lexington & concord
Minute Man

On April 18, 1775, the British governor sent soldiers to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock in Lexington and to confiscate guns and ammunition stored up by the colonists in Concord. Paul Revere rode out that night, warning Adams and Hancock, and calling the militias to arms. In the early morning of April 19, on Lexington Common shots were fired and colonists died. The British soldiers marched to Concord, where Minute Men took a stand at the North Bridge. Hidden behind stone walls and trees, the militiamen continued to shoot at the British, who retreated back to Boston in panic. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were first step in the American Revolution.

Minute Man National Historical Park stretches between Lexington and Concord, along the route between the North Bridge in Concord and Battle Green in Lexington. You'll need a car to visit various points within the park.

Battle Road Visitor's Center - Start your explorations at the visitor’s center with an excellent 25 minute video presentation about the battles. In the visitor center is also a mural of Battle Road, profiles of battle participants, and various events, such as a fife and drum concert. Visitor Center is open April to November.
Battle Road Trail - Take a stroll down the five mile Battle Road Trail that extends from Meriam's Corner to Fiske Hill. The wide trail is lined with farms and fields, and buildings from the American Revolution, so you can really step back in time. Along this trail, the militiamen hid behind the stone walls, boulders and trees, and took potshots as the British as they retreated. Also on the trail is the spot where Paul Revere was captured (Samuel Prescott escaped and warned the militia of Concord). This area is a great spot to picnic (but you'll have to carry out all your trash). Trail is okay for strollers.
Hartwell Tavern - Check out the Hartwell Tavern, restored to 1775. From June to November, at the tavern are living history demonstrations with volunteers in period clothing – musket firing, debating issues of independence, making apple cider, carding and spinning wool, kids can try their hands rolling wooden hoops, toys typical at the time of the American Revolution, Wednesdays - Sundays.
North Bridge (Concord) - Walk over the North Bridge to the west side. Here a large number of Minute Men confronted the British, who lined up on the east side of the bridge. The British fired first, with no effect, then Major Buttrick shouted to the Minute Men "Fire, fellow soldiers, for God's sake, fire!" Three British soldiers were killed (the graves of two of them are marked at the stone wall near the bridge on the east side), and the British withdrew, leaving the bridge to the Minute Men. The bridge you'll see isn't original - it's an accurate re-construction of the 1775 wooden bridge.
Minute Man Statue - The statute, dedicated in 1837, depicts a Minute Man farmer, with a plow at his feet and a musket in his hand. At the base of the statue are the famous lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Here once the embattled farmers stood/ And fired the shot heard round the world."
North Bridge Visitor Center - Stop in to learn more about the battle at the North Bridge, and check out period weaponry and uniforms.
There's lots of history here, but kids will also enjoy running around the twisty paths and hiding spots around the visitor center and wandering along the Concord River.
Battle Green (Lexington) - Battle Green is a big grassy area to run around. This is where the militiamen (including a 19 year old drummer) assembled and faced the British (three colonists died). Check out the stone engraved with words " Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"
Behind the Minute Man statue is the Buckman Tavern, where militiamen waited through the night for the British to arrive. Take a guided tour of the tavern (tours daily), which has, among other things, the old front door with a bullet hole from a British musket.
Close by in the Lexington Visitor Center, there's a diorama, making is easy for kids to visualize the Battle of Lexington.
Tip: On Patriots' Day (April 19), there's an annual recreation of the battle of Lexington on the Battle Green in Lexington, with lots of British "lobsterbacks" and Minute Men, and plenty of shooting. This is a popular event, so you need to get there at dawn. If you can't get up that early, there are rehearsals and other battles around that weekend.

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