I love taking my children on “family field trips,” where we can all learn something new together, and Richmond has no shortage of hands-on learning opportunities. Whether you are hoping to teach your child about insects or history, there are plenty of venues from which to choose for your family’s next field trip.
A teaching apiary in Chesterfield Virginia, Dandelion Springs invites visitors to learn about bees, bee hives, and bee safety. The owner, Jody, is a welcoming and enthusiastic teacher who offers families the chance to rent “Adventure Backpacks.” These backpacks have varying themes, like Bird Watching, or Tracks and Scat. Inside, the bags are filled with binoculars, nature journals, art supplies, and more.
After the tour, where you will meet the animals of the farm, you can explore the grounds freely. Reservations are required.
Taylor Made Chocolate Factory
As a bean to bar chocolate company, Taylor Made Chocolate Factory offers tours to teach both the history and methods involved in making chocolate. Tours are offered Tuesdays – Saturdays, and last about 45 minutes. My children loved our tour, complete with taste tests along the way, and a full chocolate bar at the conclusion of the tour. (I was totally channeling Lucille Ball during our visit!) After the tour, there are chocolate bars and other products, like truffles available for purchase.
Richmond Ambulance Authority
Learn all about how to run an ambulance, basic safety skills, and see and touch the equipment used by the first responders of Richmond Ambulance Authority. This field trip is ideal for children who love vehicles, and for those hoping to teach their children some helpful safety tips. During our trip, I was so impressed with how the staff gently talked to my 4 year old about calling 911 in an emergency, and only talking to someone with a badge when you’re not with your grownup.
Reach out to RAA via phone or social media to set up a tour.
The Virginia State Capitol
While I recommend saving this for older children, visiting the State Capitol is a unique experience for all ages. During our visit, we were impressed with our knowledgeable tour guide, as well as her patience with our young children, who were mesmerized by the swivel chairs! Of course, there is lots of history about the building as well as lawmaking in general. Tours are completely free. No reservations are required for groups of less than 10 to tour The Virginia State Capitol; however, I suggest making an appointment so that you’re guaranteed a guided tour. Self-guided tours are also available.