Every elementary school-aged kid learns the history surrounding the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock and New England. The Mayflower sailed from Britain with a full slate of pilgrims seeking religious freedom. When that ship eventually docked in North America, it did so at Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts.
As Mayflower Day approaches (Sept. 16) and fall looms ever closer, now is a great time to plan a trip to New England to teach your kids more about the pilgrims’ arrival in the new world.
South of Boston on the Atlantic Ocean, Plymouth is easily recognizable as the one of the birthplaces of the Puritan movement in New England. With plenty of local options and ways for families to celebrate Mayflower Day, travelers can learn a little more about our nation’s history. Plymouth County’s website is filled with tour ideas for the entire family.
Start with the famous Plymouth Rock on a 30–40-minute tour, beginning at Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The tour gives context to the rock and explains its historical significance. Check the weather as this tour may be canceled in the event of strong rain or winds.
To get a glimpse of the town’s wider history, consider booking a spot with the Spirit of Plymouth Walking Tours. These 90-minute treks give tourists a look at the history of “America’s Hometown.” Tourists walk along the footsteps of the region’s first inhabitants, while they learn about Plimoth Plantation and the remarkable heroes of the Revolutionary War. Be warned, young kids may have a tough time making it through the 90 minutes and staying engaged through dense topics.
Make sure the family visits the Mayflower Society House, a short walk from Plymouth Rock. Guests can take a guided tour of the grounds and check out the small harbor behind the house, where they can find a replica of the Mayflower that ferried pilgrims and separatists to New England.
After a full day of touring and exploring, stop off at Plymouth Bay Winery and pick up a bottle to take home. If your kids are old enough, enjoy a drink before heading out for dinner.
The sister properties of the Park Royal Golden Cancun and the Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort, also in Cancun, offer families a vacation full of beach fun in a style personalized for your tribe’s vibe. Both properties, located two miles apart, open to the crystal-blue ocean, are framed by the fine white sand for which Cancun is famous, and are family-friendly, but that’s where their resemblance ends.
There’s not much spookier than getting lost in a maze cut through tall stalks of corn — especially in the dark. The first corn maze is attributed to a farm in Annville, Pennsylvania. Since then, mazes have become huge autumn attractions. Many of today’s larger mazes are cut with the help of Global Positioning Satellite technology, allowing maze makers to create intricate shapes that add to navigational challenges.
It’s the time of year that the creak of a door sounds sharper in the silence, that the footsteps in the hall seem foreign and the voices talking in the next room sound unfamiliar. This is the season we fear and celebrate the dead and they seem to know it. Here are the places that do both right:
Switzerland’s Vaud canton encompasses some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery and beautiful towns and villages, including Lausanne, Nyon, Villars-sur-Ollon and Montreux. Spread between the shores of Lake Geneva and the edge of France, and replete with castles, terraced vineyards and world-class hotels, it’s the ideal setting for a romantic break. We’ve got a few suggestions to help you with your planning: