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The Best Homeschool Field Trips Southern California by County

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Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular in Southern California, and for good reason. Parents are taking control of their children's education and providing them with unique opportunities to learn, explore, and grow. One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to go on field trips and explore the world around us.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Southern California is a treasure trove of educational opportunities for homeschooling families. From museums to science centers, historical sites to amusement parks, there is no shortage of places to visit and learn. Homeschool field trips in Southern California can be a great way for children to learn hands-on and make connections between what they are learning at home and the world around them.

Parents take the initiative to seek out opportunities for their children to visit places where their children can learn hands-on. Sometimes, those field trips are organized so that large groups can attend. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see. However, with a little research and planning, homeschool field trips in Southern California can be an enriching and rewarding experience for both parents and children alike.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Understanding Homeschool Field Trips

Homeschool field trips are an important part of the homeschooling experience. These trips provide students with an opportunity to learn outside of the traditional classroom setting. Field trips can be a great way to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom or to introduce new topics and ideas.

Field trips are typically organized by homeschooling parents or groups. They can be planned to coincide with a specific unit of study or to provide a general learning experience. Homeschool field trips can be taken at any grade level and are often tailored to the specific needs and interests of the students.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Field trips can take many forms, from visiting museums and historical sites to attending live performances and participating in hands-on activities. These trips can be an excellent way to provide students with interactive learning experiences that they may not otherwise have access to.

Many schools and education programs also offer field trips as part of their curriculum. Homeschooling parents may be able to take advantage of these school programs to provide their children with additional learning opportunities. Independent study programs may also offer field trips as part of their education enrichment programs.

Overall, homeschool field trips can provide students with a unique and valuable learning experience. They can help to reinforce classroom concepts, introduce new topics, and provide an interactive learning environment.

Exploring Southern California

Southern California is a treasure trove of educational opportunities for homeschoolers. With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, there is no shortage of Homeschool Field Trips Southern California to explore and things to learn. From San Diego to San Bernardino County, from Orange County to the Bay Area, there are countless field trip options for homeschoolers in Southern California.

San Diego is home to some of the region's best museums and cultural attractions. The San Diego Natural History Museum is a great place to learn about the area's unique flora and fauna, while the San Diego Air & Space Museum offers a fascinating look at aviation history. For a more hands-on experience, the New Children's Museum encourages creativity and imagination through interactive exhibits.

In San Bernardino County, Chino Hills State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 90 miles of trails, visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride through the park's scenic landscape. The Amazon Fulfillment Center Tour in San Bernardino also offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the retail giant operates.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Orange County is known for its theme parks, but there are also plenty of educational opportunities to be found. The Ocean Institute in Dana Point provides an immersive experience for students to learn about marine life and ocean conservation. The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana combines science and fun with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.

Northern California and the Bay Area offer even more opportunities for homeschoolers. The Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito is a popular destination for families with young children, with its indoor/outdoor exhibits and programs. The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is a must-visit for science enthusiasts, with its aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum.

Central California also boasts some unique field trip options. The Sierra Nevada Logging Museum in Arnold provides a glimpse into the region's logging history, while Calaveras Big Trees State Park offers a chance to explore the giant sequoias that call the area home.

Whether exploring the great outdoors or delving into history and culture, Southern California has something for every homeschooling family.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Cultural and Historical Trips

Southern California is rich in culture and history, and there are plenty of field trip opportunities for homeschool families to explore. Here are some of the best cultural and historical trips in the area:


Southern California is home to many museums that offer educational and cultural experiences for homeschoolers. The California Science Center in Los Angeles is a great place to learn about science and technology, while the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles provides an in-depth look at the history of discrimination and prejudice. The Getty Center in Los Angeles is a world-renowned art museum that features an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Historical Sites

There are many historical sites in Southern California that offer a glimpse into the past. The Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano is a 200-year-old mission that provides a look at California's colonial past. The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles explores the history of the American West, including cowboys, cattle ranching, and indigenous serrano Indians. The Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park in Riverside is a historic park that offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit


Southern California is home to many exhibits that provide a unique learning experience for homeschoolers. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County features exhibits on dinosaurs, mammals, and other natural wonders, while the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles showcases the history of the automobile. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana features exhibits on world cultures and art, while the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda explores the life and presidency of Richard Nixon.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit


Southern California also has a rich history in the logging and gold mining era, as well as early winter sports. The Big Bear Historical Museum in Big Bear Lake is a great place to learn about the history of logging and fox farming in the area. The Mammoth Ski Museum in Mammoth Lakes explores the early days of skiing and snowboarding in California.

Overall, Southern California has a wealth of cultural and historical sites that provide educational and enriching experiences for homeschoolers.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Science and Nature Experiences

Southern California is home to a variety of science and nature experiences that are perfect for homeschool field trips. These experiences can be both educational and fun, providing students with hands-on learning opportunities.

One of the most popular destinations for science and nature experiences is the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. This museum offers a wide range of exhibits and programs that cover topics such as dinosaurs, mammals, and the natural history of Southern California. The museum also offers field trips and educational programs for homeschoolers.

Another great option is the California Science Center, which features interactive exhibits on topics such as space exploration, ecosystems, and the human body. The center offers a variety of programs and workshops for homeschoolers, as well as field trip opportunities.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

For those interested in outdoor experiences, there are a variety of state parks and nature centers throughout Southern California. Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, for example, offers a glimpse into the history of California's gold rush, while Yosemite National Park provides opportunities for students to learn about the natural world and explore the great outdoors.

Animal lovers will also find plenty of opportunities for learning and fun. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach features a variety of marine life exhibits, while the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero is home to a variety of animals from around the world.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

Other science and nature experiences in Southern California include the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA in Pasadena, the Placer Nature Center in Auburn, and the Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles. Whether exploring the natural world, learning about science and technology, or getting up close with animals, Southern California offers a wealth of opportunities for homeschool field trips.

Interactive Learning Opportunities

Southern California offers a wealth of interactive learning opportunities for homeschoolers. From community gardens to festivals and hands-on activities, there are plenty of ways to engage with the world around you and learn something new.

One great option for hands-on learning is the Fingerprints Youth Museum in Hemet. This museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits and programs designed for children ages 2-12. Homeschool groups can schedule docent-led tours and participate in hands-on programs that cover a range of topics, from science and technology to history and culture.

For those interested in marine life, the Pacific Ocean is just a short drive away. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach offers a variety of educational programs and exhibits, including shark and ray touch tanks. Homeschool groups can also take advantage of special events and programs, such as the annual Homeschool Day.

Theaters and museums are also great places to find interactive learning opportunities. The Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena offers a variety of hands-on exhibits and programs designed for children ages 1-10. The Ainsley House in Campbell offers docent-led tours of a historic home, while the Castle Air Museum in Atwater features a collection of military aircraft and artifacts.

For those looking for a more active learning experience, Irvine Park Railroad in Orange offers a variety of outdoor activities, including train rides, pony rides, and paddle boat rentals. Fiesta Village in Colton also offers a range of outdoor activities, including go-karts, mini-golf, and batting cages.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

When planning a homeschool field trip, be sure to consider the needs of your group. Some venues may require chaperones or have specific rules regarding group size and behavior. It's also a good idea to check for any upcoming special events or promotions that may be of interest.

Overall, Southern California offers a wealth of interactive learning opportunities for homeschoolers of all ages. Whether you're interested in science, history, or the arts, there's something for everyone to explore and discover.

Making Reservations and Planning

When planning a homeschool field trip in Southern California, it is important to make reservations in advance to ensure availability. Many popular destinations, such as museums and theme parks, require reservations for groups, including homeschool groups.

To make reservations, visit the destination's website or call their visitor center. Most websites have a dedicated page for group reservations, where you can find information on group rates, available dates, and reservation procedures. Some destinations may require a minimum number of participants to qualify for group rates, so be sure to check the requirements before making reservations.

When planning a field trip, it is important to consider the age and interests of the students. Southern California offers a wide variety of educational and entertaining destinations, from museums and historical sites to theme parks and outdoor adventures. Consider the educational goals of the trip and choose a destination that aligns with those goals.

It is also important to plan for transportation and meals. Some destinations offer on-site dining options, while others may require students to bring their own lunches. If transportation is needed, consider renting a bus or coordinating carpooling with other families.

Overall, planning a successful homeschool field trip in Southern California requires careful planning and organization. By making reservations in advance, considering the interests of the students, and planning for transportation and meals, families can ensure a fun and educational experience for all.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Best Places to Visit

With over 120 awesomely fun field trip ideas for kids of all ages, you're sure to find the perfect field trip to fit your elementary school's curriculum.

*** Denotes organizations that support and host home school days and events.

Disclaimer: Please contact the location regarding hours, admission price and any free days as these things may change without my knowledge. I will try to keep this list as updated as possible, but there are no guarantees!

Various Locations in Southern California:

  • Inland Pacific Ballet, Various locations in So Cal -Inland Pacific Ballet's mission is to build and sustain a professional ballet company of national stature in the Inland Empire of Southern California.
  • Journeys to the Past, Various locations in So Cal – Journeys to the Past is a California Indian presentation that shows the beauty of our culture and ignites others to discover their own!This unique program takes students on a journey into the lifestyle of the California Indian, in particular the Acjachemen Nation, which flourished in Southern California hundreds of years before the Spanish influx.
  • *** Manassero Farm, Various locations in So Cal – The tradition of local, sustainable farming and providing our community with the very freshest produce.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Santa Barbara County:

  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Santa Barbara – Education programs include the Tall Ship Program, Science Night, monthly Lectures, and the Book Club.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara – We believe in the power of art to ignite imagination, stimulate thought, and generate personally rewarding experiences.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara – More than 3.5 million artifacts and specimens in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, vertebrate and invertebrate biology, geology and paleontology, art, library, and archives.
  • South Coast Railroad Museum, Goleta – The South Coast Railroad Museum, in Goleta, Calif., focuses on the history, technology, and adventure of railroading. Special emphasis is placed on the railroad's contributions to local history, on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and on the key historical role of the railroad depot in rural community life across America.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Ventura County:

  • Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard – Originally Oxnard’s Carnegie Library, it was built in 1906 as one of the free public libraries funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, Simi Valley – Located in Simi Valley, California the Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 40,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President. It sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center and The Air Force One Pavilion.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Los Angeles County:

  • Arboretum of Los Angeles County, Arcadia – The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is a unique 127-acre botanical garden and historical site located in what was the heart of the historic Rancho Santa Anita in the city of Arcadia.
  • *** Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach – Home to more than 11,000 ocean animals, representing nearly 500 species, the Aquarium celebrates the planet’s largest and most diverse body of water: the Pacific Ocean.
  • Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles – Featuring everything from Native American beadwork to historic firearms, our museum galleries tell the amazing stories of the American West.
  • Battleship Iowa, San Pedro/Los Angeles – A field trip to Battleship IOWA presents an array of entirely novel stimuli to the student. The features of a battleship compel their attention as it confronts them with features unprecedented in their experience.
  • *** Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Huntington Beach – Science-Based Education Programs for Grades K-5. Explore Human and Wildlife Connections at Bolsa Chica!
  • California Science Center, Los Angeles – The Science Center offers self-guided experiences of Permanent and Special Exhibit galleries, Big Lab interactive programs, and IMAX Movies at discounted prices for Field Trips and Groups of 15 or more.
  • Children's Maritime Foundation, Long Beach – Children's Maritime Foundation invites you to sail aboard American Pride, the 130ft historic tallship of Long Beach, CA.
  • Columbia Memorial Space Museum, Downey – The Columbia Memorial Space Center, located in Downey, California, is a hands-on learning center dedicated to bringing the wonder and excitement of science and innovation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles – The Craft & Folk Art Museum engages people through its diverse exhibitions and programs that challenge established ideas about craft and folk art and inspire a sense of inquiry and creativity within all people.
  • Descanso Gardens, La Canada – Descanso Gardens visitors come in all ages. Avid gardeners stop to take note of plants, while “regulars” do their morning walk beneath the leafy oak canopy. Children scamper the paths and play “spot the squirrel,” while parents try to keep up.
  • Discovery Cube LA, Los Angeles – We INSPIRE and EDUCATE young minds through engaging SCIENCE-BASED programs and exhibits to create a meaningful IMPACT on the COMMUNITIES we serve.
  • Eco Station, Culver City – Non-profit environmental education and exotic wildlife rescue center, dedicated to the mission of preservation through education.
  • Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion, Los Angeles –  The City of Los Angeles created the Environmental Learning Center to teach children and adults about sustainable water and solid resources management.
  • Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles – Among the most distinguished outdoor sculpture collections in the country, featuring more than 70 modern and contemporary works set in five beautifully-landscaped acres of the UCLA campus.
  • Getty Museums, Los Angeles/Malibu – The education department at the J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire all of our audiences to engage with our collection and exhibitions through programs and resources at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.
  • Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles – Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos! Visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign.
  • Heritage Square Museum, Los Angeles – A living history museum that explores the settlement and development of Southern California from the Civil War to the early 20th Century, offering visitors a look into the everyday lives of Southern Californians at the close of the 19th Century.
  • Hollywood Museum, Hollywood – The Hollywood Museum, the official museum of Hollywood, has the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world.
  • Huntington Library and Gardens, San Marino – The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington.
  • iFly Indoor Skydiving, Hollywood – An iFLY wind tunnel is a marvel of math, science and engineering that connects classroom learning to the real world. On a field trip to iFLY Hollywood, your students will conduct experiments, receive flight and safety training, fly in the wind tunnel, and learn all about the STEM concepts involved in their flight. No experience necessary!
  • Kidspace Children's Museum, Pasadena – The mission of Kidspace Children's Museum is nurturing the potential of all children through kid-driven experiences, inspiring them to become joyful, active learners.
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach – The Museum’s Education Department works to promote life-long learning that nourishes creativity and fosters self-expression.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles – Since its inception in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles's uniquely diverse population.
  • Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Los Angeles – Spend a day at the maritime museum! Discover the history of the harbor, enjoy a front-row view of busy ship traffic, and explore all that the Museum and San Pedro have to offer.
  • Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studio Museum, Santa Clarita – The Melody Ranch Museum made its debut in the Spring of 2001, during the Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival. This Hollywood haven houses one of the world’s largest collections of one-of-a-kind movie memorabilia from the last nine decades. The Museum, located on the 22 acre movie studio lot, offers silver-screen fans an opportunity to experience movie sets in the old west, military camps, 1930s gangster settings, never-before-seen photos from movie and television shoots, vintage cars, military tanks and original props.
  • Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, Los Angeles – The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden (MEMBG) is a living museum, having special collections designed to assist the undergraduate teaching mission at UCLA and to augment the capability for research on campus.
  • Mt. Baldy Environmental Education Center, Arcadia – This award-winning interpretive center is an historic 1920's schoolhouse which has been renovated to include an indoor nature trail, local history room and gift shop. On site are the Mt. Baldy Environmental Education classroom, a native animal room, reproductions of a gold-mining camp and Native-American (Tongva-Gabrielino) village, as well as picnic tables and restrooms.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles – MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted exclusively to contemporary art.
  • Museum of Neon Art, Glendale – The only museum in the world dedicated to neon, electric and kinetic art.
  • *** Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles – Protects over 35 million specimens, dating back 4.5 billion years, and is a resource for Southern California teachers. An authority on the “big picture” of the planet, the natural and the cultural world. Tracks the Earth's biodiversity, because knowing what is out there is the first step to conservation.
  • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena – The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled.
  • Rancho Los Cerritos, Long Beach – Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site is a public museum open for tours, programs and events. Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to a modern, urban society.
  • The Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles – The education programs are built around the curriculum of the California educational system, making The Petersen an excellent place to take children on a field trip.
  • *** Six Flags’ Magic Mountain, Valencia Enter promo code “HOMESCHOOL”
  • Six Flag's Valencia, Christian Family Night
  • Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles – One of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles.
  • South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes – Unique from the start, South Coast Botanic Garden is one of the world’s first botanical gardens to be developed over a sanitary landfill. The Garden is a masterpiece of creative land reclamation and environment improvement for all to share.
  • UCLA Fowler Museum, Los Angeles – The Fowler Museum at UCLA explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas—past and present.
  • UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles – The Hammer Museum at UCLA believes in the promise of art and ideas to illuminate our lives and build a more just world.

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Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: San Bernadino County:

  • *** Amy's Farm, Ontario – Amy's Farm is a real working farm that provides hands-on, guided tours to school children of all ages.
  • Chino Creek Wetlands & Educational Park, Chino – Park features include wetlands and riparian habitat, trails, sampling stations, picnic areas, visitor’s center, parking, bridges, and an amphitheater.
  • Chino Youth Museum, Chino – Interactive learning to foster a better understanding of tomorrow through appreciation of yesterday and today.
  • Fontana Arts Program, Fontana – The Fontana Arts is focused on enriching and enhancing the quality of life for children, youth, and adult community members by providing an opportunity for personal inspiration, artistic expression and appreciation of the arts through events and activities in the Fontana Community.
  • Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands – Utilizing some of our finest manuscripts, artifacts, and broadsides the Lincoln Memorial Shrine is proud to host a special exhibit commemorating the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
  • Logan's Candies, Ontario – We've been making our signature candy canes and chocolates by hand for over 79 years. Come by and watch candy be made by hand.
  • Mile High Pines Christian Camp and Retreat Center, Angelus Oaks – The perfect camp for retreat, reflection, repentance and renewal.
  • Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino – While the journey from 10 original aircraft to over 150 has been a long one, the mission has never changed.  It is the Mission of Planes of Fame Air Museum to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.
  • *** Riley's Apple Farm, Oak Glen/ Yucaipa – A U-pick apple, berry, and pumpkin farm with a wide variety of activities, including Frontier Cabin Adventure, Gold Panning, Hayride, Apple Cider Pressing, Archery, Kazoo Making, Rope Making, Corn Husk Doll Making, Corn Grinding, & Johnny Cake Baking (in a wood-burning oven!)
  • The Sawdust Factory, Uplands – A one-of-a-kind place where everyone can experience painting and make unique woodcrafts.​ It is a great environment to explore your creativity, learn about wood, play with colors, paint, and have fun!​
  • Widnall Museum of Contemporary Art, Rancho Cucamonga – The Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art is a teaching museum that cultivates direct engagement with works of art in an interdisciplinary space through the presentation of exhibitions, education, and community programming to visitors of all ages.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Orange County:

  • B.E.E. (Bixby Educational Events), Orange County – Bixby Educational Events was started in 2006, as way to bring the arts to the Home School community.
  • Bowers Museum Orange County, Santa Ana – reopened in 1992 as a new cultural center, and expanded children's programming in 1994 with the opening of the Kidseum. The museum also recently celebrated the grand opening of the 30,000+ square-foot Dorothy and Donald Kennedy Wing in February 2007. To achieve its mission, the Bowers offers exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children's art education programs, and other special community programs.
  • *** Centennial Farm Garden Classes, Orange County – 3-acre working farm at the OC Fair & Event Center created to educate youth about agriculture and its importance to daily life.
  • *** The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano – The Ecology Center offers educational programs for homes, workplaces, and schools. Engage in hands-on sustainability solutions around the five core verticals of food, water, energy, waste, and shelter through skills workshops, field trips, good food, gardening, community festivals, and even a permaculture design certification course!
  • Environmental Nature Center, Newport Beach – Where you can find 15 representative Ecological Habitats of California, a Discovery Room packed with neat things to touch and investigate, Nature Camp in the Summer, and a quiet place to sit and enjoy life on your lunch hour.
  • *** Farm + Food Lab, The Orange County Great Park in Irvine – The Farm + Food Lab is a unique and interactive outdoor classroom for visitors of all ages, featuring themed raised-bed gardens, fruit trees, vertical gardening, a chicken coop, a worm compost bin and solar and wind-powered lights.
  • Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton -Provide our visitors the opportunity to gain knowledge and appreciation of the plant world through collections that preserve and promote stewardship of worldwide plant diversity and regional agricultural heritage. Serve faculty, students and the broader community through education and scholarly activities.
  • Heritage Hill Historical Park, Lake Forest – Heritage Hill Historical Park's 4.1 acres includes , four fully restored and furnished historic buildings that span the early history of the Saddleback Valley and El Toro area from the Mexican Rancho era (Serrano Adobe, circa 1863), to the founding of the town of El Toro (El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, 1891), through the citrus farming days of the early twentieth century (Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908).
  • Heritage Musuem of Orange County, Santa Ana – A cultural and natural history center in Southern California. The centerpiece of the museum, which covers nearly 12 acres in all, is an historic plaza featuring several buildings from the 1890s set amid extensive floral gardens and citrus groves. Among these is the Kellogg House, familiar to teachers and students throughout Orange County as a favorite field trip destination for over 25 years.
  • *** Knott’s Berry Farms, Buena Park – Students and Teachers can enjoy of a fun filled day at Knott’s Berry Farm. School Beat program is ideal for field trips, rewarding Students’ performance or simply taking a break and letting Knott’s be the playground for a day. With over 150 rides, shows and attractions in five themed areas, fun for all ages.
  • *** La Brea Tar Pits, La Brea – Visit the La Brea Tar Pits with your class this year! Explore active excavation sites, see real fossils up close, and watch paleontologists in action — all in the heart of Los Angeles!
  • *** Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano – Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano historic landmark and museum.
    The whole family will enjoy budget-friendly activities, experiencing culture and history in many ways- from audio tours to educational tour booklets, fun exhibits and historical re-enactments.
  • Oaks Canyon Nature Center, Anaheim Hills – Oak Canyon Nature Center is a 58-acre natural park nestled in the Anaheim Hills.  A year-round stream meanders through the park.  Consisting of three adjoining canyons, four miles of hiking trails traverse one of the few remaining areas of oak woodland and coastal sage scrub in our region.
  • Orange County Great Park, Irvine – The Balloon Park prototypes the kinds of spaces, programs, and features that reflect the Orange County Great Park’s dedication towards historical preservation, sustainable practices, and family-friendly activities.
  • Orange County Zoo, Orange – The Zoo's focus is on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, jacob sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants.
  • *** Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach – Pacific Marine Mammal Center strives to increase public awareness of marine mammals and their environment through education and research. We offer a range of educational programs for groups of all ages.
  • *** Pretend City Children's Museum, Irvine – Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming.
  • Rancho Los Alamitos, Long Beach – Rancho Los Alamitos is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places – once as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and, second, for the evolution of its significant historic landscape over time. The site includes traces of the ancestral village, an adobe-core ranch house ca.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens developed during the 1920s and 30s, and the restored working ranch barnyard of the early-mid 20th century.
  • Richard Nixon Library and Museum, Yorba Linda – The Richard Nixon Foundation supports exhibits and programs on the nine acre campus of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, a three-dimensional walk-through memoir featuring 22 museum galleries, movie and interactive video theaters, the spectacular First Lady’s Garden, the President’s faithfully restored 1910′s birthplace, the magnificent full-size replica of the White House East Room, and the flower-ringed memorial sites of President and Mrs. Nixon.
  • *** Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana – Guests learn about the Zoo's masters of recycling and conservation during the Critters for Conservation animal presentation Saturdays and Sundays at the Conservation Education Theater. Relax on benches made from recycled milk jugs, learn how animals and you can help save natural resources and get up close and personal with the stars of the show!
  • Starr Ranch Sanctuary, Trabuco Canyon – We seek to instill a love of nature through education programs that involve people of all ages in wildlife research and to provide a model of rigorous, sustainable land management through applied research.
  • Tanaka Farms, Irvine – We are proud to be educating, entertaining, and feeding families all year long. Strawberry Tours (March-June) • Watermelon Tours (July-August) • U-Pick Tours (March – August) •
    U-Pick Pumpkin Patch (October) • Christmas Trees (December)
  • *** Tessman Planetarium, Santa Ana – ​Discover the wonders of the universe with Tessmann Planetarium and Santa Ana College. (The Star of Bethlehem in December)
  • The Children's Museum at La Habra, La Habra – It is our mission to encourage enthusiasm about learning in a hands-on environment that opens the world even to the youngest child.
  • *** UNofficial Homeschool Day at Disneyland
  • Wonder of Dinosaurers, Laguna Hills – Wonder of Dinosaurs features an educational display of museum quality robotic and static dinosaurs plus an educational and exercise focused Activity Center with dinosaur obstacles, Ride-a-Trex, fossil panning, maze and more. Our Activity Center is focused towards children ages 2-12.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: Riverside County:

  • Animazonia, Riverside County – Exciting special tours for schools and other youth groups. Our volunteers will conduct a walking tour of the big cat sanctuary.
  • DeJong Dairy, Wildomar – DeJong's Dairy is nestled in Wildomar and gives every visitor a true farm experience with the friendliness you deserve. Stop on in to say hello to thefarm animals, grab some delicious milk and create a memory your family will never forget!
  • Diamond Valley Lake Museum & Aquatic Center, Hemet – Water education center shows the history and importance of water in CA. Aquatic Center is open daily and houses a play gym and water slide for all your water fun.
  • George S Patton Memorial Museum, Indio – The mission of the General Patton Memorial Museum is to promote peace by honoring the service and sacrifice of America's veterans while educating the public on modern U.S. military history through the preservation and interpretation of artifacts from the major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Hidden Valley Nature Center, Riverside – The Nature Center is open to the public on Saturdays 10AM – 4PM and to groups by appointment Monday through Friday. Within it you can find various live animals, such as a rabbit, snakes, turtles, birds and toads, different activities for children to enjoy and reconstructed scenes of animals in their natural habitat.
  • March Field Air Museum, Moreno Valley – Welcome to the March Field Air Museum. With over 70 aircraft and more than 30,000 individual artifacts, our museum strives to promote an understanding of humanity's reach for the skies and of March Field's pivotal role in the development of flight.
  • Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris – Home to over 200 historic railway cars and locomotives from Los Angeles and the West, the museum’s 90-acre site in Perris, California is open to the public 363 days a year.
  • Pennypickle's Workshop, Temecula – The Professor's home…7500 square feet of it, cluttered with hands-on inventions, gadgets, experiments…and kids won't even know they're learning as they play! Located in the heart of Old Town Temecula, Southern California (a great place to visit, by the way), Pennypickle's Workshop (formerly called the Imagination Workshop).
  • Providential Heritage Academy at Mile High Ranch, Cherry Valley – The Academy departs from the traditional museum because inspiring historical events and accounts are re-enacted not by “academicians,” but by you, the visitors to the Academy who desire to learn by doing and self-discovery.
  • Quality West Wing, Corona – Our one of a kind program brings history, government and the office of the president to life for every person that visits our facility.
  • Riverside Art Museum, Riverside – The Riverside Art Museum strives to integrate art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by presenting thought-provoking exhibits and providing quality art classes that instill a lifelong love of the arts.
  • Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside – Riverside’s renowned Mission Inn hotel, and its inspirational role in the development of the Arts & Craft Style, attracted some of America’s foremost entrepreneurs in search of new recreational, aesthetic and business opportunities. Riverside became a magnet for prosperous, educated practitioners of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the West.
  • Sage Mountain Farm, Temecula – Take a one-hour tour of our farm: Fields and crops, CSA packing area and you'll be getting your hands a little dirty and helping us with our harvest!  Afterwards we will provide a Sage Mountain Farm Salad and raffle off a small CSA box to one lucky attendee (a $35 value).  We also welcome you to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with your salad while you are here!
  • Santa Rosa Platuea, Murrieta – The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in southwest Riverside County near the city of Murrieta, is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and ecosystems of the area.
  • Temecula Berry Company, Temecula – U-pick berry farm with movie nights on Fridays.
  • The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Desert – The Living Desert’s mission is desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.
  • UCR Botanical Gardens, Riverside – The Gardens is a living plant museum with more than 3,500 plant species from around the  world for visitors and researchers to see and study. It was established primarily for teaching purposes. In a beautiful setting, the Gardens serves to provide a wide assortment of plant materials for courses at UCR and other local schools.
  • Western Science Center, Hemet – The Museum is a place where prehistory becomes a hands-on experience through one of America’s best collections of fossils. Fun, interactive displays, and a movie theater that shakes, rattles and rolls as the giants of the last Ice Age thunder toward you are at the heart of your encounter with the past.

Homeschool Field Trips Southern California: San Diego County:

  • Bates Nut Farm, Escondido – Offering a variety of group tours and educational experiences that are enjoyed by all ages.  Bates hopes to pass on a love and appreciation of farming to generations to come.
  • Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego – Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. Join us and embark on your own Voyage of Discovery.
  • California Center for the Arts, Escondido – Through its Education Department, the Center offers a multitude of enlightening and informative programs for students, teachers and the general public, including: field trip opportunities, weekday performances for youth, artist- and performer-led master classes, free arts and crafts workshops for families, teacher workshops, music education programs and more.
  • Flower Fields, Carlsbad – 50 acres of extraordinary color in bloom on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a special nursery, garden, and festivals throughout the season.
  • Historical Society San Diego, San Diego – San Diego History Center is located in the heart of Balboa Park. Here you will not only find a collection of intriguing exhibitions that chronicle San Diego’s diverse history, but also our research library. This is home to over 45 million pieces of paper and 2.5 million images that document the people, places and events of San Diego’s past.
  • *** Legoland, Carlsbad – Field trips are offered year-round on weekdays, during days of operation. Only self-guided programs are available July – August. No field trips are available December 20 – January 5 or on holidays.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego & La Jolla – With two locations, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the region’s foremost forum devoted to the exploration and presentation of the art of our time, presenting works across all media created since 1950.
  • Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego – The mission of the Museum of Photographic Arts is to inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film, and video.
  • Rawhide Ranch, Bonsall – Our Purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives of others through unique Ranch opportunities for discovery and learning.
  • Reubin H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego – Come and explore our eight interactive exhibit galleries, enjoy our traveling exhibitions, discover Kid City (especially for kids five and under), and create and invent in the Tinkering Studio.
  • San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas – The mission of the Garden is to inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature.
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego – Preserve, Inspire, Educate, Celebrate! Preserve significant artifacts of air and space history and technology. Inspire excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Educate the public about the historical and social significance of air and space technology and engage its promise for the future. Celebrate aviation and space flight history and technology.
  • San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego – The mission of The San Diego Automotive Museum is to tell the story of the social and technological past, present, and future of motorized vehicles through its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs.
  • San Diego Model Railway Museum, San Diego – The mission of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is to  To research, collect, preserve, and present the heritage of American railroading using educational programs, displays, toy trains, and scale models of California railroads.
  • San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego – As the only Anthropology museum in the region, we are the place to go to learn about each other, to reflect on our place in the world, and to build a better community.
  • San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego – To interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment.
  • *** San Diego Zoo, San Diego – Ready-to-use curriculum with environment, animal, and science themes are all made to adapt to State science standards
  • *** San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego – Ready-to-use curriculum with environment, animal, and science themes are all made to adapt to State science standards.
  • *** Seaworld San Diego, San Diego – Enhance your home education program with an Instructional Field Trip to SeaWorld. This program provides your students with an unforgettable day of exploration as they connect to wildlife and the world we share.
  • Timken Museum of Art, San Diego – Affectionately known as San Diego’s “jewel box” of fine art, the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego’s historic Balboa Park is home to the Putnam Foundation’s significant collection of European old masters, 19th century American art and Russian icons.
  • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, San Diego – Preserve the historic USS Midway and the legacy of those who serve, inspire and educate future generations, and entertain our museum guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular field trip destinations for homeschoolers in Southern California?

Southern California is home to many popular field trip destinations for homeschoolers. Some of the most popular destinations include the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, and LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. Other popular destinations include the California Science Center in Los Angeles, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the San Diego Zoo.

Which museums offer Homeschool Days in Southern California?

Many museums in Southern California offer Homeschool Days, which are special days when homeschoolers can visit the museum at a discounted rate and participate in educational programs. Some of the museums that offer Homeschool Days include the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

What are some of the best field trips for homeschoolers in Southern California?

Some of the best Homeschool Field Trips Southern California include visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, and the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Other great field trip destinations include the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the San Diego Zoo, and the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

Are there any upcoming Homeschool Days at LEGOLAND California?

Homeschool Days at LEGOLAND California are held periodically throughout the year. The dates for upcoming Homeschool Days can be found on the LEGOLAND California website.

What is included in the Aquarium of the Pacific's Homeschool Days program?

The Aquarium of the Pacific's Homeschool Days program includes a variety of educational programs and activities designed specifically for homeschoolers. Some of the activities that may be included in the program include animal encounters, science experiments, and interactive exhibits.

What are some recommended 4th and 5th grade field trips for California history?

Some recommended 4th and 5th grade field trips for California history include visiting the California Missions, the California State Capitol in Sacramento, and the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Other great options include visiting the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley and the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego.