Ask Us | T+L Family | September 2007
Published: May 2009
Our fourth grader is studying Native American history this fall. We'd like to go see something relevant. Any ideas?—N.M., Media, Pa.
Join a powwow. You'll take in drumming circles and jingle-dress dances, and probably get to investigate the inside of a teepee, watch branches being carved into bows, and sample sassafras tea. These Native American cultural gatherings have sprung up nationwide (there's even one in Brooklyn!), and no, they're not just tourist fare, though you'll likely add to the family dream-catcher collection. See powwows.com for year-round listings. Two this fall: Pojoaque, New Mexico's All-Children's Powwow, on October 13, and the Tennessee State Powwow, in Nashville October 19–21, which draws members of the Creek, Cherokee, and dozens of other tribes. Also worth the pilgrimage: Washington, D.C.'s National Museum of the American Indian (Fourth St. and Independence Ave. SW; 202/633-1000; www.nmai.si.edu), currently showing two centuries of women's tribal dresses in the exhibition "Identity by Design." (P.S. The museum's café serves a mean fry-bread taco.)
I wonder if our five-year-old will remember our vacations in Italy and Costa Rica when she's older. At what age is it worth taking a kid on a special trip?—E.L., Bend, Oreg.
We've been wondering the same thing, especially after hearing our own kids describing the hotel pool and forgetting to mention the Grand Canyon. For a professional opinion, we turned to Robyn Fivush, an Emory University psychologist who studies early memories. She told us most adults don't recall things that happened to them before they were five or six. So if you hope your child will one day tell her kids about the first time she saw the Colosseum, wait till she's seven or older. That said, you should still get packing: when Fivush asks families to share memories of a positive event, virtually all of them pick…vacations.
We keep hearing about people traveling to Morocco with kids. Is that a good idea?—N.N., Lexington, Va.
Absolutely—if you're up for camel rides in the Atlas Mountains; snake charmers, acrobats and magical souks in Marrakesh; and windsurfing in Essaouira. Though most hotels can arrange for a guide and driver to take you around, for ease and peace of mind, we recommend working with a travel specialist—such as Explorations' Betty Jo Currie (800/451-9630; bettyjo@ explorationsltd.com), one of T+L's perennial A-List agents—to put together a detailed itinerary for you and your gang. Or consider a tour designed for families from the Adventure Center (adventurecenter.com; eight days from $675 per person). Bring us back some slippers, will you?✚
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