Industrial history and colonial heritage are abound in Pennsylvania

Home to chocolate factories, industry and rich American history, the Keystone State is an ideal location for your next student adventure. The state is home to many firsts: the first American flag, the first baseball stadium, the first computer and the first daily newspaper. But that’s not all it has brought to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Independence Hall in Philadelphia housed the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. So let freedom ring, and visit one of the 13 original colonies: Pennsylvania.

A Few Pennsylvania Field Trip Ideas:

  • National Constitution Center
  • Independence Hall
  • Kimmel Cultural Campus
  • Hersheypark
  • Autobahn Indoor Speedway
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Independence Seaport Museum
Independence Hall is the site of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Pennsylvania History & Heritage Field Trip Ideas

The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg is the largest museum in the world dedicated to the American Civil War. Though the museum is designed to be explored without a guide, historians are available to lead large groups and answer any questions. The museum offers students the chance to learn about the troubling issues that pitted brother against brother, and the nation’s struggle for survival and healing.

Managed by the National Park Service, Gettysburg National Military Park protects almost 7,000 acres of the site where the three-day Battle of Gettysburg was fought in July 1863. The park offers guided battlefield tours and free ranger-led educational programs.

Explore the principles of U.S. democracy at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The nonpartisan approach lets visitors understand and talk about their thoughts on the creation of the Constitution and how it is being interpreted in society today. Special group offerings, exhibits and programs allow students to get involved in civic engagement.

Nearby is Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Built in 1732, it originally held all three branches of Pennsylvania’s colonial government. George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army there in 1775. During a visit, you can see the courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Long Gallery, Governor’s Council Chamber and Committee of the Assembly Chamber Hall.

Kimmel Cultural Campus
Kimmel Cultural Campus is a beautifully designed theater located along the Avenue of the Arts in Center City Philadelphia.

Performing Arts Locations to Visit

Student groups have many venues to display their talents across the state. The Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia is one of the state’s premier performance venues, with several stages of various sizes. Verizon Hall, seating 2,500, provides a grand feel for any performer. The cello-shapes theater provides advanced acoustics that can suit diverse types of performers. The Perelman Theater, seating at 650, is home of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. The 75-foot turntable stage can transform to a deeper stage, an orchestra pit and a retractable first-level seating gives performers plenty of space.

Bands and choirs can perform for attendees at Hersheypark in Hershey. The annual High Note Festival provides your group with two adjudicators to evaluate the performances and provide you with written and audio commentary along with a numerical rating. The recorded audio comments will serve as a clinic when played for your students. Once your scheduled performance is complete, you and your students are free to enjoy an afternoon of fun at the theme park.

Arts & Culture Field Trips in Pennsylvania

Part of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum of Art features American and European works from the 16th century to present. The museum welcomes students to engage with art and ideas in a Looking and Learning Tour, an inquiry-based conversational experience that engages students in careful observation, discussion and interpretation of objects from a variety of time periods and cultures.

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 200 galleries, visitors will find art that spans from antiquity to the present, including more than a dozen masterpieces from Monet. The museum offers tours designed to serve as interactive lessons for K-12 students.

A premier ballet company offering performances at the Academy of Music and Merriam Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet features behind-the-scenes tours of their studio as well as the opportunity to attend dress rehearsals.

Dedicated to Latin American and Caribbean art, Philadelphia’s Taller Puertorriqueno features a large exhibition space, play areas, dance and theater studios, and an outdoor sculpture patio. Educational programs are available for elementary through high school students.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans. AAMP offers a variety of programs and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, film screenings, and hands-on arts and crafts activities.

Kids enjoying Hersheypark
Visitors of all ages and interests will enjoy everything on offer at Hersheypark.

Educational Field Trips through STEM

With a wide variety of attractions and events year-round, Hersheypark offers a wide array of ways for visitors to explore the theme park. School groups can visit on their own or attend one of the five Education Days which feature subjects including STEM (Science, Math, Technology & Engineering), Business and Marketing, Health & Wellness and more.

At the Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Harrisburg, racers of all kinds will experience high speeds and a state-of-the-art facility. Drive a high-performance, fast-paced vehicle in a safe, comfortable and fun environment. Give students a once-in-a-lifetime experience through STEM Academy at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Learn about subjects such as the history of racing, mathematics, racing terminology and more while still learning about racing and taking part in this high-thrill adventure. Through the STEM Academy, racers get a hands-on experience while enhancing their learning.

See, smell, create and taste your way through Hershey’s Chocolate World. See how the world-famous chocolate is made by embarking on a chocolate tour or help solve a mystery at the 4D Chocolate movie or even create your own chocolate bar through the workshop. There are a variety of tour options open to student groups including Make It, Tour It, Taste It and Little Taste. Each tour option is different and provides a unique experience for students.

Marine & Aquatic Adventures in Pennsylvania

Collections at Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum document maritime history and culture along the Delaware River. Climb aboard two National Historic Landmark ships: Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna.

For 50 years, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s award-winning environmental education program has been one of the cornerstones of their effort to reverse the Bay watershed’s decline. They offer hands-on, unique outdoor education experiences for students—on the water and on land—in some of the region’s most inspiring places.


Main photo: Benjamin Franklin Museum