Coming up on the 18th is MLK Jr. Day. In our family it tends to be field trip day. The past few years we've been trying to go and experience different things on this day. One we are all going stir crazy because it is the dead of winter and two, there are so many venues that have free admission so it is amazing to be able to go to these places where each of them would cost us upwards of $100 and we can go for free or simply with the cost of donations. Amazing!
Not gonna lie, homeschooling gets expensive! So with these places we feel so blessed to be able to go! Last year we went to Indianapolis, Indiana and did a whole boom, boom, boom, event of seeing lots of different places. First we started out at the Children's Museum, followed by lunch at The Tamale Place because it's our favorite place ever. Ever! It was featured on the Food Network and is simply amazing, fresh food.
After a huge lunch we headed downtown to the Eiteljorg and the Indiana State Museum. We then went to Conner Prairie before we decided to call it a day and head home.
This year we may go about the same route but I have found that the zoo is free so somehow we will have to work that in! There are so many amazing places. Here's some info that I found abnout the places in the Indianapolis area. If you are in the Midwest these may be worth the trip for you as well:
The Eiteljorg Museum is free with the donation of a canned food item for Gleaners Food Bank. The museum is open 10am-5pm. They have a lot of neat kid areas in the lower level of the museum and they have a huge Totem pole that the kids loved examining and trying to figure out what the animals were. They also have a cool winter wonderland diorama type display with model trains called Jingle Rails set up and MLK Jr. is the last day to see if to for the year! It is so fun to explore and meander through.
is free with a canned good donation from 9 a.m. -4 p.m. weather permitting. The hardier animals will be out and the indoor exhibits are open as well.
Indiana State Museum
Indiana State Museum is free with a non perishable food item and is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. They have a huge S.T.E.M. learning center that is so much fun and they offer crafts related to the Civil Rights Movement. They also have Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech playing continuously in their theater. Last year when we visited we were able to see the Emancipation Proclamation that President Lincoln signed. We talked with the kids about what an important signature on that piece of paper was and what it meant in the time of Martin Luther King Jr. We discussed what was better and what still needed improvement then as well as today. Check their website because other historic sites they manage around the state are also free so even if you aren't in Indianapolis you may find one that is closer to you.
Last year the kids (especially Emma) were obsessed with their Foucalt Pendulum clock. It is so much fun to watch and wait for. Make sure you watch it when you are there!
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the best in the nation and it is HUGE! If you haven't been there you can easily spend the entire day there. Serious. Open 10-5 there is so much for kids to do I am sure you all will love it!
Conner Prairie in Fishers, IN is free on MLK Jr. Day. Please note that this is just the inside exhibits...it would be freezing for all of the walking outside! Still there was a ton for the kids to do last year and they got to experience all kinds of experiments with electricity, inertia, and other concepts. It was so much fun!
I am sure there lots in your area as well. I googled "free Martin Luther King Jr 2016 Indianapolis" to get all of the ones above.
Anyway, we usually study about Martin Luther King Jr. the Friday before the actual day. I think it is a super important day. We always watch the "I have a dream" speech video, discuss it and then do a craft, One year we made wreaths of all hands made with all different colored construction paper. Anything can be done to bring home the message of unity. We then usually get books from the library about Martin Luther King Jr. and study his life. Anyway, it helps to study these things before we go on Field Trip day so that when we see exhibits for the day the kids know what they are fore.
If you find any other amazing places with free admission be sure to let us all know in the comments section below.
Happy Field Trip Planning!