In the 17th Century, the English settled in a small colony in Plymouth, MA. Now a living history museum, Plimoth Plantation includes a Wampanoag home site, a traditional 1627 English Village, and a craft center. If you are visiting Boston or Cape Cod, it’s definitely worth stopping by – my kids absolutely loved it!
Upon entering Plimoth Plantation, you’ll need to make a decision about the type of tickets you want to purchase. Standard tickets include only Plimoth Plantation, or you can choose to include the Plimoth Grist Mill and/or the Mayflower II replica. Both are offsite from the main Plimoth Plantation, so only purchase those tickets if you have the time and inclination to drive a short way to those sites.
After purchasing tickets, you’ll be guided to a 14 minute movie about Plimoth Plantation. Don’t be tempted to skip it – there’s lots of useful information, and my kids actually enjoyed it. Then, you’ll be on your way to the Wampanoag Village.
As the movie will explain, the Wampanoag Village is filled with modern native people who dress in tradition attire but speak in modern language. They were very happy to answer any questions about the time period or how the Native Americans lived. My kids also enjoyed learning how to build corn husk dolls, and even made their own. After we were done at the Wampanoag Village, we took a quick walk down the path to the 17th Century English Village.
Unlike the Wampanoag Village, the cast of the 17th-Century English Village dress and speak like the settlers. They are fully in character, and interact with guests showing them what life was like back then. You can also see the inside of the homes, and really get a great feel of what the settlement was like.
A short walk from the English settlement is the Craft Center, where you can see how modern craftspeople create items typical of the 17th century. Both of my children love arts and crafts, so we actually spend a lot of time talking to the craftswoman. Right outside the main room was a kids’ craft area, and the kids enjoyed putting together a traditional game to take home.
Our trip to Plimoth Plantation took about 2 1/2 hours – expect to spend more time if you have lots of questions and/or visit during a busy time. We skipped the Grist Mill and Mayflower II (I’ve seen them before) but definitely check them out if you’ve never seen them.
You can learn more at the Plimoth Plantation website.