The Gift of Learning

Santa in Shay locomotive at PA Lumber Museum 2016
Santa greeted visitors in the Shay locomotive at the PA Lumber Museum earlier this month (photo courtesy PLM)

If you're headed out onto the Trails of History this weekend or next week, please be sure to check ahead for schedule changes. Some sites will close early tomorrow (12/24) and all (except Washington Crossing) will be closed on Sunday (12/25). The Railroad Museum of PA will be open on Monday, Dec. 26 (per Facebook), although they are otherwise closed on Mondays this time of year. You can get to any of the sites through the Trails of History page on PHMC's website.

Speaking of the Railroad Museum, they are one of the sites included on the Radnor (Delaware County) Memorial Library's new Museum Pass program. The museum (along with Ephrata Cloister and Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum) is already part of the Library System of Lancaster County Family Museum Pass program. Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara are included in the Erie County Public Library Free Museum Pass program.

On Sunday, Dec. 25, Washington Crossing Historic Park will hold the annual Christmas Day reenactment of the Christmas night 1776 crossing of the Delaware River by Gen. George Washington and his troops. The commemoration begins at noon with the boats set to launch at 1 pm (river conditions permitting). If you aren't able to go in person, this year you can catch a livestream of the event on YouTube, starting at noon.

Ephrata Cloister's annual Lantern Tours program takes place Dec. 27-30, with tours leaving the visitor center every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 8 pm. Tickets are $10 (adults), $9 (seniors), $7 (students), and $5 (children). Reservations are required; call 717/733-6600. If an evening of Ephrata history isn't enough, you might consider signing up for the Winter History Class, which meets on Thursday mornings from Feb. 2 through March 30, with a field trip on April 6. A complete schedule is available on the website, along with a registration form.

Dec. 27-30, Brandywine Battlefield will host Holiday History Week, with special programming included in regular admission (so on top of the orientation film, visitor center exhibit, and tour of the Ring House). They've posted a list of the topics (different each day) on their Facebook page. Presentations will be offered at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.

If you were planning to sign your kids up for the Winter History Camp at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum Dec. 29-30, I'm afraid it's too late if you haven't already done it. Their website says the camp is full for this year.

The State Museum of PA's Noon Year's Eve program is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 30, from 10 am to 2 pm, with family-friendly activities and a balloon drop at noon (more details about schedule and activities).

Whatever the coming week means to you, I hope it is filled with light, peace, and moments of joy. And I wish you a healthy and productive 2017, with lots of opportunities to cultivate your love of history and learning. Thanks for reading.


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