Archive for May 2015

Visiting the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln MuseumWe spent a few days away for Spring Break this year {and I’m a little late getting this posted}.

We visited family in southern Illinois, and then spent a day and night in Springfield, Illinois on our way back home. This was our second trip to Springfield as a family. Last summer we spent a few hours there, exploring the capitol grounds, on our way west to Colorado.

This trip, our main purpose was to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum. By the time we arrived, it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and the museum closed at 5pm. We were a little concerned that we wouldn’t have enough time, but as it turned out, our timing was perfect, for us and our two third-graders. We got to see {almost} everything we wanted and didn’t push our kids into the whiny “I want to go” phase.

There are several areas to visit in the museum. After pictures with the Lincoln family in the plaza, we started our tour by checking out the log cabin in the Journey One area.

Abe as a kid

We attended the “Ghosts in the Library” special-effects presentation, and then the Union Theater’s “Lincoln’s Eyes.” Both were very well done, but could be a little much for small children. Ella was a bit creeped out with the “ghosts” in the library and both kids sat on our laps during “Lincoln’s Eyes.” The latter presentation included loud noises, like the boom of cannons, and flashing lights. As would be expected, there were photos from the war here and throughout the museum.

On a much lighter note, Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic was a hands-on area where the kids got to be kids for a while. There were clothes to try on, old-fashioned games to play, food to pretend to cook and serve and more. We saved this area for last so that it wasn’t hard to make the kids leave in order to see the rest of the displays. That was a very good idea. The only thing left to see after this play area was the gift shop, and for some reason, we never have to ask our kids twice if they want to go to a gift shop.

Lincoln dress-up

eating in Mrs. Lincoln's attic

dressed in Civil War attire

Another tip that I would recommend is to check the website for any current special events or promotional discounts. There was a food drive going on that we participated in and that saved us a surprising amount of money on our admission price.

image3I do think we would all enjoy another visit to the museum before the kids are out of the house. This was a bit of an introduction for them, to some of the events of the Civil War. They will be better able to understand the events and politics of the day when they’re a bit older. Next time, we probably won’t spend time in Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic 🙁 but we will take the time to walk through the Treasures Gallery, which, for the sake of time, we chose to skip this time around.

[I took these pictures with my iPhone 6. Some of them downloaded small and I can’t figure out how to get them to a larger size. Please let me know if you have insight on how to do this, since I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.  Thanks!!]