A Time of Thanks: Learning About Local History in Your Town

Eliza Clark
November 21, 2011

One of the great things about life with young children is that our kids ground us in the present moment. Our days with them are action-packed, their needs are immediate, and they always want to know what's next. Preparing for Thanksgiving is no different; it just adds a lot of extra grocery shopping, and a few logistical challenges (will we all fit around the table?). But parents are used to that.

We're less used to stopping for a moment to look back in time. But that's the other thing that the Thanksgiving holiday asks us to do. Thanksgiving asks us to think about and give thanks for the many generations who came before us and who built the world we now inhabit. It prompts us to think about history—not just our own personal histories, but our collective history. It is also, traditionally, most young children's first introduction to American history. (Of course they already know lots about pre-history, aka dinosaurs; and their knowledge of medieval history, aka fairytales, is not too shabby either.)

So we can think of no better time of year to begin familiarizing our little ones with their town's local history. Our towns and cities are filled with monuments, museums, neighborhoods, and architecture that can provide young kids with an exciting, hands-on immersion in the past. Our Savvy city experts have scoped out the most kid-friendly and fascinating historical places in your town. So once you've downed the turkey and tidied up the kitchen, take a Thanksgiving weekend excursion to pay tribute to the people of the past who built the place our kids call home.

Click in below for a mini-history lesson in a city near you:

Atlanta

Austin

Baltimore

Boston

Chicago

Dallas

Denver

Houston

Indianapolis

Los Angeles

Nashville

New York

Orange County

Portland

San Diego

San Francisco and the Bay Area (with a bonus article about San Francisco's urban farms!)

Seattle

Washington, DC

 

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