Places to Go (Vacation) - Frontier Culture Museum (Staunton, VA)


This year, on our way back from Snowshoe, West Virginia, we decided to stop at the Frontier Culture Museum - located about three hours from DC off Highway 81. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but we needed to stretch our legs for awhile. Luckily, this place is incredible.

The Frontier Culture Museum is what Epcot's World Showcase could be if Disney ditched all the gift stores and actually tried to teach us something about the world (as previously noted, I'm not Epcot's biggest fan). At the Frontier Culture Museum the "world" also includes a time machine, which transported us back to Europe (and Africa) in the late 1600s - we visited England, Germany, and Ireland while meandering past beautiful streams and ponds. Costumed guides talked to us about daily life - from farm animals to looms. The kids loved asking questions and almost every house had something for them to "play" with (P loved the brooms for some reason). You're encouraged to look around and touch everything - the kids seemed fascinated by the "toilet bowls" under every bed.

After we finished touring the globe, we visited different periods in American history. The earliest house (a log cabin) demonstrated life in the 1740s, from there we checked out an 1820s farm. Though we didn't have time to visit it, an 1850s farm resides across the street. And an American Indian exhibit is under construction.

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this place. We visited on a 100 degree day and still spent almost 3 hours traversing the non-air-conditioned grounds, which really says a lot.

The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm seven days a week. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children aged 6-12. For more information, click here.


First stop - Africa. The small doors were built for safety reasons (harder to invade). And those thatched roofs survived the big storm that took down most of VA's power lines. Pretty impressive.


Next stop - England. P checked out every chest and the kitchen was hot hot hot. We didn't last long inside. Luckily the grounds are lovely, tons of green space and small streams.


Ireland was probably our favorite stop. The loom really impressed the kids - they asked question after question. And P decided to clean the house (too bad she never does this at home).


We all loved the "funny" German shoes. And the hats.


We ended our tour in America, pretty exhausted from walking over a mile in high heat. The American section of the museum houses three different estates (1740s, 1820s, and 1850s). We spent almost all of our time at the pretty large 1820s estate, where tons of yard games entertained my children. We also checked out the early american schoolhouse (pictured above).

After America, we took the shuttle back to the visitor's center and modern-day life. And everyone (except me) slept for most of the 3 hour drive home. A wonderful afternoon. If you're ever in the area, I HIGHLY SUGGEST a visit to the Frontier Culture Museum.

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