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Field Trips

by Mary Ann Kelley

Washington, D.C., Field Trips

Field trips are listed alphabetically by city.

Capitol Hill Parks

Capitol Hill Parks includes those park areas between 2nd Streets NE and SE and the Anacostia River. Included in this group are Folger, Lincoln, and Marion Parks, the Maryland Avenue Triangles, the Pennsylvania Avenue Medians, the Eastern Market Metro Station, the Potomac Avenue Metro Station, Seward Square, Twining Square, Stanton Park, and 59 inner-city triangles and squares.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

A system of over 150 parks, refuges, museums, historic communities and water trails in the Bay watershed. Each of these sites tells a piece of the vast Chesapeake story.

George Washington Memorial Parkway

This is the "Road to Adventure" -- originally designed as a grand gateway and greenway to the Nation's Capital. Here, you can learn about the First President and the development of America. As an oasis amid urban development, the Parkway has a variety of park sites that provide opportunities for everything from quiet contemplation to nature exploration to active recreation.

National Mall & Memorial Parks

Officially established in 1965, National Mall & Memorial Parks contains some of the oldest protected park lands in the National Park Service. The areas within National Mall & Memorial Parks provides visitors with ample opportunities to commemorate presidential legacies; honor the courage and sacrifice of war veterans; celebrate the United States commitment to freedom and equality.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

Experience the Corridor of Commerce First Imagined by George Washington. The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a partnership to develop a network of locally-managed trails in a corridor between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands. As of mid-2008, 20 trails have been recognized as segments of the National Scenic Trail.

Audubon Naturalist Society School Programs

Welcome to the Audubon Naturalist Society, the largest and oldest independent environmental organization in the Washington, DC region. A pioneer in linking conservation activities with environmental education, ANS:

Hispanic Heritage Teaching Resources

Virtual field trip onlineFrom the Smithsonian - includes both online teaching resources and information for visitors to the museums.

Arlington National CemeteryArlington

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 400,000 fallen heroes from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War and America's Civil War. Established in 1864, the cemetery is still fully operational today, conducting an average of 27 funerals each day.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkChesapeake Bay region

First thoughts of the Chesapeake Bay often bring up images of crabs and oysters. But, as the largest estuary in North America, the Chesapeake Bay has touched and influenced much of the American story -- early settlement, commerce, the military, transportation, recreation and more. The Bay and its surrounding 64,000 square mile watershed hold a treasure trove of historic areas, natural wonders and recreational opportunities.

National Capital Trolley MuseumColesville

The National Capital Trolley Museum preserves and interprets the heritage of electric and interurban railways of Washington, DC and environs for the benefit of present and future generations, while supplementing its collections with significant national and international objects to enhance its interpretive programs.

National HarborNational Harbor

National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination set along the banks of the Potomac River overlooking Old Town Alexandria and Mt. Vernon, just south of Washington D.C. Its central location, array of hotel options, restaurants and entertainment make National Harbor the perfect home base from which to enjoy the entire region. Activities are not free but a fun way to visit the DC region. Includes a large Ferris wheel, Carousel, Marina, Outlet shopping, and boat tours.

Franciscan MonasteryNortheast

Visit the gardens and church where replicas of special points of importance from the Holy Land of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth and Rome are presented with pilgrimage tours by experienced guides at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm daily. Larger groups can make reservations

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic GardensNortheast

Sparkling in the sun on a breezy day, this natural area of Anacostia Park has origins in a 1926 act authorizing parks to preserve forests and natural scenery. The park reflects the history of the nation's rivers and wetlands. Come, join the dance.

Supreme Court of the United StatesNortheast

Open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Lectures in the courtroom are given every hour on the half hour 9:30 am to 3:30 pm when court is not in session. Admission is free.

National Postal MuseumNortheast

Virtual field trip onlineThe Smithsonian National Postal Museum features the history of the nation's mail service and showcases the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. Open daily 10 am to 5:30 pm except Dec. 25. Free admission. In addition to student tour programs, the website offers curriculum guides and classroom resources to supplement student learning.

National ArboretumNortheast

A 446-acre living museum 2 miles from the Capitol: gardens, collections, bonsai museum, herb garden, azaleas, flowering cherry trees, and the original columns from the Capitol. Seasonal weekend tram tours and guided tours by appointment. The grounds are open Fridays through Mondays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is open Fridays through Mondays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The grounds are closed to the public Tuesday through Thursday and December 25th. Admission is free.

Union Station Northeast

On October 27, 1907, Union Station officially opened at 6:50 a.m., when the Baltimore and Ohio Pittsburgh Express pulled into the Station. It is modeled in the monumental Beaux-Arts style and after the Baths of Caraculla and Diocletian and the triumphal Arch of Rome. Union Station's arches symbolize its primary function as a gateway.

Washington Youth GardenNortheast

Science Program Reaching OUT (SPROUT) is Washington Youth Garden's field trip program that serves youth and educators from the Washington metro area to visit to our demonstration garden site at the U.S. National Arboretum. Pre-K through 12th grade students are invited to participate in a 90-minute interactive garden science experience based on one of five themes: Garden Basics, Soil and Compost, Pollination, Nutrition, and Food Systems (6th grade and above). We also maintain a large herb garden, compost area, and several educational theme gardens that change annually! There's tons to explore!

National Museum of American HistoryNorthwest

The National Museum of American History showcases national treasures, from the Star-Spangled Banner to the Ruby Slippers. Free Admission. Open Daily except December 25th. Daily programs and hands-on activities are available. Website offers educator and kid resources for field trips and at home learning.

National ZooNorthwest

Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo is the nation's zoo. It is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek National Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. Like all things Smithsonian, The National Zoo offers free admission. Open daily except Dec. 25. The website offers online lesson plans and resources. The zoo offers education classes and seminars from preschool through adults.

National Building MuseumNorthwest

The National Building Museum is America's leading cultural institution devoted to the history and impact of the built environment. The museum tells the stories of architecture, engineering, and design. Looks for special free events in the fall and winter for children and their families. Curriculum Kits provide all of the resources and materials needed to offer Museum programs in your own classroom across the country. A variety of Educator Resource Packets containing numerous lesson plans are available for educators free of charge.

African American Civil War MemorialNorthwest

In January 1999, the Civil War Memorial Museum opened to the public. Using photographs, documents and state of the art audio visual equipment, the museum helps visitors understand the African American's heroic and largely unknown struggle for freedom. The museum is located two blocks west of the Memorial in the historic Shaw neighborhood. To assist visitors, researchers, and descendants of USCT, the Museum also offers important educational and research tools.

Constitution GardensNorthwest

Dedicated in 1976, Constitution Gardens serves as an oasis within the bustling city for visitors, residents and wildlife. A memorial island in the middle of an artificial lake has stones bearing the names and signatures of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Their pledge to freedom exists as a living tribute within this natural setting celebrating the U.S. Constitution.

Ford's TheatreNorthwest

One of the most visited sites in the nation's capital. Celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical ParkNorthwest

Preserving America's colorful Canal era and transportation history, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is 184.5 miles of adventure. Originally, the C&O Canal was a lifeline for communities and businesses along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, grain and other agricultural products floated down the canal to market. Today millions of visitors hike or bike the C&O Canal each year to enjoy the natural, cultural and recreational opportunities available.

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site Northwest

Carter Godwin Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The website offers historical information about Carter Godwin Woodson for those who cannot visit in person.

Old Post Office TowerNorthwest

The Old Post Office, built between 1892 and 1899, is home to the Bells of Congress, which were a present from England on our Nation's Bicentennial. From the observation deck, located 270 feet above the street level, the visitor can get a spectacular view of our nation's capital. Built in 1899, the Old Post Office's clock tower offers panoramic views of Washington, D.C. The tower houses the Congress Bells, a Bicentennial gift from England commemorating friendship between the nations. NOTE: The Tower is closed until 2016 as the entire building is currently undergoing major renovations.

Peirce MillNorthwest

Built in the 1820's, and operated commercially until 1897. The United States Government acquired the mill as part of Rock Creek Park in 1892. Currently the mill is not operating. It is being preserved and ultimately will be made operable again when sufficient funding for repairs is made available. Peirce Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pennsylvania AvenueNorthwest

Among the world's most famous streets. It is known the world over as the heart of the Nation's Capital. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

President's ParkNorthwest

President's Park is the area in front of the White House where the Christmas tree is located. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

Vietnam Veterans MemorialNorthwest

Deliberately setting aside the controversies of the war, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the men and women who served when their Nation called upon them. The designer, Maya Lin, felt that "the politics had eclipsed the veterans, their service and their lives." She kept the design elegantly simple to "allow everyone to respond and remember."

Washington MonumentNorthwest

The most prominent, as well as one of the older, attractions in Washington, D.C. It was built in honor of George Washington, who led the country to independence, and then became its first President. The Monument is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk, 555' 5/8" high, and averages 30 to 40 miles visibility in clear weather. It was finished on December 6, 1884. Tickets are required to visit the interior of the Washington Monument.

Rock Creek ParkNorthwest

Rock Creek Park is one of America's largest and oldest city parks and one of the first urban natural areas to be set aside by Congress for the enjoyment of the people. The Park includes Peirce Mill, The Old Stone House, a nature center, riding stables, tennis courts, a golf course, 30 picnic areas, playing fields and an extensive network of trails for walking, jogging and cycling.

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site Northwest

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was an American educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a school for African American students in Daytona Beach, Florida, and for being an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The website offers historical information about Mary McLeod Bethune for those who cannot visit in person.

Friendship ParkNorthwest

Turtle Park is located in the American University Park neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC. Although its official name is Friendship Park, community members affectionately know it as Turtle Park because of the five large statues in the play area. The park is home to a large enclosed play area with five play structures, swings, sand box and picnic tables, 2 basketball courts, 2 tennis courts, 4 baseball and softball fields, a Recreation center (with cooperative pre-school), and a Spray park.

Battleground National CemeteryNorthwest

One of the smallest national cemeteries in the country. The cemetery is the final resting place for 41 of the Union soldiers who fought at the nearby Battle of Fort Stevens, the only Civil War battle fought in the District of Columbia, and the only military engagement in United States history in which the president came under direct fire.

Dumbarton HouseNorthwest

Headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. It "is... one of the very finest and most beautiful houses in the United States," according to architectural historian Fiske Kimball, consulting architect for its original restoration. Dumbarton House reflects the emerging Adamesque style of architecture of the early Republic, and has an outstanding collection of Federal period furniture and decorative arts.

Dumbarton House for KidsNorthwest

Dumbarton House, one of the finest and houses in the United States, reflects the emerging Adamesque style of architecture of the early Republic, and has an outstanding collection of Federal period furniture and decorative arts.

National Museum of Natural HistoryNorthwest

Virtual field trip onlinePart of the Smithsonian Institution, admission is free. Open every day except Dec. 25 The museum boasts the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond, dinosaurs, Insect Zoo, the Mammals Hall, and the world's largest African bush elephant. The Museum website provides both field trip related and non field trip related lesson plans, web-based activities for students, and other resources that help teach a range of science and natural history topics.

National Archives and Records AdministrationNorthwest

Houses the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights and more than 3 billion records. Visit the newest exhibit: The Public Vaults. Open daily 10 am - 5:30 pm except Christmas. Free admission. Students can participate in hands-on document-based programs while visiting exhibitions.

National Portrait GalleryNorthwest

The National Portrait Gallery features the men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the United States. Students can participate in an interactive, themed gallery tour facilitated by specially trained gallery educators. These programs are standards-based and complement curricula in art, history, social studies, and language arts.

National Museum of Women in the ArtsNorthwest

he National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only museum in the world solely dedicated to celebrating the diverse artistic achievements of women. The collection includes more than 4,500 objects representing the work of women from the 16th century to the present, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin. Admission is free to youth age 18 and under. The first Sunday of the month is FREE admission to the museum.

The Phillips Collection.Northwest

The Phillips Collection is a modern art museum featuring paintings by Renoir, Rothko, Bonnard, O'Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Visitors ages 18 and under are free.

National Gallery of ArtNorthwest

Permanent collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and works on paper, plus changing exhibitions of art from around the world. Open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 6 pm except New Year's Day and Christmas. Free admission. Website offers onsite educational materials and at home lesson plans in art history and art appreciation.

National Geographic MuseumNorthwest

Explore the world and all that's in it at the National Geographic Museum. The museum is great for all ages and features a wide range of changing exhibitions, from interactive experiences to stunning photography exhibitions featuring the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed December 25). Children age 5 and under are free.

National Theatre Children's ProgramNorthwest

Saturday Morning at The National offers free admission to the 9:30 and 11:00 children shows.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing ArtsNorthwest

Virtual field trip onlineThe Nation's performing arts center, presenting the best music, dance, theatre, international, and children's programs in nine theaters and stages. Free performances at 6pm daily. Free tours, and free shuttle from Foggy Bottom Metro. The WNO Washington National Opera has a program which allows younger students to do an opera look-in for $6, and a older students are offered tickets to dress rehearsals for $15.

Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Harmon Center for the ArtsNorthwest

The Shakespeare Theatre Company offers free tickets to show through a program called Free Will. Every Monday at noon tickets for shows can be claimed for the upcoming week for free.

American Art Museum and the Renwick GalleryNorthwest

Virtual field trip onlineThe Smithsonian American Art Museum, the nation's first art collection, features art from the colonial period to today. The museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. Highlights are images of the American West, Works Progress Administration murals, impressionism, folk art, photography, video and media art, works by African American and Latino artists, and modern and contemporary art. Open 11:30 am to 7 pm daily except Dec. 25. Admission is free. Website has many educational resources for your visit as well as at home use. Check out the "Which artists shares your birthday?" page.

African American Civil War Memorial and MuseumNorthwest

This memorial is a sculpture commemorating the more than 209,145 Soldiers who served in the United States Color Troupes during the Civil War. Website provides lesson plans for further studying African American and the Civil War.

Old Stone HouseNorthwest

The oldest house in Washington, built in 1765 by a cabinet maker. Tours given by Park Rangers. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Open all year. Please call (202) 895-6070 for group tours of 10 or more. Closed all federal holidays.

International Spy MuseumNorthwest

Virtual field trip onlineEnter the shadow-world of spying where all is not what it seems and your students will discover a new way of thinking about the world in which they live. The International Spy Museum is committed to educating students and educators about espionage in an engaging way and to providing a context that fosters understanding of its important role in and impact on current and historic events. The Museum provides FREE classroom lessons, resources, and activities that support traditional curriculum.

Madame TussaudsNorthwest

Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. is the only place where you can see, touch, and take photos with some of your favorite celebrities, historical figures, and all 44 U.S. presidents under one roof.

Crime MuseumNorthwest

The Crime Museum provides visitors insight into our nation's history of crime and its consequences, law enforcement, forensic science, and crime scene investigation through a captivating, interactive, entertaining, and educational experience.

Civil War Defenses of WashingtonSoutheast

By 1865, the Union army had constructed 68 forts, 93 detached batteries for field guns, 20 miles of rifle pits, 3 wooden blockhouses, 32 miles of military roads, several stockaded bridgeheads, and four picket stations.

Anacostia ParkSoutheast

Beneath the bustle of Washington, DC, the song of a meadowlark joins the sounds of friends, families, and fun. Authorized almost a hundred years ago as a multiple use park, Anacostia Park serves as a playground while protecting the natural scenery and water quality of the Anacostia River. The park serves as an example of how far-sighted urban planning serves today's generation as well.

Fort Dupont ParkSoutheast

The Fort was a civil defense fortress for Washington DC, protected the capitol from southern sympathizing Marylanders. Its garrison and guns never saw battle, but instead houses runaway slaves. The website offers historical information about the fort for those who cannot visit in person.

Frederick Douglass National Historic SiteSoutheast

Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass was a runaway slave, abolitionist, civil rights advocate, author and statesmen. Visitors to the site learn about Frederick Douglass' efforts to abolish slavery and his struggle for rights for all oppressed people.

National Capital Parks-EastSoutheast

National Capital Parks-East includes 13 park sites, parkways and statuary covering more than 8,000 acres of historic, cultural, and recreational parklands in DC.

Library of CongressSoutheast

Visit the Thomas Jefferson Building, known for its magnificent 19th Century architecture and decoration and changing historical exhibitions. Guided tours at half-past each hour. Kids have fun at interactive kiosks, using the Passport to Knowledge, and visiting the Young Readers Center.

Korean War Veterans National MemorialSouthwest

Southeast of the Lincoln Memorial, 19 sculptures stand under the watchful eye of a sea of faces upon a granite wall. This is a reminder of the human cost of defending freedom.

East Potomac Park Golf CourseSouthwest

A National Park Service historic golf course. East Potomac Park Golf Course is located on The Mall with three courses, a heated/covered driving range, practice holes, putting area, GolfDC Academy, mini golf, pro shop and grille. Players 18 and under pay $6 per game.

U.S. Bureau of Engraving & PrintingSouthwest

The Bureau of Engraving Tour and Visitor Center is a great place to learn all about U.S. paper currency. You can see millions of dollars being printed as you walk along the gallery overlooking the production floor! The free 40-minute experience includes an introductory film and gallery tour of the production process. The visitor center includes exhibits and currency products for sale. The Tour and Visitor Center is closed on weekends, Federal holidays, and the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Tickets are needed from March to August and are first come first serve during these peak months. Groups of ten or more need tickets. The website offers a variety of youth education materials that are free of charge and can be downloaded.

Vietnam Veterans MemorialSouthwest

Official site from the From the National Park Service. Honoring the men and women who served in the controversial Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country. Offers a Junior Ranger program for kids to use onsite at the wall.

National Air and Space MuseumSouthwest

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC has thousands of objects on display, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and a lunar rock you can touch. On site, there is also a Planetarium, IMAX Theater, and Public Observatory. Admission is free to the museum. Closed December 25th. Visitors enjoy daily tours and educational activities for both children and adults. Online educator resources, lectures and videos available for those who cant visit in person.

Freer SacklerSouthwest

The Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art. Admission is free. The museum is open every day except December 25th. The Museum offers family programs and online guides for students. Check out Teacher resources or downloaded materials. The collection is digitized so virtual visitors can view collections from home.

National Museum of the American Indian ProgramsSouthwest

The National Museum of the American Indian is located in both Washington DC and New York City, NY.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial ParkSouthwest

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. These are the words of our 32nd President, a man who truly knew the meaning of the word courage. Despite, at age 39, being stricken with polio and paralyzed from the waist down, he emerged as a true leader, guiding our country through some of its darkest times: the Great Depression and World War II. The FDR Memorial honors this man and his story.

George Mason MemorialSouthwest

The George Mason Memorial, dedicated on April 9, 2002, honors the little known but widely felt contributions of an important Founding Father. The memorial is located in East Potomac Park near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Born in 1725 George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights and later attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Lincoln MemorialSouthwest

Iconic DC historical site. The website offers historical information about the park and the President for those who cannot visit in person. Offers a Junior Ranger program for students

National World War II MemorialSouthwest

The National World War II Memorial commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of the of the WWII generation. Friedrich St.Florian's winning design balances classical and modernist styles of architecture, harmonizes with its natural and cultural surroundings, and connects the legacy of the American Revolution and the American Civil War with great crusade to rid the world of fascism.

Thomas Jefferson MemorialSouthwest

The words of Thomas Jefferson, some written more than 200 years ago, have shaped American ideals. Today, many of these impressive, stirring words adorn the interior walls of his memorial. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands as a symbol of liberty and endures as a site for reflection and inspiration for all citizens of the United States and the world.

National Museum of the American IndianSouthwest

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere, past, present, and future, through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life.

Martin Luther King, Jr. MemorialSouthwest

August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom witnessed the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Potomac River Environmental Education ProgramWashington

This program is based in the heart of the nation's capital at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. While aboard the Bea Hayman Clark, CBF's research workboat, participants test water quality, perform plankton studies, trawl for fish, and learn about the local features that impact the ecological integrity of the surrounding waterways. This is a unique opportunity to explore a hidden side of D.C., discover a diverse watershed of the Chesapeake, and investigate a habitat that few people are able to witness.Program Capacity: Up to 30 participants (including chaperones), grade 4 and above.

John Ericsson National MonumentWashington

During his lifetime, John Ericsson revolutionized several facets of technology. The Swedish-born engineer-inventor is best known for his work during the Civil War when he transformed naval warfare through his design of the iron-plated USS Monitor. The movements of Ericsson's pencil across his drafting board were as crucial to victory as the movements of Lincoln's armies across battlefields.

The Old Stone HouseWashington

In the midst of Washington, D.C., a city of grand memorials to national leaders and significant events, stands an unassuming building commemorating the daily lives of ordinary Americans who made this city, and this nation, unique. The Old Stone House, one of the oldest known structures remaining in the nation's capital, is a simple 18th century dwelling built and inhabited by common people.

American Red Cross MuseumWashington

Located in Washington DC, check out the website for information about the museum. Visit request form is available online for those wishing to visit our nations capital.

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