Homeschool Field Trip to Historic Philadelphia

by Jimmie

Philadelphia is a dream field trip location because of all the American history there. These are my tips for getting the most educational bang out of a trip to Philly.

For homeschoolers like us, taking a family vacation to Philadelphia is fun plus learning all in one. It's one of those "ulitmate field trip" destinations.

Did you know that there is a national park in historic Philadelphia? It is called Independence National Park and there is a Junior Ranger program. When you arrive, go immediately to the Independence Visitor's Center. Get your free tickets to see Independence Hall, a map, and the Junior Ranger booklet. 

Philly -- a Dream Field Trip Destination

As you tour historic Philadelphia, take notes in your Junior Ranger booklet. (You can get a sneak peek of the Junior Ranger Activity Booklet online.) At the end of your visit, go back to the visitor's center and be sworn in as Junior Rangers. (The park ranger will check your work, so do a good job!)

You will be given a plastic badge upon becoming a Junior Ranger. If you want the cloth patch, go to the bookstore and buy it.

I love the Junior Ranger program because it gives you some specific questions to answer on your field trip. Kids seem to recieve it better from a park ranger than they would receive a worksheet from mom. Getting a badge is a real perk, too.

There is also a trading card program at Independence National Park. And this is totally free!

Places we loved and would hate for you to miss:

  • Betsy Ross House (Requires purchasing a ticket, but worth it)
  • Printing Press at Franklin Court (See the video below for an idea of what you will see there. Ben Franklin walked in during our tour!)
  • The US Mint (Adults need identification to enter. There is a security check and metal detector. No photography is allowed.)
  • The Liberty Bell
  • Independence Hall
  • Elfreth's Alley (See what old homes looked like.)

Places I Recommend Visiting in Philadelphia

Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell
Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross House
Ben Franklin's Printing Press
Ben Franklin's Printing Press

National Park Ranger Giving a Talk About the Printing Press in Franklin's Court

Visiting the US Mint with my Daughter

At The US Mint in Philadelphia
At The US Mint in Philadelphia

Have You Been to Philadelphia With the Kids?

A Notebooking Page Made With a Postcard

Philadelphia Notebooking Page
Philadelphia Notebooking Page

Notebooking About Your Field Trip

When you are back home, get the most out of your field trip by doing some notebooking of the things you learned. Field trips are perfect for notebooking because of all the great photos, postcards, and brochures that you collect.

Gather your things and make notebooking pages in the style of scrapbooking. You can see to the left a page my daughter made with a single postcard. The collage postcard features many significant places in Philadelphia. She labeled each one.

Click the image to see it larger.

Field Trip Follow Up -- Writing Field Trip Reports & Doing Notebooking

Important or Overkill?


Loads More Notebooking Resources

The Notebooking Fairy -- printables and how-tos with a pinch of pixie dust

Visit The Notebooking Fairy for free notebooking pages for all the students in your family.

Most of the PDF printables include three line styles for each page layout. Grahpics are a mix of full color and black and white. And the pages are completely free.

Free Printable Notebooking Pages

About Historic Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin Notebooking Pages
This set of free pages includes 3 line styles for all ages of students. Choose from black and white or full color images.

Betsy Ross Notebooking Page
Celebrate the fabled maker of our American flag with these free printable pages.

Liberty Bell Notebooking Pages with Copywork
This great symbol of freedom is the focus on these free notebooking pages and copywork pages.

Bringing the Learning to Field Trips

Planet Explorers Guides

This Kindle (or iPad, Nook, etc.) book is a PDF full on information you can access while you are touring around Philadelphia.

If you prefer an instant download, this book is also available at CurrClick in eBook format.

Picture Books About Philadelphia

Journey Around Philadelphia from A to Z
Commonwealth Editions
$17.95  $9.85
Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia (Lan...
Random House Books for Young Readers
$5.99  $2.00
P Is For Philadelphia
Temple University Press
Only $21.95

Junior Ranger Badges at Independence Hall

Independence Hall Junior Ranger Badges
Independence Hall Junior Ranger Badges

More Field Trips

If you are visiting Memphis, TN, here are five places to visit with your children for interesting field trips.
Updated: 02/27/2012, Jimmie
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ohcaroline on 07/20/2011

Philadelphia is such an important part of American history. I'm sorry I missed it when I went through Pennsylvania.

RhondaAlbom on 07/04/2011

We took the girls to Washington DC and Boston a few years back when we were in the states, but we missed Philadelphia. Great page. Great information.

TerriRexson on 07/03/2011

I've only visited Phildelphia briefly. Sounds like a great place to include if we bring the kids to the US in the future. Our boys are still little and we won't homeschool but we do lots of educational stuff on trips because they are interested.

Guest on 07/03/2011

Now this is the way to study history! History and I didn't get along too well usually. But when the teacher made a "field trip" out of it I had no problems remembering facts. Fact that otherwise would be boring and didn't mean anything.

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