After a year of e-learning, quarantining, and enduring a pandemic, it’s safe to say that the kids are ready to get out and explore again. School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. “Schoolcations” are the latest trend in travel to pick up speed in 2021. A “schoolcation” is a trip with an educational component to it — think along the lines of a field trip meeting a family vacation. Here are several popular schoolcation ideas in the U.S. to get your children flexing their brain muscles outside of the classroom.
Indianapolis' Children's Museum is the biggest children's museum in the world. It hosts over a million visitors annually and the museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, including a simulated dinosaur habitat, a steam locomotive, a Barbie exhibit, miniature masterpieces, DC Superhero missions, and a Dale Chihuly glass firework tower. With five floors of exhibits, there is something for everyone of all ages. In 2018, the Children’s Museum launched the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Outdoor Experience, which features many different sports areas including basketball, hockey, football, tennis, and more.
The Georgia Aquarium is a public aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia that features over 500 species and thousands of animals in its seven different galleries. It was the world's largest aquarium until 2012, and it continues to be the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. When you walk into the aquarium, there are tanks surrounding you from every direction that makes you feel like you are a part of the ocean. Make your way through the tunnel system to see fish, sharks, and even manta rays swimming above you. There are multiple educational programs to choose from at the aquarium led by Georgia Aquarium educators.
Williamsburg was originally built as a fortified settlement known as Middle Plantation until it became the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia until 1779. At Williamsburg, you can explore historic sites such as the blacksmith shop, the courthouse, the capitol, the Governor’s palace, and even learn what grows in the colonial gardens. The march of the Fifes and Drums is a must-see, while carriage and wagon rides are two very popular tourist activities. The entire visit is an experience in itself and will leave you and your family feeling like you stepped back in time.
If your kids are into science and technology, you must visit the Kennedy Space Center. You can experience everything from space walks, moon rocks, meet and greets with astronauts, to even rocket launches. The KSC is a huge complex, so it’s advised to see it all by taking a bus tour. If you are lucky, you may even get to see the famous ‘crawlers’ which are vehicles that carry huge equipment and rockets between buildings. The highlight of your trip might be the shuttle launch experience, which simulates an actual spaceship launch.
The Montage Laguna Beach is a luxury resort and spa. With more people being able to work remotely, travelers are opting for working vacations. Being a family-friendly resort in the midst of the pandemic, Montage Laguna Beach Resort had to get creative. As a result, they began hosting the Montage Academy. Montage Academy offers observed distance learning mixed with the opportunity to participate in popular local costal activities. The schedule includes two sessions: study hall and an elective. The offered electives include paddle boarding, surfing, geocaching, conservation, gardening, and art. The Montage also offers guests access to their partnership with the Princeton Review. Students can get one-on-one help with math, reading, writing, and even practice SAT/ACT prep through the online tutoring service. The perfect blend of being able to enjoy a getaway, without your child having to miss class.
In 2013, the Crayola Factory rebranded to the Crayola Experience where they offer 25 different interactive activities at five different locations. Each Crayola Experience has multiple floors filled with fun exhibits such as the drip art station, where you can create spin art from melted crayons or the selfie station where you smile big for your own “selfie” photo which gets turned into a coloring book page. The experience even offers a live manufacturing event so you can see how crayons are made in real time. Before you leave, make sure to pick out your own custom color and named crayon.
The Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum that recreates the 17th century settlement of Plymouth Colony. It provides visitors with an authentic experience based on historical interpretations of life back in the 1600s. Kids enjoy visiting the Mayflower replica, English village, the Wampanoag settlement, and the animals at the Nye Barn.
A visit to the U.S. capitol is filled to the brim with educational moments and memories to last a lifetime. With over 70 different museums, you could schedule an entire week of activities and still have plenty to come back to for a future trip. For the child who is obsessed with dinosaurs, head over to the Natural History Museum — they’ll be blown away by the life size replicas. For older kids, the International Spy Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon. Learn all about the history of spies while embarking on your own assigned secret mission. If you are visiting in the spring months, it is peak blooming season at the U.S. Botanical Garden. For the history buff in your family, the Smithsonian, monuments, and a visit to the Capitol building will complete the vacation.
If you think you're ready to book a schoolcation, keep in mind that many of these destination hot spots require reservations and can fill up months in advance. Our travel insurance plans protect your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs should an unforeseen event impact your trip. If you have questions or are looking for more information about any of our plans, get a quote or reach out to our Sales Service Center at (866) 368-3724.
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