Field trips can be fun ways for kids to learn while taking a break from the same old classroom. Dallas is a major city in Texas, and it offers several good places for educational field trips. Some places offer tour guide services and have special rates, programs and interactive events designed specifically for children and school groups.
Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is located in the historic West End District on North Griffin Street. It has aquatic animals from around the world, as well as special rainforest and "Wilds of Borneo" exhibits. There is more to see than fish in the world aquarium, which also houses manatees, reptiles and vampire bats. The World Aquarium welcomes school and educational groups. It has its own education department which can help you plan short, simple trips or in-depth studies of particular habitats, conservation, adaptations and animal behavior. After trips are booked, the aquarium supplies a curriculum and a Teacher Planning Pass booklet so that educators can acquaint themselves with the facility beforehand (see references 1).
Dallas World Aquarium 1801 N. Griffin St. Dallas, TX 75202 214-720-2224 dwazoo.com
The Meadows Museum has the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. It offers guided tours and teacher workshops on the museum's collections, Spanish culture and featured artists. Students can download materials concerning Renaissance art and sculpture straight from the museum's website, which also features a .pdf version of a self-guided tour of the museum (see references 2). The Meadows Museum has an internship program for interested students as well. Admission is four dollars for students, with complimentary admission after 5 p.m. on Thursdays. Children under 12 are always admitted free. The Meadows Museum is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
Meadows Museum 5900 Bishop Boulevard Dallas, TX 75205 214-768-2516 smu.edu/meadowsmuseum
Dallas Children's Theater
The Dallas Children's Theater offers live productions designed for young people and families alike. The theater not only holds regular nighttime performances but also student matinees on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. It offers student study guides (which can downloaded immediately from the theater website), workshops for both students and teachers and after-school drama clubs. The DCT also has a "theater residency" program, which sends actors out into schools to help bring the curriculum's education themes to life. DCT has shows both at its main site on the Rosewood Center for Family Arts and at El Centro College on 801 N. Main Street in Dallas.
Dallas Children's Theater 5938 Skillman Dallas, TX 75231 214-978-0110 dct.org
Camp El Har
Camp El Har is a Christian retreat center and campground. It has several daytime events along with overnight programs and retreats. El Har features horseback riding, a petting zoo and playground games, along with lodges and cabins for accommodations. El Har holds outdoor educational activities like panning for gold, fossil digs, pond and nature studies, scavenger hikes and a lesson on how to track animals. It also offers historical reenactments like a western trail ride, a day in the life of a 19th-century mountain man and daily life in 1840s Texas (see references 4).
Camp El Har 5218 Kiwanis Road Dallas, TX 75236 972-298-3873 elharcamp.com
Amber D. Walker has been writing professionally since 1989. She has had essays published in "Fort Worth Weekly," "Starsong," "Paper Bag," "Living Buddhism" and more. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas and worked as an English teacher abroad for six years.