With many Ontario parents experiencing the added role of teacher this year, the end of the school year is a perfect opportunity to surprise your “class” with an awesome field trip! Weeks of planning aren’t required. Just pick a subject that they love (or maybe one that you’d like them to enjoy a little more) and build an activity around it. After all, hasn’t everyone earned a chance to blow off a little steam? Bonus points if they happen to learn a little something at the same time!


The Subject: HISTORY
The Field Trip: Take a Picnic Back in Time

Hamilton Halton Brant’s heritage sites offer the perfect backdrop for an outdoor midday meal enjoyed on the storied grounds where important moments in Canadian history took place. While the buildings on the grounds may still be closed to visitors, exploring the outdoor spaces is a fun way to spend a June or July afternoon.


The Subject: BIOLOGY
The Field Trip: Birding For Beginners

Ontario’s birds were busy this spring while the province’s human population was in lockdown. That makes this the perfect time to set out for an afternoon of birdwatching. If you’re worried your kids won’t do well being quiet and still, do things a little differently. Make the activity more active by sending kids searching at a local park or conservation area with a birdwatching bucket list. Include things on the list like finding interesting feathers and pieces of eggshell on the ground and spotting nests, potential predators and specific bird types. If splash pads have reopened in your community, score bonus points with your budding bird watchers and let them enjoy a “bird bath” of their own on the way home!


The Subject: FRENCH
The Field Trip: Set the Scene For A Parisian Brunch and a Movie

Treat your favourite students to a little taste of the French life at home with this fun activity.  Stock up on flakey croissants from your favourite local bakery, fresh strawberries from a local farm, a selection of cheeses and sparkling grape juice. When your “class” wakes up in the morning, have a vase of fresh flowers on the table and French music playing. Tell them instead of their regular school routine you’re taking them to Paris for the morning. Treat them to a feast in front of the television and watch the Disney classic, Ratatouille. Bonus points if you watch the movie in French!


The Subject: PHYSICS
The Field Trip: A Supersized Sink or Float Experiment

While sink or float is often one of the first science experiments that students tackle at the kindergarten water table, it’s fun for older kids too. Have kids fill a container with objects of varying sizes, shapes, weights and materials. Instead of having them carry out the experiment in the kitchen sink, take them to a local park or conservation area with a lake, stream or pond where they’ll be able to safely place and retrieve the objects. For the ultimate surprise, after the experiment treat them to their very own floating experience. For younger kids, opt for an afternoon ride in a canoe or rowboat at a conservation area. For older kids, consider a stand-up paddleboard rental on Lake Ontario or a kayak or raft trip down the Grand River.

What other ideas do you have for unexpected field trips? Don’t forget to share the fun you find with us by tagging your pictures on social media with #stayandplayinhhb.


As the COVID-19 situation continues to change, a minute or two of extra planning is an important step in ensuring your surprises are  a success. Follow the latest travel guidelines for your community and any communities you plan to visit. Check with businesses and places you plan to go to ensure they are open and serving visitors in the way you’re expecting.

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