PA Trails of History Events, Dec. 28-Jan. 10

Happy New Year to all of our loyal Trailheads readers - and everyone else, as well. All Trails of History sites will be closed on Jan. 1. Please be aware that many sites are closed on Mondays, so they won't be open on Dec. 31; if they are open at all, they may close early.

And don't forget: for a few more days, through December 31, the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (PHF) and The State Museum of Pennsylvania are offering a "Buy One Get One Free" membership deal. Renew, rejoin, or join, and you can gift a free membership of equal or lesser value to a friend, family member, or co-worker. Memberships included in this offer are Heritage, Individual, and Family (visit PHF website for details or to purchase online). All categories of membership include free regular admission to sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. (Please note, the gift membership must be for individuals or families who have never held a membership with PHF or The State Museum previously.)

We hope that 2019 will be a healthy and productive year for all of you. The January program page will get you further through the month, but here's what's coming up in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Please note that the Pennsylvania State Archives Research Room will be closed to the public January 5-12; staff will be at the PA Farm Show providing access to free genealogy searches via

Giant firefly drops from ceiling at State Museum for Noon Year's Eve
A giant firefly dropping from the ceiling of Memorial Hall, next to the statue of William Penn, will be part of The State Museum's Noon Year's Celebration today, Dec. 28 (photo Jeni Ashton)
Brandywine Battlefield Park
Through Dec. 29: History for the Holidays—explore a different theme each day and help dispel the winter blahs (details on Facebook). Included in regular admission. Site open 9 am-4 pm, with special programs at 11 am and 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Dec. 29: Something More Saturday—enjoy family-friendly activities and learning added to the museum's regular offerings (watch the Facebook event page for details). Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Through Dec. 29: Lantern Toursexplore Ephrata's history with help from Student Historians and theatrical presentations throughout the grounds. This year's program asks the question, "What Would the Neighbors Think?" and will examine the Ephrata community's role among the many religious faiths found in Lancaster County. Visitors will be invited to share their opinions of the historic community as well. Tours leave from the visitor center every half hour from 6:30 to 8 pm. Admission: $10 (age 18-64), $9 (age 65+), $7 (age 6-17), $5 (age 3-5); members receive a discount. Reservations are required and tickets do sell out; call 717/433-6600 to reserve your spot.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Starts Jan. 5: Winter Sail Training—these FREE classes are designed to provide training in many of the basic skills necessary to sail a tall ship. Takes place on Saturdays from January through March during ship maintenance hours where crew work to repair and maintain parts of NIAGARA. Open to ages 14+. This is a great way to complete community service hours! Email to sign up. 9:30 am-3:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Jan. 1-Feb. 1: Museum closed—Fort Pitt Museum will be closed during the month of January for exhibit upgrades and maintenance. It will reopen on Feb. 2.

Joseph Priestley House
Jan. 6: Twelfth Night—glimpse the Priestley family’s life in Northumberland with a taste of the English customs they remembered. The house will be decorated as an English country manor, costumed docents will be on hand, and there will be chemistry demonstrations and children’s games. Free admission. 4-7 pm (chem demos in the Pond Building at 4:30 and 5:30 - space is limited for those, get tickets at the visitor center).

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the planetarium webpage for info on shows and schedules.
Dec. 28: Noon Year’s Celebration—ring in 2019 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. Timed tickets for Curiosity Connection will be limited. Regular rates apply for planetarium shows. 10 am-1 pm (Curiosity Connection closes at 2 pm).
Jan. 4: StoryTimethis month's program features Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre. Program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an accompanying adult. Included in general admission. 10 am.
Jan. 10: Nature Lab—use science activities to explore SNOW! with the museum's education staff. Geared for visitors age 7 and up. Included in general admission. 11:30 am.


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