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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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10 Ways to Have Fun at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the world. Recreating life in the 1770s, the 300 acre complex includes over 40 historic trade shops, homes, community space, and taverns. The complex is one mile long and a half mile wide and is divided into four key areas: The Visitor Center, Palace Green, Capitol, and Market Square. Palace Green, Capitol, and Market Square areas include historic sites, trades buildings, as well as lodging, shopping, and dining options.

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