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Last weekend we fell in love with the museums of Springfield, Illinois. Home of former President Abraham Lincoln and capital of Illinois, this calm city charmed us with its wonderful child friendly  and history friendly museums!
We set out on our touristy exploration as a gang of seven. This number included an infant, a preschooler and three male history-disliking, museum-phobic members. We gals- including T- love our museums. But what with the Easter holiday and rainy weather, it seemed that our outing would be a little wan, since we had planned a boat ride around the Marina and a mix of museums and outdoor adventure.

But thankfully , owing to the fabulous shows and extra helpful staff and wow-worthy spots, the occasion was memorable in a wonderful way and is now a cherished memory for us all.

Our first stop was the Union Station. The parking lot  and museums are very close to this spot. 
  And it was here that the famous President loomed tall. (Height 6’3″ though his stature is much higher)

   This chimney shaped sculpture looked fascinating, esp. for T who rushed to peer at the different objects on it. 

   It was only when we adults looked at the plaque that we understood the significance. (Note to the adults in our group: learn from the kids, pay attention)

 Next, we went to Lincoln Museum which has recreations of phases of his life. 

We began with his life as a young boy in the tiny log cabin. 

 

I loved the inspirational frame.  
This is probably how the Lincoln family discussed his Presidential candidacy.    

 While the picture below does not reflect the rain recreation (lighting effects and trickling sounds ) , it showed a marvelous view of Lincoln’s goodbye to Illinois.

  
 We made a stop at the children’s area for the kids to unwind.

The dress up area was so inviting that we grown ups tried to deck up much to the amusement of the helpful staff.

 
T zoomed in her fav play area- the old fashioned kitchen .

Moving next to the White House phase of life, we were mesmerized by the gorgeous dresses of the time. Apparently, MrsLincoln had a tough time with choosing her attire for her official events too , thanks to the intense rivalry and judging of the ladies of those circles! Some things never change! 🙄😔
  I found this portrayal of the Lincoln family’s grief rather poignant. We think of our iconic figures for their accomplishments but rarely do we honor how they sacrificed and bravely put up for greater good. The Lincolns lost three of their four boys to disease, during their stay in the White House; but still stayed strong and unwavering despite their personal tragedies! 

This kitchen was too realistic…
 Especially this stove area which felt a lot hotter than the rest of the room. Yes, the details were wonderful .

   Another great example but of how much research and detailing went in was this room. Notice the bell pull, the glasses, the walls  adorned with photos and so on. On the other wall were maps of territories too!
 
The view visible from the windows are painted to showcase the view from that period. 
This statue had a show at the back-  a mix of voice over and shadows. Very powerful and compelling, Just like the man who shaped the history of this great nation.

  
  We had more scenes depicted like:

The assassination  
 

The Struggles and Opposition – 
  Last Service-

  War Memorabilia-


Along with these, we sat through two shows. One was a 4D show on Lincoln’s life which was loved by all. I think it really transformed the guys in our group’s views on museums. 4D shows made the stories and majesty of the past come alive. 
The second was a short performance on why we need museums and conservation of our historical pieces. This was really splendid and magical, even the infant member in our group (not the only one attending the show though) stayed mesmerized. I think this one seared the importance of history and preservation and commemorative days onto all of us.

As obvious, the museum was an enlightening and fun experience.

We also learnt so many things from the staff who often came over to share tidbits and information and help us with our photo sessions. These seemingly regular activities were memorable to me, because of the timing. While we waited for our friends to change the  little one’s nappies, T started to get impatient. Just then, a member came over to show us the silicone material that is used to make the structures. Distracted by getting touch the sample and receive a charming personal tour, her fussiness disappeared. So helpful! We also learnt that all the statues that are not within barricades now have fists or curled fingers to prevent eager tourists from fiddling with the delicately shaped fingers and causing damage. (Sad!) we also discovered that the log cabin replica was an actual cabin (not Lincoln’s) of that period that was reassembled here.   

This trip was awesome because of so many reasons and we loved it! Especially the now history enthusiasts of our group! See you in the next post about more of our adventures in Springfield… Good day! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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