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American Adventure

January 19 – April 21, 2019

Do you have what it takes to survive? Take a step back into history to find out. In 1607, settlers landed on the shores of Virginia and called it home, creating the first permanent European settlement. Little did they know that less than half of them would survive the year in this new wilderness. Minotaur Mazes’ American Adventure takes visitors on an immersive, educational role-play adventure that asks people to conquer one great challenge: survive the year as one of the original Jamestown colonists. Sound easy? Think again. Only 38 of the 104 settlers survived. But don’t worry – you’re not tied to their destiny. You can beat the odds and determine your fate – it all depends on the choices you make…and a bit of luck.

Blending historical accuracy and the complexities of real life and death decisions, American Adventure delivers a truly unique and effective learning experience. Visitors choose a unique identity of one the Jamestown colonists and track a series of life choices on an easy to use abacus representing “life points” for health, wealth, food, and morale. You have to maintain all of them to “survive” the exhibit. Visitors will encounter four content-rich “Season Galleries” and engage in hands-on activities that result in choices relevant to their character. Survival is based on visitor knowledge and ingenuity but also the abilities and priorities of chosen identity. The American Adventure experience quickly reveals the reality of what Jamestown’s settlers faced, but also how everyday decisions and interactions with the environment can be a matter of life and death. Even if you don’t survive, try again! There’s a new adventure every time you enter the exhibit!

Crazy Forts!

The Build Zone in the American Adventure exhibit gallery features a colorful set of spheres and sticks that connect to build unique forts.

Jamestown Connections

Look for conservation notes throughout the Museum to see how the environment has changed since 1607.

Jamestown Animal Mystery

Meet live animals that were new to the early colonists. Discover how to tell if an animal is poisonous, venomous, or edible!

Dates: Saturdays, January 19 – April 2

Special dates: January 20-21 and February 17-18

Time: 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm

Skies of Jamestown Planetarium Program

Explore the role played by astronomy in the journey to and survival in the New World. Hear from the colonists themselves. Learn the dangers and the tools used to navigate across the Atlantic.

Dates: Check calendar.

Time: 1:30 pm

Cost: Free for Museum members, $4 plus Museum admission for non-members.

Audio Tour

Hear the colonists’ own words as they encounter strange animals in a new world. Look for the Uniguide audio tour signs throughout the Museum and grounds.

Adventure Weekend | January 19-21

Footsteps in History (Rainbow Puppet Production)

Time: 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Follow the footsteps of many famous people who have walked across the Virginia Peninsula in “Footsteps in History.” Will meet creatures like the blue crabs who have long been on our shores… and Native Americans who are proud of the rich natural treasures which sustain the area. Christopher Newport and John Smith come from England and set up a colony at Jamestown and the Kecoughtan tribe protects them over the first severe winter. Those who do survive must fight against more challenges like brackish water and swarms of mosquitoes.

In 1619, the first North American Thanksgiving is celebrated at Berkeley. Large numbers of women come to the colony to help sustain and grow the region… and the need for labor brings African American slaves to our shores…

Contributions from diverse people from around the world help shape a nation that slowly works to provide freedom and opportunities for all.


Rope Making and Fire Starting

Time: TBA

More information to come.

Funded in part by the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution grant. 

American Evolution logo


Thank you to our presenting sponsor:

American Adventure logo

Woman on zipline

Boy rock climbing

American Adventure exhibit