Rvers don’t homeschool, they roadschool. And by definition, ROADschooling means you have to hit the road! (ok, there isn’t really a REAL definition of roadschooling. 😉 ) We LOVE living history sites, so we are always on the lookout for them while we are traveling. A favorite of ours is located in Lafayette, Louisiana; Vermilionville is a 23 acre living history farm that is a great stop to spend a day learning about the local Cajun/Creole history – who they were/are, how they lived, how their culture still influences the area!
This was our second visit to Vermilionville. and while it was optional for the big boys, they weren’t missing out either!
Vermilionville’s campus is covered with historical buildings, and all are open for visitors to view/explore. Most of the buildings have informational plaques outside that tell you about the building, purpose, and how it was built or serviced the people. Many of them are even staffed by living history re-enactors who are knowledgeable about the time period they are representing, and are happy to answer any questions you have!
The kids always find the building extra interesting! There are all sorts of hands-on activities here, including learning to identify local animal tracks, bug identification, and even a machine that shows how tornados form.
Even though Vermilionville is in the middle of town, it’s quiet and gives the impression of being in rural Louisiana! There is an onsite café, or you can bring a sack lunch as well – it is a beautiful setting to just relax, as well as explore a Louisiana swamp area.
The boys’ favorite part of the farm is the ferry! You don’t have to take the ferry (you can access all areas of the farm via sidewalks), but we seem to take it several times each visit! Over a small pond, the ferry is hand-pulled back and forth to get to other buildings. There is not staff on hand running the ferry, you get to power it yourself!
If our kids are here, they’ll give you as many rides as your want. lol.
The school house is another favorite, and definitely not to be missed! Our kids have never attended school, but they have been in a lot of them (historical ones!) – and this is one of our favorites!
The reason is the guy on the left! He’s an incredible accordion player, and he sits in the schoolhouse and plays Cajun music for you! This visit he had help, and they were so fun! They entertained us with about 4 upbeat songs that were in French (but he told us what the words meant). They are part of the living history farm, but they do accept tips. 😉 (I believe that the re-enactors here are volunteers – many of them sell the period-correct arts they are making when in their place in the park, in the visitor’s center)
The littles like the farmhouse the best. Not for the farmhouse, but for what is out back…
The farm animals are the little girls’ favorite place on the farm; they love to feed the sheep.
Here are a few tips for visiting Vermilionville, as well as things it’s good to know:
*Going in the summertime? Be sure to take a hat and plenty of water!
*There is an onsite restaurant that offers authentic Cajun and Creole fare – it is open daily from 11 to 2, and lunch runs around $12. There is also a lovely area outside of the campus – by the parking lot, where you can have a picnic lunch along the river (there is also a pond there – not sure what the bugs are like when it is hot…)
*Bring good walking shoes. This is a 23 acre campus, and you will want to explore the entire place, including in each and every building.
*If you want to feed the farm animals, be sure to purchase your $.25 bags of feed at the visitor’s center (where you pay your admission) – the animals and the feed are at opposite ends of the park, and if it’s a hot day you won’t want to be walking back and forth.
*The visitor’s center has a lovely gift shop in it – be sure to check out the artisan crafts in it – many are made by the volunteers while they are demonstrating their historic craft in the park!
We love Vermilionville – partly because we love Louisiana and the Cajun and Creole influence that is so much a part of their culture, and partly because we love history and historical sites! At Vermilionville, we get both! <3 It’s a great place to immerse yourself in southern history, and an ultimate roadschooling destination if you’d like to learn more about southern Louisiana!