School Field Trips & Homeschool

At Blandford, children experience the wonder of nature in a fun, safe, and engaging environment

From guided field trips to homeschool programs, Blandford Nature Center has something for every curious student. Below you’ll find details about the variety of programs we offer for students of all ages in all educational settings.

School Field Trips

We offer in-person and virtual field trips and other customized program options to fit your needs for students in preschool through high school. Traditional in-person field trips takes place in Blandford’s 264 acres of forests, wetlands and meadows and offer an immersive experience with nature and wildlife. If you are unable to come to us, we also offer live virtual field trips with a Blandford Educator.

In-Person Field Trips

The cost of a field trip is $9 per student per program, with a minimum program fee of $100. We require a minimum of 1 teacher or adult chaperone for every 5 students in attendance. These required chaperones are free. Extra adults are welcome at $3 each. Blandford Nature Center can host up to 60 students per program. If you have more than 60 students, you will need to book multiple days/times.

In-Person Field Trip Options:

Pre-K & Kindergarten Programs

1st, 2nd, & 3rd Grade Nature/Science Programs

4th & 5th Grade Nature/Science Programs

K-6th Grade Social Studies Programs

Sugarbush Programs for All Ages

Middle & High School Programs

Virtual Programs

Can’t come to Blandford? We can bring a Blandford experience to you virtually! A Blandford Educator will present a 45-minute live virtual session with your classroom, using key “show and tell” items related to your program topic and will include time for questions and answers from your students.  Your virtual program package will also include pre- and post-program materials, which may include activities, worksheets, games, and links to virtual storybooks and videos. Virtual programs are available for $120. To book a virtual field trip, please choose a topic below and use the following form to submit a request:

Virtual lesson content and any supplemental activities shared with teachers are not to be copied, recorded, or distributed in any way after or before the program.

Virtual Program Options:

K-3rd Grade

3rd-5th Grade



GRPS 1st & 3rd Grade Field Trips

GRPS 1st & 3rd Grade Field Trips

Blandford Nature Center is pleased to partner with Grand Rapids Public Schools to ensure that every first and third grade student has a hands-on learning experience in nature. This program is made possible with generous funding from the Grand Rapids Public Schools Foundation. Our nature-based field trip programs are designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards. Using the 264 acres at Blandford, we seek to engage and empower students through hands-on educational experiences that can positively affect student outcomes and heighten their natural sense of inquiry.

To book a GRPS 1st or 3rd Grade field trip, please use one of the the following forms to submit a request:

GRPS 1st and 3rd Grade program options:

1st Grade Programs

3rd Grade Programs

Homeschool Programs

*If you wish to book a field trip for a private homeschool group, please choose a topic and make a booking request under the “School Field Trips” tab above.

Spring 2024 Homeschool Series

Blandford runs a 3-part Homeschool series every spring and fall. Homeschool field trips at Blandford immerse students in nature while engaging their curiosity and connection to the natural world! All of our programs are taught by our highly-experienced and educated staff and are designed with modern science education standards in mind.

Programs are available for children ages 5-12, divided into small groups for age-appropriate content. We welcome up to five parent chaperones per group, especially for our youngest students who may need some extra assistance. Chaperones will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for chaperones is required, but there is no additional fee. For parents with multiple children who wish to chaperone, we strongly suggest registering with your youngest child, if space allows.

Each registration is sold as a package of three programs on the dates and times below. Please note that we have a minimum number of participants required for each age group. If we do not meet this minimum, that age group may be cancelled or merged with another age group.

Program Dates & Topics:

March 27 | Sugarbush Experience the science of maple syrup production in the heart of Blandford’s sugarbush! Identify maple trees and learn the history of maple syrup production through the centuries. Students will experience various methods of tapping, collecting, and boiling using real tools and will taste the sweet results of all of this hard work!

April 24 | Anishinabek Lifeways – The cultural heritage of West Michigan comes alive through hands‐on experiences with traditional tools and artifacts. Investigate how the seasons and resources of this area influenced the lives of Anishinaabe people over 400 years ago.

May 22 | Birds of a Feather – Explore the amazing worlds of birds and the ways in which they call for mates, build nests, and raise their young. Students will identify distinguishing characteristics of birds, take a hike with binoculars, and meet one of our resident birds of prey.

All programs are 1:00-2:30 pm. Check-in takes place 10 minutes before the program starts in the Environmental Education Center on the main campus at 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Pricing & Registration:

Registration is $30/student for Members and $38/student for Non-Members and includes all three programs for the dates listed. A complete health form must be submitted during registration. Missed sessions will not be refunded. Sessions cancelled due to weather will be rescheduled if possible or a partial refund will be issued. Chaperones who register are required to attend all three session dates. Registration for the Spring 2024 Homeschool series begins February 1, 2024 for both Members and Non-Members and will close on March 22, 2024. A minimum capacity must be reached for Homeschool programs to proceed. Follow the links below to register for this year’s homeschool series.

If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Programs at (616) 735-6240 or email registrar@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

Please check back in June 2024 for our Fall Homeschool Series which runs from September to November.

School Partnerships

We are excited to offer partnerships with local schools to give all students at least one experience in nature every school year! These schools have all made a commitment to bring environmental learning into the classroom and to get students out to Blandford for experiential learning on our trails. In addition to field trips and Blandford on the Road programs, these schools benefit from early scheduling and discounted family memberships.

Northwest Co-op Preschool

West Side Christian School

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

Great Start Readiness Program at CA Frost Elementary School

If you are interested in partnering with us to provide environmental learning opportunities to multiple classrooms at your school, please contact our Program Manager, Heather Lewis, at 616-735-6240 ext. 115 or email heather@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

Blandford on the Road

Blandford on the Road

If you are unable to bring your class to Blandford but still prefer an in-person program, let us bring the excitement to you! Check out our Blandford on the Road program options by visiting our Wildlife Experiences page.

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