Traveling is good for the soul, unless you are traveling with kids. However, traveling with kids is about the kids, making memories, and survival for all. We do love to travel and love history so, we tend to combine the two!
Ok, I know that history isn’t everyone’s favorite subject but I would argue, that everyone likes history, you just have to find the history that connects with you. That doesn’t have to be military history, historical homes, presidential history, etc. But there are historical foundations for all subjects. If you love basketball, then explore the history of basketball which includes the history of athletic programs, professional basketball, basketball uniforms, basketball rules and regulations, visit the historical gym where the movie Hoosiers was filmed, etc.
As most of you know, I love history and have a MA in American History. Therefore, that means I subject my children and family to historical trips and stops on every vacation. For the most part, the historical stops are fun, interesting, well enjoyed, etc. I am always looking for an opportunity learn and for my children to learn and connect with history or a piece of history.
At my store (Rosemary and Lemons, at Webb Printing) I was able to order in some books from a wholesale provider and one that I ordered and have loved is called “50 Great American Places.” It is a book about essential historical sites across the US by Brent Glass (who is a director at the Smithsonian Institution which is the Hold Grail of all museums)!!
The author provides you with 50 very unique and cultural important historical sites to stop at in each state. Some are more known than others but all are significant to our history as a nation. However, each state site, also tells you piece of history about that state’s culture, history, demographics, etc. Each site is a chapter and there is also a listing at the end of each chapter, a list of nearby sites as well. So, you can make a day or plan your trip.
These sites range from historical homes and battlefields, to graves for Indian massacres; great churches and homes; to sites of innovation and technological development; to the Salem Witch Trials, but regardless of the site, each site/event all help connect you to a larger national historical picture or story. Much of which, our children don’t always get the “whole” story in their very edited history books. These sites and this book, helps you to better understand the historical significance of the site but to also dig deeper, to talk about the event, have a conversation with your family about it, learn from it, what can you take away, etc.
It is the discussions that help to make it meaningful for you and your kids. This book can be your family guide! I have limited quantities at the store, but what a great gift, resource and reference for any history lover.
As you make your summer vacation plans, I hope at least one of those trips includes a visit to a historical site. And that you find time to travel (even just for day) for yourself. Safe travels!