*** family outings country trends

Family Outings: Country Trends

family outings
Figure 1.--Here we see a family outing to Coiney Beach near New York City in 1912. Father not doubt took the snapshot.

Family outings varied from country to country. Here we are primarily talking about Europe and North America. Of course the wealthy has always been able to travel for pleasure. Only with the the industrial revolution and the creation of a large middle class and prosperous workers were the great bulk of the population able to enjoy these outings. And with the spread of this prosperity to countries in the deloping world after World War II we begin to see similar outings in these countries as well. Here there were vast differences. Many countries remained mired in traditional culture which inhibited growth. Others continued to be dominated by ethb\nic and religious divisionshich also limited growth. Leaders in many countries were impressed with socialist ideology and authoritarian government which proved an economic dead end. Only a few countries embraced democracy and capitalism. Those that did (especially the Asian Tigers) experienced econoomic growth. The number if these countries has increased in recent years. Changes in China and India in particular have resulted in spectacular ecoinomic successes lifting the largest number of people from poverty in human history. And the chaanges in social behavior has followed with more and more families enjoying the very same familiy outings initially seen in Europe and North America. We have just begin to build country outing psges.


American boys might participate in a range of family outings. The appearance of urban parks provided aange of opportunities in many cities. Family picnics into the country were popular. Hiking seems less popular in America than in European countries like America. A drive into the country in the family car seems more of the Americzan approach. This of course often ended with a picnic. And Henry Ford's Model T make the automobile afordable to the average country. Especially popular were county, and for the lucky, state fairs. There were also special expositions such a World Fairs. We note the Columbia Exposition in Chicago during 1983. There were a range of other outings such as circuses, such as the Barnum and Bailey circuses as well as smaller ones. Beach outings were also popular by the end of the 19th century, but here there were regional differences. People living along the coast could easily get to beaches. Some could even make day trips. Americans living in the mid-West had a long way to go to get to a beach, although Chicago had Lake Michigan. Only after World War II did the Middle Class have the ability to reach ocean beaches.


Many fashions are associated with a variety of family outings or at showcase contemprary fashions. Most cities opened public parks in the 19th century. Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York were two of the most famous. Canadian patterns were similar to Britain and America. A major differenc is that Canada includes large areas of unsettkled territory, much ofit in arctic and subartic areas, in some ways similar to Russia. . These outings were an excellent opportunity to display the latest fashions and mothers insisted that the children be attired as fashionally as they did. Family incomes were rising in the 19th century, especially the late 19th century. Many families for the first time had the money to go on outings, especially during the warm summer months when the rapidly expanding private and state schools were not in session. Families in the 19th century often dressed up for these events like picnics or even trips to the seaside, outings that would be considered casual events in our modern world. Most of these events were family events. One major event specifically for the children were summner camps--often a child's first experience away from home. Some families went camping as a family group. Parks existed before the 19th century, but it was in the 19th century that they came into their own. As industrial cities grew, it was inceasingly seen that gree areas for the city residents were neded. Canada did not have large indutrial in the 19th century, but this began to change after World War I and now does have a few. Many of the most famous parks, like New York's Central Park, were opened in the 19th century. Some parents used to dress their children up even for park outings. An important event in the daily life of nursery-bound children were daily outings to city parks. We do not yet have much information on Canadian parks. We do note Vancouver's unuque Stanley Park which has attracted visitors from all over the world.


Outings for average people are basically a modern invention, a product of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. This increasesed productivity and thus what workers could produce. This this raised the value of labor and what workers could earn. The British essentially invented the seaside vaxation. And once railroafd apperared (mid-19th century, all English workers were within a few hours of beach resorts. At about the sanme time urban parks including zoos began to appear. We note a range of family outings. Some of the best known are outings to the local park. These commonly are simply short outings. City parks were a 19th century innivation, a development following the industrial revolution and the tremendous growth of cities with the expanding working class. Britain has some of the most famous city parks in the world. In addition to the famous parks there are large numbers of city parks which provide recreation for adults and children. Many of the resorts are quite famous. Many of them built peers with all kinds of amusements. Another development in the 19th century was excursions. An excursion is a short trip to an interesting or diverting place with the idea of returning the same day or within a few days. This was made possible at first by the railroads which appeared in the mid-19th century. This made it possible to travel to interesting places and return quickly at a very modest price. Here beach excursions as well as longer holidays were especially popular, particularly for families with children. There were all kinds of other excursions such as trips to the Lake Country or hiking trips. But these trips often did not interest children as much as beach excursions. And trains were not the only mode of transport. We note for example steam ship excuesions. Britain is an island and seaside resorts are close to every English town. The coming of the railroad in particular mean that beach resorts could be reached in only about 1-2 hours from any English towns.


There are all kinds of family outings that French families enjoy. Outings to the countryside for a picnic are popular as they are in other countries. Tourism is also popular. France is today one of the most popular countries for tourism around the world. When people are questioned where they want to visit, France inevitably is at the top or near the top of the list. Before World war II, intenational travel was for the wealthy, but there were plenty of domestic tourists. There is plenty to see in France: Rivierra beaches, many historical sites with wonderful castles and chateaus, beautiful country side, wine areas, Paris with all its art treasures, religious sites, and much more. The building of rail lines in the 19th century was a major step in making tourism possible for the averahe person. Children of course were involved both as tourists on family trips and working at tpurists sites in a range of capacities.


German children enjoyed a range of outings. Some outings may be simply playing the the stree or sidewalk near the home. Often parents set limits as to how far younger children could go. There were also trips or erands to local shops. Or perhaps see a movie at a local theater. We see many children on city side walks, although we are not sure where they are headed. Some children are checking out a a Litfaßsäule. Mom might take the children out on a shopping trip. Or they might go off th visit a friends home or nearby relatives. One of the most popular outings to local city parks. We do not yet know much about German urban parks. Some boys might go by themselves. Younger boys would be escorted. Some parks had beaches on lakes. Outings to beaches were popular in Germany, although actual sea beaches were only available in far north and the teperature of the water was rargher cold. Visits to zoos were always popular. A good example is an unidentified German boy in the 1930s. Sone very good zoos were located in Germany. Parents might take children to museums making a nice family outing, Outings to local parks were of course especially popular. Family outings in the country side seem especially popular with Germans. A good example is a unidentified family on a country outing in the 1930s. We notice many photographs of German boys with bikes.


We have only limited information at this time that boys might take. With children this often means family outings, but older children can go on limited outings on their own or with groups of friends. We suspect that there were many similarities to other European countries. City families had parks including piazzas to visit, although we have little information on Italian city parks at this time. A major difference with America is that few Italians families had cars. This restricted family mobility. This of course was a factor throughout Europe. Thus exursions into the country were limited. We think visirs to grandparents and other family members were popular. Many Italians moved to the city in the 20th century. Thus city parents liked to take the kids back to where they grew up and spend ime with the grandparents. This made picnics into the country difficult. Bicycles provided some mobility for older boys. But here again, poverty was a factor. Many Italian families could not even afford bicycles. Italy is a large peninsiula extending into the Mediterranean. Thus most Italiand live close to beaches. And quite a few cities are ports with city beaches. Thus beach visits and seaside outings became an important part of Italian life. We see Italian families at the seaside in the early 20th century, but have only limited information at this time.


Japan has some lovely urban parks. We do not yet have much information as to when these parks were created or conventions about their use. We note families using them for recreation. Some photographs show families wearing suits and other formal clothes rather than casual clothes when visitging these parks. We also notice a number of interesting traditional activities. One such tradition is a children's theater somewhat similar to Punch and Judy in the West. This is called "kamishibai", kind of theater in a box. There are also many revered temples and shrines scattered around the country. Some times the families or some of the members wear tradition clothes when visiting the shrines. We also notice beach resorts.


We have begun to collect information on popular outings in Russia. Until the Revolution they followed the general European pattern within the constraints of geography and socio-economic structure. An exception was the large rural serf and former-serf population which were only barely participating in the money economy. The growing urban industrial work force was not well paid less able to take vactions especilly seaside vacations. Here geography was also a factor. Tsarist Russia had a relatively small middle class compared to America and the industrial European countrues. This all affected the outings that the Russian people were able to take. The Bolshevik Revolution fundamentally changed Russia. The middle-class expanded, but workers continued to be poorly paid, earming only a fracrion of their ciounterparts in the western capitalist countries. . There was an effirt for industrial enterprizes to reward workers with expense-paid vacations. We have, however, very limited information on this. Such trips were mostly by rail. Very few Russians had cars until the demise if the Soviet Union (1991). We notice a range of outings popular in Russia, often as part of family activities. One such outing was to parks, although we do not yet know much about Russian parks. The Soviet regime placed some emphasis on building city parks to provide some afordable recreation for the epnding industrial proleterit. Beach outings were less common because of the climate, geograophy, and economic system. Russia has an extensive coastline, but as most of it is along the Arctic Ocean and Bearing Sea was not exactly condusive for beach going. There were some beaches on the Baltic. The Baltic republics were part of the Tsarist Empire and during World War II, Stalin seized them. There were also Black Sea resorts such as Yalta, but until the Revolution, they were only available for the well-to-do. One popular venue during the Tsarist era as in the rest of Europe was warm mineral spring spa (figure 1). Some of the European resorts were world famous. We know less about the Russian springs. Perhaps the best known outings for Russians was spending the summer in dachas--summer country cotages. Some were year round second homes. But only the well-to-do could aford dachas.


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Created: 6:50 PM 6/11/2009
Last updated: 7:39 PM 3/22/2021