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Illinois Field Trips with Kids

By: Andrea Dillon 

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and ability to take many field trips and provide real-world experiences for your homeschoolers. Whether it is a visit to a museum, science center, or even a trip to a local post office or fire department, there is something out there to help make the learning fun. Every state has its unique locations that would be fun to visit. We have gathered a list of great places to visit in Illinois with kids. Find your next homeschool field trip below!  

 

Want to add a field trip location? Send us a message to get your location added today!

 

Educational Homeschool Field Trips Ideas In Illinois

Illinois homeschoolers can get out of the house and into the local communities with a fun day trip in Illinois.  Out-of-state homeschoolers can take a vacation and pick a few of these educational, fun locations for things to do in Illinois with kids while you are visiting. 

 

Music / Art Museum Field Trip Ideas  State/ National Park Field Trip Ideas  Science/ Discovery/ Natural History Field Trip Ideas 

Historical Site / History Center Field Trip Ideas

Aquariums / Nature/ Farm/ Zoo Field Trips Other Field Trip Ideas 
   

 

Music / Art Museum Field Trip Ideas 

  

The C.A.K.E. Village (The African Cultural Visual And Performing Arts)

“Our mission is to foster an enriched, positive connection between all children and Africa. In particular, children in the African Diaspora, children of busy African parents, and even children who have been adopted from Africa can use this medium to relate to their African heritage.”

 

The Art Institute of Chicago 

“With free admission for kids under 14 and Chicago teens under 18, the Art Institute is the perfect place for a creative outing with the whole family.” 

 


 

State/National Park Field Trip Ideas 

Get into the world with state and national park field trip ideas. Many of these locations hold a variety of history, science, and nature for your homeschoolers to enjoy.  

 

  • Illinois State Parks enhance the quality of life through exceptional outdoor experiences, connections to Illinois heritage, and sound resource management. The system now comprises 52 state parks on 54,400 acres, with 1,800 campsites, 208 cabins, and 5 lodges serving 8 million visitors annually.”

 

    • Get connected with Illinois National Parks! “Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year.” 

 

 


Science / Discovery/ Natural History Field Trip Ideas 

Adler Planetarium 

“The Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere! Located on Chicago’s lakeshore, the museum typically hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEAM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, people-powered research, and other outreach efforts. Today, the Adler is bringing our unique approach—scientific exploration rooted in community and connection—to guests from around the world who can enjoy the digital Adler from their own homes, libraries, schools or offices.”

 

Burpee Museum of Natural History

“A gem in the Rockford community since 1942, Burpee Museum of Natural History is equipped with 4 floors of engaging exhibits, suitable for the whole family!”

 

Chicago Children’s Museum’s 

“We believe that space matters. Housed in Navy Pier, Chicago Children’s Museum is intentionally designed for experimentation, creativity, and learning for all children. We focus on accessibility, inclusion, and the pursuit of childhood, ensuring valuable and memorable experiences for all visitors.”

 

Discovery Center Museum

“Discovery Center Museum is a hands-on children’s science museum with more than 300 exciting interactive exhibits spread throughout 23,000 square feet on two floors. All our exhibits relate to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). Exhibit galleries focus on the human body, forms of electricity, the science of sports, space travel, simple machines, communication, agriculture, color and light, and math. Out in the museum’s backyard, visitors can explore our Rock River Discovery Park, a 15,000 square foot multi-level science park featuring a dinosaur dig pit, maze, water play area and a Secret Garden. Discovery Center is one of the top family attractions in Northern Illinois and has received numerous local, state and national accolades.”

 

The Exploration Station

“The Exploration Station…a children’s museum is a hands-on exploration and discovery museum for children and their families, teachers and other caregivers. Children of all ages are welcome at the museum, however, the majority of the exhibits are designed for children between the ages of 2-8 years old. There is a toddler area for the little ones, designed specifically for children 36” and under.”

 

Fermilab’s Batavia Site

“The Fermilab Education Office is committed to enhancing science and mathematics education and stimulating science literacy for all. Education programs serve students from prekindergarten to teachers-in-training.”

 

The Field Museum

“The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture.”

 

International Museum of Surgical Science

“The International Museum of Surgical Science, a division of the International College of Surgeons (ICS), maintains over 10,000 square feet of public galleries committed to the history of surgery, and an exquisite permanent collection of art and artifacts from the history of Medicine. The Museum supports its Mission through medically themed exhibitions and programs, in addition to a strong contemporary art exhibition program.”

 

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center 

“Step inside and you’ll feel as though you’ve just jumped in to the world’s biggest box of LEGO bricks! With over 3 million LEGO bricks under one roof, what will you discover?”

 

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

“One of the largest science museums in the world, MSI has both an illustrious history and a focus on the future of science and science education.”

 

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

“From kids to families to adults, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum offers a variety of programs and events for all ages to enjoy.”

 

Peoria Riverfront Museum

“Explore the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation!” 

 

 


Historical Site / History Center Field Trip Ideas 

The Center for American Archeology

“The Center for American Archeology pursues a mission of education, research and public service in archeology. Its purpose is to discover and disseminate the unwritten story of earlier Americans’ lifeways, accomplishments and changing natural environment. The Center fulfills this mission by supporting integrated programs of archeological investigation, educational outreach and cultural stewardship.”

 

Chicago History Museum

“CHM’s mission—to share Chicago’s stories, serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration, and civic engagement—is the foundation of the Museum’s programs and events, exhibitions, educational initiatives, publications, and collecting activities that touch the lives of all Chicagoans and help them make meaningful and personal connections to history.”

 

Joliet Area Historical Museum

“Located at the historic intersection of Route 66 and Lincoln Highway, the Joliet Area Historical Museum occupies the space formerly known as the Ottawa Street Methodist Church at the intersection of Cass and Ottawa Streets in downtown Joliet. Since its opening in the fall of 2002, the museum’s main exhibition gallery serves as an introduction to the many stories of the Joliet area and its people.” 

 

Lewis & Clark State Historic Site

“Lewis & Clark State Historic Site commemorates Camp River Dubois, the 1803-04 winter camp of the Lew.”

 

Midway Village Museum

“Midway Village Museum, collects, preserves and interprets the diverse history of the Rockford region and is committed to educating and enriching our community by providing high quality exhibits, programs and events.”

 

The OI

“Since our founding in 1919–a time when the Middle East was called the Orient—the OI has been a leading research center for the study of ancient civilizations. With 350,000 artifacts, excavated mainly by OI archaeologists, the OI Museum invites you to learn about the beginnings of our lives as humans together. Through galleries devoted to Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the Levant, come take a look into the ancient past.” 


 

 

Aquariums / Nature Centers / Farm/ Zoo Field Trips

Dollinger Family Farm

“Come Home to the Farm where traditional Fall fun meets history! We offer a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayrides, train rides, fudge, donuts and so much more! Daily and weekend activities with special events on weekends. FREE ADMISSION!”

 

Muller’s Lane Farm

“We offer our farm as an example of a self-sufficient farm, employing 19th, 20th and 21st century tools and techniques to feed and provide for our needs. We are not a petting zoo! As this is an actual working farm, we ask that all visitors respect the safety instructions and be aware that you may be exposed to smells to which you are not accustomed. We strive to make your time here as safe as we can possibly make it, so please don’t let these precautions deter you from this tour. Caution and awareness go a long way to insure an incident free visit. We want visitors to see, feel and experience as many things as we can.”

 

Shedd Aquarium

“Shedd Aquarium is committed to supporting a world thriving with aquatic life, sustained by people who love, understand and protect it. See how we’re working with partners and peers around the world to spark curiosity, compassion and conservation for the aquatic animal world.” 

 


Other Field Trip Ideas 

First Ascent Climbing & Fitness

“First Ascent Climbing & Fitness was built by climbers, for climbers of all ability levels, from new climbers to seasoned experts and everyone in between.Our facility features world-class rock climbing terrain, a full schedule of yoga classes, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and a warm, welcoming community.”

 

Scrims Esports Gaming Center

“Scrims Center features 60 high-end gaming computers and a fully integrated fiber optic network. Field trips at Scrims Center include a tour of our 5Tb server and the software that keeps our business running smoothly. Students also get hands-on as we take apart and put back together a gaming computer highlighting all the components that make it work. And of course, we round out the field trip with a little video gaming. For information, please email us at [email protected] or DM us on socials @scrimscenter”

Located: 2000 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL  60532.  DuPage County.


Events 

Are you still looking for more ideas for field trips in Illinois? Check out our event section for Illinois day trips and more! If you have an event that you want to share, please add it as well. 

Do you have a location that would make a good field trip in Illinois? Let me know in the comments below or contact me to get it added! 

 

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