goat1 The Travel Bloggers’ Caravan site-of-the-day is Amie O’Shaughnessy and Kristi Marcelle’s CiaoBambino.com, a site that inspires families to see the world. Post a comment on their blog today for a chance to win a Napa Valley Getaway (One-night stay at the Westin Verasa in Napa, California, plus gourmet lunch for two on the Napa Valley Wine Train).

For those with young literary travelers in tow, there are plenty of kid-friendly author houses and museums. Two of the sites that Shannon’s 10-year-old niece has visited with her are Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and the Millay Poetry Trail in Austerlitz, New York. Here are a few more places that will help inspire kids to become lifelong bibliophiles:

Carl Sandburg’s Connemara Farm (pictured) in Flat Rock, NC, where visitors can feed and interact with dairy goats descended from the poet’s champion herd.

 – Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, MO. Enhance the experience with a riverboat excursion on the Mississippi (Twain was once a riverboat pilot) and exploring the cave featured in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

 – Orchard House, Concord, MA, which hosts “Mornings with the Alcotts.”  Youngsters can play old-fashioned games and learn about 19th century life from costumed staff.

The Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge, MA puts on the summertime extravaganza “Family Sundays Art in the Park.” On the grounds of the poet’s historic house (once the headquarters of General George Washington during the Siege of Boston in 1775), participants can paint, draw, make 19th century crafts, and hear readings of Longfellow’s works. 

– The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, CA, is an interactive museum that explores the writer’s real and fictional worlds and gives children the opportunity to do things like use grooming equipment to help The Red Pony’s Jody Tifflin care for his horse. The Center recently launched the Kids Club program for those 12 and under. Classes are offered every Saturday morning (there is a $5 fee) and include activities like creating original artwork and meeting with authors, illustrators, musicians, and others.

Kristi Marcelle of CiaoBambino suggests visiting the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum if you’re in Key West. “If the lines are manageable, this is a literary tour that school-age kids will like as well,” she says. “Looking for the six-toed cats can create quite a fun ‘I spy’ game, and while the house and grounds are not kid-friendly per say they are definitely more casual than most museums and more enjoyable for a family.”

Post a comment on the CiaoBambino blog today for a chance to win a Napa Valley Getaway (One-night stay at the Westin Verasa in Napa, California, plus gourmet lunch for two on the Napa Valley Wine Train).

[photo courtesy of The Carl Sandburg Literary Society]