Saturdays at Fort Union are Kids Craft Days!
Every Saturday through Aug. 14 will feature a different hands-on history activity or craft.
July 7, 2021 | View PDF
Williston – Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is excited to announce the return of Kids Craft Saturdays. Each Kids Craft activity is free, open to the public, and accessible to all age levels. Activities will take approximately one hour to complete. Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
Leather Arrowheads - July 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CT: Learn how to create designs on leather. The arrowhead is an important symbol of the National Park Service. The elements of the emblem symbolize the major facets of the national park system. The Sequoia tree and bison represent vegetation and wildlife, the mountains and water represent scenic and recreational values, and the arrowhead represents historical and cultural values. Visit Fort Union and design your personal arrowhead with symbols that are important to you.
Coopering (Barrel Making) - July 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CT: Coopering, or barrel making, was one of many professions needed at Fort Union for its daily operations. A cooper can manufacture various containers, including casks, barrels and buckets using wood and metals. Learn more about the skills of a cooper and make-and-take a small craft.
Block Printing Bandanas - July 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CT: Patterns for cloth and garments were brightly colored and repeated throughout a piece. Bandanas had a variety of uses. You could use it on your head, like a scarf, or as a neckerchief. Using fabric ink, make your own pattern using woodblock stamps and take home your completed piece.
Blacksmithing - July 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CT: Blacksmiths made objects as small as nails or as big as traps for trade and everyday operations. Try your hand at being a blacksmith and learn how to hammer a nail using kid-safe clay.
Indian Arts Showcase – Aug. 7: There will not be an individual craft today because it is our Indian Arts Showcase. Please come out to enjoy the traditional Indian arts and crafts Aug. 7-8.
Flint & Steel and Candlemaking – Aug. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CT: For our last craft of the season, we invite you to see flint & steel and candle-making demonstrations. The use of flint and steel was an important skill at Fort Union, as this was how employees started their fires for cooking and warmth. In fact, at one point, there was so few fire steels available at Fort Union that they were considered a precious item. We know that candles were being made on site due to several entrees in invoices of goods being delivered to Fort Union, which included candle molds. These candles would provide light in the dim rooms as evening wore on. During this process, you can try your hand at making sparks with the flint and steel and make-and-take your very own hand-dipped candle.
Park hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CT daily. For more information about Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, please visit our website at nps.gov/fous. The park is also on social media at https://www.facebook.com/FortUnionTradingPostNHS/.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at http://www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube @nationalparkservice.