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A visitor looks at a tableau scene depicting George Washington breaking up a fight among his troops in Harvard Yard.

Throughout Winter Break at the Museum, join us to explore life during the winter months of the American Revolution through special events, costumed living history, wintery scenes in Revolution Place, hands-on discovery carts, engaging in-gallery talks, and much more for the whole family. Plus, we will be collecting new or gently used toys to donate to HomeFront Holiday Wishes.

History Explorer Meet-Up: Mountains of Ice and Snow
Onsite | Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 1:30 p.m.
In December of 1775, Henry Knox traveled to Fort Ticonderoga in New York to bring cannons back to Boston, using only a limited number of tools, oxen, and men. They would have to travel over mountains, frozen lakes, and through blizzards of snow and ice. Join Museum staff on Tuesday, Dec. 27, for this hands-on, activity-filled exploration of Knox’s journey. We’ll explore a miniature diorama and use replica objects to help us solve how exactly he managed to move all 59 cannons in the middle of winter to help free the city of Boston! 
Pricing (includes Museum admission): $19 Youth GA | $24 Adult GA | FREE Members

Artisan Workshop: Make a Haversack
Onsite | Wednesday, Dec. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join us for this one-day, in-person Artisan Workshop to learn “plain sewing” and create a Revolutionary soldier’s linen haversack, like a modern shoulder bag. Museum staff will discuss the history of haversacks and offer instruction on basic hand-sewing, inspired by textiles on display in the Museum's core exhibition. Use historical tools and techniques to complete a haversack to take home. This is a beginner workshop and no previous sewing experience is required. This workshop includes a break for lunch participants are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase lunch upon arrival. 
Pricing (included Museum admission): $95 Public | $75 Member

Living History: Peale’s Company of Philadelphia Associators
Onsite | Friday, Dec. 30

In December 1776, artist and soldier Charles Willson Peale canvassed the neighborhood around the Museum to muster support for the flagging Revolutionary cause. His militiamen, the Philadelphia Associators, marched off to confront the British in New Jersey, where they would serve alongside Alexander Hamilton’s artillery company. Throughout the day, meet the Philadelphia Associators, learn military drill, and find out how they survived “the times that tried men’s souls.”

Baroque Folk with Robert Mouland
Onsite | Dec. 26-30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Multi-instrumentalist Robert Mouland will join the Museum to perform 18th-century baroque folk music on antique instruments, including a baroque violin, baroque flute, English guitar, and flageolet.

HomeFront Holiday Wishes Toy Drive
Onsite | Daily
This holiday season, help spread cheer to children in need by donating to our HomeFront Holiday Wishes toy drive. Visitors can contribute new or gently used toys to the donation bin in the Museum’s rotunda – no wrapping required. HomeFront’s mission is to help families break the cycle of poverty by harnessing the care, resources, and expertise of our communities.

Revolution Place
Onsite | Daily, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore the Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, which will transform into the winter of 1778! Walk through a scene of frost-covered windows, logs piled by the fire, and 18th-century coats and cloaks as you learn about what Philadelphia would have been like in the snowy winter months and how they celebrated the winter holidays. 

Discovery Cart: Peale's Philadelphia
Onsite | Daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join a Museum educator at a discovery cart to learn more about artist and soldier Charles Willson Peale's time in Revolutionary Philadelphia with handling objects and reproduction documents and artifacts. In December 1776, Peale canvassed the neighborhood around the Museum to muster support for the Revolutionary cause before he and his militiamen, the Philadelphia Associators, marched off to confront the British in New Jersey, where they would serve alongside Alexander Hamilton’s artillery company.

In-Gallery Talk: Winter Scenes of the Revolution
Onsite | Daily, 2:30 p.m.
Join a Museum educator for a 20-minute, in-gallery talk at two wintery tableau scenes in the core galleries. The first scene depicts a brawl in Harvard Yard where Continental soldiers from different regions fought each other in camp. As an older man writing his pension application, Israel Trask, who was 11 years old at the time, recalled watching George Washington leap into a fight between American soldiers, pull the men apart, and restore order in his camp. The second scene depicts Charles Willson Peale reuniting with his unrecognizably ragged brother James on the banks of the Delaware on Dec. 8, 1776, after James had served as an officer under Washington through the long New York campaign.

Now on View: Washington’s Encampment at Valley Forge, 1840-1850
Onsite (Oneida Indian Nation Atrium) | Daily

Currently on view in the Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution case on the second floor is an unidentified artist’s work depicting Washington’s encampment at Valley Forge, as part of our display marking five years of collecting the American Revolution. As members of the Revolutionary generation passed away during the early and mid-1800s, Americans memorialized their achievements, as this artist did. This work depicts General George Washington’s encampment at Valley Forge during the 1777-78 winter. Thanks to the generous support of American Express, we recently had this painting cleaned and secured in its frame to help preserve it for decades to come.

Now on View: Gratz Family Artifacts Exploring American Jewish Life in Philadelphia
Onsite | Daily

In the Museum’s core galleries, view a case with artifacts related to Barnard and Michael Gratz to explore American Jewish life in Revolutionary-era Philadelphia. The display includes items associated with the Gratz family including portraits of Barnard and Michael Gratz, as well as a traveling ark used by Joseph Simon, an early Jewish resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and later Michael Gratz’s father-in-law. Also featured in the display is a collection of state constitutions reviewed by Barnard Gratz and a small group of Jewish leaders to identify which states allowed and which prohibited American Jews from serving in elected office.

Holiday Shopping
Onsite & Online
It’s the season of giving! Let us help you find the perfect last-minute gift for your friends and family this holiday season. From gift memberships to unique gift options for all ages in the Museum Shop, the Museum has the perfect selection of meaningful gifts for the history buffs in your life.

Event details and programming are subject to change at any time.

Winter Break at the Museum is sponsored by NJM Insurance.

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President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson (left) leads a question and answer session with Rhonda Brace (center, speaking) and scholar Kari Winter.
 

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Two Asian American female children utilize the objects within Revolution Place. They are both seated at a wooden table. The child on the left is writing with a quill pen and smiling, while the child on the right is pretended to pour cream into her silver teacup. On the table to her left is a silver tea pot.
 

Revolution Place

Open Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, brings to life the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s and invites visitors to learn through hands-on exploration.
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