If your kids have a hankering for history and a craving for chocolate, take them to the fun traveling museum exhibit, Journey of Chocolate in the Americas. Families can travel back in time at several U.S. locations in 2013, and experience chocolate the way our first presidents would have.
The Historic Division of Mars, led by chocolate genius (official title: chocolate history research director) Rodney Snyder, is on a mission to bring the history of chocolate to life. Partnering with more than 130 historic locations, the Historic Division of Mars holds between 20 and 40 exhibits each year that demonstrate the process of chocolate throughout America’s history.
Unbeknownst to many, chocolate has an intricate connection with our founding fathers, the American revolution and the country’s early developments.
Although small, the exhibit I saw at the New York Historical Society was interactive, rich with history and, most importantly, kids appeared to love it.
Why the History of Chocolate is America's History
Kids and adults are taken through a 15 to 20-minute interactional presentation in which two chocolate experts demonstrate and explain the colonial process of chocolate making. It is a great exhibit for kids, requiring them to use all their five senses; they can touch the cocoa pod, smell the roasted beans, and watch and listen to the grinding process. And at the end, everyone gets to taste chocolate the way George Washington, or even a soldier in his army, would have tasted it — as a sweet, thick yummy drink. Additionally, the chocolatiers were wonderful at combining historty and demonstration.
And if you wanted to take some colonial chocolate home with you and personally experience chocolate as it was in the 18th century, the Historic Division of Mars sells their Heritage chocolate in the form of sticks, blocks, and powdered drink mix packets.
This is a delicious and educational exhibit for parents and children. Using chocolate is an enticing and effective way to teach children a chunk of American history. It might even make them take a second thought the next time they bite into a chocolate bar. This exhibit takes you back in time, and by the end chocolate is seen less as a decadent dessert and more as a significant part of history.
Historic Division of Mars Traveling Chocolate Show Schedule
The Historic Division of Mars will soon hit the road again. If you’re interested in history and chocolate, bring the kids to one of these historic sites to see and experience “The Journey of Chocolate in the Americas”
- Old Salem Museum in Winston-Salem, NC on March 1-2
- Penn State & Chester County Historical Society in Brandywine, PA on March 23
- Valley Forge Encampment Store in Valley Forge, PA on March 23-24
- Old North Church in Boston, MA on April 13
- Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, CA on May 4-5
- Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh, PA on May 10-11
- Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, TN on May 17-19
- Hamilton Grange in New York City on June 15
- Pottsgrove Manor in Pottsgrove, PA on September 21
- Pennypacker Mills in Schwenksville, PA on October 5
- Living History Farms in Urbandale, IA on December 7
For more information and changes in scheduled visits, like their Facebook.com/TheHistoricDivisionofMARS page or follow them on twitter @choc_history. For information on what else there is to do when you're visiting these regions, please check out the Family Travel Forum Directory of US States highlighting fun activities for kids.
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