Exploring the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, NH

While visiting the New Hampshire state capitol of Concord recently, we enjoyed a tour of the New Hampshire Historical Society, which celebrates the rich history of the Granite State. Celebrating its 200th birthday in 2023, the New Hampshire Historical Society was a gift of Edward Tuck, son of a wealthy businessman who founded the Dartmouth Business School, to the state of New Hampshire. Tuck gave most of his lifetime of fortune back to various charities in New Hampshire and ultimately wanted to build (what he called) a “temple” to the Granite State near the State House. Finished in 1911, the building takes up an entire city block and is diagonal to the State House in downtown Concord. Over the past century, several renovations have been made to the building to make it more energy efficient and accessible for all visitors.  The building was built in a Greek revival style, including the ceiling and walls of the rotunda, which are made of Siena marble from a quarry in Italy that was owned by the monks of the Old Convent and shipped to America. The floors and staircase are made of Hauteville marble from France. Make sure to stand in the middle of the atrium and look up at the Oculus and have children complete our “I Spy” game while touring the exhibits.

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10 Things to Do with Kids in Sioux Falls, SD

Our recent visit to Sioux Falls, the largest city (population wise) in South Dakota, was suppose to be a quick overnight, with dinner by the famous falls. But the more we researched, the list of places we “had” to visit grew longer and the more we crowdsourced, the list of places where we “needed” to dine for a meal or special treat grew larger. We ended up spending almost three full days of fun in the southeastern part of South Dakota and having so much fun!

We loved Sioux Falls for all the public parks, green spaces, and walking and biking trails; the rich history and preserved historic homes and buildings open to the public; the daily calendar of events tailored to families at the zoo and science center and butterfly garden and aquarium; and the kind, friendly people who ALWAYS stopped to let the pedestrian tourists cross the street (such a pedestrian friendly city- motorists actually do stop!) and who always had a tip about getting around road work, a recommendation for the best ice cream flavor, and a personal story of hometown pride.

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10 Family Friendly Things to Do in Fredericksburg, VA

Located an hour south of Washington DC and an hour north of the state capitol Richmond, Fredericksburg began as a tobacco seaport until the Civil War, when, in December of 1862, the area became synonymous with a battle that took the lives of 12, 000 thousands soldiers. Today, visitors come for an education in Revolutionary War and Civil War history and a chance to explore the numerous museums and historical sites. 

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Kykuit in Sleepy Hollow, New York

Kykuit is a Dutch word meaning “lookout.” John D. Rockefeller appropriately used it as the namesake for the 1908 mansion he built 500 feet above sea level on the banks of the Hudson River. “JDR” Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and widely considered one of the richest men in history, originally purchased 400 acres at the start of the twentieth century.

Kykuit was home to four generations of Rockefellers until JDR’s grandson Nelson, upon his death in 1979, left Kykuit to the National Trust for Historic Preservation instead of his own children. Now, the Historic Hudson Valley nonprofit coordinates public tours and the house remains as it was in 1979. We’ve been members of the HHV for a couple of years and enjoy exploring their properties and program. One of our most favorite fall traditions is the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. You can read about our adventures at the Blaze here.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017

This might seem odd: a family travel blogger posting a holiday gift guide? Absolutely!  I have been offering advice and my personal experiences to so many people recently, I thought I would share with everyone.

I am a huge proponent of giving experiences for the holidays instead of material possessions.  

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