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Kids + Genealogy: Living History and Open Air Museums

Untitled 2 Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City

It’s Pioneer Day in Utah, which is a state holiday that celebrates the heritage of the settlers who came here in the 19th century. We have parades and fireworks and everyone hangs out and barbecues all day. For Eva’s first Pioneer Day, we took her to the local living history museum, This is the Place park, so we could get the real pioneer experience.

Untitled 3 Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City

That turned out to be a completely horrible idea, because the rest of Utah was crammed into the same park, but we enjoy the park on all other days of the year. It’s fun to wander through the cabins, visit with the farm animals, and talk to the volunteers who walk around in period costume. It’s been a great way for the kids to start learning about history and, if I could find pioneers in our past, I would love being able to point out what their great-great-grandparents lives looked like. Alas, our family pioneers have yet to reveal themselves.

Luckily, pioneers aren’t the only subject for living history museums. I’ve collected a list of history-based tourist attractions by state that would be a fun family genealogy outing:

Alabama

Alaska

California

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Vermont

Virginia

Utah

Washington

West Virginia

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2 Comments

  • Reply Carrie Murray

    Love the list! My husband and I love exploring historic places. Some other places that are great in North Carolina are Old Salem in Winston-Salem, Tryon Palace in New Bern, and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Old Salem is probably the most kid-friendly out of those places with a lot of neat hands-on activities.

    August 6, 2015 at 6:45 pm
    • Reply Carly

      Great, thank you! I’ve never been to North Carolina but it’s on my list now!

      August 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

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