Consider the lesson topic. Look up places in your area that center around that Subject. For instance, if your child is learning about the heart, find out what museums in your area have coordinating exhibits. Some museums also have IMAX theater showings on various educational themes. Keep up to date on the listings so you can incorporate field trips for those into appropriate lessons. See if local hospitals have any related tours or classes they offer to students. If none of those work out, there's always the library. Every lesson has an extra place you can go to in order to learn more.
Be inventive. Think of hands-on things that require leaving the house, but may not necessarily be a formal field trip destination. This could be area parks and trails, the beach, an animal shelter, and more. Any place that can involve hands-on learning and is related to a recent lesson can be considered field trip. Be creative and versatile with your choices. Plan trips to these locations in accordance with the lessons or curriculum.
Research museum, library, and community classes in your area. These are the perfect destinations for field trips. While some may be just like a classroom setting, it is a chance for your students to do something different. Sign the kids up for classes and be sure to teach related lessons in the same timeframe. This may require some shifting around.
Check event schedules, local listings, and local organizations. Most communities have festivals, expos, free days, and other events that would be useful in teaching kids various things. For instance, zoos and museums often host free days. Libraries often have classes and story time. They also might hold book sales. Animal shelters may host fun events with the animals or have free classes on animal care. Kids can even volunteer if they are the right age. The same is true for some nursing home and rehabilitation facilities. Check calendars and other local listings to see what is going going on in your area. Some of these will be repetitive or ongoing and can be worked into the lesson schedule as needed.
Pulling it all together. When looking over the classes and events scheduled, you may see that some don't align well. If you're teaching your child about the brain, one museum has a related lecture, and another has a hands-on lesson, but they are not scheduled together, this can be an inconvenience. It's ideal to keep as many related lessons together as possible. But don't miss out on good lessons if they are available. Any opportunity to learn should be taken advantage of.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network