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Spring Break Fun at Dallas Heritage Village

Submitted by on March 9, 2012 – 9:47 amOne Comment

Spring time shot in front of Sullivan House

Dallas Heritage Village Hosts

Spring Break Fun: “Connected!”


A fun, hands-on Spring Break opportunity featuring history of the telephone and telegraph, and demonstrating how science was part of daily life.

Dallas Heritage Village invites the community to “get connected, 19th century style” at the annual Spring Fling on Tuesday, March 13 through Friday, March 16 from 10am to 4 pm; activity times are 11am to 2pm.

This year’s week-long event theme is “Connected!” and will explore the history of the telephone and telegraph while demonstrating how science was part of daily life in the 19th century.

“The 19th century was a time of extraordinary change with how we connected to people and the world around us,” said Melissa Prycer, director of education, Dallas Heritage Village.  “Advances in science meant that suddenly we could talk to someone across thousands of miles on the telephone, get news updates almost instantly through the telegraph, and travel at speeds never before imagined on a train.  In this fast-paced technology world we live in today, it’s mind-boggling for students to think back to a time when today’s technology did not exist. We have the pioneers of the 19th century to thank for blazing the trail for us today.”

Dallas Heritage Village

Old-fashioned Telephone

During Spring Fling guests may create their own tin can telephones and discover what life was like before the iPhone while reviewing a timeline depicting the history of the telephone.

“We will discuss what it meant for people to be able to communicate electronically for the first time,” added Prycer.  “How did life change?  We will talk about the freedom and comfort that came from phones and how that increased as we changed from cordless to cell to hands-free phones! We’ll explore how phones progressed from a single phone in town to businesses to private homes. How did people access information then as compared to know?”

Dallas Heritage Village

Trying out the tin can telephone!

Guests may also compare the shorthand used in the telegraph with today’s texting.  Which is faster?  See what it was like to type on an old-fashioned typewriter as compared to using today’s keyboards.

The Spring Fling experience will show how science was a new way to connect, whether through technology itself or as a growing hobby.  People conducted simple experiments at home or started closely observing the natural world around them.  In addition, gardeners embraced the benefits of sharing plant cuttings with neighbors or bringing treasured plants to new home.  Spring Fling attendees will have the opportunity to explore how plants were shared with friends and family at the Farmstead by planting cuttings.

Ongoing Activities

Ongoing Dallas Heritage Village activities such as tours of the Millermore and Sullivan homes will also be available throughout the week.  Listen in on the party line as you learn about the Village’s history through the cell phone tour and play in the Learning Lounge with trains, Lincoln Logs and doll houses.  The Blum Brothers store will be open for young shopkeepers, shoppers and postal workers.  Visitors may participate in a special Catalog activity at the General Store and the Depot.   Review a catalog and decide if you want to order something and have to wait a while for delivery via train or if you’d rather purchase something available from the limited store selection.  Nip and Tuck will also be busy giving their ever-popular rides around the Village.

Nip and Tuck

Additionally, Barnyard Buddies Storytime for Preschoolers “Electric Past” will be during this week on Wednesday, March 14 at 11 a.m.  Biography and history come to life in “Now and Ben:  The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin” by Gene Barretta, a celebration of the inventions and ideas of Benjamin Franklin.  The event will celebrate this famous inventor with songs, and children will be invited to create an inventive work of art if their own.

“Spring Fling is a perfect spring break opportunity for everyone to explore and learn more about Dallas history in a fun and interactive setting,” said Gary Smith, executive director, Dallas Heritage Village.  “It’s always a pleasure to see kids’ faces light up when they can participate in an activity with one of our village characters or hear a personal story related to this time period from a family member attending with them.  We look forward to a great Spring Fling at Dallas Heritage Village.”


Tickets are $9/ adults; $7/ seniors; $5 / kids 4-12, children 3 and under are free.  All activities are free with admission.  Exact schedules for Village characters vary.

For more information, go to or call 214-421-5141.



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