Happy Holidays!

A room is set with heavy 17th-century chairs and other furniture. A round table in the middle of the room has a white cloth and is covered with dishes of food and candles with glass hurricane lanterns
The withdrawing room at Pennsbury Manor set to receive guests during Holly Nights earlier this month (photo via Pennsbury Facebook page)

All sites on the Trails of History (well, except Washington Crossing, which is run by DCNR) will be closed this Saturday, Dec. 25, and next Saturday, Jan. 1. Most of our sites will also be closed tomorrow, Dec. 24, and next Friday, Dec. 31. Many will be closing early today (12/23) and on 12/30. Exceptions are: Fort Pitt Museum and Somerset Historical Center will be open regular hours on Dec. 24 and 31, and The State Museum of Pennsylvania will be open 9 am to 1 pm those days. Here are some other holiday schedules that I'm aware of:
  • Bushy Run Battlefield will be closed through Jan. 7, then open Saturdays and Sundays until spring
  • In addition to the holiday schedules noted above, Old Economy Village will be closed from Jan. 2 through mid-March
  • Graeme Park will be closed Dec. 24-Jan. 6, reopening for tours on Friday, Jan. 7
  • ADDED 12/28: After tomorrow, 12/29, Pennsbury Manor will be closed until March
  • ADDED 12/28: Starting 1/1, Fort Pitt Museum will be closed for routine maintenance and exhibit updates until 2/1
  • ADDED 1/4: Anthracite Heritage Museum will be closed during January and February, reopening on March 4
  • Already closed until spring: Conrad Weiser Homestead, Daniel Boone Homestead, Hope Lodge, Joseph Priestley House (except for Twelfth Night event Jan. 9)
Be sure to check specific sites that you want to visit and remember that some are on reduced schedules for the next few months.

An early 1960s snapshot shows Santa Claus with a young girl on his lap. She is wearing white lace-up shoes, black pants, a red velvet-like coat with white trim, white gloves, and a red cap.
Ho, ho, ho!

Trailheads will be on hiatus for the next week or so. The next new post will appear on Friday, January 7. In the meantime, I've included information below on upcoming programs through January 6. As always, please be sure to check that there have been no schedule changes, as I will not be making updates to the post. However you are celebrating I hope that you have plenty of light, laughter, and warmth. May we all look forward to good health, time with the people we love, and lots of ways to learn--and learn from--history in 2022.
Round gingerbread cookies decorated with cream-colored squiggly lines to resemble PA German redware plates
Cookies offered at the opening reception for Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum's multi-year redware exhibit, which just wrapped up its successful run

During the week ahead, I hope you have some chances for fun and relaxation. For those of you who enjoy digital puzzles, I've created four new ones on Jigsaw Planet using photos from visits to sites on the Trails of History. You can find them by visiting the Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen if you scroll back up to the top of the blog, along with lots of other content from Trails of History sites. And here's a shortcut:
And finally, I leave you with some music from the Ephrata Cloister Chorus, recorded back in 2009 during Christmas at the Cloister and shared on Ephrata's YouTube channel.

The Weeks Ahead

Today, December 23
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): discover holiday traditions, decorations and toys from the 1950s and 60s; The State Museum of PA; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission; space is limited (Curiosity Kids info)
Monday, December 27
  • Lantern Tours (in-person): tonight through Dec. 30 this year's program revolves around taxes and acts of resistance; Ephrata Cloister; tours start at 6:15 and leave the visitor center every 15 minutes; tickets are limited and must be reserved in advance by calling the site at 717/733-6600 (Lantern Tour info)
Wednesday, December 29
  • UPDATE 12/29: This event has been cancelled. Explore! (in-person): explore PA New Year's traditions, create your own noisemaker, and help count down to 2022; The State Museum of PA: 11:30 am-12:30 pm; for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission; space is limited (Explore! info)
Sunday, January 2
  • Artists Conversations Gallery Tour (in-person): take a casual tour of the Art of the State exhibition on its last day with artist Stephen Althouse and fine arts curator Amy Hammond; The State Museum of PA; 2-3 pm; included in regular admission (Gallery Tour info)
Wednesday, January 5
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about owls in Pennsylvania; The State Museum of PA; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, January 6
  • Giant PA Map (in-person): discover our state and test your geography skills; The State Museum of PA; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; included in regular admission (Giant Map info)

On Sale Now

  • Rails and Ales: enjoy an evening of craft beer among the museum's historic trains at the Railroad Museum of PA, April 9, 2022, 5:30-9 pm; must be 21 or older to attend; variety of ticket options, including designated driver tickets (Rails and Ales tickets)


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