The very first family event that we attended at Jefferson Patterson Park was Archaeology Day. We had no idea what to expect, but it was a sunny day, the event was free, so we thought we’d check it out. It’s now become an annual event for us.
In the barn, you’ll meet the archaeologists. They come from all over Maryland to attend this event and look forward to seeing each other too. You’ll find them at tables inside with different artifacts from old Indian arrowheads to pieces of metal, buttons, bowls, and other fun things. Sometimes you’ll even see skeletons of animals and will learn why they died and how the bones give us clues. If you want to learn, they’ll teach you.
Outside is where you’ll find enough hands-on activities to keep the kids busy for quite a while. They’ll put together broken plates, sift through dirt looking for things, identify seeds and then play games like sack races. The field allows space to run around. Some food is available for sale, but you are welcome to bring a picnic and make a day of it.
Head over to the Indian village for more activities. One year they had flint napping, basket weaving, and even had hand made clay pots baking in the fire pit. Volunteers and archaeologists will explain what they’re doing and how the native peoples lived years ago. Take a ride over to a real archaeological site within the park and you can work along side JefPat archaeologists sorting through buckets of soil and artifacts they are taking out of the site. It’s a great opportunity to learn about Maryland history and for kids to see what that career path is like.
The MAC lab is open for tours as well where you will see where the archaeologists work, see many of the best artifacts on display and even see their large storage room where they have the original acorn from the Maryland State House. It’s a special place.
Free, fun, and incredibly educational, Jefferson Patterson Park always puts on great events, but this one is not only fun for us, it’s fun for them. Housing the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory and with an active dig on site, archaeology is near and dear to their hearts and they are eager to share it.
Spend the day or a couple hours and you’ll be sure to have fun and learn something new.
Jefferson Patterson Park