I’ve always known I wanted to make American history a top priority for my children, and one of the best ways to do that when they’re young is to introduce them to our historic landmarks. That’s exactly what my husband and I have been doing over the last couple of years.
We know they don’t fully understand the significance of the Statue of Liberty or Liberty Bell right now, but we find it amazing when our children recall facts and information they’ve learned on our adventures – and it happens frequently.
Our latest historic monument visit was one that has been on my list of things to do since I was a child – visit Mount Rushmore. With the children in tow, we took a detour on our return from a family visit to Colorado and it was certainly worth the trip.
You can see Mount Rushmore from Highway 244. The official address is: 13000 Hwy 244 #81, Keystone, South Dakota, but I can tell you there is nothing like walking through the Avenue of Flags and seeing the historic faces.
Souvenirs. Then there was the gift shop. This place was hopping and just like any major landmark souvenir shop, you can purchase a smorgasbord of themed and regional items. Naturally, my kids’ eyes lit up when they saw the Mount Rushmore-themed penny machine.
The details. The charge per car is only $11 (that’s an annual pass). Even though we visited over a busy summer day we found parking immediately. I do recommend bringing water if you visit in the summer.
The day we visited was very hot and the kids were a uncomfortable. Luckily, there was a snack stand where we were able to purchase cold drinks.
If you can’t haul your children to Mount Rushmore or other historic landmarks at the moment you can still introduce them via picture books; your local library will have a nice selection.
Seeing the photos and images of different eras will paint a picture in their mind of what our country used to look like and give them a sense of American pride. That, parents, is priceless.
Stay tuned for more posts on South Dakota but in the meantime you can visit the South Dakota Department of Tourism website for more on this region.
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