What Now?

What Now? Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.

3-story wooden buildings with steep roofs sit at right angles to each other. Light shines out from rows of small windows on each building and there are lamps lighting the pathways in front.
You can tour buildings at Ephrata Cloister by candlelight tomorrow night, Nov. 27 (photo via Ephrata Facebook page)

I hope that you had a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving with plenty of whatever you needed from the occasion. If you are looking for things to do today (Nov. 26), please note that most Trails of History sites are closed. Bushy Run Battlefield, Fort Pitt Museum, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania are open today. Other sites on the trails will resume their normal seasonal hours tomorrow (except the Erie Maritime Museum, which will be closed). As I always say, please be sure to check ahead to be sure the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. I've noted some events below that take place this weekend.

As you probably know Nov. 27 is Small Business Saturday, and Nov. 28 is Museum Store Sunday. Historic sites and museums can always use your support, so please consider visiting and shopping on the Trails of History this weekend. Bushy Run Battlefield is holding a Used Book Sale today through Sunday, and Somerset Historical Center's Christmas Craft Shoppe, featuring handmade items by local vendors, will be open Wednesday to Saturday (starting tomorrow) through December 23. Our other museum stores have loads of themed and seasonal merchandise for your gift-giving needs (no one will tell if you keep them for yourself, either).

Do your interests run more to the spirit of #OptOutside? Many sites have beautiful grounds and/or trails that can provide plenty of fresh air; others are adjacent to or very close to state parks and forests (please note this safety reminder from the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources).

If family history (in PA) was a topic of history around your Thanksgiving table, you can follow-up with some research using resources digitized by the Pennsylvania State Archives. From birth and death records indices to military service records and more, plus links to other digital records collections, the Archives is a great place to start your search(Digital Collections page).

The Week Ahead

Saturday, Nov. 27
  • Christmas in the Colonies (in-person): explore different traditions as you tour the Keith House and watch the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble; Graeme Park; 3-5 pm; tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $7 for members and ages 6-12 (Graeme Park info)
  • Candlelight Open House (in-person): stroll the grounds, visit with craftspeople, and enjoy music performed by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus; Ephrata Cloister; 5:30-8 pm; tickets are $7 (Open House info)
Sunday, Nov. 28
  • Sunday Sewing Circle (in-person): bring your projects and spend time with other stitchers; Bushy Run Battlefield; 1-4 pm (Sewing Circle info)
Monday, Nov. 29
Wednesday, Dec. 1
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about Pennsylvania owls and their habits; The State Museum of PA; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
  • Deadline for required advance tickets for Pennsbury Manor's Holly Nights, which takes place Dec. 2 and 3, 6-9 pm (Holly Nights info and tickets)
Thursday, Dec. 2
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): visit the Art of the State exhibition to learn about how artists use color; The State Museum of PA; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)

On Sale Now (as of 11/24; some programs will sell out)

  • Ethnic Traditions: on Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, Somerset Historical Center will partner with local families for a program on cultural traditions, food, and music of Japan, Italy, and Bangladesh; cost is $20 per person (Ethnic Traditions ticket info)
  • Christmas at the Cloister: Ephrata Cloister presents a program of lessons and carols in the historic Meetinghouse on Dec. 13 and 14, with performances at 6:30 and 8 pm each evening. Tickets available online via Ticketleap (Christmas at the Cloister info and tickets).
  • Lantern Tours: Dec. 27-30 at Ephrata Cloister learn about the site's history through living history tours and performances; advance tickets required, on sale starting Dec. 1 (Lantern Tour info)
  • Winter Day Camp: on Dec. 29 from 9 am to 4:30 pm Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum will present a day camp for kids in grades 5-11; the focus is Christmas Around the World and includes a themed escape room; cost is $60 per camper ($54 for members) (Day Camp info and registration)


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