Instead of telling your kids what Memorial Day is all about, you can let them see for themselves and be entertained in the process Monday at the Armed Forces History Museum.
At the Memorial Day Family FunFest, kids can climb a rock wall, jump in a bounce house or power bungee jump. The grounds of the museum will swarm with military memories and history, but the excitement of the day doesn't end there.
"We've added face painting this year and an antiaircraft ride for children," said Cindy Bosselmann, the museum's marketing director. "And as part of FunFest this year, people can also tour the museum for free, which you couldn't do before."
While there will be plenty of military history outside, a walk inside the museum yields plenty, too. World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq are all represented.
Dioramas of different eras transport visitors to specific times and places. Whether it's the war-torn remains of a French Village during World War II or the chance to glimpse the attack on Pearl Harbor from the deck of the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi, children and adults will be immersed in the moment.
Check out the military uniforms and the World War I Red Baron Fokker Triplane overhead. Read letters from family to servicemen and women. Gaze at posters of the eras.
Through July 15, the exhibit "Titanic — A Voyage in Art" is also at the museum.
Walk outside again and listen to the music of Rhino Cubes DJ and karaoke. Hot dogs, chicken fingers, fries, corn dogs and funnel cakes are just a few of the food items offered by Mickey's Game Time Vending. Dippin' Dots will sell cold treats on what is hopefully a sunny day.
Last year, around 1,300 people attended FunFest, and at least that many people are expected Monday.
A 20-minute ride on an M8 reconnaissance vehicle is available. Up to three people can ride for a $50 fee, while the antiaircraft vehicle ride is only for children and costs $2.
"There will be so much for the family to do," said Bosselmann. "The FunFest ticket prices are attractive, and it's a quality fun-filled afternoon for the family."
Correspondent Theodora Aggeles can be reached at [email protected]