In Boston, up to 500 people can recreate events that led to the American Revolution, thanks to the newly recreated and expanded Tea Party Ships & Museum. Twice the size of the original facility, the remodeled site features replicas representing the full complement of ships that took part in the original Boston Tea Party.
Executive Director Shawn P. Ford says groups can literally rent out the entire premises and participate in a role-playing, experiential adventure that recreates the infamous Tea Party, right on the spot where it originally happened.
“Usually a museum has a feeling that it’s full of artifacts, text panels and objects,” says Ford. “We’re not that. We’re a museum of experience.”
The reenactment experience unfolds in three stages. Participants first meet Sam Adams and his fellow patriots, after which the historical town hall meeting transpires. Each participant takes on a role of someone who was at meeting where the grievances were discussed, before Adams calls out his famous line to rally the masses.
For Act Two, participants leave the town hall meeting to board the ships and have a rendezvous with history and Paul Revere himself. After that, the bundles of tea are tossed over the edge of the ship and into the harbor. Act Three involves learning what life was like below the decks of the ships, with anecdotal stories from the captain, followed by a visit to the museum itself to learn what transpired following the Tea Party events.
“The entire site is available for corporate events and functions,” Ford says. “Abigail’s Tea Room is a very large indoor space with outdoor decks, which you can use for functions, and the decks overlook the ships.”
The Boston Tea Party Museum & Ships also partners with the 424-room InterContinental Boston, the closest accommodation. The property offers 32,000 sf of meeting space, all of which overlooks the water.