Saturday, July 21, 2012

Old World Wisconsin

We went up to Old World Wisconsin on the 24th of June because they were having a Swedish festival and I thought it would be fun to see the Swedish dances-around a maypole.  But we saw none of the Swedish festival.  When we got there, they had just gone to lunch and when we got back from seeing all the sites, the festival was done.  Oh well!  We had a nice time at Old World Wisconsin although it was a tad hot!

Old World Wisconsin is broken down into little villages by ethnicity.  I believe they said that all of the buildings were brought to this historic site from other places in Wisconsin but all the buildings were original.  We started in the German area because they have an experience the farm exhibit.  We were told that there were animals you could touch which is why we started there but it didn't seem that we could touch the animals.  The first thing N2 got to do was grind grain.  They thought that was fun!

Each of us took on a role at the farm.  N2 were the children (who were much older but they had no young kids roles).  They had chores they had to do.  One of the chores was to put on wooden clogs, walk to the chicken coop and collect an egg.  Natalie and daddy started out first.  It was really hard to walk in the wooden clogs!  Quite uncomfortable as well.
Natalie did not want to venture inside the hen house so she did not complete her chore.  Noah and I set off next.  I was planning on sending Brian again so I could get pictures but he said it was my turn so I don't have good pictures of Noah.  I could not walk in the shoes and take pictures.
Noah did go in the hen house.  All the way in the back corner there were eggs.  The roof was slanted and there was wood down the middle of the house that made it extremely difficult for me to get in the space where the eggs were but Noah could get back there and he did.  But a chicken went over and guarded the eggs and I couldn't shoo the chicken from where I was and Noah was not brave enough to reach down and grab an egg with a chicken standing over them.  So no egg for us.  But I'm proud of how far he got!  Their second chore was the wash or dry dishes (which they did not complete) and their third task was to help the mom of the house make cookies.  They didn't help with that either.  I didn't have a chance to try to complete my jobs (which included sewing quilt squares together).  There were quite a few farm animals and they enjoyed looking at the animals.  The chickens were all loose and they enjoyed running after chickens.
There are 2 oxen at Old World Wisconsin.  We had never seen oxen before!

The distance between villages was quite large so they have trams running that takes you from one village to the next.  Even between the farms there was a little distance.  We explored all the farms in the German area.

Then we visited the Norwegian area where there was a school house.  We thought N2 would enjoy seeing what a school would look like.  We sat down in the little school desks/benches and the "teacher" told us all about school a long time ago.  Natalie thought the slate and the little pencil (it wasn't chalk) was really fun!

After the visit to the school, we took the tram to the Crossroads Village and went to the Town Hall where they had games that children used to play.  N2 loved experimenting with the toys in there.  Noah in particular loved the carved wooden ark with the carved animals inside.  N2 each tried their hand at rolling the hoop around.  They weren't too interested.

After that we visited the blacksmith but N2 were really tired and hot by that point so we didn't stay long.  We grabbed the tram back to the visitor's center and headed home.  It was a fun place to visit and I think it would be fun to go to an old fashioned baseball game there!
Disclaimer: It appears that I take more pictures of Natalie and that probably is the truth.  When Noah sees a camera, he immediately turns his head away and will not turn it back until the camera is safely put away and there is no chance that he will get his picture taken again.  Natalie is very willing to smile for the camera most of the time.

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