We all know how reading books can take us to places we’ve never been, but have you ever thought of going to places you’ve read about in books? That is where some of our favorite family vacations have been! When our daughter was going through her “horse phase”, we read Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry, and were so fascinated by the wild ponies she described that we took a vacation to Chincoteague Island off the coast of Virginia. There we were able to drive or bike over to Assateague Island where there is a wildlife sanctuary for these wild horses. There was also a wonderful beach to enjoy and a Wildlife Center with a great deal of information about the ponies and other protected wildlife there. The best part of all, though, was walking the trails and coming within a few feet of these beautiful ponies!! What a vacation to remember! (Or read Brighty of the Grand Canyon, also by Marguerite Henry, with a trip to the Grand Canyon to accompany it.)
We also read Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery, which is set on Prince Edward Island on the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada. Who could have imagined such an idyllic sight to have a vacation? We stayed at a bed & breakfast, saw the cliffs and shores that “Anne” walked along, and even went into Charlottetown to see the musical of “Anne of Green Gables.” (There were even great golf course and cycling paths for all the family to enjoy!)
If your child is more interested in sports, you can always read about baseball heroes, and then plan a trip to Cooperstown, NY, to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. Or try Football’s Hall of Fame in Canton, OH!
Or if your child is interested in history, read about Gettysburg and travel there to see where the real battle took place. There are wonderful tours filled with exciting information about the battle of Gettysburg. You might also enjoy Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia if you & your children have had a chance to read about Colonial times. (Even the American Girl doll, Felicity, has a whole series about this era in history!) Colonial Williamsburg is a wonderful place to “step inside” history and see what living during Colonial times was like from the blacksmith shop to the making of candy!
Whatever you and your child read together, or wherever their tastes lie in reading, you are sure to find a vacation spot that can bring those stories to life. Try it! It’s a wonderful way to encourage reading and find a way to enjoy new ways of vacationing as a family.