We’ve updated our trip change and cancellation policies for charters affected by COVID-19. Learn more
Field trips are known as great ways to solidify students’ learning outside of the classroom. Fortunately, there are so many different field trip ideas within the sprawling city of Los Angeles. A charter bus can be an affordable way to transport your group from the school to your field trip destination. And if your focus is in one of the STEM areas, there are many options of STEM field trips here in southern California.
There are many different types of buses you might want to consider when you’re booking your field trip. There are various sizes you can charter, as well as buses with different levels of amenities. What you’re looking for will determine which bus is the best match for your needs.
We’ve gathered a number of free field trip locations in Los Angeles, as well as some which require payment. Feel free to use this as a jumping ground. Many of them are STEM-focused, which will help position your students to explore careers in cutting-edge fields.
La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Hancock Park area of LA. If you’re a science teacher looking for a unique field trip idea for your students, this is the perfect fit. A La Brea Tar Pits field trip is free for teachers and groups who do a self-guided tour, making it ideal for schools that are on a budget. The museum also offers free educational programming to supplement your field trip and numerous interactive and multimedia exhibits. The observation pit is very popular: you can see excavated fossils!
The Discovery Cube Los Angeles is an interactive children’s museum featuring hands-on exhibits and immersive experiences. For field trips, the Discover Cube offers programs that align with the Next Generation Science Standards for preschool age students through high school participants. Their ongoing exhibits include fun activities like a planetary research station, where you can look at the earth from a unique perspective and watch storms and weather patterns and earthquakes all occur from above. For your students who are sports fans, they offer an exhibit called the Science of Hockey which is a collaborative project with the LA Kings. Students can play “against” virtual versions of players. And all of this is framed within a science lens: so your students learn about friction and physics, among other things.
The California Science Center is another great location to consider if you are looking for free field trips in Los Angeles. Established in 1998, the facility is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed only three days in the entire year. The Center features numerous exhibits over its 400,000+ square feet. There are four main exhibits: World of Life, Creative World, Ecosystems, and Space Shuttle Endeavour. Surrounding the California Science Center is the Roy A. Anderson Blackbird Exhibit & Garden, so your learning and exploration can start as soon as you arrive in the parking lot. Not only does it feature plants and wildlife, it also hosts the A-12 Blackbird, the first airplane made mostly from titanium.
The VT Ranch offers a different sort of field trip experience for you and your students. Located in Santa Clarita, just outside of Los Angeles, VT Ranch focuses on leadership and collaborative teamwork building activities. They have one of the largest ropes courses in southern California, including a 500 foot zip line. Their facilities are designed to accommodate your group, regardless of how large or small it is and they offer both day programming and longer overnight options. VT Ranch also has a Chumash living history program which will allow your students to learn about and celebrate the Chumash Native Americans, who were some of the original inhabitants of North America.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, founded in 1966, spans 133 acres in the heart of Los Angeles. They offer special zoo classes, tours, and special shows designed just for schools, where your students can meet and greet animals. If you reserve ahead of time, many schools qualify for free admission for students and one free adult per 10 students. If you don’t qualify for the free admission, pricing is $3/student and $5 per adult (with one free adult per 10 students). When you visit, make sure to stop by the gorilla exhibit to meet its newest member, Angela, born January 18, 2020. This birth is important because gorillas are critically endangered.