10 Ways to Explore the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida
One of the most well known attractions, and the oldest attraction in Florida (the guest book has signatures dating back to 1868) in St Augustine Florida is the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The 15 acre park is the original site of the oldest European settlement in the United States. In April 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon and his three ship fleet arrived at the area just above St Augustine (beating out the Plymouth Pilgrims and Jamestown settlers!). Within the next 50 years, the Menendez Settlement and the first Christian Church were both founded. Today, the park has preserved some of the structures and added engaging, hands on exhibits, programs, and opportunities to learn about the first settlement and our country’s origins.
10 Things to Do at the Institute for American Indian Studies
Located in Washington, Connecticut in the heart of Litchfield County, the Institute for American Indian Studies celebrates the largely unknown Indigenous history of New England. Opened in 1975, the 15 acre complex includes indoor exhibits, an outdoor replicated Algonkian Village, hiking trails, and even a Wigwam Escape Room experience. The Algonkian people inhabited much of the northeastern United States up until the 1700s and includes over 100 distinct groups and communities. The museum is very hands on and docents are eager to share anecdotal stories and explain the significance of artifacts on display. (Definitely ask for an atlatl demonstration!)
10 Family Friendly Ways to Explore Jamestown Settlement and Chippokes Plantation State Park in Virginia
One of the most popular living history museums in America, Jamestown Settlement tells the story of the first permanent English settlement in 1607 and the cultures that converged there. It originally opened as a museum in 1957 and was expanded in 2007, in commemoration of its Quadricentennial. Named in honor of King James I of England, the complex includes immersive indoor and outdoor exhibits, and daily interactive demonstrations.
City Guide: 20 Ways to Have Fun in Mystic, Connecticut
Mystic, Connecticut is a quick, hour long drive along the coast from our home that our family enjoys making several times a year. The seaside town is home to many popular family friendly spots, and the nearby towns and cities of Stonington, New London, East Lyme, Norwich, and Niantic offer plenty more to see and do. Mystic was one of our first City Guides back in 2018; we have recently discovered some new-to-us places and thought we would update our guide.
10 Family Friendly Activities in Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria was established as a town along the northernmost part of the Potomac River in 1749, named after the Alexander family whose land formed the majority of the area. It was considered the first major seaport of British America. Known for its 18th and 19th century architecture (we could have spent days just walking the neighborhoods and checking out window boxes and front doors), it is a nationally designated historic district.
13 Living History Museums on the East Coast Kids Will Love
While traditional museums have priceless artifacts and works of art that are important to see (read why here), kids tend to be more engaged when they can get up close to history. One of the best opportunities for kids to engage with live interpreters and engage with tangible artifacts is a living history museum. Living history museums have indoor and outdoor exhibits, interactive displays, and daily programs and informative demonstrations. Many museums even offer summer camps for children. Most museums do close during winter hours (some spots keep indoor exhibits open), so we’re sharing this list now, as everything prepares to open for the 2021 season. Here are 13 of our favorite spots on the East Coast and two more that are on our 2021 list: