Places in the Boston Area to Teach Kids About History
For this generation of children, "long ago" means life without cell phones, so it's really hard for a lot of children to understand what life was like in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s.
Fortunately, we live in the most incredible region of the country to experience Early America first-hand. All over the Northeast, you can find places to visit to teach your children about these times.
Plimoth Plantation and The Mayflower: Step aboard a replica of the Mayflower and learn what it was like for the Puritans as they came over to the new world. At Plimoth Plantation, visit the homes. Interpreters speak in an accent similar to what the Puritans would use and act and work as if it truly was 1620-1621. They do not break character. There is also a section that interprets the way of life for the Wampanoag people. In future years, consider going to Plimoth for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Salem: Salem is best known for its Witch Trials in the late 1600s. There are so many museums and historical homes in this town. Your local library may even have passes to some of them!
Strawberry Banke is open through Thanksgiving weekend and is offering a tour called three centuries of Thanksgiving.
Old North Bridge/ Minuteman National Park: Hours of the visitor center are limited in the winter, but the bridge is always open. You can also walk the Battle Road and see historical homes along the way.
The Boston Tea Party Ship is a great space for families to explore Boston's rebellious acts. They also have a reenactment night on Friday, December 15. Check out the website for more details.
Paul Revere's House in the North End is a cool stop. It's just so old and creeky. If your child attended third grade in Massachusetts, Paul Revere is a name that they should know from Social Studies class!
There's lots of ways to experience the Freedom Trail in Massachusetts.
Across from the Old State House is the National Park Visitor Center. This is great if you want to explore on your own.
The Freedom Trail Foundation offers tours.
Boston by Foot also offers guided tours through the end of November.
Boston by Little Feet is geared towards younger children. It doesn't open again until May.
The Adams Mansion is closed for the season, but is worth a trip in late spring once the flowers are in bloom!
Old Sturbridge Village is about an hour away and it offers a look at life in the 1830s. Check out their calendar, because they do offer some neat workshops, dinners, and other events.
Lowell Mills provides an opportunity to get a first-hand look at what life was like for the Mill Girls and the Mill Workers. Many locals whose families go back multiple generations have ancestors who worked in the Mills in New England as immigrants or as children.
Other good resources to check out:
What are some other great spots that you have found that teach children about the history of our area? Leave a comment!