Summer Family Programs at State Museum of PA Well Worth the Trip

Jul 11, 2012, 13:30 ET from Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvanians looking for fun, family-oriented activities during the summer months are invited to visit The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

"No matter where you live, visiting The State Museum of Pennsylvania is well worth the trip," said State Museum Director David Dunn. "Whether planning to visit the state Capitol, Gettysburg battlefields or other area attractions, be sure to make time to see everything that your State Museum has to offer. If you haven't seen it lately, you really haven't seen it."

The State Museum's family-oriented programs offered this summer include:

StoryTime: A Curiosity Connection Summer Reading Series: State Museum volunteers and staff offer a children's book reading program for six weeks this summer on Wednesday mornings through August 1.  Featuring a different book each week from the popular "One Book, Every Young Child" series, the readings begin at 10 a.m. and are followed by a related play activity.  Suggested for ages 3–5 years, but all ages can enjoy the reading. Free with museum admission.

IdeaZone: Food in PA From Field to Table: Explore Pennsylvania's diverse foodways, agriculture and industry in IdeaZone, an interactive learning space for kids and families. Through a variety of hands-on activities, visitors to IdeaZone will discover the state's fascinating role as the nation's "breadbasket" from historic times to the present. IdeaZone is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30–3:30 p.m. Free with museum admission.

Summer Day Camps:  Reservations are still open for two one-day summer camps in July.  Fossil Day Camp will be offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, July 18–20, for children ages 9 to 12 years old.  Archaeology/Native Americans Camp will be offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, July 25–27, for children ages 7 to 10 years old.  Camps include hands-on activities led by State Museum educators and are held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per child or $25 per child for State Museum Affiliate Members.  Reservations may be made by calling 717-772-6997.  Spaces are limited.

Learn at Lunchtime: The State Museum offers free-admission summer hours between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every Friday through Aug. 31. Select free tours by docents will be offered at 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Featured Planetarium Shows in July:

"Dark Star Adventure" (pre-K to grade 2). This unforgettable voyage of discovery includes a supernova, a gaseous nebula, exotic pulsars and black holes.  Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 p.m. 

"Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity" (grade 6 and up).  Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, "Black Holes" explores the early universe, star births and deaths, the collision of giant galaxies and the super massive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 2 p.m.; Saturdays, noon and 2 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania's fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the Commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America's story.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens.

For more information about the museum, visit

Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

SOURCE Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission