With so many historic homes, museums, monuments and galleries, it’s easy to sneak in a little culture during summer vacation. Notice I said a little culture, meaning within your child’s attention span. Consider doing a little set up.
Research stops along a drive or near your summer getaway.
Provide a scavenger hunt or a short list of “must see” items.
Have your child become the photographer for the stop. Encourage candid photos that will stimulate remembrance of the event(s).
Invite your child to keep a journal about “The Best Things I Learned This Summer”
Consider these ideas:
(1) Outdoor: public art, monuments, forest walks, board walks, beach ranger programs, historic footsteps to follow (like in Boston), scenic roadway pull-offs, local races and parades, county fairs, free music in the park. When possible ask your child to be the listener and share interesting audio tour comments with the rest of the family.
(2) Indoor: community theatre, kids plays, art studios that offer free or inexpensive experimentation for kids, photo shops where you may dress up as someone from a different era, small town museums, famous stores (food or merchandise), old style general stores…the list goes on and on.
Don’t forget those crazy yet interesting stops at the world’s largest ball of string, roadside market stands where you’ll meet local artists and farmers, summer street fairs, tractor pulls
Most kids will stick with you, if you “prime the pump” and give them something to watch for or a sign to read to the family. But, you know their limits anyway by the look on their faces or the way they pull you on to the next exhibit.
Please, send me any unusual ideas that I may share with others. Summer vacation is a wonderful family together time. Add a few bits of culture to the memories the family will take back home.