Old World Wisconsin was the main reason for us to drive to WI. Today they were hosting their annual homeschooling day with great discounts for homeschoolers. We had a blast.
Here is their website: http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org/
First of all, Old World Wisconsin is "a vivid re-creation of the working farmsteads and settlements established by European immigrants in America's heartland". The interpreters are dressed up, the animals are real, and the buildings are, for the most part, functional.
German settlement: The kids pretended to be Percheron horses doing their work on the farm. Then, the kids helped water some flowers and plants.
Polish settlement: The big sister was fascinated with "Wycinanki." It was a great art project for her. We brought extra pieces home!
Norwegian Settlement: We learned about flax and how its fibers are turned into linen fabric We saw the process from picking it, to using the tools to smooth it, and to also use the loom to weave it into linen. I loved how the interpreters were so attentive and welcoming. They had my kids do the work which I think is the best way to learn about it.
Walking between settlements: It is a very nice hike (note: not stroller friendly!). We even found a turtle on our way.
Danish settlement: We learned about wool, yarn, and knitting. It also had hands on activities for the kids. The kids got the wool ready with brushes (the boy with the red baseball hat is my little guy smoothing the wool). Then the wool was used with the spindle, and finally became yarn.
We stopped at the school house. Big sister wanted to trace on a slate board the script alphabet. She asked me to get her one of those early readers.
The town hall by the Crossroads Village had toys from the era. a lot of fun for the kids and me!
Finally we visited a shop to make rope. By then, the kids and I had spent 5+ hours there and were exhausted from walking and the sun. There is still lots more to see, and we will have to go back sometime soon. But for today, we had enough learning and I really wanted them to nap in the car on our way home... so...sadly we left. But we took awesome memories with us!