What is Your Next Stop?: Happy Birthday Washington!

Hi Family, Friends, and Fans,

I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!

We have another holiday coming up quickly (and Train Wreck Mommy is quick to point out that she doesn't get that holiday off): George Washington's Birthday or better known as President's Day.  Wouldn't that be nice if your birthday was a national holiday?

I feel like I am looking Presidential here.  No?  Okay, minus the reindeer pjs, right?  And well, maybe my expression.  Okay, I need to work on my Presidential look.

So how are you enjoying President's Day Weekend with your family?

May I offer some quick tips for how you might want to enjoy President's Day with your family?  Think: President's and History.  You can consider visiting a place that is in someway connected to Presidents or at least the history of your city.

If you have an art museum near you that has art from North America, such as at the MFAH, this might be a great place to start.  You might even find President George Washington himself!

You can find this work of art at the National Portrait Gallery.  Do you want to learn more about this portrait?  Visit: George Washington: A National Treasure.  They even have a Kids section and Family Guide.  The White House website also has information about EACH President!

If an art museum isn't possible this week, consider visiting a historical place near you (if it relates to the Presidents, great!  If not, that's okay too).

In Houston you might consider visiting The Heritage Society in Downtown Houston on Saturday or Sunday.

Mission: The Heritage Society, a museum complex at Sam Houston Park, collects, preserves, exhibits, and celebrates the diverse history of the Houston region.

Nichols-Rice-Cherry House is shown above.  And there is plenty more to see at The Heritage Society! (including 3 Family Days a year!  They are also working on Family Programming for the Family Baker House.)  Visit their website.

So how can you visit a historic place with your family?  First, you should check their website to see what family activities are available ... now some more ideas:

Wee One Tip: Pick one important aspect about the historic place (for example: a person).  Talk and describe to your Wee One about everything this person did or might have done in the historic place.  "This is where so and so slept!  Doesn't he / she have a big bed?  Listen to the sound the floor makes when we walk towards the bed."  

You may look like a crazy person but really who cares.  You should see how ridiculous Max and I look at Target when we are shopping (especially when we sing Adele together).

Tot Tip: Depending on the Tot and setting, it may be difficult to take tots around a historic place (they may want to touch items, but they may not be allowed to).  Check to see if the place you are visiting has a hands-on exhibit!  If not, you may consider spending more time visiting the areas outside and around the historic place.  Talk and Find: How many objects can you find that are similar to objects you already know and use?  How are they different?  Make it a game.  Who can find more?

Kid Tip: Read (from their website is fine) some about the historic place together before you visit it.  What interests your child MOST?  Is it the person that was associated with the place?  Is it the time period?  Consider focusing on that aspect during your trip.  If this person was our friend, or if we lived during this time period - what would it be like??

Tween Tip: Tweens love music.  Ask or help your tween (ahead of time) to find some music that relates in anyway to patriotism NOW.  Listen to the music!  At your historic place, ask what type of music people listened to during this time period, or what type of music people made.  When you get home, find music that is similar.  Compare!

Teen Tip: Teens often love expressing all of their emotions through writing or texts.  Buy some postcards in the gift shop, and as a family, "pretend" to write postcards to the people that lived or were associated with this historic place.  You can even make it a friendly family competition with a prize.  Who can make it the most original?  ... Or try something similar, but with texts on your phone.  Who can write out a message to Mr. So and So that lived at this historic plantation.  Why would you say that to him?  Your teen might groan at first, but in the end, they will probably have fun (especially if a friendly competition and prizes are involved!).  And most likely if it is a clever text competition, they will beat you every time.

How are you celebrating President's Day Weekend?  If you need more tips or book ideas, please let me know.

-Mad Max

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