Field Study Trips

The Deering Estate Education department offers a variety of On-Site Field Study Trips where students can learn, through engaging hands-on minds-on activities, about South Florida’s rich cultural and natural resources.


These Field Study Trips place a focus on topics such as scientific method, archaeology, ecology, biology, marine science, and earth science. All of our Field Study Trips include web-based pre and post activity guides, interactive tours, and on-site projects. Field Study Trips are connected with Florida State Standards and can be modified to fit you and your students’ particular needs and interests.


A Field Study Trip consists of two, hour-long activities. It is recommended to select one (1) Field Study Activity and one (1) Tour/Hike. If you are unsure of the greatest selections for your group, our representatives can provide guidance in choosing the activities that best meet your students’ needs and interests. Activity options are listed below.

Activity & Tour/Hike Options

students conducting a mock archaeology dig

Archaeology Demonstration

Subject: Social Studies
Recommended Grade: K-5
Recommended Pairing: Natural Areas Hike

Highlighting the scientific method through an investigation and identification of fossils and artifacts, participants will conduct a survey to uncover artifacts, including bones and pottery, and learn about their historic uses by the people and cultures that existed in South Florida before modern development.

students building a terrarium utilizing recycled plastic

Build Your Own Terrarium

Subject: Ecology, Environmental Science
Recommended Grade: 1-8
Recommended Pairing: Natural Areas Hike

Highlighting the importance and function of the water cycle and of nutrient cycling in an ecosystem, participants will build their own terrarium which mimics those natural cycles in a self-sustaining enclosed environment. Participants will hike around the park collecting specific materials to add to their terrarium, such as a seedling, soil, sand, and gravel.

*Each child must bring a 2-liter bottle to make their own terrarium

students conducting a fish dissestion


Fish/Squid Dissection

Subject: Ecology, Biology, Scientific Method
Recommended Grade: 3-12
Recommended Pairing: Mangrove Clean-Up Hike

With a focus on adaptations and physiology, participants will be able to explore the many internal and external anatomy of fish or squid, including the many characteristics that allow them to thrive and survive. With step-by-step instructions, participants and their group members will work together to uncover what lies inside these important marine animals.


Owl Pellet Dissection

Subject: Biology
Recommended Grade: K-5
Recommended Pairing: Scat & Track Hike

Participants will learn about food chains in ecosystems, and the role that owls play in South Florida’s ecology. During an exciting dissection of an owl pellet, participants will be able to apply the Scientific Method by using a dichotomous key to identify the bone fragments found inside their owl pellet.

students conducting a catch and release of marine life

Sea Grass Touch-Tank Survey

Subject: Marine Science, Ecology
Recommended Grade: K-12
Recommended Pairing: Mangrove Clean-Up Hike

Participants will get an up-close encounter with the critters found in our Biscayne Bay and explore the aquatic life of our seagrass communities. Our touch-tank experience will give participants a living introduction to the wonders of Marine Science. Staff will identify the different species that are found, and give participants the chance to touch any animals that are safe to handle.

students conducting a scientific experiment

Scientific Method

Subject: Ecology, Biology, Scientific Method
Recommended Grade: 3-12
Recommended Pairing: Scat and Track Hike

A variety of scientific method activities are offered to enforce participants understanding and application of the scientific process. While the experiments differ, each activity will highlight the many stages of the scientific method allowing participants to apply and strengthen their process skills. Experiments to be chosen from include Egg Drop, Rockets, Wing Design, and Beak Design.

view of richmond cottage and stonehouse from the courtyard
summer campers on a hike in the rain through the natural areas of the park
summer campers on a muddy mangrove hike

Tour/Hike Options

House Tour

Our House Tour includes an in-depth exploration of the two historic homes on the Deering Estate property: the Stone House and the Richmond Cottage. Participants will be lead through the houses to discover each home’s unique past and historical contents, tying together the stories of Charles Deering and the early settlement of South Florida.


Scat & Track

The Deering Estate’s natural areas is home to many native animals, including otters, foxes, opossums, and more. While sightings during the day are rather difficult, scat and tracks left behind give us evidence of their presence. Participants will hike through the natural areas looking for animal scat and tracks, and will try to analyze which animal it belongs to by considering location, size, shape, and contents.


Natural Areas Hike

Deering Estate holds over 440 acres of Protected Natural Areas, with a diverse plant and animal population. On a Natural Areas Hike, participants will learn about native plants and animals as they make their way to the Cutler Burial Mound, a centuries-old significant Tequesta site and important archaeological site.


Mangrove Off-Trail Clean-Up/Hike

Participants will hike through the muddy mangrove trails, learning about the importance of mangrove forests while making their contribution to conservation efforts by collecting trash and reporting what was found.

** Participants will get muddy; please wear old sneakers and remember to bring bug spray.

Plan Your Visit

In planning your Deering Estate Field Study Trip, it is important to consider the following:

Activity Selection

A Field Study Trip consists of two, hour-long activities. It is recommended to select one (1) Field Study Activity and one (1) Tour/Hike (listed above). If you are unsure of the greatest selections for your group, our representatives can provide guidance in choosing the activities that best meet your students’ needs and interests.

Program Timing and Size

Programs are scheduled in a 3 hour block between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. However, these times are flexible and groups are welcome to stay the day until 4:00 PM after their program has concluded.

Our programs can accommodate a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 175 participants per day. If your group does not meet one of these requirements, please consult with our staff as alternative options may be available.

Costs and Participant Ratios

Our Field Study programs cost $10 per child participant.

For land-based programs, we allow one (1) free adult chaperone for every ten (10) students. For water-based programs, a ratio of one (1) free adult chaperone for every six (6) students is required. Any adults beyond these ratios will be required to pay the standard adult admission to the park.

Reservation Checklist

  • Select your two desired Field Study activities
  • Select a few desired dates for Field Study Trip
  • Determine Group Size
  • Reserve Early!

Reserve a Field Study Trip

To book your group’s visit, please call (305) 235-1668 x.264. Be prepared to provide your group’s information, as well as your selected activities and desired dates. We strive to serve a wide array of public, private and alternative home school visitors, so our available dates tend to fill up quickly. Our staff will be happy to assist you in designing the best Field Study Trip for your needs.

Once you have made your reservation, please check your email for a confirmation letter. This notice will include your finalized date time and cost, as well as additional instructions specific to your chosen program. Your program is not reserved until you receive this reservation. Please call our office if you don’t receive a confirmation within 48 hours of your booking.

If your group has any special needs, please let us know at the time of booking. We will be happy to accommodate your request.

If your needs should change after reservation, including the number of participating students or any cancellations, please contact us as soon as possible so we can update your reservation. Changes must be made at least 48 hours prior to your visit, otherwise you will be charged based on original reservation.

Preparing For Your Visit:

  • All youth and adult field trip participants must wear closed toe shoes (no crocs, flip flops, etc)
  • Bring a re-useable water bottle, bugspray, hat and sunscreen
  • Please bring a change of clothes if participating in a water-based activity
  • All chaperones are expected to fully participate in the program, including water-based activities
  • No food is available for purchase on property, participants must come with lunches.

Follow our learning programs on Instagram! @DiscoverDeering

Learning Programs