I’m a firm believer that ALL travel is good for kids. It takes them out of their comfort zone and introduces differences. It allows families quality time together away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And finally, it can be a phenomenal educational platform.
Take- for example- a trip to the beach. While I absolutely value the relaxing and fun opportunity to have my toes in the sand, I also love all the science-y questions that come up. My kids always want to talk about tides, and ocean life. We discuss the ever-changing landscape of the shore. And we treasure hunt for shells, sharks teeth and all sorts of other items washed up on the beach. Essentially, the beach is a win/win where fun and education collide.
Another awesome way to educate through travel is using history. America is rich with historical experiences that are both fun and informative. Connecting with the past through travel is a great way for kids to make it real. There’s something about seeing a place in person that does so much more than reading a million books covering the topic.
The historical landmarks and locations in America are endless. So in honor of the 4th of July I’m focusing on 4 that specifically cover our Independence. Each of these locations offer ways for families to learn and connect with the past.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: It’s an easy place to start because it’s the place that started it all. The city of Philadelphia is where our country celebrated the very first 4th of July. On July 4th, 1776 our nation declared it’s independence from Britain. Church bells rang throughout the city letting everyone know the Declaration was signed. The following year the town of Philadelphia marked the anniversary with bonfires, and celebrations. Thus, beginning our national tradition of celebrating the holiday of America’s Independence. In Philadelphia you can see the famous Freedom Bell, and take a walk through Independence Square. Along the tour you will see the church where the Declaration was signed and many other significant historical landmarks.
- Boston, Massachusetts: Although Philadelphia boasts the official Declaration of Independence, Boston really paved the way. In Boston Paul Revere famously organized the secret attack on the British army. He also made a famous ride to alert others and prepare for battle. Beyond the home and history of Paul Revere, Boston’s Freedom Trail contains numerous other stops instrumental in the Revolutionary War and America’s freedom.
- Yorktown, Virginia: Yorktown is home to Colonial National Historic Park which includes the National Battlefield. This field is where the final battle of the Revolutionary War took place essentially solidifying America’s Independence. The park is adjacent to the James River so beyond learning the history of the area, guests will enjoy the beautiful setting. There is also a wonderful museum where kids (and adults!) get a fantastic education about the area and read many interesting tales of the Revolution.
- New York City, New York: No list of Independence locations would be complete without a mention of the Statue of Liberty. Despite being over 100 years newer than the landmarks mentioned earlier, the Statue has become an international symbol for freedom. The Statue of Liberty sits in New York Harbor and reminds the world of freedom- one of the founding principals written in the Declaration of Independence.
Where are your favorite places to travel and learn about history and independence?