We took a tour of Costco.
Wow! I would definitely recommend this for a field trip idea for your homeschool group, or even just a few families. I'm already a Costco fan, but their field trips are great, if a bit infomercially.
To start, they brought out name tags for each of the kids. They are regular employee tags and had each of the kids' names printed on them. They took a picture of our group which they dropped off at the photo department and made enough prints for each child to take one home at the end of the tour.
The tour really got started in the pizza making area. We had a large group, so they gave us four pizza crusts with sauce to which we added cheese, sausage and pepperoni. The kids all got their hands into that project.
I know, love the hairnets . . .
While the pizza cooked we toured the store -- the tire shop, the photo department, the vision center, the freezer, the bakery, the meat department, etc. Of course, part of the point of the tour is to tell you how amazing their store is, but they threw in lots of interesting trivia. How many employees (175), how many members at the typical Costco (50,000), how many chickens sold (Hawaii holds the record - 700 a day!), how they recycle their tires, and lots more.
At the end, we enjoyed the pizza and each child received a goodie bag with a few snacks and a bottle of water, and of course, lots of printed info on Costco. It lasted about an hour and a half and then we sat in the deli area and passed out our end of the year awards and visited for a bit. The kids all had a great time and really listened to all the information shared.
ETA 7/30/11 -- My kids loved it so much they request this more than any other as a repeat field trip. My son even toyed with the idea of having his birthday there. :)
We went on a similar tour when my oldest was still in preschool at a smaller grocery store. These free tours are great publicity for the businesses, as well as educational and lots of fun for the kids and families involved. Even if you don't have a Costco nearby, check out your local grocery store, fire department, police station, or bakery. Most businesses would be happy to host your group for a field trip and they make for memorable, and usually free, fun for your group.
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