We’re always looking for educational opportunities for our kids, and the Tulare County Museum in Visalia offers a good glimpse into history.
We recently visited during the annual Main Street Jamboree event.
The kids were immediately excited about the restored caboose that you can walk through, and I think we went through it at least 10 times throughout our visit.
They also really enjoyed looking in all the buildings in Pioneer Village which included a collection of different types of wagons,
an old County Record office,
a log cabin,
a Victorian home,
and a schoolhouse where they were delighted to sit at the little desks.
There was also a jail, a blacksmith shop, and a few other houses.
Then, we went inside the main museum building and the boys were so happy to see a room full of guns!
Everything from tiny pocket guns up to large rifles.
They could have spent hours here.
As if it couldn’t get any better, when we made our way to the model train display, one of the creators was there and gave our kids a private tour and lesson while he was doing some maintenance work.
We learned how the train display is a depiction of actual nearby areas, so the boys learned some geography and history while they enjoyed the train.
Then we looked at the Main Street area with several recreations of shops, doctor and dentist offices, and an antique car.
The boys were very interested in the old tools that were used by the doctors and dentists!
The main museum also includes Native American exhibits, a model tractor collection, and military items on display.
Back outside, the boys loved playing on the collection of antique tractors and other farm equipment.
We were happy that they had so many good questions about what different things were used for.
Finally, we looked around the newest addition to the museum – The History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum.
It is a beautiful building with exhibits such as antique farm equipment, a recreation of a farm laborer’s dwelling, and portrayals of the experiences of different farm labor ethnic groups.
Because it was the Main Street Jamboree day, the museum was giving free hay rides around the park and that provided the perfect ending to our fun, historical experience.
The Tulare County Museum is located within Mooney Grove Park in Visalia, so there are also playgrounds and picnic areas nearby.
Admission to the museum is free or donation, but there is a small fee for parking.