If you want to go back in time on your next Rhode Island family day out, then just head to South County Museum, where you can literally walk through the history books!
The aim of this museum is to inspire wonder, and offer a better understanding of the agricultural and rural village life in coastal Rhode Island before the emergence of suburban communities.
We can imagine life back then is pretty different to life now! There are a number of areas to explore at the South County Museum, and many are interactive and hands-on, which is great news for kids!
Everyone is welcome at the South County Museum, and they believe that a museum visit should harness all the senses - especially touch - so let's start by exploring the Children's Corner in the Metz, which is JUST for them!
Here, they can color imagines of chickens, explore objects of the past in the touch and feel section, read some books, and even play with REAL vintage toys!
The rest of the permanent exhibits in the museum are just as fascinating. The Metz Hall was built in 1987 to house the collections at the South County Museum, and also serves as the main exhibit space.
Here you can explore the Victorian Kitchen, just as it would have been in the 19th century. Keep an eye out for some of the items that only the more wealthy households would have had!
Make a stop at the General Store, which in the old days was a one-stop retail store and a must for country folk who often traveled by horse and buggy or on foot.
Did you know that Rhode Island was once land owned by indigenous peoples long before the arrival of Europeans? The Native American exhibit area explores this, with a highlight of the collection being the 1,400 arrowheads that dates back from about 1250AD!
In addition to these amazing collections, you'll find a section dedicated to the local railroad and beach history, as well as an agriculture exhibit, historic dresses (including a wedding dress) and more!
History really does come to life at the South County Museum - you won't ever look at Rhode Island the same again when you know how fascinating its history is!
$5 (Ages 6 to 12)
Seniors or AAA $10. Free for active military & families, and museum members
Keep an eye out for the events and programs they host across the season, including the very fun Family Picnic Day!
Grab something in the area before or after your visit!
Follow the signs to Narragansett. After about a mile turn left onto Strathmore Street at the traffic light. You'll see a large sculpture of a Native American and the museum sign on the left. Follow the signs through the Canonchet Farms residential area to the museum.
Group tours can be scheduled Tuesdays - Saturdays from opening day to closing (May-October) and need to be reserved in advance. They love having schools visit!
The Visitors Center, Metz Exhibition Hall and Print Shop are wheelchair-accessible. The other buildings have a step up to access. South County Museum has one wheelchair available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Service animals may be admitted.
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A baby-changing station is available in one of the Metz’s unisex bathrooms.
10am - 4pm. Open Fridays & Saturdays in May, June & September, then from Tuesday to Saturdays in July & August.
Open first weekend in May, through September. (October by appt)
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South County Museum