I recently gave my nephew one of those build-your-own-volcano kits. The box cover featured an illustration of a weird, science fiction-y landscape and a terrifically exploding volcano. In the box was a hollow, putty-colored plastic cone, some fast-drying plaster and tiny buckets of red, yellow and brown paint. You had to supply your own vinegar and baking soda for the eruption.
He and his Dad swabbed the plaster all over the cone, slapped some paint on it and poured the vinegar and baking soda inside. Then they stood back, tensed for what was sure to be a massive explosion. After a few seconds, a bit of white foam began leaking from the top. It dribbled down the sizes, fizzing weakly.
"Lame," said my nephew, trouncing off to race cars on his Wii.
He has a point. To really experience a volcano, you need the real deal and not some cheap craft model. In the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are definitely the place to go for volcano adventures. With several still-active volcanoes and a myriad of things to see and do on and around them, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you choose, we picked out five volcano adventures that are sure to light your lava. First up, Volcanoes National Park.