8 Chicago School Field Trip Ideas for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

September 6, 2022
Liz Arnold

Field trips are a unique opportunity for students to learn outside the classroom and discover new horizons, as well as bond with one another and their teacher. They are a chance to make memories with their classmates that will last a lifetime. A school bus rental allows you to safely transport students from their classrooms to their destination, but you will still need to decide where to take your students for the best fun but educational field trips in Chicago. We are lucky to have many possible field trip destinations within easy reach, so here are some Chicago field trips ideas.

#1. Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the best educational places in Chicago. Best geared for students in grades 3 to 8, it is a unique chance to get up close and personal with exotic flora from around the world through eight indoor display gardens and 10 acres of outdoor gardens.

#2. Chicago Athenaeum

The Chicago Athenaeum focuses on art and design in all its forms, including architecture, industrial and product design, graphics, landscape architecture, and urban planning. It features temporary exhibits focusing on the value of Good Design and its impact on the human environment and should be part of any school trips to Chicago.

#3. Des Plaines History Center

chicago field trips

Take your students on one of the best Chicago educational tours and step back in time at the Des Plaines History Center. Hosted in the Kinder house, a gracious Queen Anne mansion, this Chicago history museum hosts events for elementary school-aged children when students can take part in arts and crafts and learn about historical lifestyles.

#4. Harold Washington Library Center

A visit to the Marker Lab is a must for all science field trips in Chicago. Geared towards children in grades 7 to 12, the Harold Washington Library Center encourages students to experience first-hand some of the principles they learned in STEAM class while using high-tech gadgets such as 3D printers, digital design software, etc.

#5. Lincoln Park Zoo

fun field trips in chicago

Which child does not like a trip to the zoo? A visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where elementary and middle school students can visit nearly 200 exotic species from around the world, undoubtedly makes for one of the most fun field trips in Chicago. And best of all, it is free!

#6. DePaul University Art Museum

If you are on a budget and are looking for free field trips in Chicago, then the DePaul University Art Museum should be on your list. The Museum features different Chicago-based artists with an accent on marginalized communities, including Latin American, African Diaspora, Asian Diaspora, women, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and others, in an effort to highlight the varied populations and communities within the city. 

The DePaul University Art Museum presents a mixture of temporary exhibitions, public programs, and a permanent collection which make any visit an ever-changing experience and one of the best places to go on day trips for middle and high schoolers.

#7. Chicago Children’s Museum

field trip destinations

If you are looking for school field trip ideas, you have likely come across the Chicago Children's Museum. It is a perfect place for hands-on exploring for children from toddlerhood and up to grade 5, with fifteen permanent exhibition spaces, temporary exhibits, and countless innovative learning opportunities. 

CCM encourages kids to develop their imagination, motor skills, and sense of community through play, including arts programs, self guided activities, hands on exhibits, STEM experiments, learning stations, imaginative play, and more. The Chicago Children's Museum has been a staple among field trip destinations in the Windy City for over three decades. It focuses on accessibility and inclusion so children of all abilities can enjoy the experience.

#8. Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library presents a unique collection of artifacts dedicated to military history, starting around the American Revolution and beyond. It is located steps away from Millennium Park and across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago, making it a convenient stop for any Illinois residents and a school trip to Chicago.

Explore the Best Free Field Trips Chicago Has to Offer!

The Windy City is home to a wealth of museums and activities for students of all ages, making an excursion outside of the classroom walls the perfect occasion to apply their newly acquired knowledge to the real world and presenting unique opportunities for team-building field trips in Chicago.

We recommend hiring a school bus charter company to keep your trip convenient and affordable for the chaperones while making sure that everybody reaches their destination in safe hands.

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Illinois Areas We Provide Charter Bus Rentals For

We serve businesses, organizations, and private parties across Chicago and surrounding areas, from Glencoe and Northbrook to Joilet, Rosemont, Lake Forest, and beyond.

Discover the vibrant charm of Arlington Heights, where modern meets tradition. Indulge in diverse culinary delights, explore renowned museums, and cheer for your favorite team at Arlington International Racecourse. Unforgettable memories await your group adventure!

Experience the magic of Aurora, where history intersects with the present. Marvel at the grand architecture, enjoy riveting performances at the Paramount Theatre, and engage in vibrant local festivals. Your group journey begins here!

Embark on an adventure in Bolingbrook! Relish family fun at The Promenade, revel in the natural beauty of Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm, or tee off at Boughton Ridge Golf Course. Explore Bolingbrook today!

Cicero awaits, blending historic charm with urban convenience. Explore the bustling local markets, savor authentic Mexican cuisine, and immerse in the lively local festivals. Cicero - a treasure trove of unique experiences!

Unearth the gem that is Des Plaines! Witness the birthplace of McDonald’s, relax by the tranquil Lake Opeka, and learn something new at the Des Plaines History Center. The perfect destination for your group!

Explore Elmhurst, where tradition and innovation intertwine. Visit the iconic Elmhurst Art Museum, shop in charming boutiques, and taste unique brews at local breweries. Get ready for your next bus trip to Elmhurst!

Discover Elgin, where the Fox River brings people together. Visit the Grand Victoria Casino, immerse yourself in Elgin Symphony Orchestra's melodies, and engage with nature at the Hawthorne Hill Nature Center.

Evanston is ready for you with its lakeside charm and vibrant intellectual life. Stroll around Northwestern University's campus, enjoy the arts at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, or unwind at Evanston’s scenic beaches. A must-visit destination for any group!

Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates is an enticing destination for your next trip. Infinity Transportation’s impeccable charter buses, including deluxe coaches and minibus rentals, serve both small groups and larger parties.

Mount Prospect

Discover reliable group transportation in Mount Prospect, IL with Infinity Transportation. Our charter bus rentals are tailored to suit your needs, whether it's for corporate events, sporting events, weddings, or airport transfers. While on board, you can enjoy comfortable seating, climate control, and professional drivers as you explore Mount Prospect and its surroundings.

Experience Naperville, where modern living meets rich history. Visit the iconic Naperville Riverwalk, explore interactive exhibits at the DuPage Children's Museum, or try shopping downtown. Grab a charter and make your memories here!

Welcome to Northbrook, a haven of natural beauty and recreation. Experience the thrill of speed at the velodrome, explore the scenic Botanic Garden, or shop at Northbrook Court. Your adventure starts here!

Oak Lawn

Embark on a delightful journey through Oak Lawn, IL, with Infinity Transportation's diverse charter bus services. Proudly serving major markets, our luxury coaches and minibus rentals are perfect for small groups and larger gatherings.

Orland Park

Discover a wide array of bus rental options in Orland Park with Infinity Transportation. Our fleet of charter buses is designed to accommodate groups of all sizes and cater to various travel needs.


With a keen understanding of Palatine and its surroundings, our bus rental services are tailored to offer the ultimate in local transportation excellence. Our charter buses and motorcoaches are equipped for all your travel needs, ensuring you reach your destination safely and in comfort.

Dive into an urban playground teeming with shopping, entertainment, and cultural experiences. The possibilities for your group are endless, from the renowned Woodfield Mall to the Schaumburg Convention Center. Schaumburg invites you to indulge in excitement and adventure.


Experience the convenience and reliability of our bus rental services in Skokie, providing you with ample luggage space and essential amenities for a comfortable journey regardless of your destination.

Tinley Park

Tinley Park is a gem waiting to be explored. With our charter bus and party bus rental options, your group can travel comfortably and conveniently to various attractions and events in this vibrant city.

Unleash your inner explorer in Vernon Hills, a hub of outdoor adventures and shopping escapades. Explore miles of scenic trails, shop at premier outlets, and revel in thrilling attractions. Unforgettable memories await your group in Vernon Hills.

Unveil the splendor of Waukegan, a harbor city with a rich cultural tapestry. Visit the Genesee Theatre, enjoy Lake Michigan's serene vistas, or dive into history at the local museums. Waukegan is ready for your next bus trip!


Experience the premium transportation services tailored for Wheaton, IL, by Infinity Transportation.

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