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Friday, September 9

You'll Be Back (Hamilton)

(scroll to bottom for unit study)  

This summer we finally made the journey back east to see our family.  We had been delaying for quite some time because traveling with very young children is just so much work!  While the main point of our visit was to reconnect with family members, the teacher in me couldn’t visit the east coast without seeing something historical.  The problem is, my kids are really too young for most of the amazing museums in the area so we needed something really kid-friendly.  My wonderful mother-in-law suggested Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and it was perfect!

Old Sturbridge Village is an amazing place that really showcases our country’s history in a unique and interactive way.  From the moment you enter, you are transported back in time with the help of historical interpreters and buildings original to the area.  The historical interpreters dress like villagers of the time (right after the Revolutionary War) and are ready to interact with visitors!  We found them to be so kind and willing to share their knowledge with us.

On the day we visited my daughter was able to help card wool into yarn, work an old fashioned washing machine and use tangrams to create a quilt block.  To say she was thrilled is really an understatement.  Everything is extremely kid-friendly- kids are invited to touch and interact with almost anything they encounter when visiting. 

If you walk through the main section of town, you will eventually get to the farm of Old Sturbridge Village.  We were able to watch a milking demonstration and learn how cheese was made back a few hundred years ago.  The farm area was easily my favorite part of the entire experience.  It was so green and quiet, I could imagine how peaceful it may have been to live back then.  My children were, of course, entranced with the sheep and calves.

Throughout the day they had many other great demonstrations that everyone in our party loved!  We watched a rifle firing, learned how they fire their pottery in the kiln and watched a women use a spindle to make yarn.  There were even areas that had games of the time, my daughter and I had fun trying our hand and hoop rolling and wooden stilts.  We also went on a great horse drawn carriage ride and a fun boat ride around the lake.

I was struck by how much work went into basic daily life.  Watching how much effort went into just doing one load of laundry made me so thankful to be living in present times with my electric washing machine!  There was really so much to see and we did not get to it all in just one day.  Luckily, they were offering an extra free day of admission with any paid admission that day- be sure to ask about this when you visit!  Old Sturbridge Village was so much fun!  I loved that my kids were able to run around and experience the past in a fun way.  As a teacher, I love how we were effortlessly transported back into history- the entire experience was truly amazing and very well done.  My daughter keeps asking to go back to the village, I’m sure we will be back the next time we are on the east coast.

Shannon is the proud mother to two young children and three geriatric dogs.  As a San Diego native, she loves exploring the city and finding new and interesting things for her family to do.  In her free time, she loves to cook, garden and ignore piles of laundry.  You can find her at
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