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Great Falls, Virginia
August 10, 2011
June 4, 2005
When you first arrive at Fort McHenry, you walk from the parking lot to the visitor center. There you purchase blue stickers that serve as your "tickets" into the attraction. Adult admission is $5. Kids under 17 years of age are free. Don't leave the building before watching a short film on the War of 1812. Even younger children will like the movie.
After leaving the visitor center, take your time walking around the grounds. You'll find old barracks, a bomb shelter, and even an area that was used during the War Between the States to hold Confederate prisoners of war. There are plenty of signs to explain everything you'll see, but park rangers are available to answer extra questions.
A special highlight for my son was helping to fold the 19th-century replica of Old Glory that normally flutters above the fort. At this time, he learned why it is customary for Americans to fold the flag into a triangle. This strong shape serves to remind citizens of the old patriots' hats worn during the American Revolution, as well as the Holy Trinity.
Well worth the half day you could spend here with your family, Fort McHenry will be a big hit with kids who will love the freedom of wandering around outside while still learning about history.
From journal Historical Baltimore
October 19, 2000
From journal Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Fells Point