As a history nut, I've always been a little disappointed that my kids have never been as intrigued by history as I am. But I can usually get them interested when there's a living history museum nearby-a secret I learned when I took my daughter on a family vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, the 60,000-pound gorilla of living history museums.
One our favorite places for living history is right here in the Land of Lincoln, which knows how to fete its hero, the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
Despite the state's ongoing budget woes, Springfield has a long list of living history events planned this summer, the second year of "History Comes Alive - A Living History Program." The program includes period re-enactors and musical and theatre performances, nearly all of them free.
Living History Event Schedule
Events start June 14 and run through August 14 at the Old State Capitol and Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Sites. Among the events:
Meet Abraham Lincoln at the Old State Capitol to talk about his work in the statehouse as a legislator, lawyer and politician Thursday, Friday and Saturday at noon.
Meet General Grant at the Old State Capitol in the statehouse
rooms where he worked in 1861 every Friday at noon, 2 and 4
Meet the people who lived and worked with Abraham Lincoln daily at noon, 2 and 4 at the Old State Capitol.
Let your kids make a mid-19th Century craft or play a period game at the Old State Capitol Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Watch a Shakespeare play at the Old State Capitol as Lincoln might have. Presented by Over the Moon Productions, the show on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. presents scenes from Shakespeare's plays alongside presentations of Lincoln's words.
Eat some ice cream at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday nights at the Vachel Lindsay Home with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln and the Lincoln Troubadours. Cold Stone ice cream will be sold for $2 and $3 per serving.
Listen to stories by Vachel Lindsay and other writers on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. at the Vachel Lindsay.
Listen to Lincoln deliver his first inaugural address every Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of the Old State Capitol.
In addition, there will be special events at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (free with paid museum admission), including performances by the Lincoln Troubadours, a group of youth in period costumes presenting songs from the 1800s.
For a complete listing of events, times and dates, visit visit-springfieldillinois.com or call (800) 545-7300.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.