making lemonade.

This whole pandemic thing has thrown us a bunch of lemons, hasn’t it?  Well, you know what they say, when life gives you lemons …

Mr. Q and I weren’t able to take our planned trip to Europe this fall, so I’ve been taking a few days off work here and there and acting like a tourist at home.

One of my favorite things to do when we travel in Europe is visit open air museums.  If you’re not familiar, an open air museum is a museum that exhibits collections of buildings.  Usually they are buildings that have been moved to the location from all across a particular country or area, quite often they are being saved from the wrecking ball.

I’ve blogged about them a few times.  My absolute favorite, and the most elaborate, is The Beamish in County Durham, England.

The open air museums in the Scandinavian countries are all amazing as well.  I’ve visited Skansen in Stockholm, Den Gamle By in Aarhus, Denmark, and the Norske Folkemuseum in Oslo.

Unfortunately, nothing near me can really hold a candle to these.  I’ve shared the Gammelgården in Scandia, MN.  It’s small, but still worth a visit.

We also have another open air museum in the Twin Cities that is a bit larger called The Landing.

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I stopped in at The Landing after spending part of the day in Excelsior.

The Landing is located in Shakopee, MN.  The grounds are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are free of charge.  If you want to go inside the buildings, you have to sign up (and pay for) a particular event that includes inside visits.

Debbie and I just wandered around the grounds on our visit, and we nearly had the entire place to ourselves.

There are interpretive signs at each location so that you can learn a little about it.

There is an area that represents a 19th century village and includes a church …

a cabinet maker’s shop …

a boarding house (with some fabulous galvanized tubs) …

a town hall and more.

I love the detailed trim on the town hall.

As you continue away from the village, you’ll find the 1889 farm first, then a little further out is the 1857 farm.

I confess that I coveted their little wooden cart.

Wouldn’t that be amazing with a Christmas tree in it?

I wasn’t quite as envious of their outhouse though.

It reminds me to be grateful for my tiny bathroom that seems awfully far away at night.  At least mine is heated and has electricity, and not a lot of spiders.

I was surprised to find that they had live animals at The Landing.

There were chickens, pigs and cows.

As you continue away from the village the final stop is the fur trapper’s trading post.

This building was built in 1844, before Minnesota became a state.

You know what?  I may not have been able to visit one of my favorite open air museums in Europe this year, but I made a little lemonade from the lemons being thrown at us by COVID by visiting The Landing instead.

How about you?  Are there any open air museums where you live?  If so, I’d love to hear about them.

14 thoughts on “making lemonade.

  1. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing a new view. I thought you were going to show us how you salvaged something that wasn’t quite right, not disappointed seeing what is in your neck of the woods.

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    1. Enjoyed these pictures…you guys always come up with great little get -aways! And I love looking at the old buildings. I was just saying I wouldn’t make a very good pioneer person because I would have a hard time eating a chicken, or even beef if I saw them while they were alive 😲…plus there’s the whole outhouse thing….

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  2. Hi
    Last summer I did something similar. On several weekends in August I looked for somewhere within 2 hours of where I lived. If they had a hotel free that evening I booked it and went. It took me to very small towns and I found that many of these tiny farming communities have done something similar. They have taken a city block and recreated an old time community with schools and houses and churches and covered wagons and all kinds of other memorabilia. One might be surprised what is nearby but never advertised.

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  3. I enjoyed your little tour so much (-: Having such peaceful, open locales within a short car drive makes for a beautiful lifestyle!

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  4. Here in Indiana, we have Conner Prairie. My bff and I toured it on the Christmas candle light tour one year after dark when it snowed! It was so lovely! Lots of log cabins, people in period attire explaining how things were done. Those cabins were cold with people going in and out!

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