Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekend Field Trip: Fort Langley

       Nestled along the shores of the Fraser River lie some of British Columbia's oldest buildings- Fort Langley also known as The Birthplace of B.C. This past weekend with the grey November skies threatening rain- or snow- we headed out to the valley with some friends to do some exploring of this Provincial historical sight.

         I had not been inside the actual fort since a visit with my family in the 1980's- what I remember most is watching the blacksmith make square headed nails- I have mine still- in a suitcase amongst my childhood treasures. Much has changed since my last visit- gone are the dirt paths and self guided tours- the Fort Langley of today is well paved and easy to get around. Historically accurate tour guides help you find your way around the fort and are on hand to answer the endless questions of little boys.

         We climbed the bastions and gazed out at the view of the river and fields- wandered through the stock houses and living quarters- imagining what it would be like to live 150 years ago. The highlight for the Littles seemed to be a stop at the black smith shop- where we watched an apprentice black smith make hooks- which each Little got to take home as a souvenir- a treasure for their own collections. Another popular stop was the gold panning station- where we were able to pan for real treasure!

       This was a great way to spend a few hours on a grey day- the Littles got to learn something and maybe think about how easy our lives are today- compared to life in B.C. a century ad a half ago! If you decide to visit Fort Langley now is a great time of year- aside from a couple other families we pretty much had the place to ourselves! Children 5 and under are free- a family pass comes in at under $20.00- making this a very affordable family outing.

       I think what I loved most about this adventure is that it was very hands on- the kids were invited to touch exhibits and explore freely- not something you would find at most museums. Fort Langley is set up to be very hands on learning- encouraging children to step back in time and experience what life might have been like. Parents can I say there is very little for your kids to get in to trouble with here- wide open spaces to run around and very patient tour guides. This was a great adventure for our busy and inquisitive Littles!

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