December 2017 on the Trails of History

All sites on the Trails of History will be closed on Dec. 25, with the notable exception of Washington Crossing Historic Park, and Jan. 1. Please be aware that some sites may have additional closures on the days before or after the actual holiday. Some seasonal closures kick in during December, as well, and winter weather can be a factor. It's always a good idea to check ahead to avoid disappointment, especially if you're making a special trip to visit us.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Dec. 9: Children's Colonial Christmas Party—kids age 4-12 are invited to learn about and make homemade decorations, learn a colonial-era dance, and enjoy a snack. Cost is $2 per child. Advance registration is required: contact Marlene at 724/744-4193 or 1-3 pm.
Dec. 10: Christmas Sale—last chance to visit the museum store for this season to find the perfect gift. Six additional vendors will be on hand in the Stone Room. 1-4 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Dec. 3: Christmas Open House—enjoy one last chance to visit the homestead before winter sets in (site will be open by appointment only until Charter Day in March). The Visitor Center Bookstore will be open and books will be marked down 10%. American Art Designs and Stone House History will be on site (more info on the Facebook event page). Guided tours will be available. Admission is free and donations will be gratefully accepted. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Dec. 2: Christmas at Cornwall House Tour—this annual tour lets you explore private homes in the Cornwall/Lebanon area (list of this year's homes) while supporting the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace. Tickets are $15 in advance at several locations in the community and at the Furnace. Tickets are $20 on the day of the tour and are available only at the Iron Furnace. Your ticket includes a guided tour of the Furnace, which you may redeem during regular operating hours up through Dec. 29, 2017. Light refreshments will be offered throughout the day at the Furnace. 10 am-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Dec. 8-9: Christkindlmarket—crafts, wine, candlelight, and shopping (details on the Facebook event page). Admission is $7 for adults; purchase a combo ticket (soon) for $10 and enjoy Christmas at Johanna Furnace, Dec. 1-3, as well. Tickets available by calling 610/582-4900. DBH event is 4-9 pm both days.

Drake Well Museum
Dec. 30: Something More Saturday—enjoy family-friendly activities and learning added to the museum's regular offerings (watch the Facebook event page for details). Special group admission deal for this program: purchase 2 adult tickets at regular price and receive 3 youth admissions free. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
Dec. 2-3: Christmas at Eckley—from carolers to cocoa, crafts to St. Nick, you are sure to find something delightful in this old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Admission is $7. Noon-4 pm both days.

Ephrata Cloister
Dec. 11-12: Christmas at the Cloister—this popular annual program combines seasonal readings and traditional music performed by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus in the 1741 Meetinghouse (Saal). Performance times are 6:30 and 8 pm each evening. Tickets are $6 per person and seating is limited; call 717/733-6600 for availability.
Dec. 27-30: Lantern Toursexplore Ephrata's history with help from Student Historians and theatrical presentations throughout the grounds. Tours leave from the visitor center every half hour from 6:30 to 8 pm. Admission: $10 (adults), $9 (seniors), $7 (students), $5 (children). Reservations are required and tickets (on sale as of Dec. 1) do sell out; call 717/433-6600 to reserve your spot.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Dec. 7: Holiday Sale—the museum store will host its annual open house. Discounts on all merchandise (except consignments); members receive 20% off, non-members receive 15%. 9 am-8 pm.
Dec. 9: Christmas Tree ShipNiagara will be lit up for Christmas, and there will be lots of family activities, a visit with Santa and a live reindeer (due to arrive at 5:45 pm), and the story of The Christmas Tree Ship (more program details on the website). Admission is free. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the local Toys for Tots collection. 5:30-8:30 pm.

Graeme Park
Dec. 7: Ladies Night - Gingerbread Houses—decorate homemade, pre-constructed gingerbread houses and enjoy light refreshments. Reservations required; members receive a discount. 7-9 pm.

Hope Lodge
Dec. 2: Holidays at Hope Lodge and Beer Tasting—tour the mansion at your leisure to enjoy the festive decorations and enjoy light refreshments (details on Facebook). Baked goods will be available for purchase. Admission is $3 for ages 13 and up. Visitors age 21 and older (must have ID) may visit the Summer Kitchen for samples of seasonal ales from Round Guys Brewing Company and Pub ($5 for 4 4-oz. samples). 11 am-5 pm (beer tasting, 1-5 pm).
Dec. 9: Guided Tours of the Mansion—tours of the mansion will be offered at 10 and 11:30 am, 1 and 2:30 pm. Regular admission charged; fee includes cookies and cider. Site open 10 am-4 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Dec. 2-3: Country Christmas Village—enjoy a Pennsylvania German Christmas, with all kinds of trees, der Belsnickel, and take-home crafts to try. See a Civil War winter camp and traditional foods prepared in the tavern. Children can learn about the history of Santa Claus and (with parental permission) post a letter to Santa at the Landis Valley Post Office ($1 postage) and receive a reply from the North Pole. Musical entertainment will be provided in the Yellow Barn (different performers each day). Admission: Adults, $12; Seniors, $10; Youth (age 3-11), $8; LVA members and age 2 and under, free. Saturday, 10 am-4 pm; Sunday, noon-4 pm.
Dec. 9: Artists Showcase at the Museum Store—meet 15 of LVM's tradespeople and artisans, learn about their work, and purchase beautiful handmade and locally produced merchandise. Regular admission rates apply to visit the exhibit buildings, but there's never a charge to visit the Museum Store. 9 am-5 pm.
Dec. 15: Holiday at Landis Valley Bonfire—caroling, a blazing bonfire, wagon rides, hot cider and cookies (details). And it’s free—Landis Valley’s gift to the community. Return the favor by bringing non-perishable food items to donate to the Lancaster Food Bank. 6-8:30 pm.
Dec. 28 & 29: Winter Day Camp—a different theme each day to make the days go faster (day one will explore crafts, day two will introduce cooking). Cost for both days is $45 per child, $40 per child for LVA members (details here). Registration is required, and space is limited; call the museum's education department at 717/569-0401 x228. 8:30 am-12:30 pm.

Old Economy Village
Dec. 2-3: Christmas at the Village—enjoy Christmas carols sung by local choirs and shop for handmade wares by local craftspeople. Children will find activities just for them and can even visit with mean old Belsnickel (details). Admission charged; please purchase tickets at the Visitor Center, as no tickets will be sold at the Village gate. Saturday, 2-9 pm; Sunday, 2-7 pm.
Dec. 6: Christmas Dinner—join with other supporters of Old Economy for a festive evening of dining and music in the Feast Hall (details). Reservations are required. The deadline was Nov. 27, so please call 724/266-4500 x101 to see if there's still space. Doors open at 6 pm.
Dec. 7, 13: Christmastime for Children—this Christmas-themed program is geared for students in preschool through third grade. Activities (details on the website) include crafts, decorations, and a visit with Belsnickel. Cost is $5 per person. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Please email David Miller to make reservations.

Pennsbury Manor
Dec 7-8: Holly Nights—a special opportunity to see Pennsbury illuminated by candlelight, bonfires, and hearth fires. Enjoy caroling, hot cider, and throwing a green sprig on the Yule log for luck (details on the website). Admission: Adults, $14; Seniors, $12; Children, $6 (purchase tickets online). 6-9 pm both nights.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Dec 10: Santa in the Shay—St. Nick will forgo his sleigh in favor of a geared locomotive as he listens to children's requests. Take an instant photo and turn it into an ornament, browse unique gifts from local artisans and the museum store, and enjoy hot cocoa (details). Admission is $5 (ages 12+), $3 (ages 3-11), ages 3 and under are always free. Noon-4pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Throughout the month of December—a Selective Service Registration Card for Mr. S. Claus will be on temporary exhibit during regular operating hours. Wed.-Sat., 10 am-4 pm; Sun., noon-4 pm.
Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute—76years ago on December 7th, the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii was attacked by aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy. America was at war. The tribute is held beneath the guns of the battleship USS Pennsylvania, which was a witness to that attack. Light refreshments will be served in the museum auditorium following the tribute ceremony. 12:45 p.m.
Dec. 9: Lecture—the program will explore the occult roots of nazism during its rise in the 1930s and 40s. 3-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 2 and 9: Home for the Holidays and Christmas with the Conductor—Costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents, and passengers representing the past century bring historic rail travel to life. Kids can visit with Santa or work with a telegrapher to send a Christmas telegram to the North Pole. Holiday music, refreshments (while supplies last), and shopping are part of the day too (lots more details). Included in regular admission (extra charge for Christmas with the Conductor parties, call the museum at 717/687-8628 to check availability - as of 11/29 the Dec. 2 parties are sold out). 9 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 1: StoryTime—take a stroll through the museum's Village Square and read Caldecott Medal winner On Market Street by Anita and Arnold Lobel. Included in general admission and intended for children age 3-5 with an adult. 10-11 am.
Dec. 7 & 21: Nature Lab Programs—on Dec. 7 explore "Reintroduction of Beaver and Elk". On Dec. 21, the program is "Rocks in our Daily Lives." Included in general admission. 11:30 am-12:30 pm.
Dec. 15: Learn at Lunchtime/3rd in the Burg—members of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen will demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts. The program is free of charge and takes place on the museum's Ground Floor. Noon-1 pm.
Dec. 29: Noon Year’s Eve Celebration—ring in 2018 a little early at this program designed for younger children and their families. Crafts, dancing, and a planetarium show, plus the big countdown in Memorial Hall at noon. Included in general admission (regular rates apply for planetarium). Reservations are not required, but you may want to call ahead to purchase planetarium tickets or reserve free timed tickets for Curiosity Connection (call 717/772-6997 before Dec. 20 to do so). 10 am-1 pm (Curiosity Connection closes at 2 pm).

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the WCHP events page for details on this month's programs and activities.