6 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids on President's Day
Let's be honest: When people think of February, they immediately conjure up images of Valentine's Day desserts and homemade soups. But, honestly, these are just a few of the perks as the leap month is also "host" to a very special celebration: President's Day.
The annual holiday honors all past presidents and the presidency itself and could serve as an opportunity for you to teach your little ones about the importance of the institution. So, if you want to keep them engaged during that long weekend, here are six fun things you can do on President's Day with your family and/or kids.
What is President's Day?
Also known as Washington's Birthday, President's Day is an annual federal holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday of February. The red-letter day was established by the Congress in 1885(1) in honor of the first U.S. president and founding father, George Washington.
Initially, the holiday was celebrated on February 22th, which was Washington's Birthday. But, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act(2), which moved several holidays from fixed dates to designated Mondays to increase the number of three-day weekends throughout the year.
By moving the date, many were led to believe that President's Day was also meant to commemorate Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday was on February 12th. That's why the celebration ended up serving as a tribute to all past presidents and their contribution to our country.
6 Fun Ways to Celebrate President's Day
1. Schedule a Road Trip to a Historical Location
If you live within a reasonable driving distance from a historical location (i.e., a national landmark, a district with historical significance, or a presidential birthplace), it'd be a good idea to go on a road trip with your family. In fact, depending on the proximity of the location, you could organize a day trip or spend the entire three-day weekend there as you sink into its history. It's totally up to you!
And if you live near Washington, D.C., note that you'll be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate place than Alexandria, Virginia. The city holds the country's largest President's Day Parade with marching bands and historical reenactments filling the streets where Washington himself once roamed.
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens is another praiseworthy destination as it offers an array of special events such as wreath-laying ceremonies, storytelling demonstrations, and other historical activities that kids can't help but love.
2. Take a Virtual Tour
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., features a permanent exhibition called The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (3). This presentation grants visitors an insight into the lives and contributions of the men who led our nation since its founding through 900 historical objects and artifacts.
However, heading to D.C. and paying a visit to the museum isn't for everyone – which is why you could take your little one on a virtual tour of the exhibit. The online platform allows you to look up each president and read everything regarding the objects featured and their connection to the presidency. The tour also provides online visitors with glimpses of the day-to-day life in the White House.
3. Make Themed Crafts
Another fun way to celebrate President's Day with your kid is to engage in some good old crafts. The best part about this activity is that it doesn't require any fancy equipment. All you have to do is get creative with the things you already own, i.e., coloring pens, paper, glue, glitter, etc. Lincoln's signature top hat and the presidential powdered wig (out of cotton balls) are two very easy options. But, if you feel like taking things up a notch, here's a short list of all the crafts you can take up:
4. Dine Like a President
We all know that long weekends are the perfect chance to get the family together and enjoy some of the tastiest home-cooked meals. But, given the holiday's theme, you could add a little presidential flair to the mix. That being said, recreate some of the dishes that made our former presidents weak in the knees (7), whether it's Roosevelt's beloved Yum Dogs or Nixon's favorite meatloaf. The Mount Vernon website(8) even shares some of George Washington's go-to recipes, allowing you to feast like it was 1799 all over again. But, if you don't feel like going that fancy, you can stick to basics by baking a flag pizza(9), whipping up a batch of these regal eagle cookies(10), or popping a bowl of blue, white, and red popcorn(11) for the kids. The options are endless!
Friendly tip 1: You can even ask your mini-me’s to help around in the kitchen and make this occasion a family matter.
Friendly tip 2: Since some of the recipes could be tricky, you can simplify the process by adding dried vegetables or freeze dried fruits. They are just as tasty and nutritious as the real deal and are already chopped, which shall cut your prepping time in half.
5. Put on a Play
This activity may sound like a lot of work, but it's totally worth it, especially if your little one is a natural at acting. That said, you can have them reenact the most memorable presidential speeches (in their own way, of course) or play out a "Day in the Life" as instructed by several children's' books. To get things started, design his/her costume (don't worry if it's not perfect), practice a few lines here and there, and let them have at it. You can even set up a play date with other parents, and along with your kids, write your own story about a president, and then have them star in it.
6. Write a Letter to the White House
It's never too early to teach your kids that speaking your mind is a good thing – especially if you have something valuable to bring to the table. So, for this President's Day, have your little one write a letter to the President or even the First Lady. Urge them to share their hopes, feelings, and ideas for the future, and forward their message to the White House. Just make sure you follow the guidelines (12) so that their letter doesn't get rejected.
How will you celebrate President's Day? Let us know in the comments down below!