas and much more. http://www.nps.gov/foma/index.htm
2. Henry A. Deland House Museum in Deland. As you can imagine, Henry DeLand was the founding father of DeLand, Florida and this house is full of area history.
3. Leu Gardens in Orlando. This is a beautiful getaway that ends up to be a three mile walk around the fifty acres at Leu Gardens. Although most days they charge to enjoy the gardens, on Mondays between 9am and noon, entrance is free! http://www.leugardens.org
4. DeLand Airport in DeLand. Yes, there is an airport in DeLand! What’s more, there is a skydiving school at the airport in DeLand! There is a restaurant with a back porch where you can watch the skydivers coming in from their flights. http://www.skydivedeland.com
5. Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory Tour in Daytona Beach. Just thinking about this one makes my mouth water! You can go on in to the chocolate factory and they will give you a tour. http://www.angellandphelps.com (You can also sign up to win a 5lb box of chocolates!)
6. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs. Another trip just bursting with exciting homeschool lessons for all your students! http://www.fws.gov/lakewoodruff
7. Hontoon Island in DeLand. There is a free ferry boat ride with this one as well and my children are fascinated with ferry boats. At the visitor’s center they have a small museum room with animal displays, a video and some other information on display for your crew to learn all about Hontoon Island. http://www.hontooncso.com
8. The Libraries of Volusia County. As a homeschooling mother, you are already very well acquainted with the library, but it is so rich with knowledge and entertainment, it bears repeating. Don’t forget to check your local library calendar for events that may be new to you! http://www.vcpl.lib.fl.us
9. Area Farmer’s Markets. I just love waking up early and heading out into the crisp morning air (even Florida has a few crisp mornings … occasionally) to grab some fresh produce and ask the vendors lots of questions about how they grow what they grow. The vendors are usually so nice and so very knowledgeable about what they do and they love to share their information.
10. New Tribes Mission Tour in Sanford. I have not personally been to this one, but it is next on the list of field trips for us. You can call them up ahead of time and they will show you around the mission there in Sanford. http://www.ntm.org
So, as you can see, there are numerous educational and interesting field trips that you can take your students on in Central Florida. Have fun and enjoy!!