I grew up in a family with five siblings and parents who were both educators. That being the case, our family vacations often consisted of our loaded station wagon making stops at historical sites in our home state of Ohio. The destinations were close enough, so overnight stays were never required. By the time I was in eighth grade, I had been to many of the sights pictured in my Ohio History textbook.
Family trips to local historical sites can be FUN and EDUCATIONAL. With spring break looming and summer not far behind, here are some places your family might find interesting to visit. There is something for everybody.
At the Ohio History Center Columbus there is always something to see and do. Exhibits are constantly changing from ancient artifacts to Ohio toys to pop culture. Follow this link to What’s Happening This Weekend.
The Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve is located in Oregonia, in southwestern Ohio. This is the site of a prehistoric village built over 2,000 years ago. It is also Ohio’s first state park, authorized in 1891, and a National Historic Landmark. Visitors will find a museum, a recreated American Indian garden, and several miles of hiking trails for nature lovers. Other Ohio prehistoric Indian mounds include Newark Earthworks, the Great Serpent Mound, and the Miamisburg Mound.
Exploring our National Parks
According to its website, the National Park Service “preserves, protects, and shares our nation’s special places and stories.” National Parks can be reached in two hours from most places in the US, and many are free. Look here to find one near you. Park sites combine history, science, education, and nature. Teachers and parents of fourth grade students might be interested to learn about the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The NPS is providing a free park pass for America’s fourth graders and their families. The website even provides help planning your adventure.
Now Hit the Road!
Whether you pack up your family in a minivan or a smart car, keep in mind part of the fun in a road trip is “getting there.” Try turning off electronics and looking out the car windows. Remember games like travel bingo and license plate searches? You just might start a new family tradition.