Academic and engaging experiences are abundant in Vermont

If you’re looking for a place filled with educational and entertaining activities for a student field trip, then Vermont is the spot. This Northeast gem is brimming with history and culture, as well as modern advances in science and technology. Spark curiosity in students traveling to Vermont with field trips that encompass the soul of the state. Uncover Vermont’s secrets of maple syrup production, maritime history and vibrant arts culture at these diverse facilities. The Green Mountain State offers everything you could possibly want for a student trip, including some truly memorable experiences that only Vermont can provide.

A Few Vermont Field Trip Ideas:

  • Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
  • Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
  • Southern Vermont Arts Center
  • Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
  • Montshire Museum of Science
  • Shelburne Museum
Silk Covered Bridge
Beautiful autumn foliage surrounds the Silk Covered Bridge. Photo courtesy of Vermont Tourism

Vermont History & Heritage Field Trip Ideas

Vermont is home to more than 100 covered bridges, meaning there are more covered bridges per square mile here than any other state. It is said that at one time, there were over 700 covered bridges scattered around the state. The ones that remain today have become staples of Vermont’s landscape, and a window into its past. Students can learn all about these architectural jewels on a self-guided or professionally led tour.

Many historical figures called Vermont home, including the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. At the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, student groups can visit his birthplace and childhood home, as well as a church and schoolhouse built in the mid-to-late 1800’s. The museum is home to several exhibits and artifacts about Calvin Coolidge’s life, both before and during his presidency.

Throughout Vermont student travel groups will find memorial sites dedicated to the Revolutionary War. One of the most significant locations is Mount Independence, home of a US fortification that played a key role in the war efforts. Today, students can enjoy guided hikes on six miles of trails and listen to historic lectures about this land’s place in history.

Students can travel back in time at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum to see what it was like in New England during and after the Revolutionary War. Period costumes and toys are available for children’s play and an array of artifacts are on display with knowledgeable staff to assist groups. Tour a recreated Abenaki Village and traditional Abenaki gardens. Field trips are customizable to fit curricula, with past examples including historical cooking methods and how museums work.

For a taste of local culture, and a touch of antiquity, student groups can venture to any of Central Vermont’s historic downtowns, such as Middlebury, Bristol and even the capital, Montpelier.

Southern Vermont Arts Center
Enjoy fantastic performances at Southern Vermont Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Southern Vermont Arts Center

Performing Arts Locations to Visit

For those performing student groups, Vermont offers several venues where bands, orchestras, and choirs can put on a show. Students can showcase their musical skills at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, home to the 400-seat Louise Arkell Pavilion. This performance space even has retractable side walls that make for a one-of-a-kind open-air show. During the summer, Vermont has several acclaimed music festivals that student groups an apply to perform at, such as the Killington Music Festival and the Manchester Music Festival, which both have young artists series. And if your crew is up for watching a great show, check out the Flynn Student Matinee Series, which introduces students to dynamic, thought-provoking topics through performance art.

Turtles at ECHO, Leahy Center at Lake Champlain
Up close with turtles at ECHO, Leahy Center at Lake Champlain. Photo courtesy of Leahy Center

Educational Field Trips through STEM

While Vermont has deep historical roots and a strong arts scene, it also boasts several great STEM experiences for students interested in modern technology and science. Budding food scientists will find pure bliss on a tour at one of Vermont’s many factories, churning out local products from cheddar cheese to ice cream.

At Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, student groups can get a glimpse at the inner workings of the sugarmaking process, walk the ‘maple trail’ to the trees where the magic begins, and get a taste of the farm’s maple syrup, jellies, creemees, and more. The Morse Farm store will ensure students can bring home sweet treats to share. Walk the “maple trail” that winds through the sugarbush and visit the goats.

At the Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, students can take a guided tour to the Smith Quarry, said to be the largest operating deep-hole granite quarry in the world. Not only will they learn about the geological importance of the land, but also the products and crafts that come from the stone. Students can even watch as craftspeople work to shape the stone and laser-guided machines slice through large slabs of granite.

Some other notable Vermont STEM attractions include: the Montshire Museum of Science, boasting hands-on exhibits dedicated to astronomy, nature, technology, and more. A magical underwater world can be found at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. It offers more than 100 interactive exhibits and 70 species of amphibians, reptiles and fish. Younger students traveling to Vermont can engage in the early learning space. Field trip choices include self-guided experiences, 3D science and nature films, and programs focusing on ecology, the endangered lake sturgeon, climate change, culture, history and engineering.

Explore Arts & Culture in Vermont

Experience life in the early 20th century and gain an appreciation of Vermont at the Shelburne Museum. World-renowned art collections spanning four centuries explore decorative arts, textiles, folk art, toys, carriages and more. The expansive museum comprises 39 buildings spanning over 45 acres of brilliant landscaping. Educators can plan a field trip for various outdoor programs and historical demonstrations.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) will leave lasting impressions on students. The museum has six galleries showcasing contemporary artworks with rotating exhibits. Additionally, they offer 60-70 educational and cultural events annually. Groups can spend two hours exploring exhibits, making art, and taking guided or self-guided museum tours. Enlighten students with hands-on art-making opportunities through various workshops.

Marine & Aquatic Experiences in Vermont

Indoor and outdoor exhibitions and artifacts are on display at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. In Versennes. Groups will find Lake Champlain’s Revolutionary War history, American Navy vessels, ecology exhibits and boating field trips. Discover replica boats and learn about Lake Champlain’s underwater archaeology and research. Notice how preserved artifacts connect the lake to America’s history, and uncover the incredible shipwrecks of Lake Champlain and the stories of early lake voyages.

Main photo: Downtown Montpelier, Vermont. Photo courtesy of Montpelier Alive

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