Touring Andrew Jackson's Hermitage with Kids
By Meg Brunson
We love visiting presidential sites and learning about past leaders of our country. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee – so when our travels brought us to Nashville, we were curious to learn more about the 7th President of the United States.
We love museum visits that start out with a video – it really gets the kids interested and put everyone in the mindset to learn more about Andrew Jackson. After watching the short introductory video, we enjoyed browsing through the museum exhibits focused on Jackson’s life and the situations behind the War of 1812 and throughout Jackson’s Presidency.
The kids loved seeing Jackson’s actual carriage – and talking about transportation before cars! And the interactive displays that taught us about voting rights during Jackson’s term. While Jackson did a lot of good for our country – he also was a slaveholder and supported the Trail of Tears. This triggered a lot of valuable conversations on the balance of right and wrong… and the reasons why good people might do bad things (or that bad people have good in them – depending on your outlook).
After exploring the museum, we got our Audio Tour devices ready and set off for a walk of the grounds that would end with a tour of Jackson’s mansion. The Audio Tour was great – it’s a self-guided tour and there are 3 storylines you can choose from (or listen to them all). We loved that there was a kid-specific storyline as told by Jackson’s pet parrot – and were pleasantly surprised that it not only held the kids’ attention, but that they also were eager to listen to some of the “grown-up” tour.
Jackson’s mansion is only available by guided tour, with tours launching frequently throughout the day. Each tour is led by a period-appropriate character – and we experienced multiple guides who were all energetic, fun, and extremely knowledgeable. The home contains a LOT of original décor. We were unable to take photos inside – but some of our favorite things included extravagant French wallpaper, and the variety of sleeping quarters for different members of the family.
After the mansion tour, our family headed back to the visitor center to shop for souvenirs (there was a lot of really neat stuff – toys, food, décor, etc.) and eat lunch. When rain rolled in, we cut the visit short and did not return to the grounds to view the Hermitage church, outbuildings or slave sites – there is a ton more to see/do than we were able to!
Tips for a Terrific Visit:
- Dress for the weather & walking – this is a large property, and the self-guided audio tour takes you outside as well as inside.
- Timing – I would plan on spending at least 2 hours here – we were there about 2 hours and certainly could have stayed longer! Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage offers sample itineraries for two or four hour visits at https://thehermitage.com/visit/suggested-itineraries/
- Parking was very easy – a large lot and room for RVs too!
- Dining –You cannot bring food into the grounds, but you can picnic just outside the visitor center or enjoy the on-site café!
- Don’t skip the audio tour! The kids (and us parents) loved it!
Whether you’re interested in learning more about American history, American Presidents, or learning more about Tennessee history – Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is a can’t miss destination! Learn more about Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and start planning your trip at https://thehermitage.com/
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Year-Long Road Trip!
© 2019 Meg Brunson
Thanks to Andrew Jackson's Hermitage for sponsoring this review. All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four daughters who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!