I started a tradition with the kids back when difficult child 1 was in 4th grade. All 4th graders in our state spend some time studying the Spanish missions that are dotted up and down the length of the western coast. The tradition involved me taking my 4th grader on a weekend visit to their assigned mission. difficult child 1's mission was about a 2.5 hour drive north and we left on Friday night and came back Sunday afternoon. We'd go to dinner, spend the evening reading about the mission, then go visit it in the morning after breakfast. We were usually done with the tour by lunchtime, so we'd go eat, then do a little sight-seeing together, have another fun dinner out, and come home after breakfast the next day. It worked the same way for difficult child 2, (his mission was about the same distance away, but the other direction) and now it's easy child's turn. For some reason, this is not a required project for easy child, so she's doing it for extra credit. This also means we got to choose where to go, and this mission is about half the distance away as the other two. (If this were four or five years ago when difficult child 1 did it, we could have afforded to fly somewhere farther away, but I've got to watch the expenses much more closely this time). She knows we are going some time this month, but she doesn't know we're leaving after school today! husband decided to take the day off since he stayed home for difficult child 1's school meeting this morning, so he'll be able to take over so we can leave. It should be a lot of fun!