Time is moving fast and that means the first semester of the school year is coming to an end. It’s time to start planning winter vacation for the kids. While some folks are going to be relaxing at home, others are hitting the streets and visiting new destinations before the new year. 

This year, consider checking out a few family winter break destinations where there’s an abundance of ties to Black history. Their connection to African Americans makes them excellent choices for families looking to dive into Black cultural travel experiences. Here are a few family winter break destinations to visit to learn more about the beauty and diversity of Black culture.

New York City, NYC

New York street sign
Photo credit: Kaysha

The Big Apple is a hub for Black culture and has been for decades. Hip-hop was born in the Bronx. The legendary Apollo Theatre sits in Harlem where iconic Black artists have performed since 1913. Harlem was also the birthplace of a renaissance of African-American creative culture and still is a NYC gem today. 

New York City is full of relics and monuments to the culture. No matter what borough you’re visiting with your family, there’s something for everyone. History lovers should visit the Louis Armstrong House and the African Burial Ground National Monument. For a taste of the islands, visit the Little Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn. You can also visit DJ Kool’s House in the Bronx for a dose of Hip Hop history.

Memphis, TN

street in Memphis
Photo credit: Heidi Kaden

Memphis has a ton of connections to Black culture. From music to civil rights, there are a plethora of monuments, historical districts, Black-owned businesses, and nature spaces to explore. Traveling families can attend a service at First Baptist Beale Street Church, the city’s oldest African-American congregation that served as a shelter for freedmen during the Civil War. The Memphis Heritage Trail, Tom Lee Park, and Civil Rights Trails provide incredible nature views while learning about Black culture. Travelers can also visit the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr was shot. The hotel is now the location of the National Civil Rights Museum.  

Boston, MA

library in Boston
Photo credit: C J

Many people might not connect Boston to Black culture. However, for those looking to dive deep into Black history in America, Boston is the perfect family winter break destination. The city is home to the Boston Black Heritage Trail. The 1.6-mile trail connects 15 historical sites throughout Beacon Hill. Each one holds significant importance to the history of Black people in the United States. The first building in the country dedicated to educating Black Americans, the Abiel Smith School, is on the trail. A historic barbershop that served as a safe meeting place for enslaved people on the Underground Railroad is on the trail as well as the oldest house built by an African American. 

Detroit, MI

Detroit has a lot of nicknames. Whether you call it the Dirty D, Hitsvilles, or Motor City, Detroit has a rich connection to Black history. Those looking to learn more about Black history while visiting Detroit during winter break should visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. For music culture lovers, families should visit the Motown Museum for a guided tour of the historic record label’s original building. Those exploring the city as a family should also check out the African Bead Museum, the Hermitage Slave Quarters, the Second Baptist Church, and other stops along the Underground Railroad.