Nat’l Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame, Saratoga Springs NY
Day 2 in my weeklong posts on Saratoga Springs, New York.
As a child, I spent fourteen years in ballet and tap classes. I even considered going to Skidmore College because I was so passionate about wanting to dance, but ultimately decided to follow a different career path to teaching. However, my love for dance has never ceased. So when I was planning a family trip to Saratoga Raceway and saw that the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame was five minutes away from the track, I knew we needed to make a stop. After spending the morning at Saratoga National Historic Site (read about my tips here) it was a quick 15 minute drive into town to the museum.
The museum and Hall of Fame are located inside the Saratoga Spa State Park, which is home to performing arts centers, museums, pools, a golf course, and a resort and spa. From the outside, I must admit I thought the museum looked a little dated. However, once inside, I noticed that is beautifully maintained and full of really fun, unique exhibits. It’s definitely worth a stop for a couple of hours before you head to the race track. Bonus: Admission is free on Tuesday, when we visited. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday.
Saratoga National Historic Site, Stillwater NY
This post begins a week long series about my family’s trip to Saratoga Springs, New York.
Most people probably recognize Saratoga Springs as the center of the horse racing world. Indeed, the horses take to the track every July, August, and September. Checking out the races was the catalyst for planning a recent trip to the area, but while researching, I quickly discovered there is a lot more to do than just go to the race track; so much to do that we couldn’t cover it all in one trip. Each day, I’ll share some personal highlights from our adventures.
Whenever I plan a trip, one of my first points of research is to check my National Parks map to see if any spots are located on our route. Sure enough, driving to Saratoga Racetrack we passed Saratoga National Historic Park, with five different stops. It was a rainy, dreary morning so we could not take full advantage of the park, but we still learned a lot about the Revolutionary War:
EcoTarium, Worchester, MA
During a recent trip to visit my dear friend, Sandy, and her family in Natick, Massachusetts, we spied rain in the forecast. Sandy found a great spot for us to meet in nearby Worchester, Massachusetts (more on family fun in Worchester coming soon!): EcoTarium.
EcoTarium participates in the Association of Children’s Museums and the Association of Science-Technology Centers reciprocity programs. This means that my friend’s membership to her local science center (or I could have used my membership to our local children’s museum) allowed her to bring us as guests- for free. This is a wonderful program that my family has taken advantage of dozens of times. Look for an upcoming post about all the benefits.
Part science center, part zoo, part outdoor classroom,EcoTarium also has a planetarium, outdoor train ride, plenty of hands on exhibits, and is tons of fun for toddlers, children, and adults alike! Here are our favorite parts:
Boone Plantation, South Carolina
The South is known for numerous plantations: large estates with farms producing a wide variety of crops. One of the most popular and still functioning plantations is the Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant in South Carolina. Located just 20 minutes outside of historic Charleston, Boone Hall was founded in 1681 on the banks of the Wampacheone Creek by English Major John Boone. For centuries the plantation was known for growing and selling cotton and pecans. Now, the Boone Hall Farms Market also sells various fruits, vegetables, seafood (from the local docks), prepared foods, and gifts. Film buffs will recognize the estate from the film “The Notebook.”
The plantation offers a wide variety of ways to explore the site and learn from history. All tours are included with the admission fee. I first wrote about Boone Plantation for Kidventurous, but wanted to share some of my favorite parts of our visit and a few nearby bonus stops: (updated for summer 2017)
I’m lucky enough to have first cousins all over the country. We’ve been trying to get everyone together every few years and this past month, we reconvened in York, Maine for “CousinFest”. The oceanside community did not disappoint. The people were so friendly and welcoming, and I have never met a more pedestrian friendly place in all of my travels. York, Maine consists of four distinct areas: York Village, rich in history; York Harbor, with lots of cottages looking out at Long Sands Beach; York Beach, with many tourist attractions; and Cape Neddick, mostly residential, ocean front properties. Here’s a list of some things we all enjoyed in York:
Presidential Libraries & Museums
Don’t let the word “library” misguide you. While there are thousands of papers and personal records of the presidents to read, and spaces for scholarly research, there are just as many opportunities to explore, touch, see, listen, and learn about American history at the 13 presidential libraries located throughout the country. (President Obama’s Chicago library and museum is currently under construction.)
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to establish a presidential library, followed by each succeeding president, as well as predecessor Herbert Hoover. The National Archives and Records Administration oversee the 13 presidential libraries. I first wrote about presidential libraries for Kidventurous in 2014, but have since visited more libraries and museums and learned lots of new things! At your first stop, be sure to pick up the passport for all 13 libraries so you can collect the stamps.