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Out of the classroom, into the world

Out of the classroom, into the world.

There are countless ways for your student to explore and learn outside of the classroom. Below is a list of free or low cost ideas, any of which could be turned into a fascinating JGESA school project. If you know of other ideas please share so we can expand the list.


  1.  Check these out
  1. Free events through Minnesota History Center - Click here


  1. MN State Parks - Many activities. Free admission with a school approved project.

Need a suggestion for a park adventure?

  • Join a park naturalist for a walk! events calendar
  • Explore a 3-mile loop around Pike Island at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul and keep an eye out for wild turkeys near the entrance to the park.
  • Hike along the St. Croix River State Water Trail at Afton State Park in Hastings.
  • Watch the trumpeter swans at Lake Maria State Park in Monticello.
  • Visit the headwaters of the Mississippi River State Water Trail at Itasca State Park in Park Rapids, and look for the first signs of ice between the rocks.
  • Take the trail to Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay while listening to Lake Superior State Water Trail's waves lapping on the shore.
  • Check out the views of the Whitewater Valley from the Chimney Rock overlook at Whitewater State Park in southeastern Minnesota.
  • See (and hear!) thousands of waterfowl at Lac qui Parle State Park in Montevideo. (Lac qui Parle means "the lake that speaks.)
  • Hike the prairie at Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne to see what the bison are up to.
  • Go take a hike! Check out our hike recommendations for each park.


  1. 25 totally free things to do in the Twin Cities.





  1. ASTC TRAVEL PASSPORT PROGRAM - nation wide (including MN locations) discounts at science center or museum participating in the ASTC Travel Passport Program, you are eligible for benefits such as free general admission when you travel outside of your local area.
  2. Smithsonian Museum Day

    In honor of the Smithsonian, museums around the country are offering free Admission to participating museum. The Third Saturday in September, over 33 museums in Minnesota will be allowed free entry. You must reserve your ticket ahead of time. Check it out Smithsonian for more details.

    Bank of America’s Museums on Us

    Bank of America Credit or Debit Cardholders can visit more than 200 of the most popular cultural center’s worldwide for free, the first full weekend of every month. In the Twin Cities, that includes the Mill City Museum, Historic Fort Snelling, the James J Hill House and the Minnesota History Center.

  3. Other ideas
  • Job shadow a parent, friend, or expert in a field that interests the student
  • Interview family, friend, or expert about their life, history or a unique experience. (Ex. a Veteran, someone that has traveled to a unique location)
  • Turn a family vacation into a learning opportunity. Free admission to all national parks for student learners. Search "application for educational entrance fee waiver national parks" and add the name of the park you plan to attend. You will have to print a form and have your Advisor fill it out with you. 
  • Contact your local congress representative, law enforcement, local board members, etc... to attended a meeting or spend a day learning about local government process. 

     9. Virtual learning opporunities.

More ideas

The MN Zoo, Science Museam and other venues offer free admission for those with MA health coverage or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).