How to Make Your Holiday Vacation Plans Educational and Exciting

  • Visit Historical Landmarks Along the Way While on Road Trips to Visit Family Members

If you are driving rather than flying, take a little extra time along the way for some stops at historical landmarks along your route. You can even plan your route to include some of these important stops. They could also be iconic landmarks like the St. Louis arch or Mount Rushmore. If you don’t have much interest in landmarks or history, try out 23andMe to see if maybe you have any unknown family living near that you could meet for the first time. Whatever you can do while driving cross country will bring at least a little excitement to the trip

  • Learn the History of Small Towns Your Older Family Members Live In

Unlike many of today’s generation, a lot of the older members of families still live in small, rustic farming or industrial communities that have since experienced a decrease in population and economy. However, at one time, those small towns were the heartbeat of the entire country. Take a little time before you leave to research what it was like 100 years ago. Once you arrive, walk around the town with your older family members, and ask if they have any interesting stories to tell you from their memories spending their lives there.

Museums can sometimes be really interesting or sometimes incredibly boring. Do a little background info on what kinds of museums there are and what interests you most. Don’t always focus on big museums, sometimes the most interesting are also the most abstract or unusual.

  • Galleries

If you are into art, there is never a gallery too far away to stop. You might even be lucky enough to be passing by Taos, New Mexico or somewhere similar that has a specific style of art. Different regions have different styles, so see what you can find out there!

  • Zoos

Not all cities have good zoos, but if you find yourself somewhere like San Diego or Denver for the holidays, the zoo is something special to see. In Denver, they have a special event for the holidays called “Denver Zoo Lights”. They decorate the entire park with animal themed lights and decorations and open to the public at night. It can be cold, so if you plan to do this, dress accordingly.

  • Aquariums

Similar to zoos, a good aquarium is hard to come by. However, if you find yourself in the right city, it might just be worth a stop. Also, unlike zoos, aquariums aren’t dependent on the weather so you could even go when it’s snowing.

When you visit somewhere new for the first time, it could be worth it to pay for a guided historical tour. Some bigger cities have a “hop-on, hop-off” tour system where you buy a day ticket, and can get on and off at any of numerous stops. This is a great way to see a lot, in only a short time.

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