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Simple Family Field Trip Ideas

Simple Times (featured column)
by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Summer is fast approaching and if planning an expensive family vacation is not on your agenda, arranging some simple family field trips may be the answer.  And remember that family field trips are a simple, fun, and fairly inexpensive educational enrichment activity you can enjoy regularly with your children.

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Here are some quick ideas to get you started:

1) Many manufacturing plants offer free tours to families or small groups, and any free samples given out make great souvenirs when on vacation. Call ahead to find out about tour availability.

2) Field trips to local attractions such as zoos or aquariums can be expensive, but purchasing an annual family pass pays for itself in just a couple trips. Knowing you can come back again and again, frees your family to thoroughly enjoy themselves without feeling the need to hurry and see every- thing in one day to get your money's worth out of the admission price.

Return to the same place whenever you want a family outing, and then buy a pass to a different educational attraction next year.

3) If your family enjoys attending live performances, check for free concerts, plays and other cultural events in local parks during the summer months.

4) You can also contact college or community performance groups (drama, ballet, orchestra, etc.) to see if they'll allow you to watch them rehearse for free.

5) Many local theater groups need volunteer ushers for their live performances. Volunteering in this manner is an excellent way for the older members of your family to gain free admission to a wide variety of cultural events, plus it provides a useful service to the local arts community.

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