If you ever get the chance to visit Gonzales TX, the seat of Texas independence (yep, I know you thought it was San Antonio but now you know) put the Pioneer Village Living History Center at the top of your must-do list.
This post was a part of a sponsored trip to Gonzales, Texas. The partnership included lodging, food & beverage, and compensation for the event. The opinions reflected are honest and unbiased based upon the individual blogger experience.
Pioneer Living History Center: A must-do in Gonzales, TX
What is Pioneer Village Living History Center?
Pioneer Village is an open-air living history museum. It boasts a collection of the houses and buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s in Gonzales County. Visitors strolling through The Village will feel as if they have just stepped into the same era as that of the original occupants of these buildings and that the inhabitants have merely stepped out for a while.
Each structure has been donated to Pioneer Village and has been carefully relocated to the grounds for its preservation. Most of the furnishings and equipment found within these structures were either loaned or donated to help represent the cultural lifestyle of the pioneers who settled this area. It gives great insight into what life used to be like before we had so many modern conveniences.
When Should We Go to Pioneer Village Living History Center?
Pioneer village is super fun any time of year but the BEST time to go is during the Come and Take it Celebration. There’s a live re-enactment of the “come and take it battle” that is super realistic without being scary. There are so many people dressed up in period costumes that you just might feel out of place in your shorts and tee shirt (and yes, it’s hot in Gonzales, Texas, in early October and that is probably what you will be wearing.)
You can witness the discussion of the community leaders about whether to relinquish their cannon to the Mexican Army or to make them “come and take it.” Spoiler alert: it’s the latter.
Guests will witness a re-enactment of the battle complete with gunfire and cannon fire. Guests can watch from a safe distance but you’re still pretty close to the action…it is loud, though.
Another great time to visit Pioneer Village Living History Museum is during holiday time where you can enjoy Stars in the Village. On select December nights, you can see Santa, eat cookies, roast marshmallows, pop popcorn over an open fire (seriously awesome by the way) and see some beautiful Christmas lights. All of the people you’ll encounter at Pioneer Village are “in character” and you’ll really feel like you stepped back in time.
The price is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids 4-12. Check out the Pioneer Village website or call 830-672-2157. Last year there was a tiny bit of a discrepancy between the Pioneer Village website and the City of Gonzales’ website with regard to dates and times so don’t be afraid to do a very un-2018 thing and pick up the phone and talk to someone to get the details…this is a don’t miss if you happen to be in Gonzales in December. Stars in the Village is absolutely lovely.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Pioneer Village Living History Center?
Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children (the website doesn’t specify what the cutoff age to get the child rate is). Docent-led tours (which I recommend) are just $6 for adults and $4 for children.
Special events – such as Lights in the Village and Come and Take It – may be priced separately. Check out the Pioneer Village Website or the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Website for more detail.
Although Pioneer Village works closely with the city of Gonzales, this venue is managed as a nonprofit. Donations on top of the admission price are welcome.
If you are interested in a paranormal tour (yes, there are ghosts out here! Eek!) contact Pioneer Village directly.
For more info on things to do in Gonzales, Texas, check out this blog post. You can also check out the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce website to find out what’s going on in town when you’ll be passing through. There’s a lot to see!