What Is A Living History Museum and Why Should You Visit One?

Museums are amazing places to visit, especially when they are living history museums that take history one step further than the traditional style museum full of displays to look at.

They allow you to actually take part in the history in various ways, making it more interactive, more educational, and more fun.

Popularity of Military Living History Museums

Among the many living history museums to be found, those that focus on military history are popular places throughout the country and the world.

World War I and World War II living history museums are not only a great place to see actual military vehicles, artillery, and other artifacts from these times; they allow you to get a true feel of what it was like for the soldiers fighting these wars via reenactments performed by costumed, historical interpreters.

Add In Military Reenactments at Living History Museums

Military reenactments of important moments in history are an entertaining way to really feel like you are there, experiencing the situation firsthand.

Living history museums provide a more indepth, historical look at these events in a way that will leave lasting memories and an impression that will stay with you much longer than if you had simply viewed curated displays behind a glass.

For example, ammunition demonstrations at World War II living history museums give a true understanding of the power of the weapons used during that period, and what it was like to use them.

Find Living History Museums That Let You Touch the Memorabilia

Another great reason why living history museums are so enjoyable and memorable is how many of them give spectators the chance to touch as well as see.

Touch makes a more lasting impression and climbing inside of a tank or sitting in an armored car or military Jeep makes a more lasting impression.

Dog tag exhibits and helicopter and vehicle displays seen at some Vietnam War living history museums are just one example of exhibits that allow touching and bring attendees closer to the experience that soldiers, some of whom may even have been family members, had.

Find A Living History Museum Close to You!

So, the next time you are looking for something fun but also educational to do, think about heading to a local living history museum to see some carefully curated displays that might include World War I, World War II, or Vietnam War remembrances.

Don’t limit yourself to standard museums; instead, investigate all there is to see and do at a military living history museum.

You are sure to have an exciting, educational, and touching experience learning about America’s role in various wars and what those events were actually like for the military members who were actually on the battlefield.

History Museums and Military History Museums – The Differences!

Museums are some of the most fun, educational, and enjoyable places to visit.

Today, there is a museum for almost any interest or age group displaying everything from dinosaur bones to teacup collections.

Among the vast types of general and topical museums in existence, history museums and military history museums are of particular interest to people of all ages who wish to learn more about their country and their country’s role in national and global military operations throughout the years.

Though they sound similar, the two are actually somewhat different. 

Differences in Focus – History Museums

How do history museums and military history museums differ? The biggest difference between the two is their focus. 

History museums are usually collections and presentations that depict the history of a specific location or period in time in a broad sense.

Collections may include period art, artifacts, documents, archaeological findings, and items from everyday life.

These collections may be displayed in a museum building, a historic home or building, or at a historic site.

While history museums may include historical displays related to the military or war if it is related to the location or period on display, this is not the focus of the collection, which is more general. 

Differences in Focus – Military History Museums

On the other hand, military history museums or war museums are focused on presenting only collections related to the different military forces, military events, and different wars and battles.

Military museums typically include collections of military weapons, uniforms, pins, badges, and other memorabilia, different military technology throughout the ages, and military vehicles of different types.

Many also include demonstrations of military vehicles and weapons as well as living history reenactments of military operations or wartime encampments. 

Overall Differences Between History and Military History Museums

While both types of museums can be interesting and educational, history museums provide a broader and more general knowledge about the local or topical history on display, while military history museums tell some of the stories of the different military forces.

For those with a specific interest in wartime and military history, military history museums can provide a deeper understanding of wars and battles, the people who fought them, and how they did it. 


Today, there are many American history museums and local history museums where citizens can learn about times past and the formation of this country, including some great displays about the early wars that were fought.

For a more concentrated look at wars throughout the ages, military history museums offer deeper insight into the military, its advancement and traditions, and its successes and failures over time.