GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With COVID-19 numbers remaining fairly steady, some of the more popular destinations for school field trips are seeing significant increases in demand right now.

Staff at Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids said before the school year started, they weren’t sure how things would bounce back after COVID19, but as soon as schools put students back on buses, bookings came back in full force. So much so that the nature center is completely booked for the rest of the school year and now has to turn schools away when they inquire about field trips for May.

Blandford is currently telling all inquiring teachers that they will start booking field trips for the 2022-2023 school year in late August and keep an eye on their website for more information. 

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is also seeing a big increase. Erin Koren, the museum’s director of education, said they’ve stayed connected through virtual programs, but that staff has seen many field trips return in person this year. 

“As schools have started returning to taking field trips at the museum, the biggest thing I’ve noticed is just the joyfulness of taking a trip with your class to somewhere as memorable as the museum. Schools missed out on those experiences the last year, so it’s extra special,” Koren said. 

She added that there are still plenty of spaces for schools interested in a spring field trip.

“The end of the school year is a perfect time for classes to come because we have the ‘Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs’ exhibit on the third floor. It won’t be here next school year. It’ll just be here through the end of the year and summer. So that’s a really great way to learn about science, adaptations, and especially if students and teachers are interested in fossils,” Koren explained. 

She encourages interested teachers to contact GRPM’s group scheduling office two weeks in advance of when they would like to visit.