Spending a Day with FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt in New Hyde, New York
By Meg Brunson
Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt is the only first lady (so far) to have a national park in her honor? It's true! And it's located just a short drive from the FDR Library and Museum in New Hyde, New York in the Hudson Valley. I was really excited to introduce the kids to Eleanor Roosevelt - and learn more about her myself... and then continue learning about US Presidents at FDR's memorial.
Eleanor Roosevelt's home is called Val-Kill after a nearby river. We loved watching a video introduction and taking a tour through her modest home. The home reminded me of my Great Aunt Jean's home - covered in photographs of her family and loved ones, a variety of patterns and colors reflected in her furniture. It was cozy. The kids completed a Junior Ranger booklet at the site and we loved learning about what a powerful woman she was, and how much she stepped up to influence the United Nations long after FDR passed away and her role as First Lady ended.
The drive to the FDR Museum and Library was only about 15 minutes, so not walkable, but a quick and easy drive! Even with the America The Beautiful Pass that we purchased - giving us free access to many national parks - the FDR Library does have an admission fee. At the time of our visit, kids under fifteen were free, and it was $10 per person over the age of fifteen. It was definitely worth the $20 it cost for my family to visit.
The museum reminded me of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis in so much as it was very modern and impressive. There were a variety of exhibits covering Roosevelt's presidency, the New Deal, and his THREE Inaugurations - I had no idea (or didn't remember) that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only president to be elected to three terms - before the twenty-second constitutional amendment limited presidents to two terms!
My eight year old really loved being able to listen to the fireside chats, and we all seeing the president's desk in a room designed to feel like the oval office. In the basement we were able to see Roosevelts car, which was on display along with a variety of model ships that FDR collected. The family enjoyed the variety of exhibits within the museum, and the grounds of the park were also beautiful. The kids especially loved the statue of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in the garden.
To begin planning a trip to FDR's Museum and Library, you can visit https://www.fdrlibrary.org/. You can learn more about the home of Franklan D. Roosevelt at https://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm, and also plan to visit Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt's home and national monument at https://www.nps.gov/elro/index.htm. Though we did not visit ourselves, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is also nearby!
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Year-Long Road Trip!
© 2019 Meg Brunson
All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!