With their growing independence, ability to think logically, and longer attention span, second graders are a real joy to teach. Those characteristics also make for some great field trips. So if you’re thinking about learning experiences for your second graders, you’ll want to check out our list of best second grade field trips.
Not all of these trips will be possible everywhere, but keep in mind any local treasures that are unique to your area. And when you can’t manage a trip—for whatever reason—try our virtual second grade field trips below.
In-Person Second Grade Field Trips
1. A Nature Center
A nature center is the perfect place for kids to learn about local plant and wildlife, as well as some beginning geology (land and water) concepts. Activities vary by location but might include a nature hike or live animal presentation.
2. The Children’s Theater
Second graders are a great age for a live theater experience. Children’s theaters generally have offerings based on age-appropriateness. Many plays are based on classic children’s literature, so you can read the book aloud first and then discuss the similarities/differences after!
3. The Hospital
Community helpers are an important part of the second grade curriculum. If they’ve already been to the fire and police station, a tour of a hospital (when it’s safe to do so) might be an option for more mature learners who want an up-close look at the work of doctors.
4. The Zoo
Going to the zoo provides students with the chance to observe animal behaviors and learn about wildlife conservation. Most of them, like the San Diego Zoo, have educational programs, including keeper talks and up-close animal encounters.
5. A Factory
Second graders are curious about how things work, so a trip to a factory is likely to be of high interest to them. Cars, chocolates, textiles … the possibilities are endless!
6. An IMAX Theater
This isn’t any old movie theater, and you won’t be taking them to see Pixar’s latest release. But the IMAX experience is something else, and—given educational content like a nature documentary—something second graders should experience.
7. The Children’s Museum
Steer your second graders away from any areas that might seem too “babyish” for them. Instead, point them to cultural and historical exhibits, as well as any available Makerspace activities.
8. The Aquarium
If you’re not lucky enough to have a zoo close by, an aquarium is another good choice. Students will get a window into life under the sea, and lots of aquariums have touch pools for the ultimate in hands-on learning.
9. A Planetarium
Kids love to look at the moon and stars. A visit to a planetarium is the perfect introduction to the solar system. Second graders can take in a show and try to identify constellations.
10. A Fish Hatchery
A trip to the fish hatchery is a great way to learn about the life cycle of a fish, fish anatomy, and water quality. Plus, the kids will enjoy the underwater viewing windows and the opportunity to feed the young fish that are features of most hatcheries.
Virtual Second Grade Field Trips
1. An Egg Farm
We love these virtual egg farm field trips from the American Egg Board. Make sure you catch the elementary-friendly versions of Hertzfeld Poultry and Creighton Brothers Farms.
2. The Zoo
Most zoos have live webcams in some of their most popular exhibits, such as the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta. However, some zoos offer a more in-depth look. You’ll definitely want to check out the San Diego Zoo.
3. The Aquarium
It’s a similar story with aquariums. You have your pick of live webcams, but our favorites are the Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager webcam (wait for the whale shark!) and the “jellycam” at Monterey Bay Aquarium (so soothing). And definitely check out The Maritime Aquarium where you can register for their virtual programs (try Shark Safari!).
“Walk” through all three floors of the Boston Children’s Museum on this virtual tour. Be sure to direct your students to the Japanese House.
5. A Planetarium
Through Stellarium Web, kids can explore over 60,000 stars, locate planets, and watch sunrises and solar eclipses. If you enter your location, you can see all the constellations that are visible in the night sky in your corner of the world.
What are your favorite second grade field trips? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out the Best Field Trip Ideas for Every Age and Interest (Virtual Options Too!)