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Family travel: Opportunities to explore at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, more

NASA's 60th birthday is a good occasion for a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. / Alamy Stock / Robin Runck

Travel provides opportunities to learn new skills and explore the world beyond our own boundaries. Here are five ideas to consider.

1. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

As NASA prepares for a 60th birthday celebration, it’s a good time to visit this multifaceted destination to learn about the past, present and future of interplanetary space travel. Spend a day at the Visitor Complex to meet the Astronaut of the Day, tour launchpads and learn what it means to train for a mission in space. 


INFO kennedyspacecenter.com

2. Historic Philadelphia

Meet “Betsy Ross,” American flag maker and weaver of a significant piece of our country’s history in her authentic 18th century home. Interactive, family-friendly programming, including kids audio tours, makes it possible for visitors to learn more about the Revolutionary War and her role as businesswoman, wife, mother and revolutionary. 

INFO historicphiladelphia.org

3. Kartchner Caverns, Benson, Arizona

These caverns, carved from limestone, are part of the Arizona State Park system. Visit this living or “wet” cave, and you will be in awe of the stalactites, stalagmites, cave bacon and small white helectites. Among the cave's highlights, a 22-foot-long "soda straw" stalactite.

INFO azstateparks.com/kartchner


4. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville, Illinois

As many as 20,000 people may have lived in what is now considered the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of the Mexican border. Located just 15 minutes from what is now St. Louis, the historical center offers guided and self-guided tours and an interpretive center for children. Among the significant features is the 100-foot-high Monks Mound. 

INFO cahokiamounds.org

5. Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound, Washington

Guests of Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, best known for their indoor water park, can team up with Oliver the Raccoon at Oliver's Mining Co. to explore a mysterious mine shaft and discover hidden gemstones. After learning about how a mine works, kids head to the sluice to uncover hidden gems in the pay dirt. 

INFO greatwolf.com