The State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces October Programming

Sep 27, 2013, 11:30 ET from Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the commonwealth's official museum, announces its program schedule for October 2013:

Archaeology Month: As part of a national observance, the achievements of exploring the past through archaeology are commemorated by The State Museum every October.

Friday, Oct. 4, Learn at Lunchtime: The State Museum will offer a Learn at Lunchtime program with archaeologists Bernard K. Means, Ph.D., and State Museum Curator Janet R. Johnson, who will highlight their contributions to "Shovel Ready," a book profiling archaeology investigations conducted during the Great Depression. 

The program will begin at 12:15 p.m. with a book signing to follow in The State Museum Store. Museum admission will be free between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to accommodate the program.

Through Oct. 11, State Museum Archaeologists at Fort Hunter: The State Museum's archaeology staff will be talking with visitors while conducting their annual fall excavation at Dauphin County's historic Fort Hunter, focusing on the site's 18th century occupation. Archaeologists will participate in Fort Hunter's Indian Festival Day on Sunday, Oct. 6, from noon to 4 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 26, State Museum Archaeologists at Cabela's: The public is invited to attend a free event sponsored by The State Museum and the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology at Cabela's Outfitter store, Hamburg, Berks County, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This program will feature State Museum archaeologists, displays of archaeological materials by local collectors, and a 20-foot replica of a Native American dugout canoe.

National Fossil DayThe State Museum will mark National Fossil Day on Wednesday, Oct. 16, with a Learn at Lunchtime program featuring museum paleontologist Steven Jasinski in the museum's Dino Lab. He will discuss Pennsylvania's state fossil, the Trilobite Phacops rana. Jasinski will be on hand between 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and museum general admission will be free during that time. The State Museum's celebration is part of an annual celebration event by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils and to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.

Night of the Great Pumpkin/3rd in the Burg: The State Museum will offer its annual family event celebrating the harvest season on Friday, Oct. 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. It is held in conjunction with Harrisburg's 3rd in the Burg, a monthly celebration of Harrisburg's arts and entertainment. Night of the Great Pumpkin will feature creative pumpkin carving by Harrisburg Young Professionals, live animal presentations by Triple J Reptiles & Rescue, Halloween StoryTime, "Losing the Dark" Planetarium shows, crafts and snacks. Admission is free.

Latino-Hispanic Art Display:  In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, The State Museum is displaying works by several of Pennsylvania's prominent Latino-Hispanic artists, including Henry Bermudez, Susana Amundarain and Michelle Angela. The display continues through Oct. 20.

The State Planetarium: Bigger, Brighter, Bolder! The State Museum presents its newly-upgraded Planetarium XD, featuring the latest in projection technology. Shows offered through Dec. 1 include:

"Losing the Dark" (grade 2 and up)
This live presentation looks at the current constellations, planets, and the moon phase to demonstrate how to look at the night sky and reveals how light pollution is destroying our night sky view. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.m.; Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sundays at 1 p.m.

"We Are Aliens" (grade 4 and up)
Narrated by actor Rupert Grint, well-known for his role as Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" movies, "We Are Aliens" explores the extreme environments that support life on Earth and probes the age-old question, "Are we alone in the universe?" Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at noon; Saturdays at noon and 2 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Planetarium shows are $2 per person, in addition to general admission; free to State Museum Affiliate Members.

Holiday Closing: The State Museum's administrative offices and galleries will be closed on Monday, Oct. 14, in observance of Columbus Day.

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 era, 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