Happy birthday, @RealityChuck!!
Our son’s girlfriend worked there summers. He got to do the tour a couple of years ago.
When I was in high school, we got to go to Six Flags Great America as part of our AP Physics class. We were supposed to do some experiments when we were on the rides, to study kinematics and acceleration and whatnot, but I can’t really recall what they were, and in any case the students didn’t pay them much attention. The rides were fun, though.
In elementary school our class went on a fishing trip to some lake. The event was pretty nondescript, save for an instance where a kid managed to get his fishing hook stuck in a duck’s rear, and we were treated to the comical if sad scene of the duck wildly flailing and trying to fly away but being pulled back by the fishing line.
I wouldn’t consider it one of the “best” field trips, but it still pops up in my memory every now and then after almost 30 years.
Chicago Field Museum with Sue the T-rex?
Yes, that’s the one.
Does visiting a brewery and drinking free beer with some college friends count?
I got to see the King Tut exhibit when it was in L.A. (1975ish?). Very cool indeed. Our class had studied Egyptology in general and Tut specifically. Pretty advanced stuff for fifth graders yet I think everyone enjoyed and learned a lot.
We saw the King Tut exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan when I was a schoolkid.
The city I hail from hosts Agribition, the largest annual livestock show in the country. The upper grades of elementary school would inevitably take a field trip there, and the teachers would pretty much turn all us students loose to do whatever we wanted. I loved wandering through all the backroom stalls to watch the cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, and other animals getting prepared for their showings. The cattle in particular underwent an extensive beauty treatment that included a shower, shampoo, blow-dry, and lots of careful brushing and trimming. Watching the shows was also fascinating. It was usually young girls, decked out in pristine western wear, showing the animals. I loved watching each one fuss over her charge, down to using a hooked metal rod to nudge its hoofs into place and then gently scratch its belly.
In middle school we took a weekend trip to Chicago. We got on the train in St. Louis bright and early on a Saturday morning, rode to Chicago, checked into our hotel, then spent the afternoon and evening hitting some of the lakefront museums, the Sears Tower, etc. Sunday we got on a bus and spent most of the day at the Museum of Science and Industry, then got on the train back to STL and pulled into town late Sunday night.
It wasn’t technically a field trip in the sense that the whole class went – the trip was sponsored by the school, but we had to pay out of our own pocket if we wanted to go.
In elementary school, I went to some sort of petting zoo, which was great in itself. There was a station you could feed birds at (as in put seeds in your hand, and they fly to pick up the seeds) but the other kids were too loud so the birds were too scared to approach. I slipped away and was able to feed birds quietly. My hands got cold (it was winter) but it was great. The teacher got mad at me because they thought I had gone missing though.
Second best trip (junior high) was a park with a lot of very large frogs.
Wow! Some of you had really fancy field trips.
In elementary school (don’t remember which grade), we had a tour of the local milk bottling plant. It stands out in my mind because we all received a small carton of chocolate milk. We all thought that was amazing.
The 6th grade class had an annual trip the Twin Cities (St. Paul & Minneapolis). We went to the capitol building. The thing we were all the most excited to see were the gold horses on top of the building. Then we went to the Science Museum. The big attraction there was a real mummy. We talked about that for days before and after.
If we wanted to go, we could sign up to watch the dress rehearsal of an opera. This was probably 4th grade. My friend and I went and spent most of the time giggling. We were yelled at by another audience member. I remember being so scared that we were going to get into some big trouble. We didn’t.
Ah, the memories, it was 1987, I was 17, studying art history for one of my subjects at school. We’d spent two terms looking at prints of italian frescoes in a very large book. Then that Easter, we had a week in Florence. The art! The coffee! The bars! The food! The chain smoking priests who ran our hostel and changed into designer clothing to go out at night! The slightly pestering italian art students staying in the same hostel! Giovanni who wanted to paint my picture and spent two years afterwards sending me love letters translated by his best friend!
Honestly, my perspective on life has never been the same since. The frescoes were good too.
The school field trip that stands out for me is the one where we went to the local CBS affiliate TV station, about 50 miles away. Our timing was such that we watched as the on-air news team did the noon news and weather show live. We all loved it and didn’t want to leave. But then we went to a dairy processing plant and we all got a free ice-cream bar. Cool stuff for 8-year-old me.
I grew up in Connecticut, a couple of hours driving distance from Manhattan, so the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo, etc were all feasible day trips. We also went to Hyde Park, New York, where you can visit FDR’s house and one belonging to a member of the Vanderbilt family in one trip. In Hartford, Mark Twain’s house and that of Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) were right next door. Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium were another trip. And there was one to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and possibly another to Boston (can’t remember). I think there was only one such field trip annually and there was a small fee (under five or ten bucks) to attend. Usually we brought box lunches from the school cafeteria. And I always had a few bucks to spend at the gift shop, though to be honest, most of what was available was stupid junk.
In high school, there were overseas trips, perhaps to Paris organized by the French club, but I didn’t do any of those.
I was confused by the post in the other thread that mentioned a G&T program. Feeding cocktails to school kids? (I figured it out eventually.)
“The desert trip” was an annual tradition of my 5th grade teacher and his best friend, who was also a 5th grade teacher at another school in the district. On a spring weekend at the tail end of the school year, their classes (boys on one weekend, girls on another) would meet at the school on Saturday morning, take a two-hour drive from coastal San Diego over the mountains and into the Anzo-Borrego Desert, and camp out overnight.
When I went, the boys in my class were split into three groups and made the trip in the teacher’s motorhome and in some parents’ cars, and we camped out, in pairs, in a wilderness site in tents the teacher provided but which we erected ourselves. For the drive out, we were provided a “scavenger hunt” where the drivers would reset the odometer at a certain point, and at certain milepoints we’d look for landmarks alluded to by clues. In the afternoon we fired off model rockets we’d built in the weeks before the trip (model rocketry also being one of my teachers’ odd hobbies that he encouraged us to participate in). Later in the day he took us hiking and pointed out some of the native animals, including kangaroo rats, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and bighorn sheep, and lead us out to the dunes and we played king of the mountain atop one of the larger ones. In the evening he served us a dinner of chili he’d cooked himself at the campsite. (He claimed the secret ingredient was snake meat, but I have no idea whether or not that was true.) After nightfall, he and the other teacher played folk songs on acoustic guitar and told us ghost stories of westward pioneers who’d met their doom in the desert.
The next morning we ate individual-sized breakfast cereals out of the box for breakfast and drove out to the Salton Sea, which at the time was only beginning to die a slow death, before heading back home.
Aside from that, the most memorable one was a trip up to the LA County Museum of Art in 9th grade, both for getting to see such an impressive quantity of significant artwork in one day, and because the teachers gave us enough free time to visit the La Brea Tar Pits next door, which is honestly what I was more excited about.
As part of a German exchange trip when I was 15 we took a trip to beautiful Bamburgh Castle and beach in Northumberland. Myself and a couple of female friends ditched the main group, grabbed some cans of beer and hung out in the sand dunes for a couple of hours. There was a lot of laughter, topless sunbathing all round and just enough beer for everyone. A very happy and platonic afternoon was had by all.
The whole return trip to Germany was fabulous as well, it instilled a lifelong love of the area.
Seventh grade. Homeroom teacher took us to a Sox game at old Comiskey Park. How he sold THAT to the administration I’ll never know. But far superior to science and English for an afternoon.
A friend and I sat together just in front of two girls who kept hitting us with empty popcorn boxes. Ah, flirting middle school style.
Oh, the game was fun too.