Our State is Our Classroom: 3 Free Summer Field Trips

Summer is almost here! Whether you take a break from formal schooling during the summer or not, you are sure to be looking for some things to get everyone out of the house this summer. Usually this means spending a fortune on admission fees. However, when you live in the great state of Oklahoma, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of free and fun things to do in our state, and some of them are just around the corner.

“That’s great,” you may be thinking, “but we ARE schooling through the summer, and we much prefer educational activities.” No problem! If you look closely enough, any activity can be considered educational. I am going to take a look at each of these field trip ideas and find what they have to offer your family in the way of academic education. You can then decide which outings would be best for your family and elaborate with any curricula you feel works best for your children.

Kids Bowl Free

Did you know that many bowling alleys offer a Kids Bowl Free opportunity in the summer? This is the perfect summer activity as it gets the kids up and moving around, but keeps everyone cool and sun burn free. Click here to register for your free games.

If the free fun isn’t enough to get you to the alley this June and July, maybe the math lesson will be. Bowling has so many lessons to offer on the subjects of math and physics it is astounding. You could easily create an entire unit study that revolves entirely around this sport.

For younger kids, you’ll want to keep the lessons simple. Find some old bowling score cards and have your child keep score instead of relying on the electronic scoreboard. This will allow them plenty of opportunities to practice get addition and subtraction. Your elementary student will be an addition and subtraction whiz by the time you leave the alley.

For the older set, a lesson on physics is definitely in order. The science behind bowling is quite fascinating, and you might even find your kids asking to dig deeper into the he subject of physics. There are some great resources on the application of physics in bowling here, here, and here.


Free Days at Sam Noble Museum of Natural History

The Sam Noble Museum in Norman Oklahoma is filled to the brim with interesting information, and is the perfect educational and exciting field trip for students of any age. Unfortunately, Musuem admission can really add up, making this an expensive outing. However, on the first Monday of each month this amazing hall of knowledge offers free admission to kids ages 17 and under. Adults will have to pay the entry fee of  $8 per person, but one adult visiting with several kids can save an enormous amount of money by visiting on one of these days.

The educational opportunities found at this museum are too vast to pull apart and list individually, so instead I will mention some highlights.

First, I’d like to mention the dinosaurs. The dinosaur exhibits at this museum are fascinating. They are loved by younger kids, older children, and adults. They are a permanent exhibit, which is great, because they continue to be awe inspiring visit after visit.

Another great area is the Oklahoma history section which has scenes depicting historical life in Oklahoma. The scenes are amazingly realistic, and can really hold the attention of anyone interested in history. This exhibit would be an ideal expansion on a study of Oklahoma history.


Martin Park Nature Center

Always free, this local nature park is an amazing way to explore the plants and animals right here in our own backyard. With seemingly endless nature trails, an amazing little creek with rocks to hop across, and birds, squirrels, prairie dogs, and a variety of other animals to see, this park can entertain and educate the nature lover for hours on end and would be an excellent way to enhance a study on life cycles or ecosystems.

Make sure to stop by the tiny museum for some fascinating facts on the animals found throughout the park. Also, make sure to hit the awesome playground before you leave.

The park does also offer some events including story times, play groups, guided hikes, and animal feedings. Check out the full calendar here.