It was a busy day inside the capitol building since we happened to arrive on opening day of the legislative session. The university was there with some interesting displays about the history and archaeology from around the state. We were all interested in learning about some of the different ways that the natives used shells for tools. After looking over the displays we decided to take the elevator up to the top. Like the capitol building in Louisiana, you can go all the way to the 22nd floor and look out over the whole town. It isn’t quite as tall as Louisiana’s but you can still get a great view of the city. They had some plaques around that labeled the different buildings in view and it was fun to try to spot them. After seeing the whole city we took the elevator down to wandered around some of the other floors. We got to see the House Chamber just after their session had ended for the day, and we also got a good view looking down on the state seal. It was a really nice building and we were excited to see what the old capitol would look like.
The old capitol museum is located just behind the new capitol building. We walked in and went to the information desk where they gave the kids a scavenger hunt of things to find in the museum. It was interesting to learn some of the history of Florida. Every state is unique and has so much history that I am always surprised at how much we learn. It was interesting that the old capitol had been expanded several times, but when they out grew it the last time they decided they would demolish all the expansions and build the new capitol but restore the old capitol to it’s original size. They had displays with information about the native people, how the state had grown, and even the original furniture in the governor’s office. The stained glass dome in the ceiling was beautiful. It was very well done and informative and along with the scavenger hunt (which they got to pick a prize for completing) kept all of our attention while we were there.
Just down the street from the capitol museum is the Florida History Museum which is free so of course we had to go. The museum is located downstairs from the State Archives. It really covers so much of Florida’s history that it would take several hours to really see everything in it. The first exhibit they have is a giant armadillo that can move it’s head which got the kids very excited to see the rest of the museum. It was done in a timeline fashion so each area was a different era. We liked the explorer exhibit, the kids got to touch some real chain mail armor and get an idea of what a ship that sailed to America was like. Every section had something hands on for the kids to touch or play with (even the big kid found something he just had to touch). One of our favorite displays was the tin can camper, an old ford truck that was converted into a camper, the first RV! We just love museums there is always something new to discover.
We didn’t think our trip to Tallahassee would be complete without a picnic in the park. Going to parks is a great free way to see a different part of the city. It’s where the locals go and we have been to some really cool ones. The park we found in Tallahassee had a great playground with a rope climbing structure, a teeter totter, a tire swing, and it even had a mister for the kids to cool down (it was hot even in March). There was also this cool outdoor electronic game that had a couple of different games on it. They chose a game and then had to push the circles that would light up in the right order or at the right time depending on the game. It was very active and they had tons of fun playing it. The park also had some nice walking and biking trails. We walked on one short trail and noticed that along it they even offered an outdoor shower and bike wash station. It was a really nice park and we were glad to have been able to include a visit their in our stop in Tallahassee.
Here are the links to the places we visited:
Capitol Tour Info
Historic Capitol Museum
Museum of Florida History
Rotary Centennial Playground