The Jones House Family Discovery Center - An interactive play and learning space for families and children.
At Strawbery Banke, you can discover how ordinary Americans lived through changing times. But how do kids connect to the past? We have a place for them, too.
Hands-On Play and Creative Pretending
Even as times change, some things stay the same - especially the lives of children. The Jones House Family Discovery Center gives children ages 4 to 10 (and their grownups) a place to immerse themselves in the past. In three large indoor rooms and an outdoor play space, you'll find a fun and interactive experience that builds on familiar ideas from today to open windows into the past.
Home & Hearth
Explore cooking, chores, and home technology in the "Home & Hearth" room. Two recreated kitchens - a colonial open hearth and a ‘modern' 1940s kitchen - give kids a place to try cooking equipment that their grandparents and great-great grandparents might have used. Can you make coffee 1940s style, in a percolator? How about grinding it from beans, as Colonial people did? Can you handle the heavy bake kettles on the brick hearth? What about the many appliances and gadgets in a 1940s kitchen? Have fun finding out what the work of daily life was like!
Around the Neighborhood
In this busy space, kids step into neighborhood life in a range of time periods - comparing ways to learn, work, and get together in community groups. Play shopkeeper or shopper, selecting fabrics and bulk spices from the Colonial-era store, or canned goods and Victory Garden seeds from the 1940s-era corner store. Learn the basics of shipbuilding and try a cooper's tools. See if you can learn letters and numbers by making a Colonial sampler, by using a 19th-century slate, or by reading from a "Dick & Jane" schoolbook.
Fun & Games
What's a kid's favorite time of day, no matter when they grew up? Playtime, of course! In "Fun & Games," grownups and kids can play with games and toys of all eras. Visual toys like kaleidoscopes, stereoscopes, and the ViewMaster let you see the world in new ways; action toys like yo-yos and Slinkys use nature's forces to create fun with moving things. Together, your family can build with Lincoln Logs, compete for high scores in Skittles, or go head-to-head in a game of Sorry!
Spanning the Generations
The Discovery Center isn't just for children. It's designed to bring back memories of childhood that grownups can share, helping their young companions see how we're all linked together in a chain that runs through time. So don't stand on the sidelines - roll up your jeans and jump in!
The Jones House Family Discovery Center was created with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Thompson Foundation, the Davis Foundation, and Strawbery Banke's members and supporters.