History is an incredible thing for kids to learn about, and it's even more eye opening when they can visit a place where what they are learning about, actually happened.
Antietam National Battlefield is an eye opening experience for any family who is interested in the country, history, and events that shaped the future of the USA.
Did you know that on the grounds right on the battlefield, one of the bloodiest one day battles in US history occurred? 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after only 12 hours of terrible combat, way back in 1862.
It was this battle that ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's invasion up into the North of the country, which led to Lincoln's issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation - so it's an incredible site for kids to visit.
When you arrive, start at the Visitor Center. If you don't have much time, make sure you explore the museum and it's exhibits, as well as catch the introductory film. This will ensure kids can get a good understanding of what they are about to experience. You can also join a Park Ranger for a fascinating battlefield talk, or you can take the self-guided auto tour through the battlefield, which takes you through 8 1/2 miles and 11 stops of history.
If you have a little more time at the Antietam National Battlefield, you can add on a self-guided hike on the Bloody Lane, or the Snavely Ford Trails, just to name a few great walks. The Pry House Field Hospital Museum is a great little stop for some extra education, and there is even a FUN scavenger hunt you can do across the battlefields.
So you certainly will have lots to fill your family day out with - an amazing experience kids won't forget!
$20 - personal vehicle / family for three days. Individuals $10 for three days
Annual pass $35
The park completely respect the history that happened here, and you can help them by respecting all the memorials too. They want to ensure the stories continue for the future visitors!
Get kids to join the Junior Ranger program where they can fill out their activity booklets and even get a badge!
There is a bookstore in the visitor center where you can buy souviners and CD tours!
They have lots of information that will help you plan your visit to the battlefield with the students - and it's a trip that every history student should do!
It never hurts to bring bottled water and some healthy snacks to keep those kids nice and full of energy!
Parking and Visitor Center are accessible, but some of the historic structures are only accessible from the doorway. Check when you arrive!
If you want a private guide, you can hire them to join you in your vehicle so you can ask all the questions you like!