Dr. Levi Mengel founded the Reading Public Museum in 1904 to cement book-borne knowledge with hands-on learning. Today, the educational hub houses an extensive permanent collection of art, historic and scientific artifacts, ever-changing exhibitions, a planetarium, and an arboretum. Art enthusiasts swoon at the museum's mélange of masterpieces, such as etchings by Matisse and Picasso, and a lithograph by Renoir. The artifactual vault harbors petrified proof of earth's natural history, biological bits of science, and insight into humanity’s collective civilization.
When the car industry was just blossoming, many vehicles were manufactured in Pennsylvania. The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles preserves that legacy, with exhibits stretching back through the 19th and 20th centuries. Established in 1965 by Paul Hafer?a 57-year industry vet?and his wife Erminie, the museum exclusively features vehicles produced in Pennsylvania and none that simply had "Pennsylvania or bust" scribbled on their rear views.
Jerry's Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum is a time capsule from the '50s and '60s, filled with classic and muscle cars and collectible Americana and memorabilia. More than just a display, the museum takes you back in time to the middle of the century. Start at the Atlantic Gas Station mural on the first floor, play pinball, wander around the bandstand and drive-in theater on the second floor, and order up a make-believe black cow at the soda fountain.
Keenly aware of Lancaster’s need for a space celebrating the city's vibrant art community, a group of determined artists and citizens banded together in 1965 to found the Goethean Hall Gallery of Art, nestled amid Franklin and Marshall College. Though the art gallery has changed venues and names, the original vision of its founders—to provide visitors with the “best available art”—remains unchanged. Rechristened as the Lancaster Museum of Art (LMA), the museum now resides in the historic Grubb mansion, and boasts diverse exhibits and events for the public. The mansion’s 4,000 square feet of galleries and porticos plays host to an ever-changing lineup of awe-inspiring art, as well as a permanent collection composed of paintings from a roster of Lancaster’s homegrown artists, including Hugh Fitzgerald, Abby Rudisill, and Ellen Slupe. LMA also fosters an artistic dialogue with the community through numerous education programs that introduce the next generation to the ins and outs of the creative process.
Facing down winds of up to 78 mph. Controlling a robotic dinosaur with the same hydraulic technology behind amusement park rides. Such experiences only skim the surface of the 100-plus attractions available in Da Vinci Science Center's 10,000-square-foot, two-story exhibit space. Here, other hands-on activities run the gamut from assembling models of carbon nanotubes to navigating a 72-foot tunnel in complete darkness or with the aid of a friendly firefly.
But exploring exhibits isn't the only way to interact with science at Da Vinci Science Center. For visitors of all ages, the center sponsors nearly three-dozen programs including Science on the Move, which brings experiments directly to schools and community centers. In addition, Da Vinci Science Center hosts several events throughout the year such as Ice Cream Wars, where participants create tasty treats using liquid nitrogen as a freezing agent.
The 43,000 square-foot facility of America On Wheels is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the expansive history of American transportation. Within that, 23,000 square feet are devoted entirely to exhibit space, where guests will find a variety of classic cars, racing vehicles, trucks, and motorcycles. Rotating exhibits have included topics such as classic cars of the 1930's (including a 1933 Buick), muscle cars, and trains. In addition to offering family memberships and group tours, the facility hosts rentals of its space and a museum store, as well as a classic caf? complete with ice cream, shakes, floats, and hot dogs.