Category Archives: Educational

Don’t miss this “Field Trip” to the Great American Eclipse

The last time I saw a solar eclipse I was barely in grade school. I remember my mom (who was a teacher) taking me out to the open field along with her 30 students where they all held up various box filters they had created in order to look at the eclipse for she was quite adamant that to look straight at the eclipse, I could burn my retinas. (Even a 99.9% solar eclipse of the sun can damage the naked eye. Looking directly at the sun without protection for more than a few seconds can cause blindness.) I remember feeling a little bit of trepidation and I was too afraid to look except for a brief moment (as I valued my eye sight.)

Well, approximately 40 years later, I have the opportunity to experience this event again and am determined to see the solar eclipse, safely, and in totality. (They didn’t have these CE and ISO Certified Solar Eclipse Glasses when I was a little girl, but while I’m thinking about it, you can be prepared and grab some shades here.)

On Monday August 21, 2017, millions of people in the United States will experience a unique event: a total eclipse of the sun. This is to be the first coast-to-coast “total” solar eclipse in 99 years across the United States and will last 2.5 minutes across a 60-mile wide mind-blowing total eclipse blackout from Oregon’s West Coast to South Carolina’s East Coast. (See map illustration below.)

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According to “About 12 million people are lucky enough to live in the path of totality, and about 200 million are within a day’s drive of the path.”

Fred Espanak of MrEclipse.com has calculated that the longest solar eclipse across North America will be in Kentucky and the lower tip of Illinois (see image).

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Courtesy Fred Espanak, MrEclipse.com
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This NASA chart lists eclipse times for cities in the path of totality for the 2017 total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Credit: NASA

Because the shadow of the moon will move from west to east, totality will occur later in the day the farther east you travel. Use the NASA interactive eclipse map to find out exactly when totality will occur and how long it will last in the location where you plan to observe the eclipse. You can also download this map courtesy of NASA.

REMEMBER! Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. You can learn safety tips about viewing the eclipse here and ideas on how to make your own viewer here (see page 2).

If you plan on traveling to see the total solar eclipse, be sure to make travel plans in advance. And note that NASA predicts it will be one of the worst traffic days in history. To learn more about the North American 2017 solar eclipse, visit NASA’s page here or visit ExperienceAstronomy.com.

PS: The next solar eclipse will be in 2024 — a total solar eclipse will darken the skies above Mexico and Texas, up through the Midwest and northeastern U.S.

PSS: Don’t forget to grab some glasses early! I’m getting enough for our family (and our dog). As the demand goes up, I’m sure they’ll raise prices!

 

Do you REALLY know how petrified forests are made?

We knew that we would eventually take the kids to see Mt. St. Helens National Park as part of teaching them about geology and to see the history of the volcano that at one point had impacted our lives when we were their age.

We had watched this video by Dr. Steve Austin (see below) who challenged the incorrect view of how petrified forests were formed at Yellowstone and elsewhere. The thought crossed my mind to stop and show the kids the Gingko Petrified Forest that I knew was on the way just outside of the freeway system near Vantage, Washington.

To be honest, I know that this won’t be the most exciting topic to post about when you look at the pictures, but I wanted to show how if we know of a learning opportunity along our route, we try to work it in, trusting that it is a teachable moment and will expand the knowledge of the world for our children. Even if you think the kids won’t remember it, you never know how a connection to what they are learning will be made. My parents were both educators and my Mom still says today, “At what point does a child learn?” meaning that at any point in the learning process a connection might be made, so always be approaching learning from various angles.  Perhaps, you’ll learn a little something too by watching the video above as most people don’t know that this has been scientifically proven as a theory on how petrified forests are created.

RV going down the road in eastern Washington State

We crossed the bridge at Vantage and pulled off the freeway to drive about a couple of miles off the beaten path to the Gingko Petrified Forest. The kids were thrilled to get out of the car and stretch their legs for a bit.

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There’s a nice paved trail and maps to guide you along the way, but no ranger on duty or any sort of explanation on how these are formed for the public to view.

At each of the sites on the map, the petrified logs were encased with a wire protected with a locked frame to keep would-be thieves away. It was sort of a bummer to have to view the specimens in this way, but I can understand the need to do something to protect them. Never-the-less, the kids realized that at some point, this area had been a forest and there must have been some sort of calamitic event that would have wiped out trees that once grew here in this arid region.

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Lots of sagebrush in this region. Always keep your eyes and ears peeled for rattlers.
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Petrified log encased with a protective gate to keep thieves away.
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Petrified log encased with a protective gate to keep thieves away.
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Petrified log encased with a protective gate to keep thieves away (I managed to get a shot thru the wire grate)

Gingko Petrified Forest State Park
4511 Huntzinger Road
Vantage, WA 98950
Ph: (509) 856-2700

Hours:
Summer 6:30 a.m. – dusk
Winter Nov. 1 – Feb. 1, Weekends and holidays, 8 a.m. – dusk
Park Winter Schedule

FREE
(Note: There is a small cost to park if you do not already have a day-use parking pass)

Excerpt from Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Web site on History of this area:

 “…one of the most diverse groups of petrified wood species in North America. Professor George Beck was the first to fully recognize the site’s significance. Upon his 1932 discovery of a rare petrified Ginkgo log (Ginkgo biloba), Beck led efforts to set aside this remarkable forest and preserve it. In 1935, as part of a grand vision to establish the site as a National Monument, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park was born.

During the midst of the Great Depression, emergency work relief funds were used to protect and develop the park. Between 1934 and 1938, Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees, as well as local emergency work relief laborers, built much of the park infrastructure we see today, including ranger residences, an interpretive center, and a trail-side museum and trail system. In 1965, the park was formally registered as a National Natural Landmark.”

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On the way over the ridge (we decided to take the old highway to Ellensburg, Washington — the scenic route), we saw up close the wind turbines in full action. It stood as another lesson in energy production after visiting the Grand Coulee Dam prior.

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5kidsandarv-approved5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business, agency, or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents to engage and explore with their children. As always, whenever trying something new, please use your own good judgement in what best suits the needs of your family to keep everyone safe while having fun.

5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today.”
Copyright 2016

Grand Coulee Dam | Steamboat State Park – Part II

This post is continued from
Grand Coulee Dam | Steamboat State Park Part I


5kidsandarv-approvedAbout 15-minutes down the road from Steamboat Rock State Park you’ll find Electric City and the Grand Coulee Dam. We used the grocery store, Safeway, to restock our fridge and supplies and enjoyed a dinner or two at Pepper Jacks Bar & Grill — a diner that was a blast from the past. I remember Pepper Jacks well, because it was the first date night Jes and I had after several weeks of being on the road. We were camping with family and they generously offered to watch the kids to give us a needed break (evidently they thought we were looking weary from our travels), so we headed to the one restaurant we knew of in town, Pepper Jacks. As I was eating my meal, I asked Jes what the slits in the bottom of the cups were for and we quickly figured out (after watching a waitress bring drinks to a nearby table) that these slits allowed the cups to stack! I’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants, but this was a first for me and we loved it! Here Jesse entertains me with some tricks! (And no, they didn’t fall!)

Pepperjacks Restaurant in Electric City, Washington

While in the area, we took the kids to see the Grand Coulee Dam.  It was originally built for irrigation and job creation, but ended up playing a key role during WWII in supplying energy production for factories and airplane manufacturing plants. The Grand Coulee Dam was the world’s largest concrete dam (until China built their dam—see video below) and remains the world’s second largest concrete dam (according to the tour guide) with nearly 12 million cubic yards of concrete throughout. That’s enough concrete to build a 4′ wide x 4″ deep sidewalk around the equator twice and 4x more concrete than what was used to build the Hoover Dam!

It generates 6,809 megawatts — enough to power 2.3 million households for a year. Comparatively, the Hoover Dam only generates 1/3 of that power. Eleven states as well as Canada benefit from the power produced by the Grand Coulee Dam. Furthermore, the spillway on the Grand Coulee Dam is twice the height of the Niagara Falls! Cables 5″ thick carry power generated by the Dam and the Columbia River.

You can see glimpses of our tour here:

5kidsandarv Crew in front of spillway
5 Kids and a RV Crew in front of the Grand Coulee Dam spillway

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The spillway on the Grand Coulee Dam is twice as high as the Niagara Falls
Sheep crossing over the Grand Coulee Dam Historical Archive
Had to take a picture of this photo in their archive book showing sheep being herded across the spillway. Now security prevents anyone from getting close to the spillway.
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This vintage poster communicates the project and the regions that would be affected.

If you want to learn more about the Grand Coulee Dam, visit this link >> http://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/index.html

This is also a great video on the history of the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam here for your students/kiddos to learn more about this impressive project.

If you’re kiddos are learning about hydro-electric power and engineering marvels, here’s a documentary you may want to watch as well…

Here’s a list of the top 10 Dams to visit in the — something that I think every student should see at least one so they understand how power is produced.  http://www.citi.io/2016/04/29/the-top-10-grandest-american-dams-to-see/

If you’re in the Grand Coulee area and want to visit the dam, check out this link >> http://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/visit/gcvc.html for details on when the Visitor Center is open to the public.

The Grand Coulee Dam has a laser light show that they do in the evenings. Check the schedule for play time. They’ve updated it since we saw it last and I actually prefer the previous version of the light show that would boom out, “I am the mighty Columbia!” rather then the new politically-correct Native American version. To each his own, but it may help your kiddos understand more of how water can be used as a powerful force to produce energy. There’s not much to do in the evenings in the area other than sit around the campfire (which I love) and gaze at the stars (again I love to do this), so keep it as an option to check out if you’re in the area, but don’t feel like you’re missing out on something spectacular if your timeline can’t accommodate it.

There are guided tours at the Grand Coulee Dam, but they have really restricted what you can and can’t see since the 9-11 attacks and the reality of possible terrorism threats. There is a high-level of security in place throughout the facility and be forewarned that you are being watched by many a camera. I actually found comfort in that security was beefed-up and am glad for it. You can learn more about the tour schedule here  >> http://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/visit/tour.html 

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Can you imagine the trust that was required for the divers that would work on the Grand Coulee Dam? Whoever was operating this was their lifeline!

In all, if you are in the region or live in Washington State, we highly recommend a week get-away in the Grand Coulee Dam / Banks Lake area. You can relax and enjoy the recreational area (fishing, kayaking, hiking, boating, horse trails) and teach the kids a few things too while you’re there by going to the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center and Tour the Pump House. But heed our advice, book early because this place fills quick. Have fun!

—5 Kids and A RV


5kidsandarv-approved5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business, agency, or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents to engage and explore with their children. As always, whenever trying something new, please use your own good judgement in what best suits the needs of your family to keep everyone safe while having fun.

5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today.”
Copyright 2016

Chickamauga Battlefield & the Chattanooga National Military Park

 

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I will never forget the first time I visited a historic battlefield from the Civil War in Atlanta and walked the rows and rows of headstones of soldiers that had fallen in battle. There was awe as I read stories about grandfathers, fathers, and sons all going out to fight and falling to their deaths as Sherman marched to Savannah. It was the first time I realized that what I had read about in my school books, actually happened and those families still remembered and felt that loss. It really happened. And there was a great cost to both sides who fought over this freedom.

Being history lovers, we always look forward to the opportunity to explore and learn something new — especially in our home state. So when we went to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the nations oldest and largest battlefield, we were amazed at how much land this battle encompassed. We started out at the Visitor’s Center at Chickamauga (which I recommend you do the same). If you’re in a RV, note that they have RV parking to the left of the Visitor Center (just follow the signs) which is great!

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Chickamauga Battlefield - 5kidsandarv

We were surprised to see the largest collection of antique rifles we had ever seen. The boys were in rifle heaven.  They even got to see a blunderbuss — a rifle that they had seen on the TV show, Pawn Stars — and stood within inches of one (see pic below).  The Fuller Gun Collection of American Shoulder Arms collection spans about six rows if memory serves me correctly; certainly an impressive collection. There was even a rifle that had a built-in coffee grinder in the stock!

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Rows and rows of antique rifles - 5kidsandarv

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Peyton pointing at a rifle he likes

Wax soldier charging - Chickamauga Battlefield

Chickamauga Battlefield - Wax Soldier

They had some wax soldiers to help illustrate how the soldiers fought and even a real Battery Wagon. I especially love how they preserved the cannon balls that were lodged into the trees. I’ve seen this at Kennesaw Mountain National Park’s Civil War Museum as well and it just shows the reality of what was flying thru the air and the force that these pieces of artillery had to destroy whatever was in it’s path.  They also offer a short film, but we had arrived towards the end of the day after the last film had already started to show.

Canon balls embedded into trees

Battery Wagon from the Civil War - Chickamauga

Chickamauga Battlefield - Battery Wagon History

Model of a Battery Wagon and how it would have been pulled. Chickamauga Battlefield

There is also a selection of cannons in front of the Visitor Center, showing the variety of military arsenal used at the time. After we finished at the Visitor Center, we loaded the kids up and drove thru the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park where the battle took place. What impressed me was that there were a multitude of memorials erected in the memory of those that had fought. (Most of the 1,400 monuments and historical markers on the battlefields were planned and placed by Boynton and other veterans of the battles.) We would be driving along and a sign would simply state, this is where General so-and-so fell and died. Very sombering to know that a life — someone’s son, brother, husband, or father — ended there. We stopped by the Wilder Brigade Monument — a tower constructed around 1899 to aid in viewing the national park — and Jes and the older boys climbed the stairs to the top while I stayed in the car with the sleeping littles.

Did you know? The four Union generals given credit for bringing an end to the Civil War (Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, and Philip Sheridan) were all in Chattanooga in the autumn of 1863.

Chickamauga Battlefield Tower

Chickamauga Battlefield Tower Top

Did you know? Arthur MacArthur, Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863. His son, Douglas MacArthur, was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Cannons on display at Chickamauga Battlefield

Chickamauga Casualties

Did you catch that? About 37,000 men that were killed, wounded or missing! A battle that included 124,000 men! That’s a huge confrontation!

So, when I saw the little cabin (see pic below) used as the outpost for treating the wounded on either side, I couldn’t help but to think of the numbers of men lying in this very grassy knoll, probably lined up in row after row, hoping to live and survive the excruciating pain as they faced an amputation to survive… Be sure to read the following taken from the reader-board shown next to the boys. (Still can’t believe this home housed a family of NINE!)

Snodgrass Cabin - Chickamauga Battlefield

Snodgrass Cabin

We only spent a few hours at Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park as we were headed towards Chattanooga to camp, fish and explore, but we saw a lot, learned more about the Civil War, and it didn’t cost us anything but our fuel. (Awesome!) Hope you check this out if you’re in the area! It’s worth the visit and if you end up visiting, be sure to leave a comment of how it was in the comments below!

Details-Costs

WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN THRU THIS EXPERIENCE:

  • Civil War History
  • Battery Wagons
  • Cannons
  • Visual progression of how guns and rifles developed over time

You’ll walk where Confederate and Union soldiers fought in the bloodiest two-day battle of the war on September 19-20, 1863. The Visitor’s Center offers exhibits, bookstore, Fuller Gun Collection of American Shoulder Arms and 23-minute film.

Cost to go thru the Visitor Center:
Adults – Free
Seniors (65 and over) – Free
Active Military Personnel – Free (with ID)
Students – Free
Children 12 and under – Free*
*Be sure to ask for a Junior Ranger Packet which is free and a great teaching tool.

Point Park on top of Lookout Mountain is the only Designated Fee Area located within Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP. The fee is $5.00 per adult (age 16 or older). Children 15 years or younger are free.


TIPGet a national parks pass and gain free admission into any National Park in the country.


Hours:
Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm Eastern Click here for more details.
*Visitor Centers are closed New Year’s Day and Christmas.

Tours:
The historic Cravens House on Lookout Mountain is open for tours Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the summer. Cravens House closes at 5 p.m. Contact Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786 for additional information. For additional tours offered click here.

Pets are more than welcome in the park. However, please remember to keep them leashed at all times.

Be sure to check the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Web site for possible re-enactments around the time of the battle’s anniversary (September 19-20)

See Map Graphic
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
3370 Lafayette Rd
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
(706) 866-9241

Also nearby is the 6th Calvery Museum, Lee and Gordon’s Mill, and Lookout Mountain, tour Ruby Falls and ride the world’s steepest passenger railway at Incline Railway.

Map of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park 

Click Map to Enlarge


Was this information helpful to you? If so, please click the links below to share on Facebook or pin to Pinterest so that others may enjoy this experience as well. Thanks for spreading the word!

 

5kidsandarv-approved5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business, agency, or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents to engage and explore with their children. As always, whenever trying something new, please use your own good judgement in what best suits the needs of your family to keep everyone safe while having fun.

5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today.”
Copyright 2016

Smithsonian Institution’s FREE Museum Day Live :: March 12, 2016

In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission every day, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.

To gain free admission, guests must pre-register online, print off the ticket provided, and then present your Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Day Live! ticket when you visit the participating museum of your choice on Saturday, March 12, 2016. This ticket is good for two guests only. (Note that one ticket is good for two guests.)

Museum registration is open until March 1, 2016. Use the search feature to locate a participating museum near you. Hurry and grab your ticket for two before they are gone!

#MuseumDay  #ImagineHer!

Osmo for iPad: Our kind of travel learning game

Oslo Words Numbers Tangrams

So, while the boys were working on set, the parents were in the holding area hanging out and one of the Moms I met pulled out Osmo and I got a great demo as I watched she and her daughter play the Word Game (thanks again, Tanis).

The minute I saw it in action, I knew my tech-loving guys would love interacting with the technology using the tiles that come with the set. Originally, I thought of our Kindergartner, but it’s turned out to be fun from age 5 on up!

Kindergartner playing on Osmo

How it works:  A reflector mirror attachment that comes with each set uses the camera on your iPad to “see” the tiles thru color recognition. When you plop a tile down in the viewing area, Osmo identifies the shape, letter, or number.

The tiles come organized each in their own box with easy to open and close magnetic closures. And this Mom loves the added thought to put a magnet under the paper layer of each cover so that the set stays together. (Very smart Osmo product developers!) The base fits an iPad or iPad Mini.

Osmo Learning Game

Here’s a quick one minute video to give you a demo of our Kindergartner in action using Numbers, Words, and Tangram.

This is perfect to take with us on the road in our RV! The boxes are fairly small and light weight. Plus, since each of our kids have their own unique profile (up to six profiles can be assigned), it can be used K-12 and quickly adapt to their level of learning. If you’re curious how it works for older kids, I’ll be posting more examples of the olders using Osmo soon. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, you can visit their Web site here.

OSMO Genius Set

click to learn more >

So you don’t think you have enough money to travel…

Quote by Graham Cooke
Our boys exploring the gentle giants — Redwood trees in Northern California — something that has long been a dream of ours to experience.

When you have a dream and chase it, you say no to the things that you might want now in order to experience what you want later.

When everyone is at a movie opening night, you wait to watch that movie until Apple has a digital rental for $4.99.

When others are eating out, you’re eating at home and fixing dinner even though you’re tired and don’t feel like it.

When others get a fancy latte concoction at the local coffee bar, you’re brewing a pot at home.

When others go out for ice cream at the ice cream shop, you go to the grocery store and buy what’s on sale and have a sundae party at home.

When others are upgrading their phone to the latest technology release, you say to yourself, “My phone is just fine – thankful it works” and avoid the Best Buy or the Apple Store.

When others are getting a new car (or new used car), you take care of the one you have and remain thankful she still carries you where you need to go and throw some duct tape on that seat that’s starting to tear from use.

When others go to the nail salon to get a mani-pedi, you pull out your nail clippers and nail polish and give yourself your own mani-pedi.

You clip coupons and look for deals when you have the time to do so.

You don’t run into town whenever you need something, but instead make purposeful trips and stock-up.

You cancel that outrageous Cable/Satilite contract, buy an Apple TV and Netflix membership and your annual cost goes from $1,800 (estimating an average bill of about $150 a month) down to roughly $200 only annually.

Delayed gratification. It’s tough. It’s no fun. It’s doesn’t earn you popularity points on Facebook. But that’s OK, ’cause you’re on a mission to make a dream into a reality.

But when you say “no” to the things that bring pleasure now so you can say “yes” to experiencing something you’ve always wanted, well — there are no words to describe how that moment feels when you reach that goal. Simply amazing.

Want to travel, but you don’t think you can afford it? It’s like Mr Cooke says, “… you must be prepared to do things you’ve never done before.”

Now go chase that dream!

Dream Big! You can do it!

Cartersville GA | Etowah Indian Mounds – Part 2

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If you’re traveling out west of Atlanta, don’t miss this great learning opportunity for your kiddos! This location is close to Red Top Mountain RV campsites within a 10-minute drive (6 miles) and Lake Allatoona campgrounds. You can make a day of it and cover the Booth Museum and the Etowah Indian Mounds. This is part two in a series…

The Etowah Indian Mounds:

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The Etowah Mounds provide a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your family!  Plus, it’s only a 10-minute drive from the Booth Western Art Museum so you can do both if you are able to be on your feet for most the day.

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They have a small museum space (very small actually) which only takes about 15-20 minutes tops to walk thru. It’s really geared toward older kids on up to adults. If you have littles, you’ll probably cruise thru this section.  There is supposed a film you can watch, but when we checked in, the man at the front desk didn’t mention it and there was a school group in that area so that might be why he didn’t say anything about it. Either way, we missed out on the film, so if you view the film, feel free to comment below and fill us all in on how it went. To prepare for more discussion, I recommend reading up on it a bit before hand:

This region was home to an estimated several thousand Native Americans from 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., this 54-acre site protects six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, borrow pits and defensive ditch. Etowah Mounds is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast.

We went in the first part of April when the trees were starting to awaken and some even in full bloom. It’s best to climb the Etowah mounds when temps are moderate (60-78 degrees) as you will certainly break a sweat climbing the steps! I would not visit the months of June-September due to dangers of heat exhaustion unless you’re going early in the morning — especially with littles. I would not attempt this as a field trip in the summer personally. My kiddos tuckered out and water is a must. But the view is so worth it!

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The climb to the top of Mound 1 • Copyright 2015 Erin Castillo
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At the top of Mound 1. There are no guard rails at the summit of the mound, so keep an eye on energetic little ones! • Copyright 2015 Erin Castillo

Caution! The hills are steeper than you think! There are no safety rails, so good common sense is necessary to keep littles from tumbling down a very steep mound. This photo was taken at the top of the largest mound.


They also have a re-constructed Wattle & Daub House that you can view up close. You can see how it was constructed here. We visited before the sides were put up I think because this is how it looked when we were there… (did the Etowah’s have chicken wire back then?) ;D

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Details-Costs

WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN THRU THIS EXPERIENCE:

  • Native American History (specifically Mississippian Culture)  thru experience and museum artifacts

It took us about an hour-and-a-half to go thru both the museum and walk out to the mounds. We only climbed the large mound because we had a 1 year old on my back and a rambunctious 4-year-old explorer, so if you want to climb the other two mounds, budget additional time. Here are the details for planning your budget and outing…

Cost:
– Adults $6.00
– Seniors (62+) $5.00
– Youth (6-17) $4.00
– Youth Groups (6-17) $3.50
– Child (under 6) $2.00
Group rates available with advance notice.
Bus parking available.
*Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Be sure to check their website before you visit to see if there are any other restrictions as things change from the time of this posting. 


TIP: Don’t forget your water bottles and a snack! Though the mounds look small from the road, they are a good climb to the top! And bring a little bit of spending money as they also have a small gift shop where the kids can leave with a special item to remember their outing by.


Hours:
Tuesday–Saturday / 9AM–5PM
*Closed Mondays, Sundays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For a more enjoyable visit, plan to spend 1–2 hours.

Events:
The Georgia State Parks hosts various events throughout the year at the Etowah Mounds. You may want to check their website for upcoming events in coordinating your travel plans.

See Map Graphic
Etowah Indian Mounds
813 Indian Mound Rd SE,
Cartersville, GA 30120
770-387-1300
  • Cartersville GA | Cowboys, Indians & Western Art Part 1
  • Cartersville GA | Tellus Science Museum Part 3  [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | Cauble Park Part 4 [coming soon]
  • Kennesaw, GA | KSU Museum of History and Holocaust Education Part 5 [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | Pickett’s Mill Battlefield and Homestead Part 6 [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | RV Campsite – Red Top Mountain [coming soon]
  • See other trips you can take like this one. Search by State

area-things-to-do-cartersville Click Map to Enlarge


Was this information helpful to you? If so, please click the links below to share on Facebook or pin to Pinterest so that others may enjoy this experience as well. Thanks for spreading the word!

5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents and caregivers to engage and explore with their children.

5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today!

Cartersville GA | Cowboys, Indians & Western Art – Part 1

FB-Booth-Museum

If you’re traveling out west of Atlanta, don’t miss this great learning opportunity for your kiddos! This location is close to Red Top Mountain RV campsites within a 10-minute drive (6 miles) and Lake Allatoona campgrounds. You can make a day of it and cover the Booth Museum and the Etowah Indian Mounds.

The Booth Museum:

Using the saddlebagIMG_5876

When I first heard that Cartersville, Georgia had a Western Art Museum, admittedly I sort of scoffed at the thought that cowboys and Native Americans could have artistic value. In my head, I had the stereotypical image of John Wayne or the Lone Ranger with his side-kick, Tonto and thought the entire museum would be the two sides at odds with each other. I also thought it would be a small collection. Boy, was I wrong on all accounts!

The Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia (The HIGH in Atlanta is reportedly the largest).  The Booth also houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western American art in the country! The exhibits cover two levels and there are so many pieces of artwork, sculptures and artifacts that relate to Native Americans and America Cowboys that I lost count along the way. It also covers the Civil War era and has a Presidents exhibit as well as a children’s activity area on the lower level. There are eight galleries that are continually on display.

Paper Sculpture at the Booth Western Art Museum

IMG_5825

We like to visit on the first Thursday of each month because we can all get in free (now that I have twins that are teens that helps me a lot on the pocket book.)  It typically takes us 2-3 hours to go thru the exhibits and the kids love finishing downstairs on the lower level at Sagebrush Ranch where they have interactive activities that include riding in a pretend stagecoach, saddling up on a pretend horse, playing dress up, or doing one of several learning games or puzzles.

Elevator run by weight system

And while you are there, you can share with your kids a quick physics lesson on how pulleys work to help lift heavy objects because The Booth has a beautiful glass elevator (pictured above) with real weights that lift and lower the elevator with ease and ever so quiet – one of only two of it’s kind in the country!


TIP:  When you check in at the information desk, be sure to ask about getting a Saddlebag (shown above in pic) for your kiddos during your visit to the Museum. The Saddlebag is filled with learning-related activities to be done throughout the Museum to help get your child actively engaged with the art. When selecting a Saddlebag, children have the option of three themes: “Cowboy”, “Native American”, or “Presidents”. Saddlebags are FREE and can be checked out from the information desk on the main floor of the Museum.


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Details-Costs

WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN THRU THIS EXPERIENCE:

  • Native American History thru art and artifacts
  • American History thru art and artifacts
  • Civil War depicted thru art (special collections)
  • Western Expansion of Territories (2 real stage coaches!)
  • Medals of Valor (in Presidents gallery)
  • Presidents of the United States (read actual letters)
  • Pop Culture Western Art
  • Physics: Unique Elevator

We typically visit the Booth about 2-3 times a year to take advantage of new rotating exhibits and to dive deeper into our understanding. Every time we visit we all learn something new. I hope you take advantage of this great opportunity. Here are the details for planning your budget and outing…

Cost:
Adults – $10
Seniors (65 and over) – $8
Active Military Personnel – Free (with ID)
Students – $7
Children 12 and under – Free*
*Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Be sure to check their website before you visit to see if there are any other restrictions as things change from the time of this posting. Membership is available for free admittance.


TIP: The first Thursday of every month has free admission between the hours of 4-8 pm for all ages. In addition, another free admission opportunity is available to Century Bank of Georgia members who can receive free admission to Booth Western Art Museum on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month.


Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday – 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
*Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tours:
A guided Highlights Tour is given everyday (Tuesday – Sunday) at 1:30 pm for all visitors to the Museum. This tour generally lasts about 60 minutes. A guided tour is also available for groups of 10 or more who make reservations prior to visiting the Museum.

See Map Graphic
The Booth Western Art Museum
501 Museum Drive
Cartersville, GA 30120
770-387-1300

If you’re looking for other Western art museums…in addition to The Booth Museum, there are 10 or 12 major Western art museums in the U.S. such as the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center (formerly the Cowboy Hall of Fame) in Oklahoma City; The Gilcrease in Tulsa; the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and several others. The only two in the East are the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, New York.

  • Cartersville GA | Etowah Indian Mounds Part 2
  • Cartersville GA | Tellus Science Museum Part 3  [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | Cauble Park Part 4 [coming soon]
  • Kennesaw, GA | KSU Museum of History and Holocaust Education Part 5 [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | Pickett’s Mill Battlefield and Homestead Part 6 [coming soon]
  • Acworth, GA | RV Campsite – Red Top Mountain [coming soon]
  • See other trips you can take like this one. Search by State

area-things-to-do-cartersville Click Map to Enlarge


Was this information helpful to you? If so, please click the links below to share on Facebook or pin to Pinterest so that others may enjoy this experience as well. Thanks for spreading the word!

5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents and caregivers to engage and explore with their children.

5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today.”
Copyright 2015