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23.04.22 - 28.09.22

Summer season

Adult fee 12 €
Discount fee 9 €
Family fee 24 €
“Everyday wisdom and sustainable living environment”

Today, it seems more and more necessary to be able to live like our ancestors did: in an environmentally friendly way focused on the family and the community, passing one’s knowledge to the next generation, following the natural rhythm of the day and seasons of the year. Old tried and tested skills and everyday wisdom which help one cope with difficult times are gaining more and more respect. It is once again useful to know how to grow plants and care for poultry and domestic animals, how to cook and preserve food, how to mend your clothes and do other handicraft or how to boost your health. Another thing to be learned from times long gone is how to enjoy fun games and physical activity as well as to live in harmony with the surrounding nature.

It is namely these simple skills and knowledge passed down to us through centuries that we want to share with all of you this summer, so that we can do something together for our living environment be healthier and for us to feel safe.

Do come to the museum where you will be able to learn and teach your to notice and care about nature, value old customs, do some simple types of farm work as well as share moments of leisure and enjoy life with your loved ones.

Explore the map of the museum

ACTIVITIES ON FARMS daily from May to September

Sassi-Jaani farm
How did people live in the old days?

The exhibition on Sassi-Jaani farm features an introduction to Estonian rural architecture and way of life throughout centuries.

11 a.m. How they lived 200 years ago: buildings and daily life.
1 p.m. From barley to basil or what Estonians have been growing for food throughout history
3 p.m. How they lived 200 years ago: animal husbandry.

Concerts by folklore group “Leigarid” on Sassi-Jaani farm every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 (from 28 May to 4 September)

Köstriaseme farm
Flax processing. Logging and chopping firewood

A rural family never lacked work or chores to be done. They would sweat away in the fields, pastures or hay meadow, in the barn and on the threshing floor, in the summer kitchen or at the barn oven all day long, from dusk to dawn. Skills would be learned from parents and grandparents, and everything had to be done by the farm folk themselves.

11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Flax plant to shirt linen. What types of work did making fabric involve? Come by and try doing them yourself!
1.30 p.m. What did people use for heating in old days, how did they do logging and firewood chopping, where did they get brushwood and how did they sharpen their tools? We will teach you to whet knives and axes, and you can try using a two-handled saw and cutting brushwood.

Pulga farm
Games and responsibilities of shepherd kids

In times long gone, children on farms took part in working in the field or making hay as early as they could and also helped adults by pulling weeds in the vegetable garden or grazing and taking care of cattle. Still, there was time left for having fun and playing merry games.

12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Do you know such games as “weighing the farmhand’s bread bag” or “horse game”? Have you ever tried crawling under the shaft bow or walking on wooden stilts? We will be playing old children’s games.
2 p.m. How to recognise young carrot plants and why do you need to thin them out? What colour are beet leaves and how do beans grow? Why don’t you have a go at pulling weeds and spudding!

Every third Thursday of the month from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Heating of the smoke sauna of Pulga Farm and introduction of sauna customs.

Exhibition „Wild fire“ by Estonian Firefighting Museum on the threshing floor from May 1 to September 28.

Härjapea farm
Housewife in 1930s: a genuine one-woman band. From making folk costumes to setting a European coffee table

It is amazing how a 1930s housewife would find time to care for livestock and do other farming chores, prepare elaborate dinners, set a perfect coffee table, take part in the activities of women’s associations and make herself a historically accurate folk costume to wear to the Song and Dance Festival.

12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. What is the correct way to wear a folk costume? Why does a married woman have to cover her head and wear an apron? When did children get their first set of “best Sunday clothes”? Also, a short workshop on weaving ribbons.
4.30 p.m. “Coffee must be black like the night, scorching hot, and sweet like love;” in other words, how coffee was made, and the coffee table was set in the 1930s.

Next to the bran, there is a cage with two rabbits. You can watch them from a distance, but do not approach or feed them!

Kuie school
Schoolchildren in former times

This is a school like any other: long benches, kids, and the school master or mistress in front of the class. Still, there was a number of differences compared to modern schools. The time children spent going to school was rather short, and there were few subjects but a lot to be learned by heart. Kids generally liked going to school because it felt like a holiday compared to chores on the farm.

11.30 p.m., 1.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. What schoolwork looked like for children in old times: put your smartphone or tablet away and try writing with ink and a dip pen for a change. Get the feel of it and see how difficult it was to achieve good penmanship.

Sepa farm
Wool processing and laundry

Transforming wool into yarn and then into fabric was not at all a piece of cake. It would actually take weeks and even months! Laundry and ironing were also major chores which would take all day. Instead of a washing machine, laundry would be done by the farmwife herself, sometimes, if she was lucky, aided by the cotter woman.

11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Laundry day in olden times: how laundry was done, how soap was made, and how shirts were ironed.
1 p.m. Warm sheep wool socks: see how much work was needed to make yarn from sheared sheep wool.

There is a small flock of local breed sheep grazing in the field. Please do not attempt to feed the sheep yourself. Ask the farmwife: she might have a piece of bread in her pocket to offer to them.

Kolga farm
Family marks

Applying a family mark on one’s property is an ancient custom in village life.
Especially important was to mark tools and everyday items that were used outside the farm. Costal folk certainly marked all their shipping and fishing gear. Even bread loaves and meat taken on longer sea voyages were marked. On Hiiumaa Island the family marks also served as signatures in the pre-literacy period.

12.30 p.m., 2.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. Family marks are quite simple and made mostly from straight lines. Sometimes points, arcs or circles are added. What could be your family mark? Cut or draw it on a wooden disk.

Roosta farm
How to heal your body and soul

Two centuries ago, farm folk would mostly doctor themselves with herbs and weekly healing Thursday sauna. If the illness worsened or persisted, one would go to the village wiseman (or woman) who could read your fortune, charm illness away and make a stronger potion. As far as the alertness and agility of the mind were concerned, these were greatly aided by learning the ancestors’ stories passed down from generation to generation.

12 p.m. and 4 p.m. How were illnesses treated in former days? Why would cupping be used and in which cases would leeches be applied? What healing herbs should be gathered when, and how to preserve them for the winter?
2 p.m. Old folk stories about the treasure-bearing creature called “kratt” in Estonian.

Russian house from Peipus
Growing onion and chicory, rearing goats, and making samovar tea

Russian Old Believers are a people with a fascinating history, religion and customs. A number of rules and taboos have remained unchanged in their lives for more than 350 years. The Russian house and its surroundings are where you can see examples of Old Believers’ cooking culture, livelihood, handicraft and general way of life.

12 a.m. and 2 p.m. What is this wonderful thing called Peipus onion and how do Old Believers grow it? How is chicory coffee made, and how do you make a samovar sing?
4 p.m. What kind of animal is the goat, and why does the Evil One fear it? Goats Pipi and Juula who live on this farm are fun-loving and energetic dairy goats, each one with her own moods, traits and food preferences. The housewife of the Russian house from Peipus will gladly tell you what the goats eat, how they feel and what they think.

Setu farm
Exquisite patterns and home like a fortress

Setos have always lived “halfway in Russia and halfway in Estonia”, so, over the centuries, a unique people was formed whose language ordinary Estonians do not understand.

12.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. Setos are famous everywhere as craftspeople who create beautiful patterns. These patterns have always been cut in wood, embroidered and cross-stitched, knitted and printed. Have a look at Seto patterns and try block printing!
2.30 p.m. Seto Vanatalo is like a real fortress which only those who have been invited can enter. Which parts does such a large Russian three-row farm consist of? Why is the dwelling “fortified” on all sides? What can you find in a Seto woman’s wardrobe?

In the barn you can explore exhibition „Vadda“ by Votians ethnic group.


Apartment Building of a Soviet Collective Farm

In the apartment house of dairy barn workers built in the 1960s, you can step into the homes of rural dwellers in the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s and 2010s. What was it like to live in a shared apartment? How did families live during the peak of socialism?
What happened in the countryside after the collapse of the kolkhozes? How is everyday life like in today's remote work environment?

The basement displays the development of the Estonian rural life from the establishment of kolkhozes to the present day. A fun and educational area “Little Ilmar’s World” is also there for the kids to discover.

June, July, August
On Saturdays from 12 noon to 3 p.m., the housewives will show what the laundry day looked like in the 1970s, and on Sundays they will cook according to the recipes of the era.

More to discover

The range of goods offered by the Lau village shop is broad. Tasty sweets and chocolates for kids, beautiful fabrics, fancy dishware, spices and seasonings for the ladies, household tools and implements ranging from scythes to buckets, craft beers and fine wines for the gents.

Kolu Inn offers delicious Estonian dishes.

Nuki farm presents a scene from everyday life of a poorer family. Making their living by handicraft, the cotter’s family has to fit in two tiny chambers and live under the same roof with smaller domestic animals.

Aarte farm takes a glimpse at the life of a fisherman's family from the northern coast. Here you can see items brought along from Finnish friends and longer sea trips, i.e. something you can rarely find on inland farms.

On Jüri-Jaagu farm, you can see the most delightful and colourful event of anyone's life – the wedding. The wedding house hosts guests in striking Muhu folk costumes, the dowry chest is filled to the brim with beautiful handicraft, the table is richly laid and the loud party can be heard even beyond the farmyard. You can hear young people whispering sweet nothings to each other in the clothes storage and watch a fun film about wedding customs in the stone-walled fish storage.

On Jaagu farm, you can pay a visit to a smallholder’s family from Muhu Island. Here a strong island woman makes her living as a seamstress, along with raising children. Her husband, however, as is the custom on the island, is away from home – at seasonal work on the mainland or sailing on a ship.

At Rusi farm, you can find out how several families with children lived in a bunch in a couple of small chambers of the barn-dwelling. You can learn about the turns children's lives might have taken and the impact it had on the life of their homestead. In the kiln-room there is an exhibition on Estonian sculptor Juhan Raudsepp, one of the children who grew up in Rusi farm.

Stop and think of fundamental life values in the old wooden Sutlepa Chapel. Sacred songs of the Estonian Swedes help envision their world.

On the ground floor of Kalma windmill visitors can see a photo display of Estonian windmills.

Take notice of the farm yards and gardens?

This summer pay extra attention to the gardens and flowerbeds of the museum farms. You can find small nameplates with additional information beside several flowers. 

Northern Estonia
Western Estonia
Southern Estonia