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Living History Experience

June 03, 2015

The best way to learn about history is when you can see it, touch it and relive it! The Kansas City region offers a plethora of edutainment options that are both educational and entertaining. Take learning beyond the classroom with these engaging and memorable living history experiences:

Experience a 1900's turn-of-the-century farmstead complete with a country schoolhouse and over 200 animals. The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead offers a variety of activities for the entire family and admission is free from Monday to Thursday and only $2 per person over the weekend. Feed the baby goats, try on the dunce cap, catch some fish and take a wagon ride around the beautiful grounds. Special events throughout the summer and fall!

Author Dee Miller will share her tale, based on the 1863 raid on Lawrence Kansas, of a family caught in the midst of guerrilla warfare near the Kansas-Missouri border at Jesse James Farm & Museum's 2015 at A State Divided Speaker Series - Just Following Orders: Escape from Guerrilla Warfare in 1863 on June 14.

Waterfest, gearing up for its 34th year, is sponsored by the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a celebration of the city's mineral water heritage. This three day event features arts, crafts, live entertainment, and water games for kids, classic car-hot rod and truck show, parade, fireworks and much more! June 26-28 at Excelsior Springs Memorial Airport.

Enjoy hands-on activities such as biscuits and butter making, clothes washing, make a paper quilt block and dance the Virginia Reel at the oldest farmhouse in Kansas, Grinter Place State Historic Site. These activities are available to groups with an advance reservation.

Take a step back in time on a stroll around Merriam Historic Plaza's outdoor path featuring 12 historic signage stations. This paved walking path is located at 6304 East Frontage Rd along I-35 in Merriam. From pre-settlement along the banks of Turkey Creek & our town's original founding by David Gee Campbell, to the Merriam Park development and rail and trolley lines connecting Merriam to greater Kansas City, learn about our town's great history!

Meet The Original Trailblazers. Every Saturday, May - October immerse yourself in the pioneer life of 1849 where gold was on the mind of thousands and the streets of Independence were bustling with wagon trains arriving & departing from the trails west. Meet townspeople of all ages and engage with people of the past on and around the Courthouse square, inside the 1827 Log Courthouse & at the National Frontier Trails Museum.

Families can explore the Dietrich Cabin and watch living history demonstrations, reenactors make history come alive, craft tables for the kids, and music make this a fun free educational event for the whole family. The Living History Events are on the third Saturdays May through September from 10am to 1pm. The events take place at the Dietrich Cabin in Ottawa City Park (5th and Main).

In 1878, Fred Harvey, the restaurateur who lived in Leavenworth and revolutionized the industry, decided to hire young, attractive girls to serve in his restaurants as Harvey Girls. Today, visitors can dine with Harvey Girls in a renovated 1888 train depot alongside the Missouri River. Dressed in period black & white uniforms, the Harvey Girls serve a catered lunch or dinner to groups of 20 or more and end the experience with a short skit.

Housing the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world, the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, Mo., features more than 200 tons of recovered artifacts from the sunken 1856 steamboat Arabia. The "touchable treasures" exhibit tell the story of the boat's Missouri River demise in 1856 and amazing rediscovery in 1988. Called the King Tut's tomb of the Missouri River, the Arabia's impressive cargo includes tools, dishware and more.

At Shawnee Town 1929 living history comes to life with our family-oriented Time Travelers program on Thursdays and Saturdays, June 11-August 15. Farm activities may include doing laundry, feeding the chickens and gardening. Learn about getting a shave, compare a typewriter and a computer, and do a lesson in our one-room schoolhouse. Our volunteers and staff in 1920s attire will welcome your help!

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