Field Trips

Contact Us

Field Trip Rate

In-Person at VINS
$11.50 per Youth
Free for School Staff
$13.50 per Parent Chaperone

Virtual
$200 per Virtual Field Trip

Advanced booking required.

Nature Center Hours

VINS Nature Center
10am to 5pm Daily

Wild Bird Rehab is Open
Accepting Calls Only
802.359.5000 x212
8am to 5pm

Field Trips to the Nature Center

At the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, your students will be immersed in a rich learning experience. Our field trips are designed to work with and enhance your curriculum, making every visit to VINS a valuable experience for your students. All of our field trips are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. 

VINS has been a leader in environmental education since 1972. Our staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge in outdoor education, the natural sciences and teaching methods. We’ll work with you to deepen the connections between your learning goals in the classroom and your outdoor exploration at VINS. Classes are able to explore the VINS campus before and after their lesson and enjoy on-site educational programs at no additional cost. Hold your Field Trip in our Outdoor Classroom for an immersive forest experience.

To schedule a field trip, contact Laurie Goldsmith, Science Educator, at 802.359.5000 x208 or fill out the Field Trip Form.

We are committed to keeping all visitors that come to the VINS Nature Center safe. We are taking the following measures to ensure safety for all schools that plan to come for Field Trips:
 
  • VINS Field Trips will maintain all health guidance, as well as direction from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, as it relates to public outdoor spaces.
  • All Field Trips to the VINS Nature Center will take place in our open-air, Outdoor Classroom or our new August Pavilion (outdoor). 
  • Seating in our Outdoor Classroom or August Pavilion will allow for social distancing between students, chaperones and educators.
  • VINS Educators and Field Trip participants will wear masks at all times (required for any unvaccinated participants per VINS policy).
  • Hand sanitizer and/or handwashing will be provided for Field Trip participants to use before and after handling materials.
  • All materials will be sanitized prior to and after use.
 
These protocols are subject to change at any point to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
OutdoorClasstoom-2020

Outdoor Classroom

This structure, funded by the Jane’s Trust Foundation, models outdoor learning and supports the educational goals of VINS by demonstrating ways that learning can be taken beyond the four walls of an indoor classroom. Students of all ages can enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of this living-learning environment.
 
This new learning location is available for VINS Field Trips! Book your lesson now to ensure your preferred date and lesson in our Outdoor Classroom.

​Choose from a variety of topics and work with our educators to personalize the educational experience to meet your students’ needs.

We will work with you around choosing a lesson of your choice with one of our educators and we will also work with you as needed to make sure that our lesson complements your learners best. Please let us know if there is a topic you're interested in even if you don't see it on one of the lists below.

Year-round Field Trip lessons:

  • Animal Homes
  • Bears
  • Beavers
  • Day & Night Animals 
  • Frogs & Toads
  • Preparing for Winter
  • Seasons
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Explore VINS

Learn more

Book a Field Trip

Animal Adaptations (Fall/Spring)
Explore how animals have adapted to their ecosystem. Learn more.

Animals in Winter (Winter)
Delve into the winter adaptations of animals. Learn more.

Forest Canopy Walk (Fall/Spring)
Explore an ecosystem in the forest treetops. Learn more.

Home Sweet Habitat (Fall/Spring)
Help Otis the Otter find a home as we investigate habitats. Learn more: Virtual or In-Person

Explore VINS (Year-round)
Enjoy independent exploration of the VINS Nature Center. Learn more.

Book a Field Trip

Animal Adaptations (Fall/Spring)
Explore how animals have adapted to their ecosystem. Learn more.

Animals in Winter (Winter)
Delve into the winter adaptations of animals. Learn more.

Chickadee Landing Station (Winter)
Join in on this unique bird feeding experience! Learn more.

Forest Canopy (Fall/Spring)
Explore an ecosystem in the forest treetops. Learn more.

Geology Hike (Fall/Spring)
Explore & learn about the Quechee Gorge. Learn more: Virtual or In-Person.

Stream Ecology (Year-round)
Experience the power of moving water with our Stream Table. Learn more.

Explore VINS (Year-round)
Enjoy independent exploration of the VINS Nature Center. Learn more.

Book a Field Trip

Climate Change and Bird Migration (Year-round)
See how climate change affects all organisms -- including birds. Learn more.

Forest Monitoring (Fall/Spring)
Investigate how our forests are changing over time. Learn more.

Geology Hike (Fall/Spring)
Examine our changing earth of the Quechee Gorge. Learn more: Virtual or In-Person

Stream Ecology (Year-round)
Experience the power of moving water with our Stream Table. Learn more.

Explore VINS (Year-round)
Enjoy independent exploration of the VINS Nature Center. Learn more.

Book a Field Trip

Climate Change and Bird Migration (Year-round)
See how climate change affects all organisms - including birds. Learn more.

Forest Monitoring (Fall/Spring)
Investigate how our forests are changing over time. Learn more.

Geology Hike (Fall/Spring)
Explore & learn about the Quechee Gorge. Learn more: Virtual or In-Person.

Raptor Biology (Fall/Spring)
Investigate the adaptations of raptors. Learn more.

Explore VINS (Year-round)
Enjoy independent exploration of the VINS Nature Center. Learn more.

Book a Field Trip

Just wanted to send a belated thank you for the absolutely incredible field trip that our group had at VINS! I have been telling everyone how totally unique and beautifully prepared your incredible presentation was. It meant so much to all of the kids, my two kiddos are still talking about the raptor magnet game. 
 
Thank you for making our visit so meaningful. You are so talented, and I will continue to sing praises about the program! We truly appreciate it. 

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

The children were spellbound! We definitely will return next year!

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

I wanted to thank you for the amazing "field trip" today for class III! The children really loved it and you were able to keep them very engaged (no easy task over zoom). 

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

Thank you! Despite the weather challenges en route to VINS/Randolph, this day was an unqualified success! The children had a blast, learned so much, and were bubbling with enthusiasm and sharing facts with each other even back in the classroom.

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

My students absolutely loved today!!! I specifically loved how you introduced my students to the conditions of ecosystems with your slide presentation, carefully chose the activities, and allowed us access to the trails, playspace, and raptor exhibits. Meeting the Harris's Hawk was special. I will continue to put this field trip in my winter plans.

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

The VINS "Home Sweet Habitat" Field Trip was the perfect virtual experience for young learners. It was well balanced with showing both live and prerecorded information. The instructors were truly great to interact with - even online. Thank you. FYI: The children are still talking and singing about habitats!

VINS Field Trip Participating Teacher

Enhancing Classroom Curriculum with On-Site, Place-Based Education

Explore the natural world with hands-on lessons aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.