Home & Leisure

Taking the Kids: Celebrating women's accomplishments on your next trip

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

You go, girl! "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I'm especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories," Oprah Winfrey said in her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes. The speech has spurred many to urge Winfrey to run for president in 2020.

Oprah's speech comes, of course, as the entire country has begun a national conversation on sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, as we've watched a parade of the most prominent and powerful men in the nation toppled as a result.

Likely, you've had a conversation with your teens and tweens about this -- what's acceptable behavior in school and the workplace, what's not.

But there is another important cue we can take from Winfrey's words when we travel -- show our kids the ways women have contributed and made a difference in our history.

If you are visiting Jamestown Settlement in Virginia's Historic Triangle, for example, highlight the real story of Pocahontas, who helped ferry food to the starving English settlers in Jamestown and was considered a sign of peace for helping John Smith avoid execution.

The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia is so committed to telling the stories of women who played a significant role in the American Revolution that there is a printed gallery guide highlighting women's stories throughout the museum, from the most well-known figures like Martha Washington and Abigail Adams to women we don't know much about like Mumbet, an enslaved Massachusetts woman, who sued for her freedom and won, and Deborah Sampson, who dressed as a man to fight in the Continental Army and dug a bullet out of her own thigh to avoid being discovered.


In Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Julia Child's home kitchen is the opening story of the museum's first major exhibition on food history:"FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000"; The museum's Wegmans Wonderplace, the first gallery on the National Mall designed for kids 0 to 6, includes the chance to "cook" in a kitchen inspired by Julia Child's.

And in New Orleans, women's contributions are prominently highlighted in the National World War II Museum's newest exhibit The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George Brown Salute to the Home Front, as well as throughout the museum.

In New York's Hudson Valley, you can visit Eleanor Roosevelt's house Val-Kill, the only National Historic Site dedicated to a first lady located on the estate that was the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, N.Y. Eleanor Roosevelt was the mother of six and an activist, diplomat and author, controversial as a first lady for being outspoken, particularly on the issue of racial equality. She also advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of Asian Americans and the rights of World War II refugees. She pressed for the United States to join the United Nation and became its first delegate.

But there are plenty of places that solely focus on women's contributions through our history:


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Loose Parts Non Sequitur Michael Ramirez Curtis Daddy Daze Mike Lester