Labor Day Weekend

Three stone buildings are dotted with late afternoon light and surrounded by trees. A partial rainbow is visible in the sky.
A rainbow in the sky above Conrad Weiser Homestead (photo David Sonnen via CWH Facebook page)

I hope your summer has been what you hoped it would be. Although it will still be "officially" summer until September 22, and although Daylight Saving Time runs into November, Labor Day always feels like a bookend to me. The days feel shorter - that is, mornings are darker - and it just seems like summer is done. (It's of course all much more complicated than that, as The State Museum explained earlier this week.)

There's still plenty to do on the Trails of History, whatever season it is or feels like. A word about Labor Day, September 5. Fort Pitt Museum and Pennsylvania Lumber Museum are open, but the other Trails of History sites will be closed. As you probably know, some sites are surrounded by parks and have dawn-to-dusk hours, so if you're looking for places to enjoy the outdoors, be sure to check us out.

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.

Friday, September 2

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Read Because of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer and make an acorn art project. For kids age 2 to Pre-K and included in regular admission. Sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (SMOP StoryTime info).

Saturday, September 3

  • Community Yard Sale (in-person); 9 am-4 pm; PA Lumber Museum
    • Vendors will be set up near the museum entrance along U.S. Route 6 (Yard Sale info).
  • Lafayette's Birthday (in-person); 12:30-1 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • Come wish a happy birthday to the Marquis de Lafayette. Site is open 10 am-4 pm with a short celebration at 12:30. Included in regular admission (Lafayette's Birthday info).

Sunday, September 4

Tuesday, September 6

  • Sensory Hours (in-person); 9-11 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light and noise levels will be reduced, attendance will be lower, and there will be some quiet spaces in the galleries when you want a break. Several of the historic trains will be open with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Sensory Hours Sept. 6 tickets).

Wednesday, September 7

  • Explore! (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about the history of amusement parks in PA and our state's role in many innovations, including the first roller coaster. For kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission. Space is limited, so please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Explore! info).

Thursday, September 8

  • PA Geography with the Giant Map (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Test your geography skills walking across PA on the giant map. Included in regular admission (Giant Map info).
  • Virtual Ephrata Academy; 7-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister

Friday, September 9

  • Mountain Craft Days (in-person); today through Sunday, 10 am-5 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • More than 125 craft booths and a dozen outdoor performance venues (not to mention food vendors) dot the grounds of the SHC for three days. Free on-site parking (or free shuttle if weather messes with the fields). Tickets are $9 for age 18 and up, $5 for age 6-17 (Mountain Craft Days info).
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Join us as we talk to Jeremy Banfield, Elk Biologist from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, to learn more about history of the elk reintroduction and the management of Pennsylvania’s current elk population. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime info and registration).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • 12th Annual Crush & Brew (in-person); Sat., Sept. 10, 5-9 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Wine & beer from local breweries, home brews, and more, as well as food trucks and live music. Event is presented in cooperation with the Ambridge Historic District. Tickets are $30, which includes tasting glass, a food voucher, and admission to the off-site afterparty (Crush & Brew info and tickets).
  • Sensory Friendly Visit; Wed., Sept. 14, 10 am-3 pm, and Sun., Sept. 18, 10 am-noon; PA Military Museum
    • Background effects in the gallery will be turned off and the orientation film's volume will be reduced (captions always enabled). Standard admission rates apply. Please sign up for a timeslot in advance; you can pay when you arrive (visit PMM website and select your date and time).
  • Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day; Sat., Sept. 17, hours vary; several Trails of History sites participating
  • Colonial Tavern Night (in-person); Sat., Sept. 17, 6-9 pm; Hope Lodge
    • An evening of local brews from Round Guys Brewery, food, music, and history to support the site and its programs. General admission is $60 per person; must be 21 or older to attend. Advance tickets are required (Eventbrite site for Tavern Night tickets).
  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tuesday, Sept. 20, 3-5 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Reduced noise, light, and attendance plus quiet spaces when you want a break. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about several of the historic trains open for visitors. Advance tickets required (Sensory Hours Sept. 20 tickets).
  • Fall Nature Walk (in-person); Sat., Sept. 24, 10 am-noon; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Learn about the plants and animals of western PA on this naturalist-guided walk. Pre-registration is required, but you can pay for your tickets at the door (Nature Walk info and registration).
  • Wine & Paint Night (in-person); Sat., Oct. 1, 5-7 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • General admission tickets include wine sampling and hors d'oeuvres (designated driver tickets available). Ten people can purchase tickets for a private art lesson. Others are welcome to bring their canvasses and paints and set up on the grounds to paint in the evening light. Advance tickets only; must be at least 21 to attend (Paint Night info and tickets).
  • Pithole Lantern Tours (in-person); Sat., Oct. 1, 6:30-9:30 pm; Historic Pithole City
    • Nighttime tours against the backdrop of the remaining elements of this historic oil boomtown. There are some steep hills and rugged terrain, so please dress accordingly. Advance tickets are required and may be purchased online or at the Museum Store at Drake Well Museum & Park (Lantern Tour online tickets).


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