I visited the Museum only on a Saturday afternoon. It was not busy at all... I was often alone in a given exhibit area, and I had all the time I wanted to view the videos and use the interactive exhibits. Beware ... if you are hungry the cafe is closed on weekends, and there was nowhere on site to buy even a scrap of food (not even a candy bar in the gift shop or a snack machine). The library was also closed, but there was plenty to do in the museum. I expected to spend about 2 hours there, and I ended up staying about 3 1/2 hours.
The introductory film is a great place to start. Of course, it inflates Carter's good deeds and ignores his failures, but it provides a great overview. The exhibit hall starts with his boyhood, then takes you through his military career, his family life, and then his campaigns. Next, it walks you through the highlights of his presidency. There are plenty of personal mementos ... such as a replica of Rosalyn's wedding dress, gifts the family received from visitors during his presidency, and interesting documents. There are several good short films and multimedia presentations. One of my favorites was a multiscreen presentation that used still photos and sound to take you through an entire day of the President's schedule. It's the first time I've ever had a feel for what a President probably does on an "average" day. I also enjoyed the interactive exhibit that lets you pretend to look for information in the National Archives. Plus, I liked the full-scale reproduction of the Oval Office, as Carter had it set up during his tenure.
There's a lot for political campaign junkies, plus a lot about Rosalyn's role as first lady. After the Presidential part, there is also a large portion of the exhibit featuring the work being done by the Carter Center. I found that interesting, because it is present-day, and because I knew only bits and pieces about his projects such as Habitat for Humanity and election monitoring. There are some cool interactive exhibits in this section that allow you to pick a team of workers to assist you in organizing a humanitarian project.
Overall, kids might enjoy some of the interactive and audio-visual exhibits, but I think they'd consider the rest of it pretty dull.
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