Since the school-aged kids are still wrapping up their academic years, now is the perfect time to visit with your younger kids. (Not that any time of year is a bad idea.)
This is a tricky list because the difference between a 3 month old and a 3 year old is a million miles. But I think these are great options for parents and grandparents of toddlers to make sure you have a lovely time in our Revolutionary City. Now, here are my top five favorite activities in CW for this age group.
EXPLORE THE PALACE MAZE
The Governor’s Palace is an impressive site in every way and the building isn’t even the best part. The acres of grounds surrounding the site are perfect for exploring. There is so much color and life to see—and even a maze to explore! Previously, I would often skip the actual building tour to just play in the gardens, but I was so excited to find out they will be kicking off a new tour developed specifically for kids! It starts June 20th. My fabulous friend and Historic Area neighbor, Whitney Thornberry Austin, is working on a more detailed blog post about it. Stay tuned for that one!
The bigger building tours (Palace, Capitol, etc.) are fantastic, but they can be a bit long for these guys and aren’t particularly stroller-friendly which can get daunting with the more mobile of this age group. That being said, when they were infants, I tucked my kids in a carrier and just wore them through probably all of the buildings on tours and they did great!
LEARN ABOUT 18TH-CENTURY JOBS
Obviously, a vacation to CW is for parents too, so it is nice to find some common ground. The trade shops and sites are great because you can park a stroller out front and come and go as you please which is perfect for parents and any tag-alongs with short attention spans. Plus, our tradespeople are amazing and regularly interpret to all age groups. This means there’s an opportunity for everyone to learn. Depending on the size of the crowd, you may even get some one-on-one attention like we did when we stopped by the Coopers.
HELP TO WATER THE GARDENS
I highly recommend exploring the many acres of gardens around town. Unless there is a sign that says you can’t go in, all of the gardens in the Historic Area are open to you with your admission ticket. And if you stop by the Colonial Nursery and Garden, Jen and Emily may even enlist a little help in watering the plants and flowers. Beyond all the fun your kids will have exploring all of our gardens, they also offer the best backgrounds for pictures, so do yourself a favor and have your camera ready.
MAKE SOUVENIRS AT THE ART MUSEUM
I did a whole separate blog post about how awesome the Art Museums are, which you can read here. But the quick version as it relates to this age group is that it is a nice, stroller-friendly space to explore at your own pace. The Down on the Farm exhibit and coloring room is a ton of fun. Plus, it is all indoors which is perfect for the time of day when it might be a bit too hot out or if one of those summer storms pops up!
GET TO KNOW THE ANIMALS!
Our Coach & Livestock staff is amazing. Your baby or toddler will not care about that at all, but it is worth noting the level of awesome that goes into one of the best programs here. I can walk out the door and within five minutes will have seen horses, oxen, sheep, dogs, cats, and maybe a chicken or two. Nothing makes Flynn (2) happier than running into his four-legged friends around town. It’s really important that neither you nor the kids feed the animals (for their safety and yours). Don’t worry. There are usually opportunities to pet and take pictures with them. It is the simplest thing, but it will create some happy memories for you and give the kiddos an introduction to the lovely creatures with whom we share the planet.
That’s just the quick list (look for more detailed guides from the Making History team every day next week). Just know that the opportunities for a wonderful visit are endless. If you have any questions, post them in the comments and I will be happy to answer them!