The Downton Abbey exhibit is an immersive history lesson
The new Downton Abbey: The Experience exhibition is an immersive experience that includes costumes, replica sets and more from the show.
The recent success of Regency-era drama Bridgerton has brought new eyes to the Downton Abbey franchise, as fans eagerly await the next season. This new fanbase, along with the release of the Downton Abbey movie sequel, is a perfect opportunity for an immersive experience to exist. New fans, die-hard Downton fans and those who have never seen the show will enjoy this history-rich exhibit.
We sent Melanie from Kidding Around to Sandy Springs, Georgia to see the exhibit.
Take a weekend trip to the Downton Abbey exhibit and enjoy Dunwoody’s hidden gem in the shadow of Atlanta, GA.
An introduction to Downton Abbey
I have a confession to make; before visiting this exhibition, I had never seen the show. I had heard of it, had it on my to-do list and never done it. I was swept up in the frenzy of Bridgerton, and when the opportunity arose to visit this exhibit, I jumped at the chance.
I thought it would be an easy sell for fans of the show, but if anyone who had never watched a single episode could enjoy the experience, it would be worth sharing. Spoiler – I really enjoyed it and if my time constraints hadn’t been an issue, I could have spent twice as much time as I did in the exhibit.
For those who have never seen the show, Downton Abbey is the story of the wealthy Crawley family in Britain at the turn of the 20th century. The sinking of the Titanic, World War I and other significant historical events shape the life of the Crawley family.
The show aired for six seasons and in 2019 the first movie was released. The movie sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era hits theaters on March 18, 2022. For those who want to watch the show before heading to the exhibition, you can watch Downton Abbey for free via the Peacock streaming platform. That’s how I look at it right now.
It doesn’t take much history to fall in love with the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s character, Violet Crawley. Actress Dame Maggie Smith brings her usual smirk and sarcasm to this character, and I can already tell she’s going to be one of my favorites.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition | An immersive learning experience
Having never watched the show, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the exhibit. The Downton Abbey exhibit can be used as a history lesson on the period, with a fictional family as host. If you’re a fan of the Vanderbilt family and the legacy that includes the Biltmore estate in North Carolina, you’ll enjoy this too. Although I don’t think younger kids would enjoy the exhibit, it would be a great home school outing for older kids learning about this time period. It provides students with a hands-on, interactive experience that includes elements related to World War I, other historical events, and insight into how society functioned at the time, in a more exciting way than reading about it. in a manual.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 30-page educational guide for students in grades 3 to 8. The guide is available free of charge from the Downton Abbey exhibition website – Educator’s Guide to the Downton Abbey Exhibit – Grades 3-8
The experience takes place in several different rooms and is a self-guided tour. The VIP ticket allows guests to visit the exhibition on the chosen visit date at any time during normal opening hours. This option also includes an audio guide which is not included with the timed entry ticket. However, customers can add the guide to a timed admission ticket for an additional fee. The audio guide is a great way to take in extra information about the exhibit, but there’s so much to see that you’ll still have a lot to enjoy if you skip the audio guide upgrade.
The only restrooms are adjacent to the ticket office, so be sure to stop before heading into the exhibit if you need to. The exhibit begins with a short video welcoming you to Downton Abbey by the family butler. From there, you step out into the first of several rooms that include behind-the-scenes looks at the characters, the true history of the period, props from the series, and more. As we made our way to the first room, I saw people arriving who had dressed up for the occasion in period costumes.
The details included in the exhibit for these fictional people made it feel like a museum showcasing an actual family rather than a cast of fictional characters. So much so that while I was there I heard people wondering if this family existed. Although we spent about 90 minutes in the exhibit, I could easily have stayed longer.
Be sure to take the ten-question interactive quiz that tests to see if you would be a valuable addition to the domestic staff. My application has been shortlisted for the position of Lady’s Maid. Thank you very much, but I believe I already hold this position with my six-year-old daughter.