Took a walk down the Rail Trail by New Freedom PA. This is the route that Abraham Lincoln took to Gettysburg.
The boys enjoyed their new scooters they got for Christmas. Keanu kept hitting his ankle on the side so he got to get a ride from his pops and brother.
Kona dog was not doing very well on his leash when we first started. Ugh! Totally my fault for not keeping up with his training! But by the time we were heading back I was able to get him into a down and let go of the leas, although he was on high alert and not relaxed! Lots of work to be done with him!
On the way back to my parents, we stoped at the grocery store and my dad and Kai went in for a few items. Kona figured out Kai left the seat warmer on so he curled up and took a nap! He did not let Kai have the seat when came back either! Lol
I love Zoos and Aquariums but Natural History Museums don’t really excite me, or my kids. But they are valuable and a great road schooling tool! So we go… BUT…
The North Museum of Nature and Science is actually a fantastic place!
We were all pleasantly surprised! They had so many hands on actives, wide open space, but still small that you can let your kids explore on their own in the area. They were actually so excited that they were running back and forth saying “Come Here! Come Here! You have to see this!” Pulling each other across the room and to new things they found.
The new exhibit ( we were the first ones to get to use it) was the coding area. I went to the front and checked out the iPads and robot ball. There are 2 programs to choose from. One is easier for younger kids to use, but for non readers there are task you need to read to them so they know what to do. The task are to teach them how to control the robot. The other program is the actual programing one. My older son enjoyed it! He was able to change lights, add spoken words and music, tell it how to move and how long. The options are endless! I would totally buy one of those for the kids to play with, I did make the suggestion to have them available in the gift store, if they weren’t to expensive! But off to amazon to search! Luckily I found this one, which looks even cooler!
Hey Mom look! Quick take my photo…..
Wind!… Mom you try!…
OMG! I didn’t realize it was that strong! lol There was a toddler there and I totally made him laugh!
The bottom level was the area I though my kids would spend 2 seconds in but instead they LOVED it! My boys have always loved rocks and man do they have a cool collection! I was even saying “oh cool look at this guys! I love this one!” Ha who knew rocks could be so fascinating! The animal collection was also a big hit, especially the birds as my mom has been sharing her love of birds with the boys while we are visiting them in PA. They picked out many of the birds they have seen in the yard! how cool!
If you are in York county PA this little gem is worth the stop! They also had a toddler area, craft section, live animals you could touch and a 3rd floor gallery walk.
The museum is a Participant of the ASTC Passport Program.
What a great day to check out Gettysburg National Park with my dad who is a Civil War buff. The boys earned their Jr Ranger badges, and the highest badge since I miss understood the directions 🤣🤣
I had them do 6 actives which was a lot and had me questioning why this was so hard! But these books are based on a point system which I had not encountered before so they did way, way more then needed! 🤷🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️
At least they learned a lot!
We drove around to the different sights in Gettysburg. The history of the area is so fascinating and the views are spectacular!
We had an amazing opportunity to get a behind the scenes private tour from the XO of the USS Constitution!
How amazing is that!?
A huge THANK YOU to our friend Manny for pulling some strings!
The CO had one of the sailors who was up for her qualification as an Historian 2 accompanied us.
What an amazing opportunity to be apart of her qualification!
We learned so much more then I had imagined! And she passed! 🙌🏼
We were able to see inside some areas that are usually off limits like the gun powder storage area! We had to climb down a hatch in the floor and the space was tiny!
Before we did the tour we visited the Museum first. This was a great way to introduce the boys to the ships history and I think it helped them connect what our guide was talking about because they saw some of those things in the museum! Plus they had more questions to ask too!
I highly recommend making this a top priority visit if you are in the Boston area! The Naval sailors are so proud of their ship and eager to share the history with visitors, it truly is a unique experience!
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is located in downtown New Bedford with in 13 block area. It’s a cute town of historic buildings with ocean themed knick knack stores & art galleries tucked next to restaurants along cobblestone streets.
We started at the national park visitor center after finding street parking. Just FYI you have to download the MobileNOW! Parking app on your phone to pay if your short on change. No credit cards are accepted in the machine.
We stopped at the desk for the Jr Ranger Booklets. We walked around and read the displays on the wall but I’ll save you some time time- just go watch the 20-minute orientation movie! It’s a great little movie and the boys enjoyed it more than me reading to them!
They learned all about whaling. Why people hunted whales and how they were used (products produced) How colonist learned how to whale, where the whales were located, what the economic impact was and ultimately the environmental impact. Also, the roll it had in slave freedom and diversity acceptance in New England.
There is a small hands on area for kids. My youngest loved the city area he could move the wooden house around on. He learned about the different buildings that were used by the docks and in the town of New Bedford.
We walked around the streets looking for things on our scavenger hunt activity which was fun!
Once they finished the booklets the boys turned them into the Ranger & answered a few questions before getting sworn in!
People think I’m crazy for travel alone with my kids or driving a 35ft RV. Which I actually might be! Ha! But I would be even crazier to let fear hold me back or rob my kids of something amazing.
I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been 100% easy or fun but you have to pull your big girl panties up so you can have these experiences.
I had been to Boston at least 3 times as a kid for field trips but I had never actually been inside any of the buildings along the Freedom Trail.
Seriously! How sad is that!? So much History!
The boys walked a lot today and learned a ton to earn their Jr. Ranger badges. Keanu even said “Mom I’m literally going to DIE if I walk another step!” But every step was worth it and a ring pop had him skipping down the sidewalk so he obviously didn’t die!!
We did find the farmers market at Haymarket Square, which was amazing! I snagged strawberries and blackberries $1 for each container! And the boys each got a pear to snack on while we walked back.
I can’t tell you how awesome the Jr Ranger program is, you just have to grab a book and see how much you can learn. It’s not easy & they don’t hand those badges out like candy!
The highlight for Kai was getting to be an apprentice to the printer at Faneuil Hall! He even got to keep what he printed. How awesome is that!
Have you visited a National Park or done a Jr Ranger Book?
Why is it when you go to the aquarium you want to eat seafood?
One thing I learned as a Masshole that left the state, trying to eat lobster anywhere south or west is an epic waste of money! 🤑
I was not planning on hitting up the New England Aquarium because we have done it before when visiting but the boys requested. I’m so glad I said yes!
Normally I like to get to places when they open but our day consisted of getting a rental car, grocery shopping and cleaning the RV. We arrived to the aquarium about 3pm and the crowds we’re heading out, the sea life were so active and it was feeding time!
We were memorized by the huge Octopus 🐙 moving around the tank. Man he put on a show!
The huge Honu was amazing along with the biggest puffer fish I’ve ever seen!
We learned so much too! I love how they have so many people on the floor ready to chat and fill you up with knowledge!
Did you know Lobsters color is based on their diet? So if they are picky eaters in the wild you will find blue or white lobsters. At the aquarium they can alter their diet which helps them look for lobster shell disease.
The Morey Eel, the beautiful bright green one, is actually brown but covered in a layer of mucus which gives it a green color! gross!
Exploring with kids who are 7 & 9 is so amazing! They ask questions and actually stop and look at the tanks instead of rushing forward!
Of course we had to find a gluten-free desert option after dinner! Modern Pastry was a short walk but man was it windy & cold!
Day 1 of Boston was a success!
Pro Tip: Parking in Boston can be very expensive! Get a parking app!
You can always take the T from an outer station that has parking but that can easily add up or eat up your day, and the energy levels of kids!
I chose to get a rental car. I lived in Boston many years ago when I was getting my AA and I nannied. So I’m comfortable driving in the city.
There are a few parking apps you can download on your phone and pre book a spot. Some are in big garages and some are in private offices that rent out parking.
Once you pay you will get a QR code to get entry & exit the garage. It will save you about $20 for all day parking!