Spring break staycations: Stone Mountain, Railway Museum offer historical experience

Did you know Gwinnett County was named for Button Gwinnett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence? Or that the Confederate Memorial Carving on Stone Mountain - the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world - depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War?

You don't have to travel far to help bring history to life this spring break. Whether you travel right over the county line to Stone Mountain or take a trip to the state's official transportation history museum, the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, take the time to talk to your children about what they've learned about history.

Where to go

The Southeastern Railway Museum on Buford Highway, just south of downtown Duluth and north of Pleasant Hill Road, features about 90 pieces of retired railroad equipment, including historic Pullman cars and classic steam locomotives.

At Stone Mountain Park, located just off U.S. Highway 78 in DeKalb County, explore history and geology, then take some time to relax. Several activities are available this week during the park's "Spring Fun Break."

What to do

At the Railway Museum, take a ride in a restored caboose, and talk to your kids about how transportation has changed throughout the years.

With an Adventure Pass at Stone Mountain Park, you can watch "Journey to the Center of the Earth: The 4-D Adventure," climb high into the trees on the adventure ropes course "Sky Hike," take the Summit Skyride to the top of the mountain or check out a museum.

How much will it cost

Admission to the Railway Museum is $8 for adults and $4 for children aged 2 to 12. Children under 2 can get in free, and discounts are available for seniors and National Railway Historical Society members.

An Adventure Pass at Stone Mountain Park costs $26 for adults and $21 for children aged 3 to 11, plus tax. A one-day parking permit costs $8. If you plan to stay all day, bring some extra cash to buy food.

When to go

The Railway Museum's Caboose Days festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum will also be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.srmduluth.org.

"Spring Fun Break" starts today, and the park will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. all week. It will close at 6 p.m. on April 12, the event's final day. For more information, visit www.stonemountainpark.com.

Teacher's tip

Before traveling, students can research their destination to find out the history and relevance of the location, Radloff Middle School principal Patty Heitmuller said.