Looking for your school’s next field trip? Give nature a shot.


The Florida Wildlife Corridor is chock full of fun, engaging excursions for kids.

Everybody loves a good field trip — that chance to break free of the classroom and learn through new experiences. While large museums and amusement parks have a lot to offer, here at Live Wildly we propose a different setting: nature.

The Florida Wildlife Corridor provides a ton of options, with everything from boat tours to soaking springs to nature walks, archaeological sites, ghost towns and much more. As a bonus, getting outside is sure to help kids burn off all that extra energy they seem to store in mass quantities (and never share with us adults, hmph).

We all remember the field trips we took as kids — some great, some not so great. We may be a little biased here, but we think the Corridor is sure to rank at the top of any kids’ list. Plus, who knows, you might just inspire the next generation to protect Florida’s environment for decades to come (spoiler: we have proof at the end of this post!).

Here are some of our top Corridor field trip picks.

Suwannee River State Park

Karine Aigner Tandem Stills

Photo by Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motion

Situated roughly between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Suwannee River State Park is alive with history. That may seem like a nonstarter for kids but trust us: They won’t even know they’re learning. That’s because the park’s main attractions are the remains of a 19th-century steamship and not just one, but two ghost towns from the Civil War.

The site features mounds built to defend a railroad crossing that supplied Confederate troops. But that’s not all: In addition to the steamship — from when a small (now ghost) town prospered from steamboat traffic — the park also features one of the state’s oldest cemeteries and an old stagecoach road.

On top of that, it also offers an array of kid-friendly activities, including hiking, camping, fishing and boating, providing several options for an extra adventurous day.

Did You Know? About 12,000 years ago, Paleo Indians fished and hunted in this area, which is located at the intersection of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers.

Silver Springs State Park

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Photo by Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motion

Home to America’s largest springs, Silver Springs State Park has been a favorite destination for Floridians for 200 years (not a typo). But what makes this north central Florida park special — and field-trip worthy — are the glass-bottom boat tours that showcase the amazing underwater world swimming beneath your feet. 

The tour operator promises you’ll see countless fish, ancient Native American and Spanish artifacts and even movie props from old Hollywood productions. In addition to a glass-bottom boat tour, a full field trip itinerary includes a ranger welcome, self-guided educational games and an ice cream float that’s both delicious and educational.

Did You Know? The glass-bottom boat tours at Silver River State Park have a long history — more than 100 years in fact.

While the kids are gawking at the amazing scenes under the sea — er, springs — they’ll also be learning about the unique geology that makes this site so special. Later, they can check out the museum and environmental educational center, which includes exhibits on geology, paleontology, archaeology and the region’s natural history.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park + Crystal River Preserve State Park

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Photo by Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motion

Nestled along the state’s west coast about an hour and a half north of Tampa, this two-fer field trip offers a ton of activities for kids across all grade levels.

At the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, kids can explore a series of Native American mounds and get a glimpse into the state’s past, long before Europeans arrived on the shores. And just two miles away, Crystal Springs Preserve State Park is a 530-acre sanctuary devoted to environmental education and the preservation of Florida’s natural environment.

The archaeological portion of the two adjacent parks features a ceremonial mound complex and evidence of human settlement that goes back 2,500 years. The site, which is a National Historic Landmark, spans 61 acres, includes six mounds and happens to be one of the longest continuously occupied places in Florida.

Did You Know? Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of at least three cultural periods at the site over time.

The nearby environmental preserve features some history too — it’s a remnant of the coastline that’s changed little in the past 500 years and, since much of the land has remained untouched, visitors can picture what the area looked like centuries ago. In terms of specific kid-friendly activities, the preserve has plenty of options including biking, boat tours, fishing, hiking and more.

Everglades National Park

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Photo by Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motion

We saved one of the best for last. Of all the parks in Florida, nothing quite says Florida like Everglades National Park, located along the southern coastline of the state. This national treasure protects the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. and provides important habitat for rare and endangered species. That’s what makes it the perfect outdoor classroom and why the park offers several field trip programs, including ranger- and self-guided tours as well as virtual, curriculum-based courses.

Live Wildly Tip: Looking to get the kids hyped up before their visit? Download the coloring pages park staff and volunteers created featuring various Everglades creatures, along with some cool facts.

And if you thought we were lying about inspiring the next generation to help keep Florida, Florida — well we weren’t. Just consider Yvette Cano, whose 6th grade field trip decades ago set her on the path become an Everglades park ranger.

“I can remember every single day as if it were yesterday,” Cano says in a short video recalling the three-day camping trip with her school. “It was probably the most memorable time I had at camp, to discover the fish and the insects and the crayfish and the life that was within the water to me was unreal.”

Today, Cano is paying it forward, working at an educational center in the park that hosts field trips for schoolkids. “Our goal is to introduce them to something that we can consider to be right in their backyard,” she says. “It is so important to immerse them in the Everglades, in nature, so that they can turn around and have that within their hearts for a lifetime.”

Looking for more kid-friendly activities? Check our list of eight adventures sure to excite the entire family. And don’t forget to share your favorite Corridor-inspired field trips @LiveWildlyFL.