The ancient Middle East is closer than you think. Load up your crew for a kid-approved field trip to Biblical History Center in LaGrange, Georgia.
There’s an Elvis Presley song with the lyrics, “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.” The same concept can also apply to learning. You can try to describe something in hundreds of words but it’s often easier to grasp if viewed in person. That’s what makes field trips so special for children. When you think back, field trips probably rank among some of the most memorable occasions from your school years. And since we all could use a break from the ‘virtual’ sometimes, it can be a great way to get out and help your children experience what they’re studying—as well as a nice change of scenery for you.
When you think of field trip opportunities, the state of Georgia is packed with historical sites, museums, animal encounters and cultural experiences for kids to explore. Among the places in LaGrange, Georgia, one stands out in a unique way: Biblical History Center.
Biblical History Center helps students encounter the ancient world through history and culture. A visit here is like being transported to another place and time. It’s also one of only eight museums in the world to have been entrusted a long-term collection of antiquities on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority, including a 5,000-year-old game board and oil lamps used by early Christians. This puts the center on par with the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Biblical History Center is much more than a museum. The founder, Dr. Jim Fleming, spent nearly 40 years in Israel taking part in archaeological excavations so children can learn what it’s like to work on a dig site. Four areas of ancient life are also represented on the grounds. There are tents set up so you can experience the nomadic life of Bedouin shepherds, as well as the life of the farmer, village life and a Roman theater. The center boasts 23 life-size replicas of artifacts from daily life, such as a wine press, water wheel, millstone and tombs.
The center features several hands-on opportunities to make your trip even more meaningful. Imagine sitting in a shepherd’s goat hair tent and learning to make pita bread on an open fire and butter to top it, just like people did thousands of years ago. Or maybe you’ve been curious about what foods were served at The Last Supper? There are two rooms where you can recline at the table and enjoy a four-course Biblical meal reminiscent of First Century culture. The rooms are based on one discovered in Pompeii before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. You’ll learn about ancient meal practices and traditions including Passover and The Last Supper.
Coming up, the center is hosting special days this fall for homeschoolers and students, including “The First Christmas” in November. The response has been great so more will be offered after Christmas. Of course, the center has a highly qualified staff of docents available to give virtual field trips and lectures by request. You can also reach out to Biblical History Center to tailor a day just for your group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-885-0363 for the most updated information. With social distancing requirements in place as of this writing, groups are limited to no more than 30 people.