Tuesday, March 25, 2014

field trips

One of my daughters is on a school trip today, which is a rare occasion for her.  I often bemoan the fact that while we NYers live in one of the most culturally interesting cities in the world, with no end of museums, theaters, historical sites, and interesting programs, most schools do not take advantage of these resources.  For example, I could not believe when one of my kids once told me that members of her class had never even been to the Museum of Natural History.  People come from all over the world to see this museum, and here, kids born and raised in NY, have never been there.  I was standing in the library a week or two ago and overhead the librarian speaking with someone about going to Sagamore Hill, home of Teddy Roosevelt, and the person said that while he had been there years ago, he had never taken his kid there.  I floated the idea to my kids of starting a club for kids with parents like me who love going to these type places so we can all shelp our kids together, but it was shot down by them as being too geeky.  I should have thought of it when they were younger before teen rebellion set in : ) 

I don’t think the main roadblock to doing trips is cost.  There are many discounts and freebies: Bank of America Museums on Us program, ASTC reciprocal membership, botanical garden reciprocal memberships, many places have free days once or twice a week or ask for a “suggested” admission = pay what you like, park programs are free, and in NY you can go spend just about every summer Sunday seeing some form of outdoor theater even without standing in line for hours to get Shakespeare in the Park tickets.  I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  People shell out over $50 a kid for an amusement park trip on Chol haMoed – the best museums  will cost you around half that even if you pay full price.  The biggest obstacle is desire.  You have to believe that education can take place outside a classroom, and if you are a parent you need to make time to do it, and of course, it helps if you are personally a geek and enjoy learning something as well as being entertained. 

I’ve always wanted to do a series of posts on interesting places to go and things to see in our area (there are books and books on this already, but so what? )  It’s become more and more challenging to find something new and would love to hear other people's ideas.  What’s funny is that almost every Chol haMoed when I think I’ve finally found someplace completely off the beaten track, we get there and always find at least one other family with kids with kipot and schlepping bags with their food.  Nice to know I’m not the only one.

No comments:

Post a Comment