November 20, 2017

Stop, Drop & Roll: 6 Fire Museums to Explore with Kids

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Jacksonville Fire Museum

Now that I have a little boy (after having three girls), I’m quickly learning that all boys love fire engines. He’s not yet two, but he loves fire engines, though it may just be the loud sounds that he likes. Still, I can definitely see a future trip to a fire station, or better, a trip to a fire museum. What a great opportunity to learn more about the history of firefighting. Here are six fire museums worth checking out:

  • Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati: As the museum celebrates its 30th anniversary, you and your family can enjoy the new “The First 30 Years” exhibit, which features a timeline with milestones like the first major fire in Cincinnati and the establishment of the first professional fire department. Be sure to take a look at the hands-on Safe House exhibit for fire prevention tips to ensure a safe escape.
  • Fire Museum of Maryland: Located just outside Baltimore, you’ll find fire equipment through the years, as well as a working fire alarm telegraph exhibit. Every couple of months, the museum hosts special programs, such as a bus tour of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 and a holiday train garden. The annual Steam Show in May features steam engine demonstrations and rides on antique engines.
  • Hall of Flame Fire Museum (Phoenix): You’ll find more than 90 pieces of restored fire apparatus on display, dating back to 1725, as well as a gallery dedicated to wildland firefighting. Take in a display of over 400 fire helmets from around the world, as well as the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which displays photos and citations for American firefighters recognized for acts of heroism.
  • Houston Fire Museum: Your kids will love this museum, which was originally a real, working fire station. Stop by to check out antique fire vehicles, like a 1937 Chevrolet Pumper and even a horse-drawn steamer. Kids can see what it was like to receive a fire call in the 1950s and enjoy a visual timeline of the fire service. Guided tours are by reservation and last one hour.
  • Jacksonville Fire Museum (Florida): Enjoy more than 500 items detailing the history of the fire service in Jacksonville, as well as the state of Florida. See a fully-restored 1902 horse-drawn fire engine and a working 1926 American LaFrance fire engine.
  • New York City Fire Museum: Located in a 1904 firehouse, this museum highlights the evolution of firefighting, including fire engines and gear over the years. Learn about firefighting skills and equipment, even fireboats, as well as animals that have helped fight fires. Guided historical tours can also be arranged for school and camp groups, and includes an interactive fire safety presentation.

Look for more fire museums? Then take a look at The Fire Museum Network to search 300 museums dedicated to fire engines and fire fighters sorted by state.

Comments

  1. Holly W. says:

    My husband is a Houston Firefighter and we have visited the Houston Fire Museum several times! We have 2 boys, 6 and 2, and they absolutely LOVE it! I think their favorite thing is sliding the pole and playing with the light in the real fire engine cab that they have in there! Definitely a good time if your kiddos are into Firetrucks/Firefighters!!!

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