Living History

Today we went to Living History Days down in Denver. A big thanks to our friend J.P. and her daughter I. for suggesting it, and for driving. We had a fun day!

There was so much to do! A play about colonial life during the American Revolution, a AR battle reenactment as well as many stations where kids could do hands-on activities of daily life for the early settlers. They were able to play games (rolling hoops, a hoop catching game, a bowling type game, jump rope, board games and more), stuff mattresses with ticking, wash clothes, see butter being churned (and taste some), weave baskets, see broom corn brooms being made and sweep with one, and several other things I'm forgetting.

In the afternoon, the girls were signed up for a tin punch class and each made an 8x10 tin punched picture which was then framed. It was an excellent craft - representative of the time and completely their own hard work. Not to mention the beautiful result!

There was a downside, the battle. It was really loud with all the blanks they fired. If I would have known about that in advance, I would have brought ear plugs for my more sensitive kid. Also, it was a full reenactment complete with people pretending to die, along with "bloody" nurses and stretchers. During this, they were encouraging the crowd to cheer for the Americans. Ok, let's be realistic here, they were encouraging kids to cheer for killing people. I don't care if they weren't really killing or that the killing was the enemy, it's just not a good thing. My younger child was appalled about it and the older one was booing both sides. I explained how wars are usually about money, power, religion or some combination thereof. This war was about money, how one country wanted the riches of another and fought over it and many people died. And wouldn't it be better if everyone just shared? They agreed sharing would have been much better. (I'm sure this will NOT translate into non-whiny sharing in my household, but well, what can you do?)

There was also a bit too much religion for me, though I don't think my kids noticed as much. I noticed each incident when people mentioned gifts from God, each time we were asked to thank him for the beautiful day, our food, etc. The girls, on the other hand, come from a Unitarian Universalist background. They think of the Christian God in the same way they think of the Greek or Roman gods or any other god for that matter. They may think it's a bit strange to thank a god for the weather, they don't have the loaded background that I do that makes those statements rankle (keep in mind, I don't care if you wish to thank God for the beautiful day, just don't ask me to do so as well.) The Living History day was, however, put on by a church group so that was too be expected. It wasn't a minus of the day, just a side note :)

Overall, it was a positive experience. It was a fun day full of learning that we will definitely do again if we can cram it into our schedule. We will skip the battle in the future though.

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