Winter is Coming?

A small log building sits in a clearing with fall foliage on surrounding trees and on the ground. There is a light coating of snow on its roof. Several other small buildings and hills in the distance also have a light dusting of snow.
The Webber Cabin and other buildings at the PA Lumber Museum got a light dusting of snow last week (photo via PLM Facebook page)

Yes, I know that a light dusting of snow in the northern tier of Pennsylvania doesn't mean that winter has fully arrived. But we can see it from here. It's just a matter of time. We still have a few Halloween-themed events coming up, but there are already tickets available for some Christmas-themed events, so it's definitely on its way.

A great way to put off thinking about winter is to participate in the PA Humanities Discovery Project survey. PA Humanities wants to gather as much info as possible about "people and organizations across the state who are building community, making space for new voices, sharing stories, uplifting culture, educating, solving problems creatively." They want to get a full picture of who is using the tools of the humanities to make life better and richer in Pennsylvania. If you or someone you know is involved with work that fits any of these categories, please take some time between now and October 31 to respond to the survey. You can find more information and a link to the survey at PA

Gravestone with rounded top, stylized carving of flowers, and Gothic German script
The deadline is fast approaching to get tickets for Ephrata Cloister's Cemetery Tours (see below)

Up Next

Today, October 28

  • Haunted Lantern Tours (in-person); 7-10 pm; Graeme Park
    • Tour the Keith House by lantern light and learn the ghost stories. Tours last approximately 40 minutes. Tickets are available online at $10, with option for a mini-paranormal investigation for an additional $15. Tickets are probably sold out, but check the link (Graeme Park Lantern Tours info and tickets).

Saturday, October 29

  • Workshops in Archaeology (in-person); 9 am-5 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • This year's program centers around archaeology as a tool for discovering a pathway to the past. Sessions include Indigenous pathways, the Underground Railroad, and African American Civilian Conservation Corps camps. There will also be presentations on flintknapping and the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS). Registration at the door is $35 (Workshop info and registration).
  • After Dark (in-person); 7-9 pm; Old Economy Village
    • This event offers a chance to tour some of the historic buildings after hours with your own hand-held ghost hunting equipment (no costumed figures or scares). Advance tickets only, no large cameras or paranormal equipment, no metal detectors (Old Economy After Dark ticket options).

Sunday, October 30

  • A Halloween Haunting (in-person); Noon-3 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Old Economy's annual trick or treating event for children age 10 and under. Costumed interpreters and guides will greet visitors as they make their way around the site. This event is rain or shine, free, and open to the public; advance registration is requested (OEV Halloween registration).
  • Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights (in-person); 1-4 pm; Pennsbury Manor
    • Explore the recipes and plants that helped feed Pennsbury's early residents. Included in regular admission (Garden Highlights info).
  • Cemetery Tour (in-person); 2-3 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Learn about some of the Ephrata members resting in God's Acre Cemetery through stories designed to captivate but not frighten. To attend a cemetery tour, you'll need a general admission ticket (good throughout the afternoon) PLUS a timed cemetery tour ticket, both of which can be obtained online until 5 pm on Oct. 29 (Oct. 30 Cemetery Tour info and tickets).

Tuesday, November 1

  • Sensory Hours (in-person); 3-5 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Sound and light levels will be lowered, and there will be quiet spaces to take a break. Several historic trains will be open with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (11/1 Sensory Hours tickets).
  • The Harmonist Connection: Town Planning (virtual); Monday, Nov. 1, 7-8 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Michael J. Lewis, professor of art at Williams College and architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal, will present a program based on his longstanding interest in the architecture of the Harmony Society and his work on the history of utopian town planning. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Harmonist Connection info and registration).

Wednesday, November 2

  • Explore! (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Explore the history of black bears in PA, the unique adaptations that help them to survive, the senses that black bears rely on, and what happens when black bears interact with humans. For 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, November 3

  • Family Gallery Tour: Paleontology (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • This family friendly tour looks at life through time in Pennsylvania. Join Museum Educators to get hands-on with fossils of the plants and animals that roamed Earth during the Carboniferous Period to the present including dinosaurs and mastodons. Included in regular admission (Paleontology Tour info).

Friday, November 4

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Read ARTby Patrick McDonnell and create your own work of art to display at home. For ages 2 to Pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info).
  • Art of the State Exhibition Tour (in-person); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Enjoy a lunchtime tour of this year's juried art exhibition, featuring works by 92 finalists selected from 1,850 entries. Included in regular admission (AOS Tour info).
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Join Mary Jo Casalena, PA Game Commission, to learn about the eastern wild turkey found throughout Pennsylvania's forests and more than a few backyards. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime info and registration).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 am-4 pm; Hope Lodge
    • Lots of military and civilian reenactment activities, open hearth cooking, beer brewing, music, book signings and more. Purchase tickets at the door or buy them ahead online (Whitemarsh Encampment info and tickets).
  • 1940s Swing Dance (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 5, 7-10 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • The Moonlighters big band will play live among the historic trains. Dress in vintage 1940s attire, military uniform, or modern party clothes. Light refreshments will be served. Advance tickets available online and highly recommended; a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door (Swing Dance tickets).
  • Cornwall Goes to War (virtual); Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • In honor of Veterans Day, Michael Weber will present an overview the ways Cornwall helped defend the United States during the Seven Years War, Revolutionary War, Whiskey Rebellion, Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War. Site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a brief discussion. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).
  • Colonial Cocktail Hour (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 19, 7-10 pm; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Explore the history of England's 18th-century "Gin Craze" and taste test some cocktails of the period 1720-1765 along with some hors d'oeuvres. Must be at least 21 years old to attend. Tickets are $25 and are available online (Cocktail Hour info and tickets).
  • Christmas with the Conductor (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 am and 2 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Do you love a classic holiday story? The Museum conductor will punch your child’s souvenir train ticket and welcome you on board one of the historic railroad cars for a lively reading. Kids then have more fun decorating their own gingerbread cookie in Jack Frost Station and receive a small bag of special goodies to take home. Two 45-minute sessions, one at 11 am and one at 2 pm. For ages 3 and older; children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Space is limited and registration is required. Cost is $10 per child, in addition to regular admission (Dec. 3 info and tickets OR Dec. 10 info and tickets).
  • Late Nite with the Belsnickle! (in-person); Friday, Dec. 16, 7-9 pm; Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
    • Holiday-themed crafts, PA Dutch traditions, a visit with Belsnickle, and an adult beverage. Must be at least 21 to attend. Event is rain or shine; dress for the weather, including shoes appropriate for walking the site. Tickets are $40 (Late Nite info and tickets).
  • Putz'n and Brutz'n with the Belsnickle! (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 17, 1-3 pm; Landis Valley Vilage & Farm Museum
    • This family-friendly event includes a walking tour, making a punched tin ornament, light refreshments, a visit with the Belsnickle, and more. The program will be held rain or shine, so please dress for the weather with appropriate shoes. Tickets are $30 for people age 8 and up, $20 for ages 3-7. Space is limited, and reservations are required (Family Belsnickle event).


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