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While Feb. 15 is President's Day, our kiddos know it only as an extra day off of school. And honestly, between catching up on homework and housework while trying to fit in some extra play time, I typically forget to tell my girls WHY we have a long weekend. But it's so important that our little ones know about the past, from the history of President's Day to the simple life of an 1800's Florida farm.
Gainesville has such fun places for kids and families to connect to the past! Here are five of our favorite historical places to visit. From seeing fossils at the Florida Museum of History to churning butter at Dudley Farm, these spots are definitely worth a visit!
1. Morningside Nature Center - The City of Gainesville hosts two fun events at Morningside - Barnyard Buddies (every Wednesday) and Living History Days (the first Saturday of every month). At Living History Days, the1870's Florida Farm comes! And at Barnyard Buddies, kids have the chance to look at, touch and even feed some of the farm animals!
2. Historic Haile Homestead - This homstead, nestled in Haile, is known as the "Talking Walls." There are literally over 12,500 words covering the walls of the home, written more than a century ago. You can tour the homestead every Saturday and Sunday for only $5/person. Children 12 and younger are FREE!
3. Florida Museum of Natural History - My girls and I can spend an entire day at the museum! Seeing the dinosaur fossils and, if you're lucky enough, watching butterflies emerge from their chrysalis, is such a great way to spend the day. Not to mention all of the fun waiting in the Discovery Room, where kids can play with puzzles and other hands-on fun!
4. Marjorie Kinnan-Rawlings Historic State Park - Not too far outside of Gainesville sits the home of Marjorie Kinnan-Rawlings. It's the home where she lived for 25 years and wrote her Pullitzer prize-winning novel The Yearling.
5. Dudley Farm - This local historical landmark is one of my favorites to visit, especially when it's Kid's Day, the second Saturday of every month. For only $5 per car, kids can participate in hands-on demonstrations and old-fashioned games, while learning about the old way of life on the farm. They can even try hand washing clothes, churning butter, and pumping water from a well!
To think that we have such awesome historical sites within a short drive is so amazing! After you've explored these five fun sites, you can check out all of the other historical attractions, museums and educational attractions in the greater Gainesville area!
Have fun exploring Gainesville and learning about the past alongside your little ones!