Senior Reminiscence Program from the McLean County Museum of History brings museum educators directly to your facility. Using authentic objects, photographs, and inquiry-based facilitation, we encourage older adults to:

  • Recall memories, thoughts, and feelings of past life experiences through the handling of familiar artifacts and photos. 

  • Share these experiences by telling stories, asking questions, and making connections. 

  • Understand that, by sharing their memories, they are actively contributing toward the preservation of a larger community identity. 

  • Connect with other program participants (including staff and each other) in a way that reinforces the notion that all participants possess—to some degree—a shared history.

Download our Senior Reminiscence Program brochure.

How to Schedule a Program

We are able to provide up to 3 programs per year per organization. Please contact us with your desired dates and programs at least 4 weeks in advance.

For reservations or for more information, contact the Education Department at (309) 827-0428 or email us. Please don't wait to schedule. We fill up quickly!

Photo Reminiscence

Participants examine enlarged historical photos from throughout the local area and are encouraged to chat about cruising on Route 66, shopping in downtown Bloomington, dining at Steak 'n Shake, and visiting other places from their past. Over 180 photos are available for this program, which can be repeated several times. Thematic programs are available upon request, including Route 66, Normal, El Paso & Gridley, and Holidays.

Play It Again: The Toys and Games We Remember

Participants travel back in time as they remember (and play with) their favorite toys and games. Seniors can experience a variety of objects from the 1920s through the 1960s, including marbles, toy soldiers, kaleidoscopes, roller skates, wind-up toys, and much more!

Tools of the Trade

This program explores tools from the late 1800s to today. Included are devices used on the farm, in the office, or at the grocery store. Reminisce about times past with memories of the old hand drill, candlestick telephone, scythe, typewriter, and hog scraper!

Well-Dressed Folks About Town

Participants share memories about fashion trends, habits, and styles that were popular in their lifetime by looking at clothing, advertisements, and other objects from 1920 to 1960.

What's Cooking? Gadgets from Around the Kitchen

The kitchen was (and still is) the center of life in any household. This program features a wide variety of kitchen objects, from cherry pitters to milk bottles, cake pans to coffee tins, aprons to cookbooks. The list goes on and on!