Lithuania’s open-air museum celebrates rural life and pays homage to folk customs from the last 200 years with the country’s largest collection of national costumes, religious art, traditional toys, agricultural implements and historic housing. About 80 typical pre-Soviet buildings have been squirreled together from across the country and reconstructed to form farmsteads and villages here at the Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum.
Ranging from peasant farms to churches and small village dwellings, some are faithfully, if somewhat spartanly, decked out in appropriate period style with kitchen implements, tools and basic furniture. Each replica village settlement is surrounded by gardens and fields planted and worked in traditional, pre-Soviet fashion. The museum’s staff members dress up in peasant costumes to live the ancient life, demonstrating farming methods and traditional crafts such as
metalwork, amber carving and textile weaving. Folk-dancing and masked pagan festivals are held throughout the summer, with traditional foods, dance and song. A poignant memorial corner
in the museum is dedicated to the tragedy of the Lithuanian diaspora under Soviet rule.
The museum is located eight miles (13 km) from Kaunas. It is open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in May through September, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October 1 through October 15. The greater park has the same hours in May through September, but is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October 16 to March 31, Wednesday through Sunday. In April, it stays open until 5 p.m. Admission to the park costs 8LTL, and admission for the museum costs 10LTL. Parking is available on site.