Patrick, Mallory and I went to an event up in Kingsport, TN called "Farm Fest". This event was a part of a 2-week annual event called "Fun Fest" that Kingsport puts on all across the city (for more info, click here).
Our decision to go to Farm Fest was last minute and we really only spent about 30 minutes there before it closed for the evening. It was a free event at an historic restoration park called "The Exchange Place", which is a big working farm that has a bunch of old, historic buildings (like a school house, smokehouse, and log home) that you can browse. There are a bunch of animals there and a large garden that is producing HUGE amounts of crops. While we were there, all the homes were opened up with people inside giving demonstrations on how to, for instance, grind corn for bread, play the dulcimer, write with a quill and ink, sew, and much more. It was free to the public and included live bluegrass, free lemonade, corn on the cob, and watermelon slices. The gardens were open for the public to paruse, there was a huge area where kids could have hay fights, there were trackers set up for the kids to climb on, there were hay rides and buggy rides, and lots of "stations" where kids could wash clothes with a old-timey washboard, make fabric dolls and paint a quilt square. I must say, I was HIGHLY impressed with the event and I KNOW that we'll make this an annual visit.
Apparantly the park is open for tours (free!) and there are events happening in the fall and winter that look like a bunch of fun. The park is about 20 minutes from our house and I can see MANY learning opportunities for our kids in the future. Here are some pictures that we took: