Three of the best places that children may pan for gold include the Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia, Gold Prospecting Adventures in Jamestown, California and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. In all cases, panners keep what they find.
Georgia's Consolidated Gold Mine was in operation from 1886 to 1906. After being abandoned for 75 years, it was reopened as a tourist attraction. The Underground Mine Tour admission includes a gold panning session. The tour takes roughly 40 minutes, then visitors head for the sluicing area for some gold panning instruction. Panning is also available without the tour and is charged by the pan.
Gold Prospecting Adventures is in Jamestown, in the heart of California's Gold County. It was one of the original mines, opened in 1849 at the beginning of the Gold Rush. The mining village has been restored and guides throughout the park wear vintage costumes. Guests may sign up for adventures that include gold panning and working with a sluice box.
Knott's Berry Farm is in an urban setting, not too far from Disneyland. Once a working farm, it now houses an amusement park and a recreated Ghost Town. Just outside the Calico Mine attraction, is a gold panning station. Kids of all ages can learn how to pan for gold in this fun, safe environment.