American culture, art and science field trips are just the tip of the iceberg in Connecticut

An eclectic mix of coastal cities and rural areas dotted with small towns, Connecticut offers students a range of interests from marine biology and history to arts and culture. The Constitution State is one of the original 13 colonies, and thus has a rich American history and culture which can be experienced everywhere from within museums to the streets, parks and ports of beautiful cities and villages like New Haven and Mystic. While enjoying an educational field trip, timing can be everything as Connecticut’s autumnal foliage is often unmatched. It’s also worth noting for foodies that Connecticut is the birthplace of the traditional American hamburger. Take your time to take in everything this historic state has to offer.

A Few Connecticut Field Trip Ideas:

  • Mystic Seaport Museum
  • Mark Twain House
  • Garde Arts Center
  • Hartford’s Connecticut Science Center
  • Yale Repertory Theatre


The Mystic Seaport Museum is the largest maritime museum in the country. Photo by CW

Connecticut History & Heritage Field Trip Ideas

Connecticut’s nickname “The Constitution State” originates from its colonial constitution of 1638–1639, which is not only the oldest in the U.S. but the world. After becoming the fifth U.S. state on January 9, 1788, Connecticut thrived on its seaports with trade and fisheries. Founded in 1903, the New Britain Museum of American Art is the first museum dedicated to American art, featuring a permanent collection of colonial portraits and works from American Impressionists and the Hudson River School. Built in 1855 in the capital of Hartford, Colt Armory is a massive armory that is well maintained with its distinctive onion dome. In addition to war history within, the armory is close to the Mark Twain House—now a museum—where the famed author wrote many of his most-famed works.


Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford is a landmark playhouse. Photo by Doug Butchy

Performing Arts Locations to Visit

There are many quality locations in Connecticut for student groups to show off their talents in the performing arts. The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford is a landmark playhouse with a capacity of 2,800 in Mortensen Hall, and just over 900 in Belding Theater. Mortensen Hall opened in 1930 and features the largest hand-painted ceiling mural in the country, as well as a 5,600 pipe Austin Organ. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra regularly performs at Belding Theater.

The 478-capacity Yale Repertory Theatre (the Rep) occupies the former Calvary Baptist Church, providing a unique visual experience for performances. Located on the edge of the Yale University campus, the theater has a reputation for nurturing young artistic talents and producing Pulitzer Prize-winning premieres and ten productions that have gone on to win Tony Awards after transferring to Broadway. Youth programs are available at the Rep and student groups will be able to enjoy downtown New Haven with ease thanks to its location right in the heart of the action.


The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford includes 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. Photo by Rickpilot

Educational Field Trips through STEM

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recognized Mystic Seaport Museum and its Treworgy Planetarium as major community resources for education, and provided a grant to broaden student perspectives in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Rolling out in autumn 2022, the STEM programs for middle school students are available in three formats: virtual, in-school, and on-site. This allows students to experience a memorable class trip regardless of their location.

Hartford’s Connecticut Science Center provides equitable engagement and access to STEM learning opportunities through educational field trips, classroom connections and virtual programs. This modern center opened in 2009 and includes 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits with videos, live demonstrations and more. The diverse team at the center is supported by research and insight from the Hartford community as well as partners within the STEM Ecosystem.

ARTS & CULTURE in Connecticut

In New London, the Garde Arts Center shows everything from musicals to comedies and more. Built in 1926, its Garde Theatre is famous for its Moroccan-style interior and features Middle Eastern-themed wall murals. For a one-of-a-kind experience, head to Bristol’s American Clock and Watch Museum, which features over 1,500 different clocks, watches and vintage timepieces. Special school and children’s group programs are available. Located on the University of Connecticut’s main campus in Storrs, the William Benton Museum of Art is a fine art museum featuring a permanent collection of more than 6,500 artistic works.

Customized 45-minute field trip programs for groups of 10 or more are available. Exploring the intersections of art and science, the Bruce Museum, in Greenwich features some 31,000 objects in fine and decorative art, natural history, ethnology and history. At the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridsefield, visitors explore the world of contemporary art with exhibits that are learner-friendly and inquiry-based.

MARINE & AQUATIC Field Trips for Students

Mystic Seaport Museum, the largest maritime museum in the U.S., is renowned for its collection of sailing ships, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan and a replica of the slave ship La Amistad.  and boats and for its meticulous recreation of a 19th century seafaring village, complete with all the types of general and specialized trades associated with building and operating a sailing fleet. Get close to thousands of local and exotic marine animals, including fish, crab, sharks, sea lions and beluga whales, at Mystic Aquarium.

Discounted admission and free chaperones for schools or other youth organization that meet required criteria. Located in downtown New London, the Custom House Maritime Museum tells the history of the local waterfront through artifacts, tours and events. At the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, view and touch live sea creatures, from sea stars to jellyfish. Its 4D state-of-the-art theater features exciting films, such as BBC Earth’s Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience.

Main photo: Yale University

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