Indoor fun and games at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum

Indoor fun and games at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum


It’s winter. It’s too cold to play outside, there isn’t even any snow, and none of your friends are home. What’s a kid to do? You’re going to have to find something to do indoors. Maybe Mom or Dad will find a video or DVD you can all watch together, or your pesky older sister will play Super Mario Brothers with you. But wait! What would you do inside at home without television, electricity or anything that ran on batteries? What if such things hadn’t even been invented? You could play a board game—no electronics needed.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum invites you to try out a variety of games from yesteryear, from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12 at “Come In From the Cold,” 2003’s first Family Day. In the 1800s, popular games included tabletop ninepins, checkers, backgammon and more. Word games and other parlor games were amusing group activities. Another enjoyable pastime was peering through a stereoscope to see pictures of far-off places and unusual things. These activities provided entertainment for families and children in an age when 21st century amusements like DVDs, computer and electronic games, battery-operated toys and television did not exist.

Family Day is the second Sunday of each month during regular museum hours from 1 to 4 p.m. January’s Family Day is Jan. 12. Family Day activities are included with regular admission ($4/adults; $3.50/seniors, $1/children 5 to 17; children under 5—no charge).

Tours are offered Tuesday-Sunday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Tours for groups of eight or more are available by special arrangement seven days a week. Robert H. Tinker built his splendid Swiss cottage on the Kent Creek after a trip to Europe in 1862. Open Tuesday through Sunday year-round, Tinker Swiss Cottage is located at 411 Kent St., Rockford. For more information, call the museum at (815) 964-2424.

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