Tour the charming real-life locations of classic children's books

Some of our earliest childhood memories are of the fictional characters that populated our little worlds. The books can seem so real, and finding a way to connect that book to real life can be so exciting, whether you are an adult or a child. Here are five destinations that look a little deeper into childhood favorites.

Make Way For Ducklings

This classic book about a pair of ducks looking for the perfect place to raise a family in Boston has plucked at the heartstrings of its readers for over seventy years. You and your family can spot the Mallards making their way threw the Public Garden in the form of a bronze statue, ride the swan boats that so impressed the duck family, and view all the landmarks that Mr. and Mrs. Mallard discovered while on their quest, such as Beacon Hill. Feed the Mallards' descendants in the pond, and watch out for them if you're riding a bicycle!

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Gardens

No children's author is more iconic than Dr. Seuss. Not only are his characters endearing and instantly recognizable, his artwork is incredibly distinctive.

His hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, decided to immortalize some of his characters in a sculpture garden. Partially funded by his widow and designed by his stepdaughter, this monument to the good doctor is a labor of love.

See the man himself side-by-side with the Cat in the Hat, as well as Yertle the Turtle, the Lorax and Horton the Elephant on the Quadrangle Green right by the Springfield Library. If you can't make it to the Garden, consider visiting the Dr. Seuss Collection in the UC San Diego Library to see his original sketches, drafts and other memorabilia.

Curious George Store

The Curious George Store in Harvard Square is the only Curious George store in the entire world. And it is exactly what it sounds like: a retail store filled to the brim with Curious George merchandise. Toys, clothes, party supplies, and of course, the books can all be found in one handy location.

If you're a Curious George fan, or know someone who is, this is a must-see. It's a beloved Cambridge institution, and lots of fun even if you don't bring the kids.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Founded by Eric and Barbara Carle in 2002, this museum is the only full-scale museum of its kind in the world. It contains 3 art galleries, over 10,000 picture book illustrations, multiple libraries and many educational programs.

The obvious draw is the work of Eric Carle himself, but the museum has shown many other famous illustrators and authors as well.

On exhibit are eighty-five original works by Bernard Waber of "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" fame. The Carle collects, preserves, presents and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. It's a truly memorable museum, located in picturesque Amherst, Massachusetts.

Maurice Sendak Collection

The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia houses over 10,000 Sendak objects, including original drawings, preliminary sketches, manuscript materials, photographs, proofs and rare prints of Sendak books.

The museum shop is the only authorized source for a wide variety of books and prints signed by Maurice Sendak, as well as an assortment of unsigned Sendak books, prints, toys and more. There is always a selection on display in the Maurice Sendak Gallery. While you are there, be sure to see the rest of their literature collection, which includes first editions by many famous authors, ranging from Anne Bradstreet to Cervantes.

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