Craig Carmoney works as a school Superintendent and enjoys taking educational trips with his family. In the following article, Craig Carmoney shares a few ideas on how to make your next vacation one that can incorporate a love of learning, as well as enlightening entertainment.
Vacations that are fun, relaxing, and informative don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Craig Carmoney, Superintendent says that an increasing number of families are opting to at the very least integrate a few educational opportunities into the good old-fashioned family trip. Educational vacations open up new worlds for children, encourage natural curiosity, or support burgeoning interests.
And they also happen to be very fun. Thinking of making the family’s next vacation one that’s also educational? Here are just a few of the most popular options around the world.
New York City
Craig Carmoney says that visiting New York City hits so many educational marks at the same time. There’s Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, where the country’s history of immigration comes alive.
There’s the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, an immersive experience of the most important event in modern history. Have children into American history, art, animals, and space? There are multiple museums and zoos to fit any interest.
Civil Rights History in Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson’s streets are filled with the history of the Civil Rights Movement, an important reminder of the indignities of segregation and the power of fighting back explains Craig Carmoney, Superintendent.
There’s a certain spirit of perseverance and acceptance that is still strong today, especially at places such as the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the International Museum of Muslim Cultures, and the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center.
Much more can be found along the Mississippi Freedom Trail and the eye-opening Civil Rights Driving Tour.
The Eternal City is packed with history at every turn: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Forum. That barely scratches the surface of a city that offers endless educational opportunities while still enjoying the modern culture of a major European center.
If there’s time, a visit to Pompeii to see the beyond-intriguing archaeological site of a Roman outpost frozen in time. is more than worth it.
The American capital is where a life-size African elephant, the Wright Brothers’ sky-breaking flier, and 10,000 years of American Indian history are mere steps from each other.
The Smithsonian Institution’s numerous museums are a good place to start, but D.C. is also a perfect place to learn about how the government functions and how bills become laws, as well as uncover the complexity of democracy.
There’s also a steady schedule of events geared toward children, such as sleepovers at museums and cultural festivals explains Craig Carmoney, Superintendent.
Portugal’s capital was once the world’s capital of discovery, with native explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan driving the pivotal Age of Discovery.
Today, Lisbon is an unforgettable cultural experience, from the Jeronimos monastery, a world heritage site to the ancient neighborhood of Alfama.
Craig Carmoney says that if there’s a dinosaur lover in the family (and what family doesn’t have at least one?), the Great Plans Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana, doesn’t just offer fossils behind glass.
Families can actually become paleontologists, joining the professionals as they excavate bones, uncover footprints, and get a close-up look and understanding of geological features that provided the backdrop for the age of dinosaurs.
The Missouri River, North Dakota
The home of several American Indian tribes — Hidatsa, Arikara, and Mandan nations — the Missouri River area in North Dakota opens up a part of American history often overlooked in the classroom.
Among the options: touring the earth lodges of the Mandan at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, visiting Washburn’s Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and exploring the earth lodges and river trails at the Knife River Indian Villages near Stanton.
In addition to being one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Stockholm has an array of fantastic museums to fill the days with exploration. One not to miss is the Vasa Museum, home to an astounding preserved 1600s Swedish galleon that sank centuries ago.
Canal cruises also offer offbeat historical tours of all of Stockholm’s regal nooks and crannies.
The world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium is an unparalleled and engaging look at over 80,000 sea animals and plant life. Children will enjoy the numerous interactive exhibits, including an experience using underwater cameras to explore wetlands and tidal pools.
Craig Carmoney, Superintendent says that while in Monterey, check out the nearby Point Lobos Slate Natural Reserve for more tidal pools and marine life watching, including resident sea otters and seals.