A field trip to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley!
Last year I set up a multigenerational field trip for families to visit The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. At the time, our homeschool students were learning about U.S. History and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was hosting a limited engagement of Lincoln The Exhibition: The Life and Times.
Lincoln The Exhibition: The Life and Times explored the life of Abraham Lincoln, commemorated the Civil War and marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The exhibition featured over 250 original artifacts on Abraham Lincoln and sets from the Steven Spielberg-directed movie Lincoln.
Items included President Lincoln’s famous stovepipe hat, a bloodied pillow from the night he died, a Lincoln-signed Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, an American flag that draped President Lincoln’s coffin and Mary Todd Lincoln’s Bible, jewelry and other personal items. It was fascinating to see this historical memorabilia in person after reading about it in textbooks.
After walking through the Lincoln exhibit, we went on a docent led tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
When I was a child, I remember watching several of President Ronald Reagan’s historical moments on television; including the day the Berlin Wall fell, the demise of Russian communism and the assignation attempt on his life. I was able to relive all of these moments by walking through the library.
What I personally enjoyed the most though was walking through Air Force One and seeing the original Jelly Belly Ronald Reagan poster.The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is also child friendly. I brought my 6-year-old son at the time and he enjoyed crawling through the make shift Berlin Wall, horseback riding above the President and First Lady’s ranch in Santa Barbara and delivering a Presidential message from the podium.
After the docent tour, our older students went to the library’s Discovery Center where they were immersed in a historical crisis during President Reagan’s term in office.
The students role played various members of the oval office, military and press corp in a realistic setting that engaged and excited them from the moment they entered.
The Discovery Center experience is appropriate for children in 5th grade and above. The Library is very strict on this fact too. Each child is assigned a role to play and homework is given ahead of time in order to prepare for their part. If the child does not do their homework then they can not participate in the experience. The Discovery Center experience is FREE for all students.At the end of the day, my family and I stopped by President Reagan’s memorial to pay our respects and say a little prayer. It was a very humbling experience. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California.
To plan your next visit to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, please click here.
Happy Field Tripping,
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. All points of view are our own. Images used by permission from Heather Martinson, Windi Eklund and Wikimedia Commons.