Mark Twain's Boyhood Home

The REAL Huck Finn's House (Tom Blankenship)

Hannibal, Missouri

A small town north of St. Louis, MO is the boyhood home of Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain.  The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum offers several buildings to tour with displays, interactive exhibits, the Norman Rockwell gallery and treasured Clemens family artifacts.
Mark Twain's Boyhood Home

The kids got to meet "Mark Twain"

"Painting the fence" revealed artifacts in the museum
Mark Twain based Tom Sawyer on his own childhood in Hannibal and some of his characters off of people in town.  Huckleberry Finn was based on his friend, Tom Blankenship.  Becky Thatcher was his childhood friend, Laura Hawkins.  Sam Clemens lived in Hannibal from age 4 to 17.  If you love the stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, a visit to Hannibal will make you feel like you have stepped into the books.

We enjoyed walking through the interpretive center, the museum, the historic downtown and other buildings.  Some of the buildings are viewed from the outside while others you are able to enter.  It was a nice drive up the Mississippi to this quaint town.  Away from the historic area, you can find fast food chains and restaurants.

Ticket prices are listed on their website.  They have group rates and school rates.  Children 5 and under are free.  There is also a coupon for half price child admission for each paid adult admission.  We used a coupon when we visited a couple years ago.

One of the museum displays

They have educational materials/resources available online.  Personally, I think their scavenger hunt would be too much of a distraction from enjoying the visit.  A better way to make it a great TripLearning experience might be to listen to an audio book version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .  Encourage your children to find out a set number of things about Mark Twain and discuss them afterwards.  Pay attention to what grabs each child's attention and give them time in those areas.  After the visit, encourage your older children to read more by Mark Twain or a biography about Mark Twain.  You may want to have them write down the things they learned or share about what stood out to them.

Have you ever visited Hannibal?  Share about your experience in the comments section. 


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