Explore the Charm of the Ocean State through educational field trips for all ages and experience Rhode Island through fun and memorable field trip ideas
Whoever said size matters has never been to Rhode Island. While the smallest state in size, Rhode Island punches way above its weight when it comes to adventure, charm, luxury, natural beauty and artistic endeavors. Known for its sandy shores and seaside colonial towns, this New England state is also home to several large cities, including Newport, famed for its Gilded Age mansions. And with every main attraction within an hours’ drive of one another, visitors can check off their entire bucket list in one day. Size really is just a number.
Some Rhode Island Field Trip Ideas:
- Lippitt House Museum
- Audrain Automobile Museum
- St. Ann’s Art and Cultural Center
- Bowen’s Wharf
- Exploration Center and Aquarium
- Breakers Mansion
- RISD Museum
- Biomes Center
- Normal Bird Sanctuary
Rhode Island History & Heritage Field Trip Ideas
As one of the original 13 colonies, Rhode Island has no shortage of historic sites that tell the story of the beginning of the nation, making it a great location for educational field trip ideas. Bowen’s Wharf used to be one of the country’s main points of trade with the rest of the world. Today, it’s one of Newport’s biggest tourist attractions, with tons of local cuisine and souvenir shopping.
The Breakers Mansion, owned by the Vanderbilt family, is the grandest of Newport’s summer homes. This Gilded Age cottage has its own audio tour, which visitors can access by downloading the Newport Mansions app.
Rhode Island’s seafaring and naval history mean that its coastline is riddled with historic lighthouses that make for great stops on a field trip. The Southeast Lighthouse at Mohegan Bluffs was built in 1875, but today it sits 300 feet from its original location due to erosion. North Light Lighthouse is a must-visit for the scenic walk down Corn Neck Road to Settler’s Rock, and ends up at the Sachem Pond Wildlife Refuge.
The state is also home to its fair share of unique museums. The International Tennis Hall of Fame preserves the history of tennis and celebrates its champions. Lippitt House Museum has taken the Victorian-era household of Henry Lippitt and frozen it in time. The Audrain Automobile Museum is comprised of over 160 of the rarest automobiles in history, making Rhode Island a great location for museum field trips.
Performing Arts Field Trips in Rhode Island
Providence has been known as a mecca of the arts on the East Coast for decades. In recent years, the city has prioritized its devotion to public art displays through the Avenue Concept initiative.
No sales tax on art purchases in the state of Rhode Island means that visiting this state is a perfect excuse to pick up some gems for great prices from one of the many local artisans across the state. If you’re more interested in artistic field trip ideas, the St. Ann’s Art and Cultural Center and the RISD Museum house amazing collections of art.
You can also see a number of classic shows and original local performances at one of many historic, architecturally stunning theaters across the state, including Contemporary Theater Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, or Festival Ballet Providence. If you time your trip right, you can see an amazing display of visual arts at the WaterFire festivals in downtown Providence.
Arts & Culture Activities in Rhode Island
Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present and includes a collection of more than 10,000 objects. Located in Providence, this unique museum offers guided visits that explore art and design through discussion, writing or drawing, making connections to different subjects, skills and interests.
View classic theater shows and original local performances at one of many historic, architecturally stunning theaters across the state, including Contemporary Theater Company, Providence Performing Arts Center or Festival Ballet Providence. If you time your trip right, you can see an amazing display of visual arts at the WaterFire festivals in downtown Providence.
STEM Rhode Island Field Trip Ideas
You’re bound to pass by a number of farms during your stay, so you’ll want to pull off the road for some local produce or to meet some furry farm friends at Dame Farm and Orchard, Knight Farm Orchard and Country Breakfast Restaurant or Jaswell Farm.
Rhode Island, with its extensive biodiversity and protected land, is a hub for unique flora and fauna. While you’re out exploring, add a kid-friendly learning component to your adventure at Audubon Society of RI Nature Center and Aquarium, Normal Bird Sanctuary and Exploration Center & Aquarium.
Marine & Aquatic Adventures in Rhode Island
New England’s only private marine education facility and the most hands-on aquarium in the region, the Biomes Center in North Kingstown has been providing marine biology programs for schools and families since 1989. Specializing in teaching about the marine animals of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the center features more than 80 exhibits. During private field trips, students work in teams as they take turns visiting the learning stations, including hands-on exhibits.
Located in Bristol, the Herreshoff Marine Museum is dedicated to the history of yachting, the America’s Cup and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. Private tours are available.
Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium is a hands-on, interactive marine science center that is home to dozens of species from Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island waters. Its Explore the Bay education program offers sessions in Providence and Newport, as well as “in the field,” whether that be on the water, along the coast, or in a local river, marsh or pond.