Dominion teachers offer such a wealth of historical information, as all classical educators should. But as a parent, you can build on that foundation and in the process redeem your own education by leading your children on trips to historic sites throughout Northern Virginia. You can learn with them as you explore deeply significant issues, either in beautiful museums or in the very places historical events occurred. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Historic Trips for Families in Northern Virginia
- Arlington National Cemetery is a beautiful resting place for many American heroes. You can visit the grounds and the beautiful arboretum, and relive history at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the John F. Kennedy gravesite.
- The Library of Congress: It would take days to even skim the surface of the historical documents and exhibits there, which include a copy of the Gutenberg Bible! You can view their events page here.
- The Museum of the Bible: take your Christian faith to a new level with the interactive exhibits that highlight God’s word -- and, ultimately, its truth. There are events and programs, as well as a 472-seat theater. It will inspire you. (Spoiler: Dominion Upper School students will tour the Museum of the Bible during Inspiro Week 2021!)
- Mount Vernon: the former home of George Washington has been transformed into a beautiful tribute. You can visit his home and walk through every room our first president inhabited. You can also see the grounds, where the staff provide opportunities for your kids to experience colonial life first-hand through plenty of hands-on activities. Find out what is happening at Mount Vernon here.
- For military history buffs, The National Museum of the Marine Corps is a wonderful collection of Marine Corps history in Triangle, VA, just about 30 miles south of DC. Between combat aircraft and Civil War-era uniforms, you will find a wide collection of historical items that tell the story of our brave marines.
- Manassas National Battlefield Park is a great place for Civil War buffs to learn about the first and second battles of Manassas (Bull Run). You can also see the Stone Bridge, which was originally built in 1825 and was an important strategic location during the war. You can take walking tours and see many artifacts at the visitors’ center.
- The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It houses planes and spacecraft from many eras, including the space shuttle Enterprise. It’s a wonderful experience and offers a truly inspiring account of America’s air history. Find out more here.
As with any trip in 2021, please check each site’s web page to see COVID-related closings or protocols. This short list of great historic sites is just a start! There are many more to see in this historically-rich area of the country. There is nothing like a good field trip to capitalize on a great Dominion history lesson!
Linda Davidson is the mom of two boys who keep her very busy. She is a teacher with HSLDA Online Academy and has an MA in English and Creative Writing. A longtime teacher herself, she continues to be impressed and amazed by the high quality of teachers her son encounters at Dominion! She and her family attend Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg.