Taking a trip through history with the family is an exciting and unique adventure that doesn’t come around often. Living history events take place all over the United States each year, some just celebrating the rich history of a region, others commemorating battles or events of significance that took place. Attending one of these events with your family, or even participating in the reenactments yourself is an exciting way to vacation and step back in time with the entire family this summer.
The following are some of the biggest and best living history events for families and ideas to integrate these types of events into your own family vacation.
Finding Living History Events
Living history events can be based around any event that has considerable historical significance to a community, state or the nation as a whole. Some of these events mark huge war battles, important gatherings that took place at one point in history, or celebrate the beginning of a small town. To find one of these living history events in an area you will be traveling to, or to choose a destination based on an event, check with travel bureaus for events happening.
History That The Family is Interested In
People enjoy participating in and attending living history events for several reasons, most because of their love for history. Figure out what it is about living history that would most capture your family’s attention and focus your choices based on that. If anyone in the family is interested in a specific time period, event or location, focus on those interests to plan because its easier to build excitement around a particular interest that already exists.
Taking Part or Just Attend
If you and the family have a chance to participate fully in a living history event, there is the chance to learn and experience an entirely different way of living. Living history events can only take place when people volunteer their time to step into the roles of the people they are commemorating with these events. If you live close enough to an event, or are able to coordinate with volunteers before your vacation, try on the historical life or another person for a day. If you are not near the location of the event, or want to experience the event as an attendee for the first time, make sure to learn about all the different activities and re-enactments taking place throughout the day to make sure you are able to see what is most important to you.
Best Living History Events
With the huge number of living history events taking place around the country, it is impossible to list them all, especially when your choice should be based on your interests. These are some of the best events to step back in time with the family. Every year the Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is commemorated in the Old South Meeting House with over 100 volunteer reenactors taking part.
Columbia State Historic Park is an entire town trapped in time, and during the Fourth of July weekend it really comes to life. If California is on your travel route or you want to see a real Old West, gold town, a day spent here is full of entertainment. The Annual Gettysburg Civil War Battle Reenactment is perhaps one of the biggest and best attended of all living history events. Even if you cannot make it for the actual battle, which happens over the Fourth of July weekend every year, there are about 400 activities taking place in the week before and after the battle that are great for families and history buffs to see.