On the Trails of History, November 27-December 12

For those who like to plan ahead, the December program page has all the details. Please note that some winter schedule changes are already in effect, and more will kick in during the month of December. When winter weather strikes, site schedules can also be affected, so it’s always a good idea to check ahead.

All Trails of History sites will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. From all of us here at Trailheads HQ, we wish you a day full of good things and a chance to share them with people you love.

Sites open on the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29) are noted below. By Saturday (Nov. 30), sites will be back to their normal November schedules, just in time for Small Business Saturday and Museum Store Sunday (Dec. 1). The food comas should have abated by then, so why not get out on the Trails of History? You know you want to. (Or send everyone else out and pour yourself a cup of tea – this is a judgment-free blog.)

Drawing of Santa sitting in front of an old radio set
Stop by Drake Well Museum and Park on Nov. 30 to contact Santa via ham radio - details below (image via Facebook)
Brandywine Battlefield Park
Nov. 30: Patriot’s Day—living history demonstrations, musket drills, blacksmith, house tours, and 18th-century medical "experts"--lots of activities for all ages. 10 am-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Dec. 7: Colonial Christmas Party—kids age 4-12 are invited to learn about and make homemade decorations, play colonial games, and enjoy a snack (more info on Facebook event page. Cost is $5 per child. Advance registration is required: contact Marlene at 724/744-4193 or secretary@bushyrunbattlefield.com. 2-4 pm.
Dec. 8: Christmas Sale & Vendor Show—last chance for the perfect gift from the museum store – colonial toys, books, prints, and more. Wassail and biscuits will be served, there will be musical entertainment, and you can get help with your gift wrapping. 1-4 pm.
Dec. 12: Historic Sewing Workshop Series—this is the last workshop in the series, but you’re still welcome if you missed the previous installments. One hour of formal instruction will be followed by one hour of open studio time to work on projects (details on Facebook event page. Cost is $20 for both hours, $10 for studio only (see website for registration info (pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome). 6-8 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
UPDATE 11/30/19-due to impending weather, this event has been cancelled. Dec. 1: Christmas Open Houseenjoy one last chance to visit the homestead in 2019 (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% (more details on the Facebook event page). Admission is free; donations gratefully accepted. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Dec. 7: Christmas at Cornwall—the furnace is partnering with Cornwall Manor retirement community to offer a new event this year. The restored historic buildings on the Cornwall Manor campus (across the road from the furnace) will be open for tours, and a program, “Cookies, Carols, Crafts, & More,” will be offered at Freeman Community Center in the morning. The furnace will be open for tours and there will be lots of Christmas-related activities for children, including a visit with the Belsnickel. Wagon and van tours will take visitors to see other buildings in the furnace complex. Tickets may be purchased in advance or on the day (more info on the website). 10 am-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Nov. 30: Something More Saturday—today’s event is “Radio Santa,” inviting kids to speak with the big guy at the North Pole via radio. There will also be holiday craft projects and other family-friendly activities (details on Facebook). Included in regular admission. Site open 9 am-5 pm; special programming, 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
Dec. 7-8: Eckley Christmas Experience—from carolers to cocoa, crafts to St. Nick, you are sure to find something delightful in this old-fashioned Christmas celebration (details on Facebook event page). Admission is $7 per person; bring an unexpired, non-perishable food item and receive a discount. Noon-4 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Nov. 30: Candlelight Open House—spend a lovely evening exploring the Ephrata Cloister, with music, craftspeople, and more (info on website). Cost is $6 per person (ages 3 and older). 5-8:30 pm.
Dec. 9-10: 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 $7 per person and seating is limited. Purchase tickets from the Museum Store by calling 717/733-2592 or order by mail (see Facebook event page for instructions and updates on availability).

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Dec. 7: Christmas Tree Ship 2019Niagara will be lit up for Christmas, and there will be lots of family activities and a visit with Santa and his reindeer (more program info on the Facebook event page). Admission is free. The museum is a Toys for Tots collection site. 5:30-8:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for information on holiday schedules and programs.

Graeme Park
Nov. 30: Christmas in the Colonies—candlelight tours of the Keith House (Nov. 30), where the Tapestry Dancers and costumed interpreters will illustrate Christmas and other winter holidays as the Graemes might have known them. Refreshments will be served. Tours will start approximately every 20 minutes from 4 to 6:20 pm. Craft vendors will be on hand for Small Business Saturday, from 3-6 pm (details on the website). Cost is $5 per person for tours.
Dec. 1: Museum Store Sunday—skip the mall crowds and support a historic site. Free DIY gift wrap station for purchases made in the museum store on Small Business Saturday (11/30) or Museum Store Sunday. Noon-4 pm.

Hope Lodge
Dec. 7: Holidays at Hope Lodge—tour the mansion at your leisure to enjoy the festive decorations. Admission is $5 per person (age 12 and under are free). After the tour, visitors age 21 and older may (for an additional fee) enjoy a craft beer tasting in the colonial kitchen. 11 am-5 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Museum Store Shop Local Open House and Museum Store Sunday—shop for locally handmade art, crafts and heirloom-quality gifts and enjoy holiday decorations in the museum store. Museum Store events are free; regular rates apply for museum admission. 9 am-5 pm both days (site opens at noon on Sunday).
Dec. 7-8: Christmas in the Village—learn how early Pennsylvania German families celebrated Christmas in south central PA. There will be music, crafts, Christmas decorations, and (if you’re not careful) Belsnickel (see website for details, including online ticket purchase (you can also buy your tickets at the door). Saturday, 10 am-4 pm; Sunday, noon-4 pm.
Dec. 10 and 14: Days of the Belsnickel—enjoy dinner (12/10) or lunch (12/14) along with holiday shopping, storytellers, dancing, and a visit with the Belsnickel (a PA German tradition). Reservations are required and can be made online, via email, or by phone (dinner details; lunch details)..

Old Economy Village
Nov. 30: Saturday Spotlight19th-Century Trades and Crafts. Included in regular admission, so please begin at the Visitor Center. 10 am-5 pm..
Dec. 6, 14: Christmas Homeschool Tour—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 by Dec. 4. Please email David Miller to make reservations. 1-2:30 pm.
Dec. 7-8: Christmas at the Village—enjoy entertainment by local musicians and shop for a wide array of gifts and food items. 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. Saturday, 2-9 pm; Sunday, 2-7 pm.
Dec. 12: 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. Doors open at 6 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Dec. 5-6: 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). (Please note that the Manor House and other buildings will not be open during the day, due to event prep. Visitors will be welcome to tour the grounds, however.) Admission charged; tickets are available online via Ticketleap. 6-9 pm both nights.
Dec. 7: Monthly Book Club—this month’s selection is Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment, by Nancy K. Lone. For more info on the book or the program, check Pennsbury’s website.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Dec. 1 RESCHEDULED TO DEC. 7: Hürtgen: A Visual Journey—writer/director Mark A. Frederick of Brush Mountain Media will discuss the history and inspiration behind his short independent film on this little-known battle between Germans and Americans during World War II. Included in regular admission. 2-3 pm.
Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute—78 years 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. 7-8: Christmas in the Ardennes—soldiers of the 4th and 28th Infantry (recreated) will interpret life in the field along the Siegfried Line in Germany during World War II. This is an outdoor event, so please dress for the weather. 10 am-4 pm both days.
Dec. 8: Frozen Chosin—guest lecturer and former Navy Surface Warfare Officer Rick Bigelow will discuss this “advance in a different direction” during the fifth month of the Korean War. 2-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Nov. 29: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 9 am-5 pm.
Dec. 7 and 14: Home for the Holidays—costumed railroaders 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. (There is an additional charge to attend “Christmas with the Conductor” parties; see program flyer for registration info). 9 am-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Dec. 1: Ethnic Traditions—each year Somerset Historical Center brings together local families from diverse cultural backgrounds to present an evening of food, music, and other traditions. This year’s menu includes foods from Pennsylvania German, Italian, Thai, and Mexican traditions. Cost is $20 for one ticket, $35 for two. Reservations are a must, and space is limited. Info on reserving your spot is on the website. 5:30 pm at Friedens Lutheran Church, Friedens, PA.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the Planetarium page for a full schedule of shows.
Dec. 1: Museum Store Sunday—the State Museum Store (on the ground floor near the Third Street entrance) will hold a storewide sale today. Noon-4 pm.
Dec. 6: StoryTime—visit the museum's Mammal Hall and read Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter Kenard Pak. Included in general admission and intended for children age 3-5 with an adult. 10:30-11:30 am.
Dec. 6: Learn at Lunchtime—learn more about the museum’s latest exhibit, Picturing a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Mural Studies for the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber, 1911-1919, on view through April 26, 2020. Dec. 6 event is a tour of the Senate Chamber Murals with Jason Wilson, historian for the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee (more info here). 12:15-12:45 pm.
Dec. 12: Nature Lab—learn about state symbols and how they became icons of the Commonwealth of PA. Included in general admission. 11:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for details on this month's schedule and programs.


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