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Gettysburg Pennsylvania. One place in this glorious country of ours that is jam packed with history!! Gettysburg is a phenomenal place to bring children who are studying the Civil War since you can't take two steps in this town without a historical backstory. Plus, how cool is it that your kids can walk the steps Mr. Abe himself walked before and after that famous speech. Your kids will be experiencing their history textbooks in real life. You can learn so much about the Civil War and the reasons behind it with a trip to this historical Pennsylvania town.
One of the perks of taking a weekend trip to Gettysburg is that it doesn't have to break the bank! Honestly, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to spend that much money at all since the main attractions are FREE! That's right, my favorite word, FREE. Here is a list of all the freebies in Gettysburg, PA!
1. GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
The Gettysburg National Park is definitely the attraction people flock to Gettysburg for and it is also free! You will definitely want to check out the visitors center so your kids can get their Junior Ranger badges, and you can pick up a free driving tour map of the Gettysburg Battlefield as well. Once you have your map in hand, follow the map around the park. There are signs throughout the park to stop and read and on weekends during the summer there are many re-enactments. Of course, some Gettysburg guest claim to have spotted soldiers walking around when there haven't been reenactments taking place...
2. Historic Round Barn
Build in 1914, this historic barn has been labeled one for the most genius designs of its time, also making it one of the most expensive. This unique landmark now holds a local farmer’s market where you can purchase goods from local businesses. There is also an area where your kids can pet animals such as goats. The building is definitely a breathtaking beauty to take in.
3. Take a Stroll through Historic Downtown Gettysburg
Walking the streets of Downtown Historic Gettysburg is literally like taking a step back in time. The buildings alone hold so much history. You will want to pay close attention to the plaques on the sides of the building for they will tell you the historical significance of that specific building during the Battle of Gettysburg. Plus, there are so many fabulous shops to window shop and on weekends it seems there are plenty of free samples to be had from the wineries and cafe's.
4. The Sachs Covered Bridge
This beautiful covered bridge is just as breathtaking in real life as it is in photos. Sachs Covered Bridge was used by both armies in the midst of the Battle of Gettysburg . When the Confederate armies ran off in defeat, they used this bridge to retreat south. As with many places in the area, there are claims that this bridge is haunted, with many urban legends of stories in and around the bridge. The Pennsylvania Department of Highways, the predecessor to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, also declared Sachs Covered Bridge to be the "most historic bridge" in Pennsylvania. I highly recommend making a visit to this bridge, that played a huge role in one of the darkest hours of our nation.
5. Hollabaugh Bros. Farm Market
Hollabaugh Bros. Is a neat little farm market right outside of Downtown Gettysburg. Hollabaugh Bros. is not only home to a shop filled with locally grown goodies, your kids will have a blast playing on the double slide and taking many photos in the many wooden, face cutout photo boards throughout the farm. They can even check their height while you snap a photo for a memory keepsake.
6. Gettysburg Train Station
When President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg to deliver what would become known as the Gettysburg Address, this small Pennsylvania town was in the midst of a massive cleanup effort after the battle just four months earlier. The train station-- Lincoln's first stop in Gettysburg-- explains that story and demonstrates the world the 16th president would have seen when he stepped off that train on Nov. 18, 1863. Located right downtown in Historic Gettysburg, you can see this site for free!
7. Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum
Be a kid in a candy store with more than 700 varieties of your favorites from yesteryear through today. Plus, you’ll never forget Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, featuring more than 12,000 pachyderm figurines, circus souvenirs, political paraphernalia, toys and more. It might cost you something to snack on the candy if you choose, but it won't cost you a dime to look at all the elephants on display. Your kids can even sit in an antique Disney Land Dumbo!
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