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100 Miles South, 400 Years Back in History


t may be summer, but you can still sneak in some history lessons for your kids with a quick trip down to the Jamestown Settlement. Yes, there’s a museum and a film, but the best part—and I think your children will agree—is the life-sized, outdoor living-history areas. The first time we ventured down to Jamestown, it was with friends from New York who’d come for a visit. Together, our brood of five kids, ages 4-7 at the time, spent the day exploring a Powhatan Indian Village, wandering around the decks of colonial ships, and trying on kid-sized armor at the James Fort, all while unknowingly absorbing historical knowledge. There wasn’t a yawn-inducing lecture to be heard, just hands-on fun guided by helpful interpreters in full costume. They described what daily life was like for the Virginia colonists and Indians 400 years ago. Then we let the kids and their imaginations run wild. At the Powhatan Indian Village, we explored replicas of Indian houses, felt the stacks of fur hides, and admired the


dried gourds and other cooking implements. We even had a chance to grind corn. As we emerged from the path in the woods that led from the village to the dock, we gasped when we saw the

Virginia Neighbors  

July August 2010Issue