These places are magical to visit for people of any age, but specifically chosen to be fun AND educational.  Shh, don’t tell the kids!

1.)    Grand Canyon (Arizona)

  • Stroll the skywalk during the day; hitch a donkey ride at sunset!

2.)    The National Mall (Washington D.C.)

  • Take the DC duck tour, it takes you to the Mall and then switches to sea for a scenic river trip.

3.)    Redwood National Park (California)

  • Look up at the glorious Sequoia’s, and don’t miss the tide pool tours during the summertime.

4.)    Ellis Island (New York)

  • Tell the kids that this is where our ancestors came through (if that applies of course), search for their names in the records!  Also check out the new Peopling of America Center, a new interactive museum. 

5.)    Niagara Falls (New York)

  • Be made into a rubber ducky; take the Cave of the Winds tour.  It takes you to the Hurricane Deck, where you are sprayed with water at a rate of 68 mph!  Don’t worry, ponchos are provided!

6.)    Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana & Idaho)

  • Stop by “Old Faithful,” and watch this geyser erupt on cue! Snag a Young Scientist Toolkit to measure rocks, and have a closer look with a magnifying glass.

7.)    Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia)

  • In a place where it’s the norm to play dress up, you will experience what life was like in the 1700’s.  The Great Hopes Plantation submerges you completely and lets you (LOL) fetch water from wells, hoe soil and pick bugs off crops.  This will have them pick up their toys in a jiffy!

8.)    Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho)

  • Known as the only “officially weird park” in the country, it has a jagged black landscape formed by a volcanic eruption 15,000 years ago.  There is a lava field (619 sq miles!), and the rocky surface is so real the astronauts trained here in 1969. Don’t miss the lava tubes also, underground passageways!

9.)    Independence Hall (Pennsylvania)

  • Stop by Independence Hall and see where the Constitution was adopted, Powell House and even John Adam’s former watering hole the 238 year old City Tavern!  You can take a guided night tour to see the “haunted” graveyards with actual tales of ghost sightings!

10.) Alcatraz Island (California)

  • Known as the home of Al Capone among others, take the tour which lets the little ones get behind the bars in a cell!  The audio tour has memories of former prisoners who did their time at “The Rock.”  There is a night tour also….take that if you dare!

*Courtesy of Budget Travel

-Jessica Brown

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