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Posts Tagged ‘Roadside America

Roadside America

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Recently I went to Roadside America with some family that was visiting from out of town. The idea to go was my father’s; he thought it would be a fun activity to do with his kids and grand kids, and he was right. The children ranged in age from four to 10 and they had a lot of fun, and the adults had a good time too. I was skeptical about going at first, especially since it’s located in Shartlesville, PA and more than an hour away, but I ended up having a really good time and would recommend it to people of all ages who are into this type of thing.

RA far 3s

Roadside America is a miniature village depicting many scenes of American life from different times in the past. It is an over 8,000 square foot display of cities, old-time towns, neighborhoods, industry, leisure and a bunch of other stuff. There are miniature houses, businesses, churches, hotels, bars, a baseball field, a zoo, a circus, tons of cars, trains, an air port, and much more than would be reasonable to list out. The website provides a lot more detail and plenty of (better quality) photos.

Though the website bills it as “An Enchanted Miniature Land of Yesterday and Tomorrow,” I didn’t see anything futuristic about it, or even anything that modern. There were some vehicles from the 90’s, but I didn’t pick up on anything more recent. My dad pointed out a lot of things he remembered from visiting in his childhood; some cars for instance that were really cool to see as a kid (in the 50’s) because they were brand new at the time.

So, I get the idea that nothing overly drastic has changed over the years, but it is still really cool. There is a lot of detail and tons of things to discover. I get the idea one could walk around a number of times and find something new each time. Around the outside edge where you walk there are some signs explaining things and a number of buttons that you can push to operate trains or aspects of scenes that are “interactive.” There are raised levels to look from as well to get different perspectives. All in all it was pretty neat and worth the drive, though I don’t know if it would be worth coming from much further away for unless you are REALLY into miniature villages.

I shot nearly 100 pictures and am posting a number here. There are few captions, I just chose a bunch to show some of the different scenes. I was just shooting on the fly and my point and shoot isn’t too great in limited light, so the quality of these shots isn’t that great. Sorry. Definitely check out the website for more/better pictures and information.

These first two and the one above are from further back to give an idea of the size and scope of it. The rest are closer and a bit more detailed.

RA far 4s

RA far 2s

RA 7s

RA 14s

RA 9s

RA 3s

RA 27s (baseball)

RA 31s (airport)

RA 17s

RA 26s (dance)
A barn dance

RA 33s
A winter resort high above the main level

RA 34s (pueblo)
A Pueblo Village

RA 10s

RA 11s
Where miniature people are laid to rest

RA 13s

RA 14s

RA 19s

At one point there was an announcement that it would be night time for a little while, then slowly the lights dimmed until the room was dark. The lights in the buildings came on and “stars” came out from the ceiling. It looked pretty cool but my little low-light challenged camera wasn’t able to do it justice. The Star Spangled Banner was also played from what sounded like an old record, as well as a few other songs, while the statue of liberty, a flag blowing in the wind, and a few other things were projected on a wall. That part was a little weird. More so in how everything was done than the content itself. It really had an old time feel to it.

RA 22s (night)

Oh no, a giant!!!

RA 23s (giant)

Not really, it was just am employee fixing a train.


Written by Jim

January 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm