Bee and her dad, Dan, check out Washington's Headquarters at Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey during the National Park Service's 100th Anniversary celebration weekend in 2016.

Bee and her dad, Dan, check out Washington’s Headquarters at Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey during the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary celebration weekend in 2016.

Sharing our love of history

One of the reasons I married my husband was our shared love of U.S. and world history. Most of our vacations revolve around visiting a historic site. Now that we are a family of three, we bring our daughter, Bee, along as we walk through the history of the United States.

We are lucky enough to live in an area of the country where numerous early American historical events took place. We live along the Revolutionary War trail and there are often instances on our hikes when we are literally walking through history.

Walking through the Revolution

So far, we’ve covered George Washington’s encampment in Morristown  which includes: Jockey Hollow, Fort Nonsense and his Headquarters. We covered the entire three-site area in one afternoon.

Every spring, Jockey Hollow has its re-enactment days. We took Bee last spring but she was much more interested in the horses than meeting the soldiers and families in their tents. There were children dressed alongside their parents in colonial clothing as well as colonial kitchen demonstrations inside and out. I watched an actor demonstrate how colonial families did laundry using an outdoor kitchen area to boil water and cleanse the wool articles of clothing with lye soap. In the main encampment area in an open field, there were a dozen or so canvas tents set up with various trade crafts as well as a tent for eating meals.

Bee loves horses, just like her mama. She was fascinated with the horses at the April 2016 Jockey Hollow re-enactment days.

Bee loves horses, just like her mama. She was fascinated with the horses at the April 2016 Jockey Hollow re-enactment days.

Getting around a historical site

Depending on your level of comfort, most historical sites can be covered with a stroller. However, if you want to get into the buildings, I would recommend bringing a carrier so you can easily access the buildings without lifting a stroller. What I love the most about visiting historical sites is the amount of open space available to explore. Bee loves a good chase while we’re out on a hike and there is usually a long open path to run along.  There isn’t always a food option nearby so we’re prepared with a picnic lunch or snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Perhaps you want to be literary…

If literary history is more interesting to you, you can visit the birthplace or setting of the books by your favorite author. For example, my older sister, Kate, did a road trip with her family a few years ago and stopped at a number of sites mentioned in Laura Ingalls’ Little House on the Prairie series of books. She was so excited to see the wheel tracks left by the pioneer wagons who went West through Nebraska, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. She often saw trail markers and pulled over to do a pit stop with her two kids, a toddler and a preschooler at the time.

My hiking bucket list includes an urban hike along The Freedom Trail in Boston. There’s a lot of cobblestone there so I’m planning to bring my frame backpack carrier along to hike with my family. I also want to check out Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott’s house while in the Boston area.

Is there a historical place you’ve been longing to hike through? What places have you wanted to share with your kiddo? 

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