There's no denying the impact of visiting Gettysburg National Park the site of one of the most decisive battles in the Civil War. But admission, a guided bus tour and lunch at the Park's restaurant can run a family of four upwards of $150 [source: The Gettysburg Foundation].
Not far away is the lesser-known Monocacy National Battlefield, site of the Civil War battle that saved Washington, D.C., from falling to the Confederacy. There, admission is free. Brochures identify significant points for self-guided driving and walking tours [source: National Park Service]. Dozens of restaurants in a nearby town offer meals for every taste.
The situation is repeated at plantations, monuments and museums across the country. Smaller historical venues can offer similar experiences and teach the same lessons as larger ones. Because you explore at your own pace, you can focus on the aspects that are most meaningful to you and that you want to mean the most to your kids. And in the safety of your small group, children may feel more comfortable asking questions and making comments that help them learn and understand.
Speaking of feeling comfortable, our next idea offers all the comforts of home -- but not yours.