I love working with Social Moms, because they always have fun topics to write about. And, of course, since I personally love to travel, Alamo is one of my favorite sponsors! This week they are asking us to share 5 summer getaways that we think are must-haves for children to see or experience. So, here are my top 5 votes:
1. Arches National Park in Moab, UT. I visited this national park a couple years ago, and quite honestly I was not prepared for the amazing, breath-taking sights! The tour starts (and ends) at the visitors center and gift shop, so you have to be sure to pick up a souvenir from the trip. Most of the tour is drive-thru, although there are many places to pull off and walk for a closer look. I could not believe the amazing natural arches, valleys, and rock structures. We literally spent all day in the park, and still didn't see it all! With over 2,000 sandstone arches, this is definitely a place every kid should visit!
2. The Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH. Our family has a 5-year pass to this museum, and it is well worth the fee! As one of the few Bible-based museums in America, I also feel like it is the BEST! State of the art displays, this museum truly brings the Bible to life. Adam and Eve, Noah building the ark, the Garden of Eden...all of these familiar Bible stories are displayed here. And the planetarium is fabulous! I have visited several other planetariums (a pretty big one in Chicago, among others) and quite honestly, the Creation Museum's planetarium easily surpasses the quality and beauty of any others I've been to.
3. Knoebel's, a family-friendly amusement park near Elysburg, PA. I've been to many other amusement and theme parks (Disney, Carowinds, etc) and while they may be a little bigger, to me Knoebel's is the perfect family park. The prices are very reasonable, and queue lines are pretty much nonexistent! Of course, the roller coasters are our family favorites, as well as the Tilt-a-Whirl and the flume ride. For several years we made visiting Knoebel's an annual event with some friends, and while we don't get to visit as often anymore, it is still a must-visit place!
4. The Alamo. (You knew I couldn't mention places to visit without at least one in Texas, right?!) Our family visited the Alamo not too long ago, and honestly some of us had mixed feelings. There was an air of commercialism around the place, and being situated right in downtown San Antonio, it doesn't have the backdrop you would expect. However, I loved it. Being a history buff might add to my enjoyment, but I really think it is an important place for every child to visit. When you watch the videos, read the signs and informational blurbs along the tour...you realize just how courageous these men and women were who fought and died at the Alamo in 1836.
5. The Texas Rangers Museum. Not the baseball team, the law enforcement. I have to admit, I have always been fascinated with law enforcement, good-guys-beat-the-bad-guys, mysteries, etc. I grew up reading every Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden I could get my hands on! And, I still love a good book about the good guys vs. the bad guys. So, after reading a lot about the Texas Rangers, I was absolutely thrilled to actually visit the Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco Texas! The museum takes you through the history of the Rangers, and highlights important events, etc. For example, it was a retired Texas Ranger who finally tracked down Bonnie and Clyde. There is a 40-minute video to watch that does an excellent job of presenting the historical information in a way that even young children find attention-getting. Even the 10 year old sat through the entire video!
So, these are my top 5 must-visit places. Please share your family favorite getaways...I'm always looking for new excuses to travel! :)
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here