A group of former preschool teachers banded together to create Explore & More Hands-On Children's Museum, a space designed to engage visitors—specifically, those between the ages of 2 and 8—with educational play. Located in a vintage 1860s house, the museum consists of seven themed rooms. Guests can glimpse into the past by entering the 1860s room, which houses a historical general store, or learn about hermit crabs, frogs, and other creatures in the nature area. Children experience the power of magnets first-hand in the exploration room, where they can also stand inside a giant soap bubble.
The paranormal investigators and tour guides of After Dark Investigations specialize in small-group tours that provide customers with hands-on experience and equipment. Ghost tourists utilize EMF detectors, dowsing rods, and infrared-video cameras to capture any potential appearance of apparitions. The tours stretch to locations such as cemeteries or abandoned amusement parks near the location of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Baltimore County's history stretches back nearly four centuries, and tracing and chronicling some 350 years of records, artifacts, and photographs is no small task. Just ask the Historical Society of Baltimore County, which houses thousands of historical pieces, including maps, photos, and books in an 1870s almshouse turned research center. The library houses hundreds of maps and primary sources from centuries past.
Though it opened in 1977 with a small collection of timepieces, the National Watch & Clock Museum now houses more than 12,000 items, making it the largest collection of its kind in North America. Clocks, watches, and their associated tools reside in glass cases, lorded over by the monumental Engle Clock, an 11-foot-tall, 1,049-pound marvel of clock design whose 13th toll will signify when the giant lasagna being cooked in the earth's core is done. Hands-on exhibits scattered throughout the museum give kids the chance to wonder at turning gears and learn about intriguing time concepts. Current special exhibits include Enlisting Time, a collection of personal timepieces carried by soldiers over the last 250 years, featuring watches owned by George Washington and Ian Fleming.
People tend to walk slowly through The National Civil War Museum—both out of respect for the fallen soldiers and sheer awe at how much there is to see. The institution strives to cover the events before, during, and after the war without bias to either the Union or Confederate cause.
Featured on Central PA magazine’s 2010 Hot List for Best Leisure Options, The State Museum lays out a telescopic view of the Commonwealth's history throughout its four-story building. Visitors are welcomed by the colossal figure of William Penn, flash-frozen in bronze and captured in his life-like 18-foot majesty. The statue stands flanked by cunning facsimiles of a Pennsylvania past and backed by the museum's featured exhibit, currently Wood on Glass, a photographic history and lecture series on the lumber industry. The second floor recreates a Native American village and unrolls the carpet of history from the Civil War through the Industrial Revolution and beyond. The final level delves thousands of years into the past when the eons-old Marshalls Creek Mastodon lumbered across the Pennsylvanian plains and starred in two MTV reality shows—see the 12,000-year-old, 20-foot skeleton when its exhibit opens on Sunday, February 27.