The greatest thing about raising my children in the same city where I grew up is taking them to some of my favorite childhood places. I have so many happy memories of growing up in Tallahassee and going on adventures with my family, laughing and playing with my brothers and sister.
The Tallahassee Museum is one of those places in Tallahassee that holds so many happy memories for me. Growing up we would spend summer days wondering down the trails looking for animals and playing in the old school building, imagining what it would have been like if our school was like that. Fast forward 35 years and I am bringing my own children to the museum.
Give yourself about 2 hours to see all the exhibits and I promise during that time you will not hear the words, "I'm bored" come out of your children's mouth. Start your visit at the Big Bend Farm where you can experience the sights, sounds and even smells of what it was like to live on a farm in the 1880's. The kids will love to visit the farm animals and can walk through a farm house, country store and other farm building from the 19th century. Then head to Old Florida where the kids can visit the Concord School House and see how children used to learn in the 1890's. They can climb aboard a Seaboard Air Line Caboose and hear a folk gospel recording in the old Church building from 1937.
After learning a little bit of the history of Florida it is time to hit the trails and see the animals in their natural habitat. The elevated boardwalks will take you through the natural habitats of white-tailed deer, Wild Turkey, the Red Wolf, River Otters, the Bobcat, Black Bears, the Florida Panther and more. Many of the animals that you will see in the habitats were either raised in captivity or are injured or orphaned and were rescued.
The Tallahassee Museum has some incredible annual events that you are not going to want to miss. The Halloween Howl is something the kids look forward to every October. There is the annual Pioneer Breakfast, the Jazz and Blues Festival, Market Days and Zoobilee. Be sure and check out their website for the dates and times of these events at www.tallahasseemuseum.org.
This past weekend was one of my favorite annual events, the Tallahassee Museum's 33rd Annual Swamp Stomp. The Swamp Stomp is something you can bring the entire family too. The kids spent the entire day asking me "how much longer" and I was thrilled when 4 o'clock came and it was time for it to start. The Swamp Stomp is from 4-9pm, so you miss the hot afternoon sun and can enjoy sitting under the huge oak trees to listen to the music. They have a line-up of local musicians playing a variety of music. In addition to the music, there are outdoor games for the kids to play, close-up animal encounters, living history demonstrations and food.
As the last band finished up on the stage, I gathered up my gang and we headed home. As the younger ones fell asleep on the ride home I had a chance to talk to my teenagers about the day. They are old enough where they enjoyed the music and of course picked out which bands had the cutest members, but they are young enough to still secretly enjoy walking around and seeing the animals. The greatest compliment that I received that day was when my 15 year old said that she couldn't wait to someday be a mom and bring her kids to the Tallahassee Museum.