Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Upstairs Secret at the Temecula History Museum

So I've mentioned the many reasons why you should sign your children up for the TVHM's summer camps. And I've mentioned the many reasons why you should visit the museum. But I had to defer until a later post the best reason of all... The reason your children will have to revise their opinions of you (or at least of your decision to take them to a history museum instead of the beach) in an upward direction.

I give you...

The "Touch History" exhibit. Now at first, this seems a little misleading, because there are lots of things you'd want to touch--the general store, a dressmaker's shop, antique cameras. But can't. Such lovelies are tucked away behind protective glass enclosures:

Or railings...

But if you press on, you will find...words fail me...the Giant Box of Semi-Historically Accurate Dress-up Clothes. And when you do, you better have brought along some reading material, because your children will quite happily spend the next several hours there.

There is, of course, a full-length mirror:

And all manner of twirly dresses, reminiscent of the Ballet Folklorico dancers who entertained the children at camp during session three:

There are even bonnets which look equally fetching worn either traditionally or backwards:

(And there are boy clothes too. Sheriff clothes, cowboy accoutrement... denim and rawhide and straw everywhere. And bandannas. But I didn't have any boys to model such duds.)

And then, when they're all dressed up and almost but not quite ready to start bickering, lead them around the corner to the... oh my... the Life-Size Fiberglass Horse. Fully tacked. Because the folks at the museum understand kids, there is a little set of carpeted steps next to the horse, inviting the children to climb up. My younger daughter noted, "I have a prefect view of the entire museum from up here!"

And because they understand parents, the horse is bolted safely to the floor at each hoof. And because they understand litigation, there is a discreet sign reminding you that you--bolted hooves or no--are responsible for your child's safety.

You can even ride side-saddle.

And then, when even the entertainment potential of the horse has faded, you can walk outside and act hesitant about (but then ultimately acquiesce, thus conferring a sense of hard won-value which must be fully exploited by playing hard and long) turning them loose on

The playground at Sam Hicks Park. Small, but also nearly always empty, with a great view of the foothills and some shaded picnic tables and benches for your sitting pleasure.

Did I mention admission is a suggested donation of $2? You can't beat that with a stick.

General info:

28314 Mercedes Street Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 694-6450 front desk
(951) 694-6452 or (951) 694-6453 admin. offices

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Suggested donation $2.00

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