Pepsi Family Center

At the Pepsi Family Center, a virtual time machine transports you to a river village in North Carolina’s Central Coastal Region in the year 1835. Here, hands-on activities invite you to step back in time and sail a ship, distill turpentine and produce naval stores, piece an electronic quilt, and help the shopkeeper find merchandise for customers in the dry goods store.

New Bern was an important coastal river port into the 19th century. Visit the wharf and join the crew of the Snapdragon as she sets sail on a trade voyage. Every crewmember has a unique role and must work together to help the ship reach its destination safely.

In 1835, the naval stores industry was also a large part of the local economy. Turpentine, which comes from the pinesap that was plentiful in North Carolina’s extensive pine forests, was one of the region’s main products. Turpentine was a naval store used in the production and waterproofing of wooden ships. At the Turpentine Still in our Forest, each person has a special job to do with the goal of producing high-quality turpentine.

And the forest isn’t the only place where work needs to be done. At home in the Kitchen, you help the cook as she seeks ingredients for her recipes, then watch as they are prepared before your eyes. Join a quilting bee in the parlor, and design patterns from squares that will be pieced together to create a beautiful quilt.

Finally, step onto Main Street and help two local merchants who are looking for some extra hands. In the Dry Goods Store, help the shopkeeper as he finds items to fill his customers’ shopping lists. Over in the Print Shop, the printer’s devil is looking for someone to help him finish writing the town newspaper.