Kid Friendly

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Jun 4, 2010 No Comments ›› Gil Mangels

Kid Friendly — You Bet We Are!

Orchestrionboy in mummy caseThe main building of the Miracle of America Museum has coin operated music machines and other coin operated paraphernalia that kids like to “play.”

In the Pioneer Village behind the main museum are numerous items that are really hands-on. There are 35 buildings to see on 4 acres and lots of room to work kids’ wiggles out.

HueyKids (young and old) may sit in real Huey or Mash helicopter and imagine 1001 scenarios as they apply brakes, change the rotor’s pitch and check their gauges. There has been a lot of intergenerational bonding when dads who have flown them for real relate their experiences to their children or grandchildren.

There are also two jet planes, an A7D Vaught Corsair and a T-33 Trainer. Both have stairs leading up to the cockpits. A Korean War jeep, marked as one of the vehicles that children can play on, provides lots of fun for younger children.

A classic tractor provides the right feel for the young farmer to plow endless fields in his or her mind.

The 1912 Green Mountain School has a bell to ring and authentic schoolyard swing sets.

We also have a complete sod-roofed “Little House on The Prairie” that is a favorite of many young girls.

train rideIf you are lucky, well-behaved, and can find the engineer, he might treat you to a ride on one of two different trains.

barrel train 

jailIf the young ’uns want to find out what jails are like there is one that can be entered and exited at will. The front door is authentic and has strong iron bars where the children can beg for release. If they really want release however they have to go out the back door. It makes for some fun pictures however.

family on the Paul BunyanThe Paul Bunyan Logging Tow Boat is Montana’s only historic large maritime vessel and it is available for children to “steer” and use the engine-room telegraph as they keep watch out the cabin windows. Below the stern are small logs and logging chains that may be assembled and give kids the chance to practice their balancing act without being too far off the ground. 10 cent boat ride

Let some visitors give their opinions:

“This place is the awesomest!” — 8th grade girl,
“It was the most fun time of my life!” — a second grader,
“I likt the hul thing!” — 8 year old,
and finally, “Loved the kid friendly, homey environment that promotes learning at all ages.” — Alaskan family.