Your students experience World War II and pioneer living through these engaging historic reenactments

Looking for an interactive supplement for an upcoming history unit? Consider booking a reservation to a historic reenactment site or event so your students can witness history coming to life. Populated by talented performers and tactile exhibits, these opportunities throughout the Midwest add depth to a historic lesson that no film or document can convey.

Heritage Village is a living history museum that depicts the life and times in Ohio throughout the 19th-century. They offer many different interpretations and reenactments like the Columbia Settlement event, which depicts the history of Anglo-American settlers in Cincinnati. They also offer special “First Person Programs” that allow visitors to view a portrait of famous people throughout history. Some of their First Person Program events include hearing from Queen Victoria, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Heritage Village - Credit Heritage Village Museum

Heritage Village – Credit Heritage Village Museum

Old World Wisconsin, located in Eagle, Wisconsin is an open-air museum that has been up and running since 1976. It depicts the history of 19th century Wisconsin and represents different ethnic groups that were in Wisconsin at the time. They offer many different historical experiences and interpretations throughout the year, including guided museum tours, mansion tours and historical reenactments.

Lincoln’s New Salem offers a unique experience to visitors who would like to learn more about New Salem and Abraham Lincoln. This historic recreation is located in Menard County, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837. The site offers many historical reenactments throughout the year, including the Fall Festival in October, where students and visitors can participate in daily tasks from the times. Visitors can participate in candle dipping, soap making, spinning wool and basket making. They also have campgrounds open from April through October.

Lincoln's New Salem - Credit Enjoy Illinois

Lincoln’s New Salem – Credit Enjoy Illinois

Visit the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Lerna, Illinois during Independence Day weekend. This is an annual event for this site and allows students and guests to have fun and interact with interpreters. The event offers fun and historic games in the morning, then ends the celebration with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a patriotic sendoff of live historically accurate music.

The great thing about Conner Prairie is that they offer historical experiences year-round. The crowd favorite is the 1863 Civil War Journey that they offer April through October in Fishers, Indiana. Students and visitors are able to participate in Civil War drill reenactments, dress in Civil War garb and see historical performance reenactments.

1863 Civil War Journey - Credit Conner Prairie

1863 Civil War Journey – Credit Conner Prairie

Every year in South Elgin, Illinois, they offer their Rails to Victory program that reenacts the Battle for Berlin in Germany. They offer a special day for middle school students, typically on Fridays, but they encourage students to attend all the activities throughout the three days. The program offers trolly rides throughout the park, weapon demos, historical reenactments and military encampments and vehicles. 

This new event in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin is a new edition to World War II reenactments. This event has only been going on for three years, but it has already become a favorite annual attraction in the community. The event includes a WWII reenactment and live, historically accurate music.

Civil War Remembrance - Credit KMS Photography

Civil War Remembrance – Credit KMS Photography

D-Day Conneaut is the largest WWII living history reenactment in the United States. This event is in Conneaut, Ohio, and has been an annual event since 1944. With over 1,500 WWII reenactors, students and visitors are able to see WWII training exercises, weapons and vehicles.

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, Greenfield Village in Michigan offers its Civil War Remembrance reenactment. Musicians, reenactors and expert historians provide demonstrations and exhibits. Students and families are welcomed to step into a piece of history and honor the achievements from the Civil War.