Summer in Bloom

Small stone building with white trim on a bright summer day. Small clusters of yellow flowers on long green stems with clusters of small green leaves are in front.
Tansy growing outside the summer kitchen at Graeme Park (photo via GP Facebook page)

The gardens and grounds at our Trails of History sites are brimming with flowers, veggies, and greenery. Many also have shade, so if you're looking for ways to keep cool this weekend, why not visit? Not to mention that there's always at least one air-conditioned building. I hope your weekend is full of fun and interesting things. Don't forget to hydrate!

Up Next*

*Please note that calendar info is subject to change; we try to keep this up to date, but it's always best to check.

Today, August 5

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Wear your best tea party hat or helmet to read Molly Idle's Tea Rex. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (SMOP StoryTime info).
  • Sawmill demo (in-person); 11 am and 2 pm; Daniel Boone Homestead
    • Weather permitting, staff at Daniel Boone Homestead will demonstrate the water-powered Bertolet Sawmill, which was moved to the Homestead from its original Berks County site in 1972 (DBH info and a short video preview of what the mill looks and sounds like in operation).
  • First Fridays (in-person); 5:30-8:30 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Enjoy a relaxing evening with live music and food for purchase from local vendors. Some covered seating is provided but feel free to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Admission is free with parking fee of $5 (First Fridays info).
  • Summer Movie Night (in-person); 6-9:30 pm (approx); Railroad Museum of PA
    • Watch Night at the Museum (rated PG) and enjoy popcorn and ice cream. Advance tickets are $10 each for ages 3+, $15 at the door. Tickets include museum admission from 6 pm until the movie starts outside on the lawn at dusk. Please bring your own lawn seating (Movie Night info and tickets).

Saturday, August 6

  • Battle of Bushy Run Anniversary (in-person); Saturday and Sunday, 9 am-5 pm; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Learn about the two-day battle between Native American warriors and British soldiers during Pontiac's War, as well as life on the frontier for European settlers and Native peoples (Battle of Bushy Run event info).
  • A Tour into the Past Day (in-person); 10 am-4 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • There will be a blacksmith, carpenter, colonial dancers, and other presenters to enliven your visit (BBP event info).
  • Friends Lecture Series (in-person); 2-3:30 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Meg and Dan Smith will discuss life in the Navy band, including training, duty stations, travel and special events. Lecture is free (donations welcome); seating is first come, first served (PMM lecture info).

Sunday, August 7

  • Living History Sunday (in-person); noon-4 pm; Conrad Weiser Homestead
    • Living history demonstrations include Native American culture by Darius Puff and 18th-century shoemaking. Guided tours will be available (CWH info).
  • Garden Party/Oxygen Day (in-person); noon-4 pm; Joseph Priestley House
    • The Garden Party starts at noon with music, children's activities, light refreshments. From 1 to 4 pm, the house will be open for self-guided tours with docents on hand to answer questions. Dr. Priestley will conduct chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30 (stop by the Visitor Center to pick up your free tickets). Both events are free (Garden/Oxygen event info).
  • Ice Cream Social (in-person); 1-4 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Enjoy an ice cream sundae and visit the historic buildings. $10 ticket includes ice cream and access to the grounds; members get in free but pay $5 for ice cream (Ice Cream Social info).
  • Historic Trades (in-person); 1-4 pm; Pennsbury Manor
    • Historic trades demonstrators will be eager to talk to visitors as they showcase their skills. Included in regular admission (Historic Trades info).
  • Summer Concert Series (in-person); 2-4 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Miss Freddye's Homecookin' Band will bring acoustic blues to the garden, with some gospel, classic rock, and a hint of country and bluegrass. The event will move indoors if the weather's bad. Concert is free ($5 donation suggested). Please bring blankets and lawn chairs for seating (Concert Series info).

Tuesday, August 9

  • Sensory Hours (in-person); 9-11 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be reduced, and there will be some quiet spaces if you need a break from the activity. A few of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Aug. 9 Sensory Hours tickets).
  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - today's topic is flower arrangements. The workshop is open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop info for 8/9).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; 5-6 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Make a virtual visit to Somerset Historical Center and learn all the site has to offer. The program is free as part of the Heinz Center Affiliates Program; please register to receive the Zoom link (SHC Virtual Museum Spotlight info and registration).
  • The Battle of Brandywine (virtual); 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • Historian and educator Michael C. Harris will draw on his research and experience to present a program on this important Revolutionary War battle. Cornwall site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a short discussion. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).

Wednesday, August 10

  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); 10 am-3 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Background effects in the galleries will be turned off and the volume on the orienation video will be reduced (captions enabled). Standard admission rates apply. Please reserve your timeslot, you can pay when you arrive (go to PMM online booking calendar and select August 10).
  • Family Gallery Tour: Mammal Hall (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Museum educators will use hands-on objects to help visitors learn about the Mammal Hall dioramas. Included in regular admission (Gallery Tour info).

Thursday, August 11

  • Storytime in the Garden (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Enjoy a story with the gardener, then explore the grounds. Suggested for ages 4 to 8, but all are welcome. Cost is $3, which is a grounds pass; additional fee to tour the Manor House (PMM Storytime info).
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about memory and logic and try your skills at a variety of puzzles and games. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited; sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).
  • Ephrata Virtual Academy; 7-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Historian Noah Lewis will present a virtual program on African Americans in the Revolution, based on his extensive research on and portrayal of Edward "Ned" Hector, who served at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. Hector was among thousands of African Americans who served during the American Revolution. The program is free; please sign up to receive the Zoom link (Ephrata Virtual Academy registration).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Exploring the Armor (in-person); Sat., Aug. 13, 2-4 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Take a guided tour of the tracked vehicles on the museum grounds. Tickets are $15. Space is limited and reservations are required; as of earlier this week there were 5 slots available (Armored tour tickets).
  • Drake Well Marathon and Half (in-person and virtual); Sun., August 14; 7 am-?, Drake Well Museum & Park
  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); continuing Tues., Aug. 16-23, 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - a new topic each week. The workshops are open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop dates and topics).
  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); Sun., Aug. 14, 10 am-noon; PA Military Museum
    • Background effects in the galleries will be turned off and the volume on the orienation video will be reduced (captions enabled). Standard admission rates apply. Please reserve your timeslot, you can pay when you arrive (go to PMM online booking calendar and select Aug. 14).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; Tues., Aug. 16, 5-6 pm; Old Economy Village
    • This virtual visit to Old Economy will show you the wide variety of things to see and do. The program is part of the Heinz Center Affiliate Program Experience Kits initiative. Please register to receive the link (OEV Museum Spotlight registration).
  • PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase; Wed., Aug. 17, 7-8 pm
    • This month's theme is "Fine and Folk Art." Panelists from five Trails of History sites will present objects, and then the audience votes on their favorite. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Virtual Showcase registration).
  • Virtual Talk: Drake Well Museum (virtual); Thurs., Aug. 18, 7-8 pm EDT
  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tues., Aug. 23, 3-5 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be reduced, and there will be some quiet spaces if you need a break from the activity. A few of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Aug. 23 Sensory Hours tickets).