It’s the latest summer craze in Huntsville – panning for gold a la the Alabama Gold Rush of 1829. And it’s the perfect activity for expending energy during the muggy July countdown till school starts back. Burritt On the Mountain‘s Treasure Hunt on Gold Mountain outdoor hands-on exhibit is an educational adventure for the whole family.
Hunting for Treasure
Solve clues to find gold nuggets while you explore the question: What was life like for the Alabama gold prospector in the 1800’s? Meander in and out of historic log cabins, picking up interesting facts along the way.
Have younger siblings tagging along? There’s plenty of open space for the littles to run and explore while older kids mull over clues. And they’ll love rushing in at the last minute for the gold discovery!
Panning for Gold & Gems
Dig deeper into Alabama’s rich history with a genuine, operating sluice. Everyone gets to try their hand at panning for gold and precious gems. Rinse, observe, sift, and repeat, until you find treasure. It’s a meticulous process that requires attention to detail and patience. (Great skills for children to learn!)
Farm Life: Step Back in Time
Get a glimpse of 19th century farm life. Real demonstration gardens show the daily grind of the rural lifestyle. And a barnyard with roosters, a pig, and other animals allows kids to observe the sights and sounds of a farm up close. Living history interpreters dressed in period clothing help you step back in time by answering questions and demonstrating skills of the past.
Burritt Bonus Activities for Kids
Kids will encounter a never-ending supply of fun with plenty of interactive, mind-stimulating games along the way. From cork boats to letter games and playgrounds, there’s something for everyone.
Branch out and spend the day exploring further: Take in breathtaking views of Huntsville. Picnic under shady trees. Hike the award-winning handicap/stroller accessible trail. Check out an iconic Huntsville landmark – a 74’ high cross standing at the bottom of the steep trail. And don’t leave without touring Dr. Burritt’s historic mansion – it’s included in your admission.
Don’t miss the experience! The gold rush will leave town on September 3rd.
Fun Facts to Explore with Your Kids
- Gold mining is a rich part of Alabama history. The Alabama Gold Rush was a large source of employment, resulting in sharply growing local populations. That is, until the California Gold Rush of 1849.
- There’s a town in Alabama named after the Alabama Gold Rush: Goldville. It was said to have had a population of more than 3,000 and to have handled more mail in a day than New York City around that time. Today? Only 55 make Goldville their home.
- Gold panning remains a popular modern-day hobby. You can still pan for gold in Alabama – just head down to Talladega National Forest, which houses several gold bearing streams. Be sure to check with the Forest Service district office for the necessary permit.
- Interested in prospecting more? Take a weekend trip to Dahlonega, Georgia, site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush in 1828, where you can pan for gold and tour an underground gold mine open to the public.
Treasure Hunt on Gold Mountain
Where: Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville (map)
When: March 11 – September 3, 2017
Best Ages: 3 to 11
Cost: Adults $10 | Children & Students $8 | Seniors(60+) & Military $9 | Children 2 and under FREE | Burritt Members FREE
See Hours | Burritt Website | Burritt on Facebook
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Kelli Pavlovec writes as a hobby and as a career. She loves running in the rain, old British TV shows, reading fantastic literature, and all things nature. She’s taking a course on Fiction Writing this semester and hopes to finally write and publish some books which she’ll post at kellipav.com.