DAY TRIPPIN': Be a Miner and Learn About Mine Life In The 1930s!

near Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford, VA

By Heather Whitehead August 4, 2022

We were looking for something fun to do locally and found the cutest little gold mining museum and gem mining! Just a few minutes up Route 17 in Monroe Park.  

After the kids had been asking for months to "mine for gems" I found the Gold Mining Museum. We reached out to Todd, the curator, for details. He responded within a day and we decided to visit.  

You can explore the museum which includes the bunk houses, the mess hall, where you can also purchase your own "mining rough", and the assay office where you can try on science coats and explore what early mining equipment and procedures were like.

Admission is free but you can buy "mining rough" to sift at the sluice. Gem bags vary from $7.50 to $32 depending on size. We bought the kids a Yellow bag ($10.50) and an emerald bag ($12.25) each and they came home with 2 sandwich-size bags of larger gems. The kids LOVED it - teen included! For anyone not wanting to purchase a bag... the sluice had a sifting pan and my kiddos found quite a few smaller gems already there. We spent 3 hours here and everyone had an amazing time!!

As a bonus, there is a great playground and picnic area there!  So pack your lunch, put on your sunscreen and head to the Gold Mining Camp Museum today to try your hand at mining!

The Gold Mining Camp Museum is located in Monroe Park. The three museum structures built on the site are interpretations of buildings which existed in the 1930's.   While the museum is not located on a mine site, there are nineteen mining site locations within 5 miles of the museum.

The Museum is open Wednesday - Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm & Sunday: noon to 4:00 pm

Panning demos are held Wednesday through Sunday at 2pm at the gem mining sluice.