Too many times we think that genealogy research and family time do not mix. Granted, your son or daughter, niece or nephew or granchild may roll their eyes when you bring up visiting a cemetery, but what if you were going to visit a train museum or a working 19th century village?
Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program
I accidently came across Conner Prairie Interactive History Park last week and was blown away. Nestled just north of Indianapolis it takes the visitor back in time to experience living on a farm, candle making and opening June 2011 "1863 Civil War Journey - Rail on Indiana".
The great thing is the link in the upper right hand corner "Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program". It takes you to the Smithsonian site where there is an interactive map of Smithsonian affiliated musuems and historical sites across the country.
It is easy to find a Smithsonian Affiliate, just pick a state or the type of museum you are interested in visiting.
Research vs Experience
Did your great grandfather work for the railroad? If so a visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum may help you connect with his life.
If your ancestors hailed from Arkansas the Historic Arkansas Museum would be a great choice.
Or, if you are in the Windy City visit the Adler Planatarium and see how navigation instruments have advanced over the years.
Whether it is a day trip, a week's vacation or a family reunion include the family in your summer research. You will be creating family memories while getting more insight into your past.