My husband works there and we visit often. I grew up near there, so it is very familiar to me. My children love the museums and the river front. It's the city! We are a country family. We live about 10 miles from a small town, which is 40 miles from the state capitol, a.k.a. "the city." Harrisburg, PA is not a large city, but it's large enough for this little country family.
Yesterday, we had a field trip into the city. Now, we do visit often. As I said in the opening, Todd, my darling husband, works in Harrisburg. We like to drive down and spend the morning at the museum http://www.statemuseumpa.org/home.html and then meet daddy for lunch. My parents still live in the small town in which I was raised, so we visit there quite often as well. Quite often, I just consider it as a visit, but after yesterday's trip, I'm ready to call it what it is. It's a field trip.
Yesterday I had to have a medical test in the Harrisburg area, so I left the boys with my mom and went to my appointment. Afterward the boys and I visited with Mom and Dad and then walked to the park. While walking to the park, we had discussions about sidewalks and the importance of them in a town. We watched jets and planes flying over our heads, increasing and decreasing altitude as they landed and took off from the nearby airport. We listened to the local church bells sing "The Old Rugged Cross" at the top of the hour. That's social studies, science, a little geography, music and bible as we sang with the hymn being played.
At the park, the boys had it all to themselves since it was the middle of a "school" day, my two guys built a most amazing town out of sand in the giant sandbox. We did lots of timed tests and other drills on the playground equipment. We were at the park for an hour and a half and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
We stayed in town until daddy got off work and then took in the opening game of our local minor league baseball team, the Harrisburg Senator's. http://www.senatorsbaseball.com/ Our team is very unique because the stadium is on an island. City Island is only accessible by bridge. One bridge is just for pedestrians, but we drove over and parked on the island. We spent the next two hours singing along with the songs, laughing at the games and antics between innings, and cheering on the players and umpires. (Daddy's an umpire for the Amateur Softball Association so we ALWAYS cheer for the umpire.) We all enjoyed 8 innings of the game before we were just too tired to continue and we headed back to the country.
Our field trip to the city was over. I realized that there are things that the boys need to learn from a trip to the city, and those things don't only occur in the museum. It's important for them to know how to handle themselves in traffic and what the purpose of a sidewalk is. When we're in the city, they can see an airplane closely in the sky. We meet people who are like us, and many who are different. It's a valuable experience and well-worth the trip.