Last June we took my oldest child to Washington D.C. after his fifth grade graduation. One advantage of a big kid only trip is that you can be a lot more adventurous with your choice of restaurant. I found this Ethiopian restaurant on Yelp near our Virginia hotel. We enjoyed the sour tasting flat bread and the wide assortment of items to dip it in.
On the same trip, we had a delicious sushi dinner and spent way too much money at the Capitol Cafeteria.
Next time you travel, get bold with your restaurant choices. You’ll never know what you and your family will discover.
In our travels this year I have come upon several reminders of the service and sacrifice of our Nation’s veterans. From the US Pampinito and the Jeremiah O’Brian on the pier in San Francisco to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC, you can give your children a chance to learn more about the history of military men and women in service to our great nation. My uncle’s and Ken’s grandfather served in WWII, and my aunt was an army nurse at the military hospital in Philadelphia.
US Cadet Nurse Corps Recruitment Poster, Smithsonian
The Smithsonian does a great job of explaining the history of our nation at war and giving all of us some sense of the experience of soldiers and the families that they leave behind on the home front. I think between his visits to the Smithsonian and the war memorials, my eleven year old gained a much deeper appreciation of the sacrifices that soldiers make for our freedom.
When I was a teenager, one of my friends decided to join the Navy. I had a very difficult time understanding his decision, I didn’t want him to put himself in harms way even in service to his country. Now that I am older and wiser, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for what our soldiers do and the sacrifies that their families make. They are my friends, cousins, and neighbors. They are mom bloggers holding down the home front while their husbands are deployed. They are moms and veterans who have turned served their country and now have settled down to raise their children.
Today I pray, for the kids who must cope with a parent deployed, for those risking their lives for us every day, for the soldier trying to reach out to the locals and make life better in Afghanistan, for those who have been injured or lost their lives in service to their country. I also pray that our leaders make wise decisions and do everything they can to bring peace to this troubled world, so our soldiers sacrifices will not have been in vain.
This year, try to include a visit to a military memorial or historical site in your travels. Remind your kids of the importance of freedom and the sacrifices that others have made on their behalf.
Saturday September 25th is Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. Households throughout the nation can download a coupon good for two free entries to participating museums. Museums are always a favorite stop during my travels. I love learning about the history and culture of the region I’m visiting. More and more museums are offering kid friendly exhibits to engage your little ones as well. On this busy Friday, I have to get studying for a test, but I wanted to take a few minutes to share some museum favorites from my summer travels.
International Spy Museum Washington DC
International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum is so top secret, they won’t let you take photos inside the museum! It was eleven year old boy heaven with James Bond cars and plenty of concealed weapons. I loved the section on female spys. We sprung for the Operation Spy Experience and are so glad we did! Justin enthusiastically took part in this covert operation simulation. It’s for ages 12 and “up”, but they didn’t “card” our very tall eleven year old.
In the International Spy Museum gift shop I discovered two fascinating books George Washington, Spymaster and Harriet Tubman, Spymaster that teach kids about US History in a thrilling way.
National Postal Museum
National Postal Museum, Washington DC
I stumbled upon the National Postal Museum while waiting to meet a friend at Union Station. It does a great job sharing the history of the US postal service and has some fun and quirky exhibits. I also like the small scale of this museum. You can see the whole thing in about an hour, and it doesn’t overwhelm like many of the Smithsonian museums.
Postal Museum Mailboxes, Washington DC
After my Labor Day visit to Juneau Alaska, I’m determined to return and visit with the kids next summer. This beautiful capitol city has plenty of kid friendly museums to escape the frequent rain showers. Best of all admission for kids is free at most Juneau Museums! Here are three museums that I enjoyed on my last visit:
Alaska State Museum
Mining Exhibit Alaska State Museum
If you want a great overview of Alaska history and culture this is the place to go, from a charming collection of dolls crafted by native Alaskan artisans to Sarah Palin paraphenilia, the Alaska State Museumhas it all! There is a children’s area as well as kid oriented activity such as a scavenger hunt availiable for the rotating exhibit.
Juneau Douglas City Museum
Children's Area Juneau-Douglas City Museum
I almost passed up a visit to the Juneau Douglas City Museum, but I am so glad I stopped by. It is a beautiful kid friendly hands on little museum. Highlights include a rotating children’s exhibit and an interactive multi-media exhibit produced by local Juneau students. Be sure to stop by if you have young ones in tow!
Last Chance Mining Museum
Last Chance Mining Museum Juneau Alaska
This hidden gem as a highlight of my trip to Juneau. The Last Chance Mining Museum is brimming with old mining equipment and guarded by a friendly fuzzy white dog. I loved Ms. Renee the curators single rule, “Touch anything you want, just don’t drop it on your foot!” During the summer local kids act as docents.
Still trying to decide which San Diego Museum I’ll be heading to tomorrow. Have a great weekend.
If you are planning to visit the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California, this book contains all the information you need to make the most of your family adventure. The book also includes information about other area attractions, local restaurants and hotels.
Bridget Smith, mom of three, loves to blog about everyday adventures. Her mission is to change the world; one kid, one destination, one effortless trip, one overworked mom, one frazzled dad... one day at a time! Come and join her.