28 Oct, 2008

Educational travel ideas

Posted by: admin In: Tips

The vacations I took with my family when I was growing up have provided some of my most cherished memories. We had so much fun visiting new places, spending time together, swimming in the hotel pool, and going to a different movie every night. As an adult, I have realized something about those family vacations: we not only played together, we learned together by visiting museums, science centers, and other educational exhibits.

When I plan a vacation for our family, I try to do the same thing. We recently visited the Oregon Coast, with stops at the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the Undersea Gardens. We had a blast, and learned a few things, too.

Here are some educational travel ideas to keep in mind when planning your family vacation.


Once you have decided your vacation destination, be sure to go online and find out what area attractions are available. Visiting a museum together can be a fun way to spend an afternoon, and a good activity if you have less than ideal weather

Science museums: Most major cities (and some not-so-major ones) in the United States and around the world have a science center or science museum. Most science museums have a hands-on exhibit where kids can touch and experience science for themselves. If you’re considering the Pacific Northwest for your vacation, then the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) in Portland have great kids’ exhibits.

Museums of Natural History aren’t technically science museums, but these are the places to find dinosaur exhibits, planetariums, and other exhibits about the history of the planet.

Historical museums: Historical museums are everywhere – our little rural town in Northeastern Washington even has its own historical museum. Use the web to search for historical museums in the area you are planning to visit. If you’re vacationing in the States, this can be a great way to share some of our country’s history with your kids.

Living history museums: Living history museums take learning about history to the next level; walking through one is like going back in time. You can see what daily life was like in different historical eras, including industry, home life, clothing, and entertainment.

Art museums: Visiting an art museum may be a little harder to sell to your family than a cool science center or hands-on kids’ museum, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. If you do your work ahead of time, you can prepare your family to have a great time in an art museum. Most major museums have web sites where you can download a kids’ guide and even scavenger hunt games to play while you’re experiencing the works of art.

Zoos and aquariums

A trip to the zoo or the aquarium won’t feel like an educational experience to your kids; they’ll just think it’s fun. You don’t have to tell them that they’ll be learning some amazing facts about the world of animals, animal habitats, and the ocean along the way. If you’re going to a major zoo or aquarium, be sure to budget enough time to see everything. You won’t want to just fit the visit in between other activities; plan to dedicate a day to your animal explorations.

Historical locales

If you want to truly plan an educational trip, then plan your location for the maximum amount of educational experiences. In the United States, the New England states are filled with historical battlefields, living history museums, and famous buildings.

Washington, DC: Our nation’s capital is the ultimate travel destination, and is filled with educational travel ideas. Visit the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the White House, the Washington Monument, and the ultimate in historical museums, the Smithsonian Institute.

Colonial Williamsburg: Your family will learn about the history of Colonial America when you visit Williamsburg, Virginia. The Colonial Williamsburg center is full of museums, hundreds of acres of living history, and a ton of activities you and your kids can take part in. Dress up in colonial garb, march with a fife and drum corps, visit a revolutionary town, and even join the militia and get ready to defend your country. A short bus ride can take you to the historical museum of either Jamestown or Yorktown. In the evening, take in an 18th century play, a musical concert, or a re-enactment of a witch trial.

As you can see, it is easy to combine having fun and learning while on a family vacation. Chances are, your kids will have so much fun, they won’t even know they’re learning.

1 Response to "Educational travel ideas"

1 | miguel

August 12th, 2014 at 2:24 pm


poplar@lonesome.nashville” rel=”nofollow”>.…

thank you!…

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