Field trips in North Carolina provide students the opportunity to experience things that they have learned about in school. Visiting museums, aquariums, natural habitats and historical locations provide visual and hands-on activities to reinforce student learning. The distance to travel on a field trip should be based on a student’s age. School systems that have the funding for field trips should encourage their teachers to develop lesson plans around field trips.
Three aquariums are located along the coast. They include Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, and Fort Fisher. Daily hours for all three aquariums are from 9 am to 5 pm daily. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Ticket costs are listed as $6 for children 3 – 12 and $8 for individuals 13 and over. Group rates are available at each aquarium for field trips and tours. Free programs for students can be incorporated into each aquarium visit.
Aurora Fossil Museum was founded in 1976 and provides students with the opportunity to view fossils along with hunting for their own. Aurora Fossil Museum is a non-profit organization that encourages field trips and student involvement in their environment. A local phosphate mine donates piles of dirt filled with fossils so students can learn how to hunt, clean and identify fossils. The staff is there to help and offer any information required by the students. There is no fee for visiting the museum. Hours of operation are from 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday. They are closed on holidays. Extended hours are offered from March 1st through Labor Day with the museum being open on Sundays from Noon until 4:30 pm.
The Battleship North Carolina is an old battleship turned into a museum. The Battleship North Carolina can be visited every day of the year including holidays. Hours are from 8 am to 5 pm from Labor Day through Memorial Day and 8 am to 8 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The only exception is on the 4th of July. The museum closes at 6:00 pm on that date to honor the veterans.
The ship museum encourages field trips by school systems throughout the area. There is a small fee for entrance by students – K-6 is $2.50 and grades 7-12 is $5.00. These fees do not apply if the students are not with a group from a school system. The cost is higher. The fee for adults is $9.50.
A Day at the Farm is open year-round to extend learning experiences to all who visit. Field trips are welcomed and encouraged. Activities include lots of animals to see and pet, hayrides, hands-on butter making, visit a geo-garden, walk the nature trails, see and feed the fish in the fish pond, watch the ducks on the fish pond, play in the playground and have a picnic. Guided tours are available so the students can see a working dairy and milk room, an old smoke house,wash house, old kitchen, and an old corn crib. A Day at the Farm should be contacted for hours and availability of touring prior to setting the field trip.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum provides educational services for teachers including lesson plans and workseets for the students. Museum hours are from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays. The museum is open year-round. There are activities to take back to the classroom to reinforce the experience of viewing the artifacts and completing hands-on activities while at the museum. The museum will set up custom programs for educators and they provide teacher workshops. Tours last approximately 1 hour but self-guided tours are available. Admission to the North Carolina Maritime Museum is free.