Minute Man National Historical Park | MINUTE MAN VISITOR CENTER

Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Minute Man Visitor Center is located on the east side of the Battle Road Unit of Minute Man National Historical Park. The building is not next to its parking lot, so you must walk a little over a tenth of a mile to get there. While the path is wheelchair accessible, there is a disabled-visitors parking lot directly at the building on the backside that is accessed via Marrett Street.

Minute Man Visitor Center and surrounding area (click to enlarge)

Minute Man Visitor Center and surrounding area (click to enlarge)

OPERATING HOURS

The Minute Man Visitor Center is typically open daily from early May through October 31st between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM. It is closed the rest of the year. Times can always change, so before heading to the park be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s Minute Man Visitor Center web page.

AMENITIES

  • Ranger-staffed information desk where you can pick up a park brochure and a tabloid-size schedule of daily Ranger programs and monthly special events
  • See the multi-media presentation The Road to Revolution
  • Exhibit area
  • Book and souvenir store
Inside the Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

Inside the Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION

The Road to Revolution is a 22-minute multi-media presentation about the Battles of Lexington and Concord. It does an excellent job of explaining the events of April 19, 1775, and I highly recommend seeing the presentation before you begin your exploration of the park, unless you know the history very well. It plays every half hour, with the first show starting as soon as the Visitor Center opens at 9 AM and the last show starting at 4:30 PM. There is no charge.

If you have a group of fifteen or more, you can reserve a show time between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM on the weekdays in April, May, and June, and from the last week of September through the end of October. There is a small fee per person. Reservations are made online at Recreation.gov. In addition to these group reservations, school groups can book shows from 9 AM to 1 PM, so if you are coming to Minute Man National Historical Park when reservations are allowed and seeing the show is important to you, you might want to call the Visitor Center in advance at (978) 369-6993 to find out what shows are open to the public.

The presentation consists of two movie screens and a theater stage that is decorated as a living room of a house. One of the movie screens is the open doorway of the room. The video on that screen is of a man standing in a doorway who tells the story of the fighting, and the larger second screen illustrates what he is talking about. Because the screen is the actual doorway, it looks like a real man is standing there talking to you. The story is augmented by narrations and sound effects coming from throughout the auditorium. There are battle scenes that show men getting shot and falling down dead, but nothing graphic. When I visited, a lady with small children took them out of the theater before the finish, so the show is not suitable for toddlers. I’d rate it PG, fine for anyone who knows about death and war. Any superhero movie is far more violent.

EXHIBITS

An exhibit area inside the Minute Man Visitor Center provides information about the Battles of Lexington and Concord. There are very few artifacts, so most of the exhibits are just information panels with some illustrations. The space is large, but the exhibits are spread out, so there’s not as much to read as you might first think.

The exhibits detail the events of April 19, 1775, fighting that we now call The Battles of Lexington and Concord. This is done through standard information panels, as well as through the stories of six men who participated in the fighting: British lieutenant Frederick Mackenzie, British major John Pitcairn, British aristocrat and general Hugh Percy, Paul Revere, Patriot lieutenant Joseph Hosmer, and an African slave named Peter Salem, a Minute Man who enlisted after being promised his freedom. The exhibits highlight the diverse type of men who fought in the battle.

Exhibit about Lieutenant Joseph Hosmer inside the Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

Exhibit about Lieutenant Joseph Hosmer inside the Minute Man Visitor Center at Minute Man National Historical Park

The Battles of Lexington and Concord culminated with the Patriot militia driving the British troops back to Boston and then surrounding the city in order to cut off their supplies, hopefully forcing them to leave once and for all. George Washington arrived in July and took command of all the different militias, and his arrival marked the official start of what is called the Siege of Boston. The siege lasted until the British finally left on March 17, 1776. They had determined that the city was of no strategic importance, plus it was too easy to get trapped, so they evacuated to Nova Scotia along with any civilian Loyalists who wanted to leave. This aftermath is also covered in the exhibits.

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Other than getting information, the main attractions at the Minute Man Visitor Center are the exhibits and The Road to Revolution show. If you want to read through all of the information—which few people do—it will take about a half hour. The show is roughly a half hour as well, so schedule anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for your visit. I did everything possible and was in and out in exactly one hour.

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Last updated on September 5, 2023
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