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.

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.

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Acadia National Park, Maine

I may not be a huge hiker or camper, but I am a huge fan of the water, especially the ocean water, and love any view that involves water or mountains. I’m also a HUGE fan of the National Parks Service system and have been visiting historic sites, monuments, museums, and parks for years, learning all about our country’s history and collecting stamps for my National Parks Passport. So, it seemed logical to put Acadia National Park in Maine on my bucket list. This summer, I helped to plan a family reunion in York, Maine (post coming next week) and I seized the location and added a visit to Acadia National Park.


Acadia National park is a 47,000 acre park (the only National Park located in New England) It’s located on Mount Desert Island, right next to the beautiful village of Bar Harbor. Acadia is unique in the sense that there is no one, defined entrance and exit site. There are multiple spots to enter and the park weaves in and out of the community. There are sections that require a park pass, which for 2017, was a $25 fee for a week pass for a noncommercial vehicle. Lucky for us, the Every Kid in a Park program allows fourth graders, and their families, to receive entrance to all National Parks all year long, so we got in for free! There is SO much to do in Acadia, it would take days to cover it all. Here are some of my family’s top spots:

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10 Items to Bring on a Road Trip

If you have not noticed by now, I like to be prepared. As much as possible. I often overplan. I’ve shared some tips for how to pack a suitcase and how to pack a car, but recently I read an article from Real Simple (Cash- Saving Hacks for Everyone Vacation, June 2017) ,one of my favorite magazines, that reminded me of some things I like to purchase ahead of time. Buying these items before I leave home helps me avoid running to a grocery store or pharmacy in the middle of an adventure, or late at night:

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Crown Center in Kansas City, MO

My favorite, major family trip (to date) was the first one we took in the summer of 2012. We logged 5700 miles in our trusty Chevy Equinox, driving from Connecticut to Phoenix, Arizona and back to Connecticut. On the back end of the trip, we spent a few days in Kansas City, Missouri. And we.loved.it. Love the people. Loved the food. Loved the family friendly places to explore. I blogged about our stay for Kidventurous here, but I thought I would revisit some of these suggestions and elaborate on them. Note: I did fact check as of June 2017.

Today I want to focus on the Crown Center & Union Station area of the city. My suggestion for parking is to go to Crown Center.  There are two parking garages; I would park in the one labeled “Seal Life and Lego Land” which is on the East side of Grand Avenue. You can park on all day and walk to some of our favorite spots:

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President Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural National Historic Site

On a recent trip to Toronto, my family made an unplanned stop in Buffalo, New York for the weekend. More on why we needed to stop in Buffalo and why we’re glad we did in an upcoming post. I always bring my Passport to the National Parks on road trips, and I quickly realized that the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site was close by, in the Allentown area of Buffalo.

Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest president in the history of United States, took office after President McKinley was assassinated at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. At the time, the house was owned by Ansley Wilcox, a prominent local lawyer, and his wife, friends of then vice president Roosevelt.  TR, as he was later referred to, rushed to Buffalo immediately upon hearing the news that McKinley had been shot, and returned to the home a few days later, when McKinley died, to be sworn in as the 26th president of the United States.

The one hour, partially guided tour, has many interactive components. See if your children can “I Spy” our favorite parts:

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