Summer Fun Days Return To Lake Wales History Museum
by James Coulter
Tired of spending Saturday afternoon lounging around the house bored with nothing to do? Looking for something to do with the kids on the weekends this summer? Then come on down to the Lake Wales History Museum for Summer Fun Days.
Every Saturday from now until August 10, The Lake Wales History Museum will be offering free activities for children and their families that will not only give them something fun to do on a weekend afternoon, but also teach them something about history in the process.
The museum kicked off its weekly series last Saturday on June 8 with Florida’s Natural Citrus Day. Attendees could color their own citrus label, sample different citrus fruit, watch a video to learn how citrus juices are made, and even enjoy a sweet, savory sample of orange juice produced from local citrus groves.
This Saturday, June 15, will host Seminole Tribe of Florida Day, with various activities to teach attendees about local Native American tribes and their customs, from creating Native American-style beaded jewelry to sampling traditional Fry Bread.
Other upcoming themed days include Wildlife of Florida Day on June 22, with local wildlife conservation groups showcasing native wild animals, with everything wrapping up on August 10 with a We Love The 80s-themed party.
This will be the second year the museum has hosted special themed days. Last year proved quite experimental, with each day being one of trial and error to see what would draw people to the museum during the off season and what would not, explained Bartholomew DelCamp, Museum Coordinator.
“We didn’t really know what to expect last year,” he said. “Some days were extremely popular; others, not so much. But…we had a total of 500 people show up to the museum. Since the summer is a slow time for us, that was a fantastic attendance, so we could not be more pleased.”
This year the museum is expecting to draw in even more people during their planned themed days. DelCamp expects to see at least 250 more people show up this year, but would be happy if 700 people attended overall during the summer, he said.
“Summer Fun Days is a good way to spend an hour or two at the museum,” he said. “If the kids are bored, they can come here. Everything is free. We have free activities and free food, and it is a nice way to spend with the family.”
Formerly the Lake Wales Museum And Cultural Center, The Lake Wales History Museum recently rebranded itself in order to center its focus as a history museum and to differentiate between other local organizations such as the Lake Wales Art Center.
“That way people will not get us confused as a train station…because we actually have people coming here trying to buy train tickets,” DelCamp said. “So hopefully the name change will make it very clear that this is the history museum, we focus on history, and that is the main goal of the museum.”
Currently, the museum is working on its master plan to redevelop the entire museum site and its three main buildings, with the 1919 Yellow Depot building to receive the initial refurbishment and preservation efforts.
The museum will also be restarting its Florida Humanities Series once again this November, with every month bringing in a guest speaker to discuss various historical topics, be it local, state, or national history.
The Lake Wales History Museum is located at 325 S. Scenic Hwy, Lake Wales, FL 33853. For more information, call 863-676-1759, or visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Lake-Wales-History-Museum-128131233866221/