Sunday, June 15, 2008

Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia

We recently visited the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia (FCMV) outside of Staunton, and I would highly recommend it if you are in the area. Here is one of the pics I took, and there are more on my Flickr page.

I do have to say that we almost did not go though. I had picked up a brochure and checked the web site, but really could not tell what it was going to be like. Our two-year-old is quite flexible, but I had images of tromping around in the boiling sun with no access to restrooms, shade, or water. The museum had all of these things and more. I think the web site for FCMV does the place a disservice. Unless I missed it (which is possible), this is all the site said about food/lodging:

Vending snacks and drinks available on patio area and Museum Store.
Picnic tables are available.

What would have been extremely helpful would have been a map of the grounds. The farmhouses are actually located quite close to each other, and it is a nice walk around the paths to each one of them. There are costumed people in each of the houses, who were all super nice, informative, and knowledgeable. There are small red wagons available for rental as well as scooters and even larger golf-cart-type vehicles if there are people in your party unable to walk short distances.

There was a water fountain, water cooler, and two different restrooms available along the trail. (Yes, one of the "restrooms" was a Johnny Blue, so I am not sure if that counts; I think it does in this case.)

We had been to Colonial Williamsburg earlier this year and had a great time. If Williamsburg is living history on steroids though then FCMV is living history on camomile tea (in a calm, nice not boring way). There were very few people there the day we were there (Thursday), so you really got to talk and ask questions about what the people were doing and why.

The lady in the English house was cleaning wool that day, for example, and her fire had gone out. So my husband and son helped bring her some firewood and get the fire going again.

There was no crush of visitors at the museum store--just a yummy sample of homemade fudge, air conditioning, and a small, but interesting collection of books for sale.

It was the perfect outing for us on that day.

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