Field Trips

Field Trips at Merry Lea

Below is a list of the standard Field Trip Programs offered at Merry Lea. Each program description includes: field trip season, grade level, maximum number of students*, program overview and academic standards correlation.

We also offer custom programs. Custom programs may combine 2-3 of our standard programs or you may request a program about birds, renewable energy, wild edible plants, wetland restoration and insects. All custom programs have separate pricing.

*Spring 2024 field trip registration is full – join our waitlist!

Spring 2024 Waitlist

*Fall 2024 field trip registration opens up Monday, April 1st at 8 am.

*Please note: if bringing more than the maximum number of students listed, you will need to reserve more than one field trip date. Already know what program you’d like? Book your field trip now using our online registration system with the button below!

Click here to book now!

Autumn Adventures

September - November

Discover how animals and plants prepare for winter by observing evidence and using all 5 senses in the forests, meadows, and wetlands at Merry Lea. Students fly like a sandhill crane, scamper like a squirrel, explore plant characteristics and much more to experience how Indiana’s wildlife is adapted to survive winter.

Grades Preschool – 2 4 Hours 80 Students Max
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April - November

Students discover the diversity of life at Merry Lea first-hand by exploring multiple ecosystems on our trails. In each habitat, students identify native organisms and discuss the interconnections of mammals, insects, plants, humans, and more. Assess the importance of biodiversity by flipping logs, interpreting abiotic features, and meeting the flora and fauna of Merry Lea.

Grades 6-12 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Exploring Merry Lea Teaching Farm

September - November

Merry Lea Teaching Farm is a unique edible ecosystem where students taste their way to an understanding of humans, farm, and habitat connections. Students delve into soil ecosystems, search for pollinators at work, and meet our animals living at the farm. Making apple cider provides students a memorable example of how food can be processed before we consume it.

Grades K-12 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Exploring Nature

April - May

Students explore seasons as spring wakes up around them! Get out on the trails and investigate adaptations, the diversity of life, and ecosystem interactions. Dip for pond creatures, play concept-reinforcing games, and experience spring in Indiana.

Grades Preschool – 5 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Nature’s Recyclers

April - November

We know about paper, plastic, and glass, but how does nature recycle? Through interactive exploration, students visit forests, prairies, and wetlands to learn that everything in the natural world is eventually broken down into its basic parts. Get face-to-face with some wriggly recyclers, and discover why decomposition is such an important process in nature.

Grades 1-5 3-4 hours 80 Students Max
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Rock Cycle

April - November

Dig into northeastern Indiana’s rich geological history! Students discover the impact glaciers had on this area by seeing glacial activity up close. Hike down an esker, move through layers of topsoil and glacial till to find a peat bog, explore and identify rocks in an abandoned gravel pit, and use models to understand how glaciers changed Indiana’s landscape.

Grades 3-12 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Trees are Terrific!

April - November

The marvelous world of trees is diverse in function, characteristics, and uses. Students explore trees’ anatomy and physiology, life cycles, identifications, and roles within different ecosystems. Examine leaves, seeds, buds and more as students hike among the trees, compare and contrast living tree examples, and participate in trail-based activities designed to spark curiosity and learning – all about trees!

Grades K-5 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Water Quality

April - November

What, if anything, is wrong with our water? How did it get that way? What can be done about it now? Students address these questions using modern equipment and techniques to conduct water sampling experiments. Explore a lake ecosystem in canoes and waders to assess biological indicators, pollution, siltation, and human impacts on water quality.

Grades 6-12 4 hours 35 Students Max
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Winter Nature


Enjoy the wonders of winter! Students explore how people, plants, and animals cope with winter by using their senses in the wintery woods and meadows. Outdoors they search for signs of life and survival strategies used by native plants and animals. Indoors they warm up while engaging in fun and educational winter-themed activities.

Grades Preschool – 8 4 hours 40 Students Max
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Wonderful Wetlands

April - November

Immerse students in a wetland ecosystem by putting on waders to dip for small animals, identifying these critters, and hiking around the wetland. Throughout each activity and game, students recognize physical and biological components of each wetland type and the important functions of wetlands.

Grades 3-12 4 hours 80 Students Max
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Please read all of our policies: includes payment, preparation and more.

Fee Structure

Refund Policy:

Cancellations: If you cancel a program, you will be charged:

  • 100% of program fee for cancelling less than 1 week before program
  • 50% of program fee for cancelling 1 week to 4 weeks before program
  • No fee for cancelling more than 4 weeks before program

Please double check your master calendar and transportation reservations well in advance of your visit to Merry Lea.

Exceptions: The above policy does not apply to cancellations due to dangerous weather, unscheduled school closings or unforeseen emergencies. If Merry Lea cancels a program, we will call and email when the decision is made and will provide a full refund. If you have questions about whether or not a session will occur, please contact us.