Four National Historic Parks in 7 Days!!


Four National Historic Parks in 7 days! When all these wonderful things are close by (1.5 hours between all) you just have to take advantage of it. And I’m so thankful we did.

If you had told me a few months ago (or maybe even a few weeks ago) that we would do this and that the kids would all enjoy this, I wouldn’t be so sure. And then there are Junior Ranger Programs. They are so informative and obviously tailored to kids and yet when we started this trip and did a few I could see my kids almost rolling their eyes… thinking we have to do ‘school’. Knowing we had 4 parks to visit in such a short time, I thought I’d ask them to do just a couple Junior Ranger Program books and be happy with that. Well, the kids did the first one and the next day we went on to Gettysburg. In the visitor center, I asked the ranger a few questions, got a map and turned around. Noah stopped me. “Mom, you forgot the Junior Ranger Program books!” By the third park, Makeda went up to the ranger and asked for the Junior Ranger Program books and by the fourth park, Micah and Makeda fought over who should get to ask since Makeda asked last time. Proud mom / homeschooling moment!

So which 4 did we visit?

Valley Forge National Park – American Revolutionary War encampment site, Washington’s headquarters for a winter (1777-1778)

Gettysburg National Military Park – American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg 1863

*Fort McHenry National Monument – Battle of Fort McHenry – War of 1812 where Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner – this was a special one for us to visit. For the last year plus if anyone asked Jonah what he was most excited about seeing on the road trip, it would always be, “The Battle of Fort McHenry”. Somewhere in 1st-2nd grade at school he learned about this and has been excited that we could actually visit this place. It was a highlight and it was fun watching him take it all in and talk about it being so special to be here!

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park – 1859 Abolitionist John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry – a quick trolley ride from the park to the quaint, historic town. Each building had so much to share and experience about the history. We worked hard to get here early knowing the rain was coming, but still didn’t get here as early as we hoped. Within minutes of the weatherman’s prediction the rains came. Thankful we got a couple hours but would have loved more.

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