Front of Roman-like building with pillars and advertising banners hanging above the entrance.
The National Museum of Natural History is one of the many museums in Washington that your kids will enjoy exploring.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

7 Educational Trips That'll Broaden Your Whole Family's Horizons

Travel Broadens the Mind

If you are like me, you search for any opportunity for your kids to learn in exciting and interesting ways. Vacations are no different.

The best family vacations are the ones in which your kids come away with a broader understanding of the world. We’ve rounded up our picks of the best educational trips for kids. Each destination offers a great option for an enjoyable family vacation with a significant educational component.

Smithsonian Museums, Washington, D.C.

Not only is Washington, D.C. considered to be one of the best vacation spots in the US, it’s also a no-brainer for an educational trip. As the seat of the country’s government, there are many educational opportunities.

However, none are richer than the museums that make up the Smithsonian complex. The most well-known museums include The National Air and Space Museum, The National Museum of American History and The National Museum of Natural History.

However, there are dozens of galleries and museums that make up the Smithsonian network. One could spend several entire vacations exploring them.

For an extra-special treat, kids and their parents can spend the night in the museum through the sleepover program. At Smithsonian, your family is sure to have an educational experience they will never forget.

Red brick, three level house with wall out front connection to two two level houses facing each other on either side of larger house.Walk through this historic town for a sense of what it was like for those who resided here in 1600. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA

Be immersed in colonial history in Williamsburg, VA. The historic town has been preserved as a living-history museum. Many of the buildings were constructed in the 1600s. Museum staff in period dress interpret the buildings and realistically portray life as it was in the 17th century.

You and your family can get in on the action with several interactive experiences. Kids can play period games and learn about life as a child during colonial times. History-rich Jamestown and Yorktown are also nearby and can easily be combined with a visit to Williamsburg.

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Geyser spews steam up into the air from the side of a river with pine trees on either side of its bank.There's good reason to visit America's first national park, with its plethora of natural attractions and wildlife.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone boasts status as the world’s first national park. It is a huge, sprawling park consisting of parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

The park has a particularly high number of interesting natural features including canyons, rivers, forests, hot springs and geysers. There are many species of animals that reside in the park including wolves, bison, bears and elk.

The park provides many opportunities for families to learn about the natural sciences, ecology, animal behavior, forest fires and much more.

Even camping with kids can have its educational benefits as they learn “survival” skills and gain a bit of resiliency by “roughing it” without the comforts of home.

The area around Yellowstone also plays host to several dude ranch vacations. Kids will love the opportunity to learn about horsemanship and garner new skills on horseback. If you choose a working ranch, they’ll also learn the value of hard work!

A bronze marker in the sidewalk along the Freedom Trail.What better way to learn about American history than where it actually took place?

Freedom Trail, Boston, MA

Want to learn about U.S. history where much of it actually happened? Yes, please! Boston’s Freedom Trail is a two-and-a-half-mile path that winds throughout downtown. The trail passes 16 locations that were significant in the nation’s history.

It travels from Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument. Some of the stops on the trail are the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House, significant churches, graveyards and markers.

While you can certainly travel the Freedom Trail on your own, booking a guided tour provides an even deeper understanding of the historical significance of the sites. Look for a tour where the guide is dressed in period clothing to keep your kids extra interested and engaged.

Overhead view of the US Space and Rocket Center: rectangular building, rocket, large parking lot, and various towers.Kids will love learning about America's space program and outer space.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Space Camp, Huntsville, AL

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is a museum that celebrates rockets and the many achievements of the U.S. space program. The museum is a fantastic way to learn about outer space and the U.S. space program.

It houses more than 1,500 space-related artifacts. The center’s most well-known experience, Space Camp, as well as their Aviation Challenge program both offer families the opportunity to stay at the center and learn about the space program and military fighter jets through hands-on experiences, lectures and flight simulators.

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Overhead view of the park, including a large lake, dome-like structure, and roller coasters.Your child can be a trainer for a day and get hands-on experience with many of the park's animals.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Animal lovers and budding marine biologists will have plenty to learn and experience at famed theme park, SeaWorld. This Florida theme park offers a number of camp programs and programs where your child can be a “trainer for a day,” giving them a hands-on experience with many of the park’s animals.

They will learn about caring for the animals and what it is like to work at SeaWorld as well as many other things in the park’s one- to two-day programs. There are several SeaWorld locations throughout the United States.

Brick structures built up a rock face with a few windows. Missing the roof and clearly becoming ruinous.Learn about the ancient Peublo peoples who lived in and around the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde centuries ago.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez,

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a research center and educational facility. The center works to preserve and interpret the history of Ancient Peublo peoples who lived in and around the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde several centuries ago.

The center offers a great week-long family camp for young archaeologists and their parents to get a hands-on experience of the center’s work and the history of the area.

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