Grounds open daily from dusk to dawn. Visitor center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. April through October. Reduced winter hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call or check website to confirm schedule.
Named for the militia men whose confrontation with the English Redcoats ignited the Revolutionary War, the Minute Man Historical Park encompasses the sites of the major action on that fateful day in April 19, 1775.
Visit sites like Lexington Green (first engagement), and the Old North Bridge (Shot heard around the World), the route of the British retreat and the place where Paul Revere was captured.
It is important to first get a good geographical orientation of the action that day. To that end, visit the Minute Man Visitor's Center in Lincoln first. There is an excellent, award-winning multi-media presentation which will give you a great overview of the action that day. Then hop into the car and visit the important sites along the battle route using a cell-phone tour which you can hook up to your car stereo so that the whole family can enjoy the commentary. The phone number is available on the seasonal newsletter published by the Parks Service or inquire at the information desk.
On the weekends during the spring and summer months, there are demonstrations, re-enactments and Park Ranger talks. Be sure to check their website or call ahead to find out about events happening during your stay. Reenactments and demonstrations are especially engaging for children. While we were not fortunate enough to attend one, we did see a group wheeling out period cannon and artillery along Lexington Road. Even though they were just cleaning the equipment, the kids got really interested and excited to see what they were doing.
Also for school-aged kids, the junior ranger program workbooks available at the Minute Man Visitors Center will keep the kids reading and hunting for the answers at the various sites and the visitor center in exchange for a junior ranger badge in recognition of their efforts.
The Old North Bridge site near Concord, MA is definitely worth the stop. The landscape has been preserved and it looks very much like it did that fateful day and you can imagine the scene of the engagement very easily. Its a lovely spot with a creek running through and a great place for little ones to run around and stretch their legs.
We found it most effective to prep elementary school children for a visit with reading a simple story about the American Revolution. Johnny Tremaine and The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere are good choices. This will definitely help your budding young historians get more mileage out of what they are seeing.
Minute Man National Historical Park extends along Battle Road from Lexington to Lincoln to Concord. It was established to commemorate the events that took place along the winding, hilly road on April 18–19, 1775.
Stop at the visitor center on Route 2A for an excellent twenty-five-minute multimedia presentation, The Road to Revolution, that will orient you to the history and sights of the area.
There’s a nice 1-mile walk (follow the markers) to the ruins of the Fiske House, a farmhouse that was in the midst of the battle area. An interesting (but long) hike is the 5-mile Battle Road Trail from Fisk Hill to Miriam’s Corner in Concord.
Also of interest is an entire restored colonial neighborhood centered around Hartwell Tavern. Park rangers dressed like eighteenth-century colonists offer daily musket-firing demonstrations, arts-and-crafts events, walking tours, and historical lectures.
A good book to read before arriving is Sam the Minuteman, by Nathaniel Benchley and Arnold Lobel.