Activities Abound for Youths and Families during February School Vacation
Contact: Shera Cohen, (413) 271-3982
SPRINGFIELD, MA - School vacation weeks are opportune times to visit local museums. From February 18 - 25, 2012, activities will particularly focus on youth at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Numerous indoor and outdoor programs for individuals and small groups are scheduled each day. All activities are free, and each participant will receive a gift.
This year, young people can self-select from ten brand new activities which include a firearms scavenger hunt through the indoor exhibits.Outdoor tours will challenge the adventurer to uncover hidden meanings behind markings and design features of the Armory buildings. By completing a series of educational and fun steps, children can earn badges as Junior Rangers. Civil War and Park Ranger costumes may be worn to put youth "in character" as actual soldiers and rangers. Children particularly enjoy posing as Park Rangers. Photographs are then taken for the child to keep.
February vacation week falls during the observance of George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. According to Joanne Gangi-Wellman, Visitor Services Supervisory Park Ranger, "It is a nice coincidence that the Springfield Armory's founder was George Washington. In 1794, he selected this beautiful and large site on the hill as the first military arsenal in the United States."
Families can also choose from activities offered year round - an orientation film, an outdoor walking tour of the buildings and grounds, and an afternoon museum tour.
The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation's first armory (1794 - 1968) and was established by George Washington. The site includes historic grounds, buildings, and the world's largest historic American military firearms collection. The park is open daily from 9am - 5pm. There is ample parking and the building is wheelchair accessible. For further information and weather cancelation call 413-734-8551 or check the website at www.nps.gov/spar.
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Did You Know?
Author Charles Dickens toured Springfield Armory’s Hill Shops and Water Shops on his 30th birthday, February 7th, 1842, a year before publication of A Christmas Carol. The first of two visits to America, he and his wife were accompanied by the superintendent and the paymaster. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.