One place we go almost every trip to DC is Gettysburg. It is only about an hour from my parents home, so it is a quick visit. Plus, you mainly just drive around, so it is a nice break for the kid’s tired legs!
We haven’t gone in the museum area because they charge an admission fee. I have a hard time paying for admission when we go to all the free museums in DC. If you are REALLY interested in Gettysburg, it may be worth paying for. Otherwise, go into the visitors center and pick up an auto tour map.
Start at #1 and follow the map until the end. There are soooo many different monuments, you could spend a week walking around looking at all of them. I am sure there are civil war buffs that do just that! We mainly hit the highlights of the tour, especially with little kids to keep interested.
I have a few stops that are my favorite. #2 Eternal Light Peace Memorial is a beautiful eternal flame that you can park at and walk around. #8 Little Round Top – this stop gives you some great views of the fields. The kids like climbing up the little castle there. #12 Pennsylvania Memorial – my favorite stop! This memorial is beautiful and the view from the top is amazing. This is always a must stop for us! It is the largest memorial in the park too. #16 National Cemetary – this is always an important stop. See where Lincon gave the Gettysburg Address. Cemetary’s are always humbling and awe-inspiring.
You can also earn a Junior Ranger Patch. I learned so much about Gettysburg doing the packet with the kids! The great thing is you only have to do ONE packet per family!!! This is soooo nice! We didn’t have to make sure the kids each finished theirs. Just all worked on one. That was so nice! Each kid will still get their own Patch (it is a patch, not a badge).
Gettysburg is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Quiet and easy to drive around. Love showing my kids history and making it come alive in their minds because they have seen the place firsthand.