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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

A Guide to Educational Vacations

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I love to travel. I always have. Experiencing new and exotic places has always been a passion of mine. I’ve dreamed of backpacking through Europe, seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska, and learning Mandarin. I don’t know what it is about different cultures, landscapes, and climates that excites me. I try hard to pass this love of travel onto my daughters. Due to my husband’s work schedule, and finances, we don’t get to travel as often or as far as I would like. But, we do vacation a few times a year. It’s usually one big trip and a few smaller, long weekends. I make sure that wherever we go and whatever we do, that it’s educational and enriching in one form or another.

Here are some of my favorite places to vacation with my family that help expose my girls to different things.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Because we live so close to NYC, a day trip to New York isn’t really a stretch. Sometimes we’ll choose to spend the night and visit different areas of the state. My girls have been to Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and the Bronx Zoo. But one of our favorite places to go has always been the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Museums are a family favorite, anyway. There’s often a ton of interactive exhibits, tours, hands-on activities, and awesome, educational souvenirs. And a lot of museums offer cafeterias inside or local lunch spots nearby. But the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is truly special. It’s one of the first museums opened specifically for children. Though the museum has thousands of neat things to look at like shark’s teeth, puppets, and minerals, it’s the cultural aspect of the museum that I love most.

My girls love the celebration for the Chinese New Year, learning about the Russian ballet, and making pizzas! My favorite has always been the Caribbean Carnival costumes, where my husband enjoys the Day of the Dead exhibit. My girls get to learn about different holidays and ways of life across the globe, all in one place!

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

I’m a big history buff, so Williamsburg Virginia is near and dear to my heart. And when it comes to museums, Colonial Williamsburg is actually the world’s largest living museum. I love nothing more than costumed characters who are playing the part of those people who lived so long ago. Everyone at Williamsburg always stays completely in character and are incredibly willing to answer any and all questions my girls have. My husband gets a kick out of trying to break them of their characters, but it never works!

Here, you and your family can see what it was truly like to live in 18th century Virginia, during the time when the colonies were formed. My daughters haven’t learned too much about this yet, but they are still, equally as mystified by it all. The costumes, the horses, the exhibits, and the old-world feel are truly amazing. There are events and different activities planned in Williamsburg as well, and if you’re looking to do something a little more active, Busch Gardens is near by!

Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts

Massachusetts is another area that I hold dear to my heart. I love Boston and Cambridge. From the first time I visited Boston in middle school, I fell in love with it’s quaint atmosphere, gorgeous parks, buildings, and people. I enjoy visiting Salem as well, but I reserve that trip for just me and my husband.

Plimoth Plantation is a great place to visit with your family. What makes this historical location so great for young kids, is that most have some experience or knowledge of Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower, and Christopher Columbus. There’s even a replica of the Mayflower that your children can explore. This plantation shows how the pilgrims and native Americans once lived. It’s similar to Williamsburg, in that respect. I’ve been told that if you visit Plimoth Plantation during Thanksgiving, that you can actually participate in a Thanksgiving feast! We haven’t had the opportunity to do this, but it is on my bucket list.


I love the City of Brotherly love. It’s actually where my husband grew up. The history of this city is rich beyond compare! From the Liberty Bell to Carpenter’s Hall, your children will lay eyes on buildings that hosted some of the greatest achievements in American history. The city offers walking tours with narration and an amazing Visitor Center where you can gather information about all amazing sites to see and things to do.

If your family is anything like mine, you watch a lot of movies. Though my girls don’t quite understand the Rocky movies, they do know the song and have seen clips of Sly Stallone mounting those infamous stairs on more than one occasion. So, when my daughters actually got to run up those stairs themselves in Philly and reenact the Rocky pose, they thought it was pretty great. And I did too! The Philadelphia Zoo is also breathtaking and worth a visit.

There’s Still Time for My Adventures

Though these getaways may not be the tour of France I’ve always imagined, there will be time for my dream vacations too. When my daughters are grown and my husband and I are retired, I look forward to experiencing all of the adventures of my dreams. And in the meantime, I will make the most of every getaway that we take and guarantee my daughter’s memories that last a lifetime.

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