Homeschooling in Illinois is like having a giant educational playground right at your doorstep, and if you’re in or near Chicago, you’re in for a real treat. With its rich history, diverse culture, and a multitude of educational venues, Illinois offers homeschooling families an array of opportunities for exciting and enriching field trips. Whether you’re up for a day of interactive learning at the Lincoln Park Zoo, interested in the intersection of health and education at various Chicago institutions, or on the hunt for free outings that are both fun and educational, Windy City has something for everyone.
Planning these outings can get overwhelming, but that’s where Mobile Permissions comes to the rescue as the best company to streamline your field trip logistics, making it easier to obtain parental consent and keep everyone informed.
In this article, we’re thrilled to provide you with a list of over 60 fun and educational field trips in Illinois and Chicago, designed to make your homeschooling adventure as enriching and memorable as possible.
Explore & Learn: 60+ Illinois Field Trips
Creating a list of 60+ fun and educational field trips in Chicago and Illinois is quite an endeavor! While I can’t make a comprehensive list right now, I can definitely get you started with some diverse and engaging options to consider for your homeschooling journey. From museums to parks, and from historical landmarks to natural wonders, there’s something for everyone in the Land of Lincoln and the Windy City. Here are some suggestions to inspire your next field trip:
Museums & Educational Centers
- The Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Adler Planetarium
- Art Institute of Chicago
- DuSable Museum of African American History
- Chicago Children’s Museum
- Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- National Museum of Mexican Art
- Chicago History Museum
Zoos & Aquariums
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Brookfield Zoo
- Shedd Aquarium
Parks & Natural Attractions
- Millennium Park
- Chicago Botanic Garden
- Starved Rock State Park
- Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest
- Morton Arboretum
- Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Historic Landmarks & Tours
- Chicago Architecture River Cruise
- Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
- Pullman National Monument
- Historic Route 66
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
- Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
Science & Technology
- Argonne National Laboratory
- SciTech Hands-On Museum
Theaters & Performing Arts
- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- The Second City
- Lyric Opera of Chicago
- Steppenwolf Theatre
Farms & Agriculture
- All Seasons Apple Orchard
- Kellers Farmstand
- Jonamac Orchard
Transportation & Engineering
- Illinois Railway Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Chicago Transit Authority Tour
Sports & Physical Activities
- Wrigley Field Tour
- Chicago Bulls Game
- Chicago River Kayak
Food & Culinary Arts
- Eli’s Cheesecake Factory Tour
- Chicago Food Planet Tours
- French Pastry School
Shopping & Crafts
- Magnificent Mile
- Oriental Institute Museum
- Artists Frame Service Workshop
- Navy Pier
- Illinois State Museum
- John G. Shedd Aquarium
Seasonal & Festive
- Christkindlmarket Chicago
- Ice Skating at Millennium Park
- Chicago Air and Water Show
- Lincoln Park Conservatory
- Chicago Cultural Center
- Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum
Outdoors & Adventure
- Lake Michigan Boat Tour
- Northerly Island Park
- Skokie Lagoons
- Little Italy
This list is by no means exhaustive but should provide a solid starting point for your Illinois homeschooling adventures. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to utilize Mobile Permissions to streamline your planning process.
Learn and play at the Chicago Children’s Museum
Children’s museums are a popular destination to visit for field trips. Students will appreciate the hands-on nature of this museum and the chance to look at dinosaur bones. A second favorite: allowing for exploration on 3-story boats – without any seasickness! This is one stop of your journey to the Navy Pier.
Discover farm life at Fair Oaks
The field trips are outside the state (in fact Indiana) but are an ideal place to visit city-savvy and ruralites in order to see real work farms. Visit the milk factory to experience the milk journey in milk bottles. Students can also watch baby pigs play in various places. Fair Oaks plans 3 hours of fun and lunch. Bring some cash for cheese lovers.
Reach for the stars at Adler Planetarium
What are planet theory classes? Visit the Adler Planetarium. The site features everything for preschoolers and is suitable for the entire school year.
Travel back to the time of King Arthur
Are there any princesses who are more adventurous in their jousting matches? Okay! It is interesting to go back to medieval periods to learn new things for students. School field trips include matinee performances and the classroom receives an educational presentation after the 90-minute program and lunch. How do I recreate a historic event?
Watch the Bard come alive at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater
If you plan on teaching Shakespeare next summer, be sure to visit the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. We know Shakespeare is difficult and not often understood by the student, but seeing a Shakespeare piece come to life gives them an opportunity to see a story as it meant: live.
There’s nothing fishy about the Learning Labs
Visiting Shedd Aquarium isn’t just an observation of fish swimming around the gigantic aquarium. Visiting The Shedd is as practical as visiting an aquarium. Students experience ranging from touching stingrays and petting real-life fish. There’s an educational area in front of the Penguins and several learning laboratories for high school students.
Design your own house with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
Take a trip to nearby Oak Park and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Students are also able to explore the vision behind Wright House. The trust even offers a lesson plan to prepare students for upcoming trips. If you are not able to visit Oak Park, you have the option to rent a workshop for your own class!
Learn about art by making art
Musée national des arts de la Mexico teaches real life skills! Artwork that students create will impact the upcoming Mexican Holidays. This will help your students learn about art as well as history. Bring the paint socks and go to Pils.
Channel your inner Bill Nye at the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry, situated at Hyde Park, is an evocative trip destination. How do we get a glimpse deep into our coal mining heart, explore the oceans with our submersible U-505, or discover genetics by a cute baby chick?
Are you homeschooling in Illinois? Lucky you! Forget the classroom for a day and take the kiddos to the Lincoln Park Zoo, or how about a scavenger hunt at the Art Institute of Chicago? The point is, that there are a ton of field trips in Chicago and Illinois that can make learning come alive. Fun, educational, free—you name it, you can find it. If the thought of organizing trips makes your head spin, let Mobile Permissions be your lifesaver. It’s a nifty tool that handles all the nitty-gritty details for you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make Illinois your classroom!
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