There's a lot of history at Venango Museum. Even its building is a relic of the past?it opened as a post office in 1905, back when stamps only cost a smile. Today, it holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places, and its various exhibits profile the science, culture, and history that defines Oil City. The museum's Latonia Theatre contains a restored and working 1928 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, and a 1937 Cord automobile stands as the centerpiece of the Asphalt Nation exhibit. The museum's other permanent displays showcase oil-industry artifacts.
Dawn has settled its warm glow upon the trees dappling 60-acres of rolling farmland, beckoning sleepy campers forth from their tents to admire the golden morning unfolding around them. This serene scene at Bear Run Campground rings in a day filled with leisure and excitement, the calm of relaxed breakfasts followed by the splashes of outdoor enthusiasts embarking upon aquatic adventures in rental kayaks. Since its founding in 1975 by the Wehr family, Bear Run has accommodated all types of campers with a variety of lodgings, ranging from cabins and rental units outfitted with all the comforts of home to primitive tenting sites equipped with nothing but a clear space for a tent and a post to tie up pet pterodactyls. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, a game room, and a softball field, and staff also organize camp-wide activities.
Securely fastened into a tandem-parachute system, an instructor and a pupil tumble from a Skylane Cessna 182, a floating sensation running through their bodies for the 45- to 60-second plummet. Back on solid ground, a 25-acre drop zone reunites divers post-free-fall, and in the distance, Skydive Pennsylvania's pilots shuttle other divers skyward in a fleet of aircrafts that includes a King Air, which can ascend 13,500 feet in 15 minutes. The on-ground personnel photograph all tandem and instruction-assisted-free-fall dives, converting their footage into professionally edited slideshows of stills and screensavers for skydiving-prone laptops.
Sim's Bowling Lanes hosts open bowling seven days a week, inviting bowlers of all ages to come together and bond over some good-old-fashioned pin pummeling. DJs and live bands often play while players take turns tossing strikes and spares, and, on select nights, a karaoke machine lets the bowlers take the stage to sing their favorite tunes or read aloud from their unfinished memoirs. Between frames, guests can head to alley?s bar to toast the competition with a few beers or refuel for the next game with snacks like gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and baskets of wings.
The Erie County Historical Society doesn't preside over just one museum—it maintains five of them. Of course, four of the museums are relatively small-scale, seeing that they're housed in former homes. Two homes from the Civil War era, known as the Battles Museums of Rural Life, feature historical gems as well as gardens and outdoor trails. Alternatively, the Cashier's House showcases relics related to the CFO of Erie's federal bank branch, who built the townhouse in 1839. At Watson-Curtze Mansion, the resplendence of the industrial era in Erie shines. And the Museum of Erie County History, exhibits pay homage to local history from pre-settlement to present day.
Three nights a week, black lights transform East Land Bowling into a surreal landscape, where smiles and white T-shirts glow. The festive lighting is part of glow bowling, which runs Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The rest of the week, glow-free bowlers roll strikes on the alley's 20 lanes and peruse the professional-quality bowling gear in the onsite shop.