My only educational goal for Labor Day Weekend was to take the kids to Mystic Seaport. It’s a hefty price for a family of five but it turned out to be well worth it as I had hoped. We had great weather and arrived early ahead of the crowds which even in the early afternoon was not terribly crowded.
Our day began on The Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship pictured above. As far as I know it’s the last of it’s kind. That’s probably why they charge the lofty admission. The maintenance on these old ships must be astronomical. We toured inside and the kids were able to see the living conditions of a nineteenth century whaler as well as learning about whaling and the processing of whale blubber and it’s uses. I learned that people were much shorter back then having bumped my head on the numerous stringers belowdecks on The Morgan. I was feeling tall but achy at the same time.
Mystic Seaport is more than just old ships. There’s a whole village assembled along the waterfront with ship chandleries, barrel makers, pharmacies, schools and churches. The buildings have been restored and transported here from other places. We got to see how people lived and how day to day chores were much harder.
We were able to talk to many employees and role players in the shops who were able to show us some of the tools and equipment needed in those times. Particularly interesting was the fact that ships brought disassembled barrels on board to save space. A cooper was on every ship to reassemble the barrels to store blubber (probably taking the space of depleted food stores).
The kids were even able to build their own wooden boats. It may just seem like just arts and crafts but they learned about the many parts of a ship by building one for themselves. We spent about an hour building masts, bowsprits and anchors before we went for ice cream. I’m happy to report that we escaped without a single hot glue gun burn.
We also visited a discovery zone in which we learned about sail and wind forces, hull shapes and simple machines (blocks and tackle mainly). We spent probably about four to five hours at Mystic Seaport and it was the highlight of our weekend. I highly recommend it for early grade schoolers- one of the better museums we’ve been to.
Please check out the video below for more on Mystic Seaport and stay tuned as we head out in search of crabs and horrors next trip. Thanks for stopping by.
Labor Day Weekend is at best good for a three night camping trip. We didn’t want to spend too much of our precious time traveling so close was best. I had fond memories of Mystic Seaport twelve years ago when I visited and thought the kids were at the right age to absorb some of it. Not wanting to overbook the weekend, the seaport was to be our only venture so we needed a solid family campground to keep the kids busy.
Mystic KOA did not disappoint. You will find two playgrounds, a bounce pillow, giant tube slides, a waterslide, a basketball court, banana bikes, hayrides and all sorts of activities. They even had a dog park for Cooper! The night we checked in they had movie night which helped out a bit since we were setting up by flashlight.
Over Labor Day Weekend, Mystic KOA had a beer truck (pictured above) and a food truck selling munchies by the pool and breakfast in the morning. Very helpful for extending your stay at the pool.
We opted for late check out on Labor Day for an extra $25 and rented banana bikes for the kids. They took to them quickly and were zooming around making quick turns after the campground emptied out after the all too short weekend. Linda got in on the action as well but I had to shoehorn myself into one and was unable to efficiently operate the bike and ended up on the side of the road stuck on a boulder (see the outtakes in the video below).
The kids really had a good time at The Mystic KOA. Our site backed up to the smaller playground they discovered tether ball. We must have easily spent nearly two hours over the weekend playing mostly “family” tether ball. That’s when all five play a melee of just trying to make contact with the ball striving to quickly whip it in the direction of your sister’s or brother’s face.
The weather for the trip was perfect. Hot enough during the day for lot’s of swimming and cooler at night being ideal for campfires. Sarah and Ryan took a picture on a 100 plus year old haunted looking tree that sadly may have to come down soon. The tree has branches out in every direction, one almost going back to touch the ground. You can see that in the video also, during the hayride.
We really enjoyed Mystic KOA. Linda has it up on her list of top campgrounds. It was our first time camping in Connecticut and we were able to add the tenth state to our map. It’s only six miles from Rhode Island so we may stay again for a similar holiday weekend (although we need to add RI as well- our typical dilemma). The campground is only about ten minutes from Mystic Seaport which you can find in our next post. To see more of Mystic KOA, check out our video below. Thanks for stopping by.