The kids and I had an awesome day today in New Bern. We spent eight hours at Tryon Palace and could have spent more.  The only complaint was it was a little unclear where to go. We parked near the Governor’s Palace parking lot and then after trial and error found the Visitor Center. It would have been better to have parked at the parking lot at the Visitor Center. There is not a sign and it is not on the website but they do have a AAA discount so ask. Even without the discount the price is reasonable for what you get.

We started with the orientation film and honestly I can’t remember much about it. I usually say always start with the film but in this case maybe not. We then took photos at the picture booth which is really cool. You can change the background and then e-mail the photos to yourself. The kids could have spent lot of time here but we made them move on. I am a little worried because I have not gotten an e-mail yet. We next went into the Regional History Museum. I really like this museum. It had lots of exhibits where you could press a button and they would tell you a story about different people. The kids loved where you could design your own store sign.

The next stop was the Pepsi Family Center. This was the kids favorite part and ended up spending hours here.  You went into a time machine that took you back in time to 1834. When you got out of the time machine you went to town square where the mayor addressed you and told you about jobs you needed to do. You could be hands on a ship, work at printing press, work in a store, help cook a recipe by finding ingredients, make quilt squares or make turpentine. It was hands-on interactive and the kids loved it!

Yes, we did get to the Governor’s Palace which is what we came for. We had a guided tour of the house where the guide did a great job of telling about the history of the palace and about life during the time period. We also went to the stables and thru part of the gardens. I found Claire praying by the foundation and I had to take this photo. The kitchen was separate and there were guides in this two story building to give you more information and answer questions. There are also two houses that you get to see- the Dixon House and the Stanley House. They say they are not guided tours but they do have staff in the homes to tell you a little about the house. One house is a Federal style and the other is Georgian so it is nice to see the difference in styles.

We took a break for lunch and went to the Cow Cafe. They have a kids menu, sandwiches, and salads. It is a cute atmosphere with a cow motif . It is very reasonably priced and the food was good. I had a salad. Cobey devoured a hot dog and Claire had macaroni and cheese. They are famous for their ice cream which if you are lucky enough you can watch them make. I had pumpkin pie ice cream and it was wonderful. It is nothing fancy but a fun place to go with the kids for lunch.

After lunch and more time at the Pepsi Family Center, we found a few more bears to take photos of. Claire wants to come back and find all the bears in town and take photos. If I had to do it over, I would have spent two days in New Bern and paid for the two days Tyron Palace pass. (It is not much more.) If you don’t have kid’s the right age for the Pepsi Family Museum which I would say 6-11, then you could do it in a day. I would like to try the navigator which comes with the two day pass if we make it back. It is a great trip if you are doing NC History or Revolutionary History .



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