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SUMMER SOLUTION - Road trip to the museum!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 17th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Today's summer solution is to take an educational road trip! A road trip, or day trip is an activity that can be customized to fit your family size, time, budget, and educational preferences. The goal with this activity is to spend a fun day of learning away from home. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Every community has locations within driving distance, and sometimes within walking distance, that are of historical, religious, or cultural significance.

Choose one destination, or several that fit naturally together. Perhaps you can make a circuit of your hometown for a day of local history, or perhaps you want to drive a bit and spend the day at a larger museum or other destination. Whatever you do, keep these tips in mind. 

Free is nice. Many attractions are free. In some large cities, museums have free days where they do not charge admission. These are normally on weekdays. Public and state parks are usually free or at most charge a few dollars. 

In addition to admission, consider the cost of travel and the invariable need for a meal or refreshments along the way. If you want to save costs on meals, consider packing a lunch or stopping someplace along the way that is inexpensive. While many destinations have concessions or even full-fledged cafeterias, they can be expensive. Some locations also restrict bringing food and beverages inside. Call or check websites before travelling - it pays to plan ahead!

The tour is usually worth the money. Many places work hard to produce full experiences for visitors that are worth the time and expense you will be asked to pay. Many places offer self-guided tours as well. Take the time for the tour. An experienced tour guide can provide a lot of interesting detail to what you are experiencing. Also, take time to read signage on displays. Reading the placards will help you to understand and appreciate what you're seeing. 

Buy a souvenir. Gift shops are staples for tourist attractions. By purchasing an item from one you not only help the attraction stay open, but you also give your child something to remember the occasion. Many gift shops offer not only toys, apparel, and stuffed animals, but also books, educational games and kits, prints and posters. Any one of these items may help to inspire the love of a new subject. 

Take photos. Pictures are a nice way to remember an occasion. Additionally, kids can construct their own virtual tours with photos. By photographing exhibits and other interesting items, kids can come back repeatedly without the need to leave home. 

Create a journal. Kids can create a journal of their experience. Younger children can simply draw pictures while older children can take notes on what they learned and even write down their impressions of each experience. This reinforces learning as well as writing skills and helps kids to grow in appreciation for what's around them. 

Organize a group trip. Working with other parents from your neighborhood or parish, it may prove worthwhile to organize a trip as a group. Kids will enjoy spending the day with their friends, as will you. 

Now start planning and get your walking shoes on, you've got a road trip to take!

 

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