Maine Field Trip Guide
Nature, history and art combine beautifully in Maine, so students and teachers alike will have no shortage of educational field trip ideas in this great state
An exclave of Massachusetts until 1820, close cultural ties to the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and home to a higher percentage of at-home French-speakers than Louisiana, the Pine Tree State has plenty of field trip ideas for all ages. Easily accessible from Boston and Montréal, Maine occupies a rugged and historic crossroads of not only New England, but North America as well. With most of the population and cities along the coast, the state’s interior has some of the best places for nature field trips and viewing in the eastern United States.
Performing Arts Field Trips in Maine
Located on the University of Maine campus in Orono, the Collins Center for the Arts is a cornerstone of the region’s performing arts scene. Home to several stages, the 1,435-seat Hutchins Hall is the marquee venue which regularly hosts nationally touring Broadway shows and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, in addition to University of Maine student performances. Each season has special school day showings for K-12 students, which is a great opportunity to capitalize on a field trip idea.
The Portland Stage Theater for Kids in downtown Portland puts on regular student matinees for grades 6-12, with virtual viewing options as well as in person. Optional Matinee Workshops are offered as part of the student experience as well. These workshops are with theater professionals designed to enrich students’ understanding of language, story, and character by way of theater techniques.
Maine History & Heritage Field Trip Ideas
Maine is home to dozens of boutique colonial museums such as the Norlands Living History Center in Livermore, and the Old York Historical Society in York. These museums make for a great selection of educational field trip ideas. One of these historical treasures, located on the western edge of Portland, is the Tate House Museum which contains several eighteenth century buildings, and welcomes student groups from third grade on up. The school program at Tate House includes hands-on experiences with replica colonial artifacts, garden tours, and special architectural tours.
Situated on the Kennebec River in the coastal town of Bath is the Maine Maritime Museum, an essential for groups visiting this rocky north Atlantic state rich in nautical history. The museum offers specially designed field trip programs that make full use of the campus’ 20-acre waterfront and cruise boat, the Merrymeeting. Educators may select from several program options including a narrated boat cruise, self-guided exhibit tours, or 90-minute themed experiences such as Lobstering & the Maine Coast or Shipwreck Detective.
Educational STEM Field Trips in Maine
Housed in the original headquarters of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History. Here, museum educators lead interactive programs in the gallery such as scavenger hunts, or time the indoor tide pool which features a myriad of local marine life, making this an interesting and educational field trip idea. Student groups can also choose to participate in the Bones, Baleen, and Whale Ecology experience, in which they’ll work together to assemble a 17-foot Minke Whale skeleton.
The Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor is a whole three floors of interactivity across the sciences and beyond. School groups grades K-8 are encouraged to visit and participate in over thirty exhibits in climate science, anatomy, and the science of art. A catalog of group workshops is offered as well, on a variety of subjects, such as Dinosaur Quest and Lotions, Potions, and Scientific Notions.
Main photo: Maine Maritime Museum