Outdoor Adventures

Let's Go to Folk School at Crowley Museum and Nature Center

Live the life of a pioneer through Crowley's canning, sewing, soap-carving and crocheting classes.

By Allison Forsyth November 5, 2020

Since opening in 1974, the 191-acre Crowley Museum and Nature Center has been teaching the public about the area's earliest settlers. The center shows what pioneer living was like, with a historic cabin, a museum filled with historic objects and tools, and a sugar cane mill, showing how settlers harvested one of Florida's most popular crops at the time. Crowley's folk classes give families the opportunity to learn various tasks from pioneer days and travel back in time. 


16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota


Folk School classes take place on Sundays at 11 a.m. throughout November. Learn to make beautyberry jelly at a Canning 101 class on Sunday, Nov. 8, or make reusable feedbag totes on Sunday, Nov. 14. Other activities include soap carving, crocheting and punch needle embroidery. Preregistration required. Tickets range from $20 to $30. 

The museum is open to the general public from Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. General admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids ages 3-12. 

What to Bring

All supplies needed for classes are included in ticket price. Bring bags to carry your creations and some water, and wear closed-toe shoes to walk the nature trails. 

The pioneer cabin at Crowley Museum and Nature Center. 

What to Expect 

When you arrive at the museum, you will have time to explore the grounds and visit the pioneer cabin, museum, Tatum house and sugar cane mill. When class starts, you will be given supplies to can berries, crochet or make reusable tote bags. Learn historical facts about the grounds, center founders Jasper Crowley and Edina Truchot and their families, and how agriculture remains a large part of the nature center. Sustainable agriculture is another important component of  the nature center, which raises heritage-breed cattle and grows vegetables.

After class, there are several other fun activities for families, like walking the boardwalk and trails or the children's discovery path, where you can spot birds like pelicans, roseate spoonbills, red-winged blackbirds and otters swimming in the creek. Or head to the observation tower, which allows you to see it all from above.

To register for Crowley Museum and Nature Center Folk School classes, click here or call (941) 322-1000.      

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