Learning about American history doesn't have to be reserved for history buffs. By taking your kids on vacation centered around history or by including educational stops that center around the nation's history, you can guide them through past events.
Taking your kids to sites where history was made helps them learn in a more interactive way outside of a classroom setting. At Family Days Out, we've gathered a list of the top historical sites to visit with your family.
You'll recognize this important historic monument via its distinct obelisk shape. It was created to honor George Washington, the United States' first president. This monument rises over Washington, D.C., at an impressive 555 feet. George Washington, also known as the father of this country, aided in leading the founding of the U.S. He had such an impact that this monument was built as a memorial nearly 100 years later. This monument was considered the tallest building in the world after its construction.
The Lincoln Memorial is another must-see historical attraction in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (one of the most important historical cities). This memorial is shown in many movies, distinguishable by a large marble statue of former president Abraham Lincoln sitting at the top of an impressive staircase. The statue is surrounded by 36 large columns, which was the number of states established during the time of Lincoln's passing.
National Archives and Records Administration
After visiting locations like Independence Hall, visiting the National Archives and Records Administration is a logical next step. This building holds some of the most important treasures of American history, including the physical Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and more.
Seeing these important documents in person is a must for anyone who enjoys learning about U.S. history. This building is also found in Washington, D.C., making it a convenient stop while visiting the nation’s capital.
Shoal Creek Living History Museum
Found in Kansas City, MO, Shoal Creek Living History Museum consists of 21 buildings, with 17 from the 1800s. Visiting this museum is free, making it an excellent budget-friendly option. During the summer, the museum features different events such as reenactments that offer a fun way to learn about what history was like in the 19th century.
Independence Hall is an important site to visit, as it is where important documents, like the Declaration of Independence, were discussed and then put into place. This landmark is often known as the birthplace of our nation, and it resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Due to its importance in America's history, Independence Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll also find the famous Liberty Bell in front of Independence Hall.
National Constitution Center
This museum in Philadelphia is dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution. It's the only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. It is built entirely from U.S.-made materials and spans 160,000 feet. The National Constitution Center teaches visitors about the Constitution in a fun way through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and displays,
There’s also a theater onsite – the Kimmel Theater, which features live shows exploring the story of “We the People.” This show includes a live performance, graphics, videos, and an immersive 360-degree projection. There are also 42 bronze statues of the founding fathers that you can walk through during a visit to this museum.
If your children are currently learning about the Constitution in school, this is an excellent way to supplement their classroom lessons.
Old South Meeting House
The Old South Meeting House, built in 1729, was the largest building during colonial times in Boston. It gained fame as the location where the Boston Tea Party began. It was a gathering place for large group meetings before the American Revolution.
While in Boston, you can visit another of the famous historical sites – Old North Church. This church is the oldest remaining church building in Boston, lasting through the American Revolution, Civil War, and other major historical events.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park proves you don't need to be inside a museum to learn about history. This Colorado park is a designated Cultural World Heritage Site. It features preserved cliff homes from the Puebla people. There is also a museum onsite if you'd like to learn more about the history of the area and the cliff dwellings.
Keep an eye out for rock carvings along the trails. You’ll also find picturesque views here.
While many don’t recognize Fort McHenry immediately by its name, you’ll recognize it by its connection to the Star Spangled Banner. During the Battle of Baltimore, many soldiers bravely defended the fort. This defense during the battle inspired Francis Scott King to create the Star Spangled Banner. Now, you can visit this special place in person.
At Fort McHenry, a national monument and Historic Shrine is available for viewing. Choose between self-guided tours at the fort or virtual tours if you can't make it in person.
Colonial Williamsburg, found in Virginia, is an exciting spot to visit for people of all ages. An 18th-century town has been recreated with buildings, homes, public buildings, and shops. It's easy to spend a full day enjoying this recreation of a historic town while learning about what daily life was like in the 1700s.
There are performances, reenactments, and stories surrounding the push for independence from England. Spending time in Colonial Williamsburg means you can walk the same cobblestone streets that famous patriots typically walked on, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
A daily pass is required to view all Colonial Williamsburg areas and enjoy the shows and performances that occur here.
These are only a few of the top U.S. history sites for kids. Start working your way through this list, and you'll have visited an impressive number of landmarks and attractions tied to the history of this nation. If you have extra time in each destination, you can explore the other available historical attractions in each city.