'Tis the Season

I’m posting the December preview mid-week because there are so many events going on this weekend that I didn’t want to wait until Friday. All sites on the Trails of History will be closed December 25 and January 1 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s (except that Washington Crossing Historic Park is open Christmas Day for the annual crossing of the Delaware). Other seasonal and holiday schedule changes are in effect, too, so please check ahead to make sure the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. And, of course, if the weather outside is frightful (need I remind you what December 2009 was like?) you should probably do a little checking then, as well.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Dec. 12: German Christmas Program—90-minute program for all ages includes a toy demonstration, holiday music activities, German folklore, photo op with St. Nicholas and Ruprecht, holiday treats and more. Space is limited and registrations are required (deadline is Dec. 10).
Dec. 4: 15th Annual Christmas at Cornwall House Tour—a selection of private residences and businesses fill this year’s roster of historic buildings for the tour; purchase your ticket ($15 in advance, $20 day of tour) at the Cornwall Iron Furnace visitor center.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Dec. 5: A Homestead Christmas—open hearth cooking, 18th-century music and dancing, hands-on crafts for children, and refreshments will provide a lovely afternoon for visitors; visit the museum bookstore for unique gifts (all books are discounted 10% during the entire month of December).

PHMC/Eckley Miners' Village

Dec. 4: Children’s Program and Victorian Christmas Fundraiser—the Children’s Program features storyteller Kathy Long and a visit from St. Nicholas, plus an ornament-making activity and wagon rides around the Village. The Victorian Christmas Fundraiser includes traditional 19th-century decorations, a Victorian tea, and 19th-century-style ornaments for purchase (thanks to the work of Village volunteers).

Dec. 13-14: Christmas at the Cloister—a program of readings and music in the historic Saal (meetinghouse). Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance; contact the site to check availability.
Dec. 27-30: Lantern Tours—experience the history of the Cloister through dramatic presentations by the site’s Junior Historians, junior and senior high school students who work with staff to make this annual program come to life. Reservations are required and can be made anytime after Dec. 1.

Erie Maritime Museum and US Brig Niagara
Dec. 10: Christmas Tree Ship—join in welcoming Santa to light the ship and then tour the museum, make crafts, and decorate cookies. Admission is free. Visitors are asked to bring new or gently used Christmas decorations for families in need; Family Services of NW PA will help with a drawing for 25 Christmas trees.

PHMC/Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Dec. 4: Make Your Own Tin Ornament—The Weathervane museum store hosts a workshop with Beth Feaser, one of Landis Valley’s tinsmiths; cost of workshop is $20, call (717) 569-9312 for details.
Dec. 4-5 and 11-12: Country Christmas Village—Pennsylvania German Christmas traditions (including a visit with Belsnickel), foodways, crafts, and decorations will be found throughout the village; Weathervane will host book signings both weekends.
Dec. 17: Holidays at Landis Valley: A Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas—this evening event features a bonfire, carols, hot cider, and cookies. The event is free; visitors are asked to bring non-perishable food items for the Lancaster Food Bank.
Dec. 18: Old Fashioned Children’s Christmas—a Charles Dickens schoolhouse lesson, crafts, and Victorian parlor games provide fun for the entire family.
Dec. 28-29: Winter Day Camp—crafts, games, and open hearth cooking help to liven up that week off from school between Christmas and New Year’s; sign up for either or both days (discounts available for members, multi-day registrations, or multiple children from the same family).

Dec. 5: Christmas Fundraiser Dinner—dine by lantern light in the historic Feast Hall, enjoying delicious food and beautiful music while helping to support the educational programs and special projects of the site.
Dec. 11: Christmas at the Village—experience a wide variety of Christmas traditions, foods, and crafts; take a carriage ride; enjoy hands-on activities in das Kinderhaus; and listen to performances by Old Economy’s orchestra and choir.

Pennsbury Manor
Dec. 4: Wreaths and Greens Workshop—make an evergreen wreath for your home (bring your own clippers) and learn how to care for evergreens in your yard and garden; registration is required.
Dec. 9 and 10: Holly Nights—a Pennsbury tradition for more than 25 years; experience the Manor by candlelight, sip mulled cider, listen to carolers strolling the grounds, watch a 17th-century play. Be sure to visit the website to download a coupon good for $1 off adult admission.

PHMC/Pennsylvania Military Museum

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute—this event marks the 69th anniversary of the attack on the US Pacific Fleet by aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It takes place on the museum grounds, beneath the guns of the USS PENNSYLVANIA, which was in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 4 and 11: Home for the Holidays—the first two Saturdays in December offer a nostalgic look at 100 years of holiday rail travel, along with seasonal music and hot chocolate. The Polar Express Parties are already filled, but there’s still plenty for families to enjoy.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 18: International Kwanzaa Festival 2010—a celebration of the family, featuring dancers and drummers, authors and poets, food, music, and more. Admission is free; this program is presented by Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writers Wordshop in partnership with The State Museum, Women Connect Magazine, and Life Esteem, Inc.
Dec. 18-19, 22-23, 26, 29-30: Season of Light planetarium show—a look at how many of our modern traditions trace their roots to winter festivals of long ago. Fee charged in addition to museum admission; check website for scheduled showings.
Dec. 30: Noon Year’s Eve—this program provides young children and their families with a special New Year’s celebration of their own; playtime, crafts, snacks, and the Firefly drop at noon are part of the fun. Included in museum admission.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Dec. 4: 2nd Annual Save the Crossing Fundraiser—event takes place at Crossing Vineyards and Winery; proceeds benefit the crossing reenactment program.
Dec. 12: Crossing Dress Rehearsal—watch reenactors practice for the Christmas Day event and enjoy craft and cooking demonstrations; fee charged.
Dec. 25: Christmas Day Crossing—the annual reenactment of the 1776 crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington and his troops prior to the Battle of Trenton.


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