Happy Birthday, PA!

Blue background with multi-colored triangular flags on strings at the top two corners. A pink two-tier birthday with white icing and candles is at lower left corner. Dark blue text says "Celebrate Pennsylvania's 342nd Birthday!" White text says: "Charter Day, Sunday, March 12." Dark blue text says: "Free admission at participating Trails of History sites"

Please join us this Sunday in celebrating Pennsylvania's birthday with free admission at participating Trails of History sites. See listing below for details and a few examples of special activities planned at sites. Remember that Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 am on Sunday; you wouldn't want to miss out on the fun if you forget to turn your clocks ahead an hour (the ones that don't do it on their own, that is).

The switch from winter to spring schedules continues, so be sure to check ahead before making your plans to visit.

As part of the birthday celebration, ShopPAHeritage.com is offering 10% off all PHMC titles now through March 31.

Up Next

Today, March 10

  • Original Pennsylvania Charter on Display (in-person); today through March 17; The State Museum of PA
    • PA's 342-year-old Charter is written on parchment using iron gall ink. 51 weeks a year, the State Archives preserves the document in a high-security vault, shielding it from strong light and environmental fluctuations. In honor of PA's birthday, the Charter will be on display at The State Museum (included in regular admission) March 10-11 (10 am-4:30 pm), March 12 (Noon-4:30 pm), March 15-16 (10 am-4:30 pm), and March 17 (10 am-1 pm) (Charter display info).

Saturday, March 11

  • Maple Taste & Tour Weekend (in-person); Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-4 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • In conjunction with the Somerset County Maple Producers Association, SHC will be open free of charge Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm, with activities centered on maple sugar and syrup production (Maple Taste & Tour info).
  • Reading on the Rails (in-person); 10 am-4 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Guest readers will share stories among the historic trains at 10:30, 11, 11:30, 1:15, 1:45, 2:15, and 2:45. Kids can also pick up a cardboard suitcase and decorate with stickers they collect at each reading. KPETS therapy dogs will be on site, and of course, all of the museum's regular exhibits will be ready for viewing. Included in regular admission (Reading on the Rails info).
  • Daily Life in Colonial PA (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am and 1:30-2:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Discover hands-on objects that explore daily life in colonial Pennsylvania. Try your hand at carrying water, churning butter, cooking meals and playing with period toys and games. Included in regular admission (Colonial Life info).

Sunday, March 12

Tuesday, March 14

  • All About Slag (hybrid); 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • Mike Weber will provide a comprehensive overview of slag, including what it is, how it's produced as part of the iron-making process, its characteristics, and why it is so important. Attend in person (Freeman Hall at Cornwall Manor) or online (register for Zoom). Program is free, but donations are appreciated.

Wednesday, March 15

  • Homeschool Program (in-person); 10-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Archivist Brett Reigh will discuss the history of the original 1681 Penn Charter and the research resources available at the Pennsylvania State Archives. Explore the process used to create the document, such as iron gall ink, quill pens, parchment paper and block printing, and then create your own document using similar techniques. Registration is required (Homeschool registration link).

Thursday, March 16

  • Winter History Class (virtual); 9 am-noon; Ephrata Cloister
    • This course runs every Thursday through March 30. Today's presentation is "From Tabernacle to Cloister: Georg Conrad Beissel and Johannes Kelpius in Early Pennsylvania" with Tom Carroll, Independent Scholar. If you have not already signed up for the full series, you can attend single sessions via Zoom only (Winter History Class registration options).
  • Wisdom & Wine (in-person); 5:30-8 pm; Drake Well Museum & Park
    • Dr. Sherri A. Mason will present "Plastic Paradox." Admission charged. Lecture is at 6:30. Doors open at 5:30 for socializing and wine tasting from Brokenstraw Valley Winery (Wisdom & Wine info).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Revolutionary Speaker Series (in-person); Saturday, Mar. 18, Noon-2 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • Bradley Smith, archivist and assistant director of the Berks History Center, will present "Dr. Bodo Otto: The Patriot Surgeon of Pennsylvania," who at the age of 65 volunteered his services as a surgeon to the Continental Army. Tickets available starting Feb. 25 (3/18 tickets via Eventbrite).
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); Friday, Mar. 24, 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Mark Hand, director, and Matt Reis, deputy director, will provide an overview of Pennsylvania's GreenGov Program and its climate goals for state agencies. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime registration).
  • Rails & Ales 2023 (in-person); Saturday, Apr. 1, 5:30-9 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Taste craft beers among the museum's world-class collection of historic trains in Rolling Stock Hall. Must be age 21 or older to attend; photo ID required at the door. Advance tickets only; VIP tickets are sold out (ticket options, including designated driver tickets).
  • Easter Egg Hunt (in-person); Sunday, Apr. 2, Noon-3 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Children age 10 and under are invited to hunt for Easter eggs in the village and visit with the Easter Bunny. The event is free, but you must register in advance (Egg Hunt info and registration).

Summer Camp Programs (camps are in-person unless marked otherwise)

  • Brandywine Battlefield Park (Brandywine camp info)
    • Live the Battle Week (grades 3-4), June 27-30, 9 am-2 pm
    • Step Into the Past Week (grades 3-4), July 11-14, 9 am-2 pm
    • Live the Battle Week (grades 5-6), July 18-21, 9 am-2 pm
    • Step Into the Past Week (grades 5-6), July 25-28, 9 am-2 pm
  • Drake Well Museum & Park (Drake Well camp info)
    • Discovery Days Camp (ages 8-12), July 6, 13, 20 & 27, 9 am-4 pm


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