Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Historic America You Should See With Your Grandkids
Historic America You Should See With Your Grandkids PDF Print E-mail

As springtime approaches, with the new, young President in the White House, and we’re celebrating the birthdays of two other Presidents, start planning an historic America trip with your grandkids. If you do it right, some tastes of patriotism can go a long way, teaching future citizens about the proud heritages of their country. It will be especially effective if it happens while you’re standing with them in places where the actual moments of history took place. Maybe the biggest thrill you’ll get will be to see everything again through the eyes of a child.

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An historic figure’s name has been in the news frequently lately, because he serves as the new President’s ideal. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington has been an inspiration to millions of Americans for many decades. Just standing in front of that massive statue of the seated Lincoln is a precious moment for everyone, especially with a grandchild at your side. Of course, while you’re in our nation’s captial, take your little guest to the Washington and the Jefferson Monuments. nps.gov/linc

Most families today weren’t in America when our earliest heroes served as President. If you’re descended from the millions of immigrants who sought political, financial and religious freedom in the 19th and 20th Centuries, you may want to take your grandchild to the Ellis Island Museum in New York City harbor. The station has been restored to its orignal setting of 1900, and there are extensive written records of immigrant families stored there.

You may want to explore them and show your grandchild his/her family original name and country of origin, listed there when they began a new life in America. As you arrive and depart, you’ll get a close-up view of another great symbol of American pride, the Statue of Liberty. ellisisland.com

While in New York City, take your grandchild to visit one of the most tragic locations in America, Ground Zero. The Tribute-World Trade Center structure now occupying the site exhibits items recovered from the disaster, a sad tribute to the nearly 4,000 business, fire and police citizens who died there. tributewtc.org.

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is restored to its original 18th Century grandeur, including guides strolling around in period costumes. Grandkids who never knew life befort TV, cell phones and iPods will enjoy seeing how people lived without electricity and inside plumbing. history.org.

For a breathtaking outdoor adventure, take your grandchild to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Explain how millions of years of nature’s work has carved the Canyon into one of most beautiful areas of the world. If you make reservations early enough, take a mule trip down from the South Rim to the floor of the Canyon to the Colorado River. nps.gov/grca.

It may be more appropriate than ever before to take your grandchild to see an icon of modern history. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. It’s in the former motel building where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died. The museum exhibits trace the African-American struggle from slavery to today. Plans are in the works to update it to include the realization of Dr. King’s dream, the triumphant achievement of President Barack Obama. civilrightsmuseum.org.

It all began at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and it still stands today as it has for the past 250 years. There the Declaration of Independence was created and the Constitution was later introduced. Just across Indpendence Mall is the building housing the Liberty Bell. Your grandchild will thrill to being at the sites where the United States was born. nps.gov/inde.

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