Keeping with my local touring and finding things unique to Wisconsin, I had to venture out to Eagle, WI to see Old World Wisconsin. It was Midsummer and they were hosting a Scandinavian festival to show how the longest day of summer was once celebrated. Better yet, I could get half price tickets by attending the festival!
This is a huge park in the Kettle Moraine forest that has farm buildings from the early European settlers. There are dozens of volunteers who participate in reenacting the farm lifestyle so you can see life as it might have been. Using the interactive map, you can go to each of the various places and check out what you can see. Then once you arrive, you take the tram to get around.
|On the green they had a decorative pole filled with flowers|
I took my son Omar and we packed a picnic, which we ate as soon as we got there, on the green while watching the Swedish dancers. Then we took the tram to the German farm where we heard you could participate in farm life. Omar put on wooden shoes and went out to the woodshed, after we heard a little about the farm house, chased chickens, and tried very hard to avoid touching the wood stove while the volunteer made hot German potato salad. It was 85 in the shade and the kitchen was even warmer. Once he started splitting wood, it was hard to get him to leave. The man finally had to say that he had to save some chores for the other children. The wooden shoes were a big hit too. I had to pry them off as he complained. He was willing to give up his trendy skechers to the other farm kids.
|Who knew destroying logs could be so much fun?|
|The German farmwife cooling off on the porch|
From the German farm, we walked a bit. Well, I walked and Omar sat in the now too small stroller and complained about why we weren't going to find the tram... because I wanted to have a better look at the pond that was completely covered in flowers. It was truly worth the walk.
By now, we were halfway to the middle village area, so I kept pushing the stroller...uphill...on gravel, but we were again rewarded by sighting this lovely large bird- a sandhill crane. Omar was less than thrilled since he couldn't chase it. He was more interested in finding ice cream about now.
Luckily we found the blacksmith and wheel makers and they had fire and tools on their side. Omar was eager to pump the fan to make the fire glow red. These men were so patient and let the kids participate. In spite of the hot temps, they were working in the hot buildings so we could all learn.
From there, we checked out the general store. That wasn't as exciting, but the clerk did let him stir the coffee beans and play in the flour. Anything that messy is fun. We hopped on the tram again to see the Norwegian farm where there was a school marm teaching how to use an inkwell and slates. Then we found baby pigs, and I think omar made about 50 pictures of these little black cuties. The adult pig wasn't as cute, but very curious. There were people all over the farm doing chores- knitting, spinning, carrying water to cook in the outdoor kitchen, and cooking over an outdoor fire. It was all very interesting. We only managed to see about half the grounds in 5 hours. We ended the day with a very modern Dove ice cream bar at the air conditioned cafe. We both agreed that was great!
|Beautiful plow horses|
|Cooking over a fire|
|The school marm|
|Musicians playing Scandinavian songs|