American Adventure

May 17-September 7, 2014

Watch the video explaining your adventure!
Do you have what it takes to survive? Brave the maze and take a step back into history to find out.
In 1607, settlers landed on the shores of Virginia and called it home, creating the first permanent European settlement. Little did they know that less than half of them would survive the year in this new wilderness. Minotaur Mazes' American Adventure takes visitors on an immersive, educational role-play adventure that asks people to conquer one great challenge: survive the year as one of the original Jamestown colonists. Sound easy? Think again. Only 38 of the 104 settlers survived. But don't worry - you're not tied to their destiny. You can beat the odds and determine your fate - it all depends on the choices you make...and a bit of luck.


American history through role-play
Tackle real life decisions and see their immediate impacts
Discover the connection between nature and human survival

Blending historical accuracy and the complexities of real life and death decisions, American Adventure delivers a truly unique and effective learning experience.

Visitors choose a unique Life Chart based on one of the original Jamestown colonists. Each chart features an easy-to-use abacus with beads representing "life points." These beads track results of the choices visitors make when encountering challenges in four crucial categories: health, wealth, food and morale. The goal of the exhibition is to maintain life points in all four categories to stay alive.

As visitors explore the maze with their charts, they encounter four content-rich Season Galleries. In each gallery, visitors engage in hands-on activities and make choices relevant to each climate. Survival is based not only on visitor knowledge and ingenuity as they encounter challenges, but also on the endowments and priorities of their chosen character. The American Adventure experience quickly reveals how everyday decisions and interactions with the environment can be a matter of life and death.

Jamestown in Every Town
More than the first permanent European colony, Jamestown was the settlement that laid the foundation of the United States. American Adventure brings to life this vivid history and weaves in science and the environment, creating a more complete picture of early America that all citizens can enjoy. In an ongoing quest to survive, visitors will explore the natural world of 1607, find creative uses for familiar (and some unfamiliar) plants and animals, and bridge the world of those who came before with the world we know today.

Everyone likes to get in on the action, which is why we at Minotaur Mazes build each exhibition so that visitors can interact with and impact their environment. It helps visitors retain and remember information. Plus, it's a lot of fun! American Adventure takes you through the seasons of the year as a Jamestown colonist. Each season presents unique interactive challenges for your character as you attempt to survive.

Life Charts and Wheels of Misfortune - You begin by choosing a character-specific Life Chart that reflects unique skills, social position and personal history. As you explore the maze, you can earn or lose points in four areas: health, wealth, food, and morale. One decision might promote wealth, but drain health; raise morale, but sacrifice food. Visitors move their abacus beads with every decision, a direct and effect way to track complex decisions. At the end of each season is a Wheel of Misfortune, providing additional challenges or fortune to your adventure. Will you land more life points, or get bitten by a venomous snake? This is where a little bit of luck goes a long way...or not.

Rocky Falls Climbing Wall - Can you cross the rocky falls of the James River? Challenge yourself on the 12-foot horizontal climbing wall while searching for gold in the New World.

Choose Your Water - Water, water everywhere! But river, ocean or well - which one increases your chances of survival?

River Species Puzzle - You've landed in a new world filled with plants and animals you've never seen before. Can you identify them without losing health points?

Fooled You - Looking for gold instead of food? You may strike a mother lode, but the payoff could be fool's gold. Search for gold by using a magnetic wand to drag a mystery mineral through a maze of obstacles. Gain or lose points depending on what you uncover.

Ship to Shore Zip Line - Grab a hold of a zip line, fly 12 feet over the largest sturgeon you'll ever see, and secure dinner and life points.

Lasso a Sturgeon - Them's good eatin'! Sturgeon were so plentiful that colonists were able to catch them with a lasso. Give it a try and gain food points.

Wilderness Survival Challenge - What's cookin' in the forest? Discover native plants and animals you've never seen. Try to identify them and decide whether or not they are viable food sources.

Turtle Soup - Turtles sure are tasty, and even come in their own bowl! Simulate the food gathering process of this colonial staple by scraping a turtle shell.

FALL 1607
Cypress Crawl - Jamestown trees were gigantic!
Canoes that held 40 men could be made from a single tree. Crawl through a fallen Cypress log to earn points while learning about the many uses of timber.

Resource Grab Bag - Trial and error is dangerous, but you have to learn what to eat somehow! Reach in and grab hold to see how you'd fare in the search for food and resources.

The Nose Knows - See if you can sniff out these New World products for old world markets. Bravely go where no nose has gone before!

Mystery Match - Virginia was a great source of raw materials. The colonists made these materials into items that fetched a nice profit back in England. Can you match the finished products with their raw materials?

Dress For Success - Pop yourself into this winter settlement scene and walk away with a keepsake photo.

Trading Post - Can you trade and improve your chances of survival? Are you low on food but high on wealth? Trade with other colonists to increase your chances of getting through the winter.

Survivor Stats - Did your character survive in real life? How about your friends' characters? See who made it through, and who wasn't so lucky.

Wildlife Wheel - Spin the giant wheel and venture back into the maze for a bonus wildlife search in each of the four seasons.

Colonial Construction - Build your own Jamestown fort and everything on the inside. Enlist helpers so you can complete the challenge.

I died... twice.
Success is not measured only in terms of surviving the maze. Even if the visitor doesn't make it through 1607 alive, the learning accomplished through role-play and interactivity makes American Adventure an unforgettable educational experience. Visitors often reenter the maze to try their character again - you can revisit the maze and always encounter a different adventure, or try a completely new colonist character. There are endless choices and opportunities for learning and fun.

Other Links about Jamestown
A Timeline of Events and References Leading Up To and Through the Founding of Jamestown

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