Though we’d visited the Lore Oyster House before, we went back with the kids for the Lore Oyster House Day excited to get a little more “hands on” since they don’t get that experience at home. The free special event runs just three hours during one Saturday each month and is great for children under age 10.
A guide took us outside first and taught us to harvest oysters with long handled tongs that we twisted to dislodge the live ones from their bed. From there, we looked for wildlife living among the oyster beds in baskets pulled up from the sea wall. The outdoor activities were the favorites among my girls.
Inside there’s a knot tying station and a large plush oyster used for bivalve anatomy lessons. We each tried to lift a full oyster basket to see how heavy it is and imagine how difficult it would be to haul them back and forth to the shucking room all day long.
In the shucking room, the kids put on aprons and kitchen gloves, sung a working song, and learned how to shuck a handful of oysters. Each station is set up with a shucking knife, a wooden block, and a handful of matched shells that have already been opened and cleaned before being resealed with Velcro. A small glob of clay sat where the oyster would be. My girls had hoped to work with freshly caught ones, so they were disappointed, but the younger children there were perfectly happy and everyone learned just how little they would have earned from a full days’ work.
We finished with every station in 45 minutes, so you can easily combine this event with another local activity like a visit to the Calvert Marine Museum or a river cruise on the Dee of St. Mary’s. The skipjack sails on Oyster Days when weather permits and does require reservations.
This is an activity that you really only need to do once, but it’s free, fun, and worth a stop with the kids. With so many indoor portions, it’s a great rainy day outing too.
Lore Oyster House