The first full week is this week, ending with the Fourth of July, making it USA week. I asked the boys what they'd like to learn about. Last year we were more general with our "America Week". They said they wanted to learn about Presidents and the US Military.
Yesterday we went to The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center. Super easy to get to, easy access, and ample parking. What a simply impressive museum, and it's free. I've got to say it's better than any Smithsonian one we've seen. The layout was great, the information and stories were superb, and they incorporated the younger visitors along the way. Definitely my favorite museum so far! Go Marines! Ooh-Rah! Special shout-out to the Marine in our life, my Uncle Bernie!
They're open every day except for Christmas, and admission is free. Very easy to take a stroller for a little one, and I saw a bunch of nice wheelchairs with the Marine Seal on the back lined up for anyone needing one. Only drawback at all, is the restrooms. Only one on first floor all the way back at the front entrance and one upstairs also tucked further away. That didn't hamper my opinion of the place at all, but with kids it's nice to have more accessible restrooms. We were warned of their wayward locations by a nice retired Marine in the lobby. He also had lots of great things for the kids, a sticker, tattoo, and a "Gallery Hunt". The Gallery Hunt was perfect, they loved finding and checking off things they've saw in each section.
|The building is stylized after the famous Iwo Jima scene|
|Planes and jets in the soaring lobby|
|My Marines through history :)|
|In the boot camp section: you can stand in these booths and a DI will yell at you!|
|Starting at the beginning, Tun Tavern. Complete with a discovery space for the kids. |
They could "fish" and try on various outfits
|Civil War Hatzl brothers|
|First Armored Car|
|The WWI section was "wooded" and you could sit down to watch a reenactment of some of the fighting at Bealleau Woods.|
|This was one of the boys favorites! The combat newspaper correspondent with his typewriter in a fox hole!|
|This thing screams deadly... a Trench Knife... aka studded brass knuckles knife|
|One exhibit about the history of the music in the Marines|
|You could take the stairs three stories up to look at the planes & jets|
|I was trying to get a picture, but leery of heights Jake took off!|
|Evan wasn't too thrilled being picked up that high either|
|Iwo Jima in Legos in the gift shop!|
|Neat Stuff for the kids! Little Leathernecks Gallery Hunt. You can see some of Jakes notes: "Awesome" on the correspondent, "kind of cool" on the trench periscope, and a sketch and "awesome car" about a Standard B truck.|
Then to the east of the parking lot there is a really great set of playgrounds with picnic tables that also connects to a fitness trail it looks like. I didn't get a sign of it, but the entrance sign read "For the Enjoyment of Future Marines".
|Getting in some play time after keeping hands to self and body & mouth under control at the museum! |
They really liked this playground!