This week I had the opportunity to go and preview the American Heritage Museum in Gettysburg, PA. This museum in in the old Wax Solider Museum on the south side of town. While the museum is not completely ready, they opened it up for free for the community during the last half of December. The museum consists of 3 parts if you will; displays, a theatre, and gift shop.
I went with 5 of my children and a friend and her child. We had ages 14-5.
The displays are well laid out have have interesting facts and pictures. The pictures are 3D (you are provided with glasses upon entering) and there are even 3 mini movies done in 3D. The children were fascinated with the 3D pictures and the displays but not so much the mini movies or fact posters. What I could see of the one mini movie it was well presented.
The theatre is a 20 minute movie about the 3 day battle. Having grown up around the town I knew all the locations that were mention but the movie added to my knowledge by giving an aerial scene of how the armies moved during each day and how the battle played out. It also gave a clear picture of which commander was where.
The gift shop is about what you would expect with plenty of souvenirs for all ages. My 5 year saw a southern belle dress costume which she thought we should get so her daddy could see her in it. You could get something for all ages.
There is ample free parking behind the museum which is nice. They do have public restrooms which I mention because not all of the museums in Gettysburg do.
Overall I would this is a great museum for 12 and over, maybe 10 and up depending on their interest level. There was some warnings that I felt could have been given upon entering and will share with you. One is that the movie is graphic at some points with people dying. My youngest was turning her face into me during these parts. Second at one point during the movie in the theatre lights start flashing which I can see giving some people mirgaines or triggering seizures if they are sensitive to that.