First Colony Exhibit in Government House

St. Augustine’s First Colony Exhibit in the Government House is a rich experience museum that tells the story of St. Augustine’s early years.  Our family explored the exhibit a few weeks ago- here are some favorite memories.

We walked from lunch at Taberna del Caballo on St. George Street to the Government House Museum.  I walked a few steps behind because I never want to forget this image of Daddy and his little girls:

Daddy ends up toting the not-so-little girls around town a lot.

Our visit to the First Colony Exhibit was my first time inside the gorgeous Government House building.  You’ll find the cleanest public restrooms in St. Augustine and a gift shop with tchotchkes and cool postcards.

You enter the exhibit through the hold of a ship.  This part of the exhibit tells the story of crossing from Europe aboard a small ship.  We examined food storage jars, touched ropes and peeped through portholes.  The kids loved that there were several “touch & feel” things – no waiting in line for a turn!  Little Clara found a name carved in the wall at her height and picked out the letters she knew.

Andrew, of course, went straight for the cannon balls.  He insisted “they’re not heavy.”  Tough guy.

The real First Thanksgiving

Not to detract from the Pilgrims, but Spaniards and North Florida Indians gave thanks together decades before the New England First Thanksgiving.  A visit to St. Augustine is a lesson in our nation’s other European roots and the First Colony Exhibit teaches it in full color.  And in Spanish, of course, because there is no Viva St. Augustine without Viva España!

Features in the First Colony Exhibit include Spanish Treasure and gold…

…and interactive, touch-screens that tell the story of America’s oldest settlement and of the archeology used to learn about it.

UF developed The First Colony as a travelling exhibit.  St. Augustine is fortunate to host it through 2015 at The Government House before this exhibit hits the road to tell the story of St. Augustine around the country.

Even though it’s very interactive and interesting for all ages, 3 year olds are likely to be ready to go before their mamma is.  At least that was our experience…

First Colony Exhibit
Government House Museum, 48 King St
$7.99 adults, $5.99 ages 5-12
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

First Colony: Our Spanish Origins opens their doors FREE to locals every Thursday until the 450th!! Visit my page of “free for locals St Augustine” for a complete list and local discounts.


  1. Rhonda says

    This is such a well-done treatment! Great photos – and I LOVE the family-oriented angle 🙂 Shared this widely on Facebook!

  2. says

    I stumbled across your website as I was searching for things to do with kids in St. Augustine. My family is headed down in 2 days and I can’t wait to visit some of these attractions and restaurants! Thanks so much for posting about your experiences!

    • says

      You are so very welcome, Anna! I hope you have a FABULOUS time visiting my favorite city in the whole wide world! <3

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