A new homeschool year is upon us! We have recently begun our fall curriculum and I am committing myself to maintaining this blog so we can have a record of our days to share with loved ones and our homeschooling community. I named this blog Learn Make Explore to reflect the principles at the heart of my homeschooling philosophy. Learning never ends, make whatever you can to cultivate creativity and trade skills, and always remember to return to nature and find something exciting in the world around you. I hope to fill this blog with tales of our adventures, recipes and craft ideas to share, and loads of ideas for learning at home. For this first post back I want to take one last look at our summer (it was a good one,) and share our top destinations with you.
Boston Museum of Science
Always a wonderful way to spend a day, The Boston Museum of Science has something for everybody. We have found that it is just plain impossible to see even half of what this place has to offer in one day. I let them move at their own pace and we often find something we never knew was there before! This visit we happened upon The Discovery Center. I am not sure how we missed it before! Located right near the musical steps, this is an area geared toward kids infancy to age 8. With a 2 and 6-year-old in tow, we were delighted, and stayed for over an hour. No trip to the museum would be complete without a visit to Physics in the Park which demonstrates the science at work in everyday play. It is a lot of fun and a much appreciated opportunity for kids to run and move within the museum.
Squam Lake Science Center
I avoided this trip despite countless good reviews because the drive is a little far for us and I was worried that it wouldn’t be worth it. Boy, was I wrong. We spent the whole day there and before we even pulled out of the parking lot that afternoon my hard-to-please son was already asking when we were coming back. My favorite thing about SLSC is that all the animals are native to New Hampshire and included bears, a coyote, raptors, deer, river otters, owls, and many more. The enclosures are very large and natural, a hundred times better than any zoo I have visited. The educational materials were well designed and thoughtfully presented and the whole Center was easy to navigate. Halfway through is an amazing play space featuring an awesome natural playground and an old barn that had been transformed into an indoor nature playhouse. Complete with a rope spider web, groundhog holes, and a climbing tree, this was easily the highlight of the trip for my littles.
Situated at the mouth of the Bellamy River on 26 acres of conservation land, is a 1.1 mile walking trail in Dover, New Hampshire. It is short but perfect for those days when you are crunched for time and in need of a quick dose of nature. The trail is easy and well-marked but full of bird sightings. We also found bear tracks, an upturned tree with root system intact, and many cool mosses and mushrooms.
In addition to miles of ocean side walking trails, an old military fort, playground, and pier, you’ll find our family’s favorite New England beach. My kids say it is the perfect blend of sandy and rocky, and I appreciate the close parking lot and bathrooms. $10 will get you in for the day, or you can purchase a seasonal pass for $60.
We finally made the trip up to Santa’s Village this summer, and I am so glad we did. Our 9 and 6-year-old had a perfect day filled with so much fun and excitement. Our toddler definitely had to sit out a lot of the action due to her age and size but the new water park was an amazing place to take a break from the rides and sugar! The kids also loved the bumper cars, flume ride, and Sky Sleigh ride, and I am still trying to get my heart out of my throat after the ferris wheel. Situated on a hill in the back of the park, it is definitely the highest ferris wheel I have ever experienced, and from the top you can see Mount Washington!
The most beautiful pick-you-own farm in the area, Butternut is a place we visit often. Featuring strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and apples, Butternut has many options all season long. We go for the fruit but we always stop to say hi to the farm dogs, chickens, peacocks, and goats that call Butternut Farm home.
These were just a few of the many awesome New England adventures we had this summer! What were your favorites?