I delight in writing reviews and recaps of the family vacations we're able to take during our school breaks! I also love the fact that even though it is a "school break" we are able to get some really fun learning in during the activities and places we visit! This vacation during Thanksgiving was no exception!
We decided to stay at Pickwick Landing State Park in Counce, TN after visiting the park in March. I think this is my favorite state park so far!
The benefit of staying in the inn of some of the state parks is the indoor swimming pools! The kids had a blast each evening swimming to their heart's content!
We also enjoy the Thanksgiving buffet at the parks - although next year I would love to make our own dinner maybe within one of the cabins! I'm excited to plan next year! On the way to the park I had burned some CDs with audio books/stories. One of the stories that the kids enjoyed this trip was "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving" by Louisa May Alcott. Christian loved the characters - especially the part in the story where the older son almost shot his friend wearing the bear skin!
When vacation sneaks in school 😆 I highly recommend the Indian Mound trail at Shiloh National Battlefield for kids to learn more about the Mississippians (these are also the native people to the Williamson County area.) We read on the trail signs about the lifestyles, buildings, and social gatherings that characterized their tribes. After, we did an audio tour of the battlefield and learned all about the battle of Shiloh!
The day after Thanksgiving we took our annual hike and went to Shiloh National Park. We took the trail around all the Native American mounds and learned about the Mississippian tribe. It is a GREAT hike! I recommend it for all ages!
After that, we went to the bookstore to get the CD audio tour of the battlefield. I love that it took us through the park with a chronological historical tour and we learned so much more about Johnston and Grant. I found out there is an app that is really handy as well and you can download it here!
Not far from Shiloh and Counce is the adorable town of Savannah, TN! I LOVE this Tennessee version of Stars Hollow! There's an active art scene it looks like with an adorable theater! We went to the Tennessee River Museum and it is a wonderful addition to the natural history that you can learn about in the area! I especially loved all the artifacts and history of the local tribes. There was also some great information on the Trail of Tears that got Christian interested in the discussion. We will spend more time on the subject next year for our history and I plan to come back to explore more in the area as we follow this history stream.
We drove about 90 minutes north west to Alamo, TN and visited the Tennessee Safari Park! This is such a fun park and we enjoyed it just about as much as we did back in May! Read about our previous trip here!
The other audio stories I prepared were from this awesome anthology called Fireside Book of Christmas Stories! I used audio from Librivox but I'm thinking of getting the book in print for all the wonderful stories! It definitely made all the driving more enjoyable!
Thanks for reading and I hope you all get a chance to enjoy these jewels of Tennessee! Now it's time to get ready for Christmas! Time to go home, do laundry, and start decorating!