Thanksgiving Week at a Glance

First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and try to have the good sense never to take any of it for granted. I hope that you and yours are warm, safe, and well fed. And I hope that we all find ways in the coming weeks and months to help people who aren't as fortunate.

Fall garden scene at Pennsbury Manor (via Facebook)
All PA Trails of History sites will be closed tomorrow, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving Day. If you still want some history, how about participating in The Great Thanksgiving Listen? This is an initiative developed by Story Corps (#TheGreatListen) to help teachers and students conduct oral history interviews with family members, but the app and questions (and the ability to save interviews in the Story Corps Archive) are available to everyone. There's even a printable placemat that might make a great addition to the kids' table. Whether you're recording interviews or not, the placemat provides some conversation starters that can help any gathering along or keep it from going off the rails.

Some sites will be open on Friday, Nov. 24, and I've indicated that in the schedule below. The info is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but as always, it's a good idea to check with specific sites if you're making a special trip to visit them. Friday is also a good day to #OptOutside and visit one of Pennsylvania's many state parks.

Stoneware mugs at Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum Store (via Sunset Hill Stoneware's Facebook page)
That brings us to Saturday, Nov. 25. Trails of History sites will be back to their regular schedules - please note that some sites are now on winter seasonal schedules. As noted above, be sure to check that the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. I've noted special events below. If you want to participate in Small Business Saturday and #shopsmall, remember that our museum stores are great places to buy locally made crafts and art. Not to mention regional and local food specialties or one-of-a-kind gifts.

Redware plates and other traditional items at Ephrata Cloister Museum Store (via Facebook)
If your Saturday is full, why not spend Sunday, Nov. 26, on the Trails of History supporting #MuseumStoreSunday? This is a new program from the Museum Store Association, and many PHMC sites will be taking part (at least informally). Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum has been updating an album on their Facebook page with beautiful stuff from their Museum Store. (I wanted to share, but I couldn't pick just one - please visit the album and the site to see for yourself.) You can read about deals at Landis Valley and the Railroad Museum of PA in this article from LancasterOnline.

On #CyberMonday, Nov. 27, visit the Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara website to book your 2018 Day Sails (actually that deal is going on Nov. 24 through Nov. 27, but I'm trying to work a theme here). Save $10 per member or non-member ticket and beat the spring rush. Gift cards are also available online.

Day sailors on board U.S. Brig Niagara, 2010 (AKF photo)
Tuesday, Nov. 28, brings an opportunity to follow-up all that holiday eating and shopping with donations to good causes of your choosing. One such cause on the Trails of History is the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (PHF) #GivingTuesday project. PHF is the PHMC's support organization and this year has a #GivingTuesday goal of $3,000 to assist school visits to PHMC's sites and museums. PHF will post more specific info on Tuesday, but they'll use their Annual Fund page to receive #GivingTuesday donations. UPDATE: info posted today, Monday, Nov. 27.

It seems to me that we need a hashtag for the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to round out the week, but I haven't found one. #WhateverWednesday to denote our exhaustion and apathy might be a possibility but maybe that's too cynical. C'mon Trailheads nation, let's start a trend - post your suggestions in the comments.

Holiday weekend schedule...

Brandywine Battlefield Park
Nov. 25: Patriot’s Day—living history demonstrations, musket drills, blacksmith, house tours, and 18th-century medical "experts"--lots of activities for all ages. At 2 pm, Dr. Robert Selig will present "The Politics of Arming America: The Vallière 4-lb Cannon at Brandywine," which will help answer questions on how/why this piece came to America during the Revolution and will also discuss its importance in assisting the American cause of liberty. 10 am-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 10 am-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Nov. 25: Something More Saturday—members of the Venango County ARES/RACES ham radio club will be on hand to help visitors speak with Santa at the North Pole. There will also be holiday craft projects using recycled materials and other family-friendly activities (details on Facebook). Included in regular admission (special group admission: buy 2 full-price adult tickets and get 3 youth tickets free). Site open 9 am-5 pm; special programming, 10 am-3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Nov. 25: Candlelight Open House—spend a lovely evening exploring the Ephrata Cloister, with music, craftspeople, and more. Cost is $6 per person. 5-8:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 10 am-5 pm.

Graeme Park
Nov. 25: A Continental Christmas—more than 2,000 men of the Continental Army were encamped around Graeme Park from December 1777 through January 1778. Learn about what Christmas was like that year for the soldiers and the residents of Graeme Park. Suggested donation, $2 (free for members). 10 am-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 9 am-5 pm.
Nov. 24: Last Day for Reservations—advance registration is required for the museum's Christmas with the Conductor parties, scheduled for Dec. 2 and 9 (see flyer for details).

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please check the website for details on this weekend's schedule.


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