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Culture Outside The Classroom: Planning An Educational School Trip To Washington DC

washington dc capitol building

A city brimming with American history and culture, Washington DC is so much more than just the nation’s capital: it’s a top destination for school groups studying science, history, civics, and more. When you’re planning an educational trip for students to experience Washington DC, you want them to gain an appreciation for US history, culture, and government, all while having a fun and memorable experience.

This trip can lay the foundation for students’ practical understanding of who we are as a young nation, and where we should go next. Over 22 million domestic tourists visit Washington DC each year, every American deserves the opportunity to explore our nation’s capital.

Give your students the gift of hands-on learning when you follow these tips to explore culture outside the classroom on your educational school trip to DC.

Secure Transportation For A Stress-Free Travel Experience

Unlike planning a day trip with your kids, leading a school group is stressful for a variety of reasons. You want to plan an engaging trip that is educational and memorable, where the kids will actually learn something and have fun along the way. You also want to ensure the safety of the kids entrusted to your care, and that starts with planning for quality transportation.

While you can lead a caravan of parent drivers, take public transportation, or fly, these options usually leave teachers and chaperones frazzled, stressed, and concerned about safety.

Consider renting a charter bus for your trip to DC, which is a much more secure transportation option that cuts travel costs, maximizes safety, and minimizes stress for chaperones. Keep an eye on the classroom through the duration of your travel by choosing a professional charter bus to DC.

Learn About America Hands-On In Historical DC

Your class’ DC trip provides a unique opportunity for students to learn hands-on about American history in a format that takes them out of their textbooks and into the world of the founding fathers.

Let’s discuss some top educational tours and sights to enthrall your students while giving them a comprehensive understanding of US history.

1.  US Capitol Building

The US capitol building is more than a tourist attraction; it is a working office and the home of the US legislature since congress first met in its halls in 1800. When you tour the capitol building, students can witness both a historical architectural marvel and a world-renowned beacon for democracy.

2.  White House

Your students can see the workplace and home of every US president for over 200 years when you make a trip to the White House. In addition to its historical significance, the White House is also recognized as some of the best American architecture in the nation by the American Institute of Architects.

3.  US Supreme Court Building

This stunning historical structure is home to the judicial branch of government, built to house the US Supreme Court in the 1930s. There are many public portions of this building available for your students to appreciate and explore.

4.  National Mall

The US National Mall is a beautiful green space where your students can relax before exploring historical monuments such as the Washington Monument and The Lincoln Memorial, moving tributes to the former presidents. Near the National Mall, students will also appreciate meaningful Tidal Basin Memorials to Martin Luther King Jr and President FDR.

5.  Arlington National Cemetery

Take your students to Arlington National Cemetery, the historical site where over 400,000 military veterans and families are buried. Students can watch the changing of the guard ritual and pay their respects to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the gravesite of former President John F. Kennedy.

Explore Cultural Options To Add Variety To Your Trip

After your students have had their fill of historical monuments and revered buildings commemorating American history, consider visiting some fun cultural institutions to add variety to your trip. Examine dinosaur bones on a fun and educational trip to The National Museum of Natural history, or visit The National Air and Space Museum to explore the human history of flight and space exploration.

With all of this learning and stimulation, the kids might need a mental break. Consider a class trip to the National Zoo for a fun afternoon excursion and a much-needed palate cleanser. The International Spy Museum is another great option to capture the imagination of your students and tie in history in an intriguing way.


Give your students a chance to walk in the footsteps of history when you follow these tips to plan an educational trip to Washington DC. When you plan in advance for safe travel and juxtapose heavy historical topics with lighter cultural activities, your students will be sure to experience a fun and well-rounded class trip to the birthplace of democracy.



Jeff Campbell