We had a long weekend here recently, it was BC Day. We wanted to do some exploring and we had been given the opportunity to go to Fort Langley National Historic Site thanks to the Instameet that was organized at several locations across the province.
The Fort opened at 10am, and after a quick stop into a coffee shop up the road, we made our way in just after opening. It was a hot day, so we made sure everyone had sunscreen on because we already knew that unless you were in one of the buildings there is not much for shade.
When we entered we picked up an activity booklet for Evie to do. It was put together by Parks Canada and features their mascot Parka. There were two different booklets actually, the one we grabbed is for younger kids and was easy for her to do with a little bit of guidance. At the end of our visit, she showed her completed book and was able to pick a prize.
The Fort is really the perfect place for families to visit. With it having a lot of open space kids are able to run around, explore, and get all their energy out while also learning! Evie was interested in everything that was there. She wanted to know about the blacksmith, the cooper, exploring the garden and so much more.
At one point we were talking about how people back then would sometimes trade items or gold to get what they needed, and one of the period actors overheard us and showed us what was on display at their trading post. The big surprise though for her was when he offered for her to get to pick a little leather purse on a string to keep. She’s worn it proudly every day since we went.
While we were there it was also Brigade Days. This was part of why there were so many re-enactors around the Fort. There were canvas tents set up where they talked to visitors about their different “old-fashioned” skills.
We joined the march out of the Fort to go down by the river where we waited and watched the reenactment of the arrival of the fur brigades. Re-enactors paddle in and unload their canoes that contain cargo consisting of furs, barrels, and more. There were even some dignitaries that arrived too!
Things like this are such a great way for Evie to learn about our country and its history. This is hands-on learning about the Hudson’s Bay Company and Fort Langley. She learned about how the brigades happened in the 1850’s by traveling the river each summer to bring fur and other goods from the Interior Forts and the Aboriginal people. The goods they brought were unloaded and packed to be shipped to England. The fur traders would then pack their canoes with supplies from Europe to take back up the river to the Interior Forts.
It was a really fun morning spent as a family. We all learned something new that day. Evie’s already asking to get to go back so we are considering getting a family pass that we can use to visit more often. I would love to check out the Heritage Holiday at Fort Langley come December. We will definitely be back.
Do you take your kids to historic sites in your area so that they can learn hands-on?
What are some of the places you have taken them too?