Perched at the highest point in Harrisburg and just 10 minutes from the state capital, The National Civil War Museum remains the largest museum in the world dedicated to undressing the wounds behind both sides of America's bloodiest war. Meander through the winding halls of history, perusing some 24,000 artifacts, manuscripts, documents, photographs, and other printed documents that paint literary portraits of politics and passions endured in back rooms and battlefields. Throughout the visit, history buffs can explore the war through both Union and Confederate viewpoints, along with military and civilian perspectives that resurrect the ghosts of the war in eerie ingenuity. In addition to displays of uniforms, firearms, and starry-night camp re-creations, inquisitive wanderers can engage the museum's newest interactive Lincoln exhibit, which reveals pressing answers to questions related to wartime legislation and facial-hair fashions of the day.
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.
Cars, Buses, Motorcyles & More! More than 100 cars, 25 Motorcycles and 10 vintage buses on dsiplay. Herbie the Love Bug until 4/2011. Betty White's Cadillac and the Bus from Forrest Gump. Holiday Train display. Displays and exhibits changes frequently so check out the website for the most up to date information.
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.
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.