The Time And the Valleys Museum in the Catskills is unlike most other museums as it strives to provide an un-museum-like experience to the visitor. The museum recreates different elements of 1930s culture and brings them to life, making one feel almost entirely immersed in the surroundings.

Typically, museums show a person what has been and what is gone. But the Time and Valleys Museum believes that to understand the past, one must live it. Conceptualized in 2003, the museum was founded by entrepreneurs who spent many months researching and educating themselves on what they had to do to establish an entirely fresh and new concept. About a year later, they received not-for-profit status from the IRS, resulting in the Time and Valleys Museum coming to life – quite literally!

Their mission is to draw light on the heritage and history of the Rondout-Neversink Watersheds, of which they are very proud, and make a constant and dynamic effort to keep adding to the understanding and interpretations. By design, it is an interactive experience that revives the past, draws attention to the present, and displays the uniqueness for generations to come.

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© Time and the Valleys Museum

The museum has several different exhibits that change from time to time. These displays are different from regular museums in that they’re not just something you see – they’re something you participate in! As such, the exhibits consist of many activities, suitable for all ages.

Tunnels, Toil, and Trouble is an exceptional and exhilarating display that covers the intricacies of the NYC’s water system. It also delves into the cultural background of towns used to build the system. It’s a great interactive and socio-cultural experience where visitors get to meet the locals and listen to their stories about building the Delaware Aqueduct and ask questions about anything related to the exhibit.

Water and The Valleys is a permanent exhibition in the museum that you can’t miss! It showcases – once again in an interactive manner – the history of the Rondout-Neversink Valley, addressing the prehistoric geological eras and the settlement of the Native Americans, all the way through to the advent of industries pertaining to farming and tanning in the early 1930s.

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2.More Time and the Valleys Museum

More Time and the Valleys Museum
© Time and the Valleys Museum

To be honest, the 1930s Selfie Exhibit is one of the more unique ideas we have seen in a long time. It combines the best of an amusement park experience with the education and intrigue that comes with visiting a museum. Various aspects of 1930s culture come to life as people walk into them – including barbering, laundry, barnyard, schools, and more. Each instance is designed to create a unique ambiance that one can touch, feel, interact, and explore – but that’s not all! These are also great environments to take and share photos of you, looking nothing short of realistic. There are many souvenirs available to visitors, including postcards and the like – all in all, an unforgettable experience!

In recent times, the Times and Valleys Museum has been involved in an interesting side-project: They are trying to recreate and revive a lost Catskill Farm. It traces back to the 1930s, when five farming communities were destroyed when NYC arrived at the Catskills to construct reservoirs and pillage water. Naturally, this led to people, animals, and even cemeteries being relocated. Up until now, there has been no evidence of this civilization even existing – but the Time and the Valleys Museum is planning to change that!

The farm is located on the hill behind the museum, where visitors can go and see the progress. Their end goal is to bring to light the tale of their loss and rejoice in simple farm family life by using mobile technology and well-designed exhibits. People visiting may also have their name engraved on the structures if they donate to the cause.

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3.Plan your Visit

Plan your Visit
© Time and the Valleys Museum

The activities listed above are not all the museum has to offer, just a few notable ones that you should definitely check out. These are just a small fraction of the many things this museum features and there’s something to do for everybody! It will most definitely be an unforgettable experience for the entire family. Children under 6 are free in terms of admission and students get discounts on ticket prices. Tours of the museum are also available, so be sure to visit the front desk and enquire about them.

Back to: Things to Do in the Catskills, New York

248-412 Main St, Grahamsville, NY 12740, website, Phone: 845-958-7700

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Catskills, NY: Time And the Valleys Museum