Historic Activities for Families
Tuesday Mornings from 10:00am to 11:30am
Select dates starting April 13, 2021
$5 per child / $2.50 for Friends of Renfrew Members
RSVP online by clicking the button under corresponding date below or call (717) 762-4723. To register for multiple sessions with one transaction, please call and our staff will process your payment over the phone.
Pre-registration is required. Reservation and/or cancellation must be made no less than 24 hours in advance. Refunds will not be given after registration window closes. No walk-ins, please.
Come to Renfrew for historic adventures this season!
Tuesdays are terrific at Renfrew Museum and Park! Learn about life on our historic Pennsylvania German farmstead while making fun craft projects inspired by the authentic stories found in our collections, buildings, and landscapes.
Limit 16 children per session. Recommended for kids ages 6-13, but all are welcome and most activities can be adjusted for ability and age-appropriateness. Participants must be accompanied by a responsible adult admitted at no charge. Masks and distancing required. Some of our lessons can get a little messy, so we advise bringing along an art smock or old shirt to cover clothing for lessons marked with an asterisk symbol “*”.
Check in at the Visitors Center, located in the big white barn. Entrance is directly across from the flag pole. Parking is located in the gravel lot accessed from Main Street (Buchanan Trail/PA-16) or in the Lower Lot off of Welty Road. Restrooms with baby changing stations are located in the Visitors Center.
Terrific Tuesdays 2021 Class Calendar
April 13: Needlework
Learn how embroidery was used to decorate textiles, see examples from our collection, then try your hand at stitching a mini sampler. Little ones will embroider using punched paper and yarn.
REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
April 20: Spinning & Weaving
See a demonstration of how sheep’s wool is spun into yarn, then weave your own mini mat.
April 27: Quilt Blocks
Colorful quilts kept early Franklin County families warm. See examples from Renfrew’s collection, learn about different designs, then make your own stylized quilt blocks based on historic patterns.
NO CLASS ON MAY 4
May 11: Frakturs*
Pennsylvania German families marked special occasions like births and marriages with colorful hand-painted images and medieval-style lettering. See Renfrew’s collection of antique frakturs, then paint your own using watercolors. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
May 18: Spongeware/Spatterware*
Early china items were decorated with sponged decoration, often by women and children. See original cups, plates, and teapots in the Museum House then decorate your very own vase with this historic technique. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
May 25: Floorcloths*
Before linoleum or sheet vinyl, painted canvas floorcloths kept floors clean and waterproof. Learn about this early floorcovering and paint your own mini version to take home. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
NO CLASS ON JUNE 1
June 8: Marbled Paper*
Colorful, swirling designs often decorated the inside covers of many early books. See examples in Renfrew’s collection, then try marbling paper yourself. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
June 15: Bandboxes
Pasteboard containers covered in wallpaper were all the rage for storage in the early nineteenth century. View examples from Renfrew’s collections, then construct one to keep your own treasured keepsakes safe.
June 22: Scherenschnitte
Pennsylvania Germans cut intricate pictures from paper as gifts for friends and loved ones. Admire the craftsmanship of period examples from our collection, then make your own kid-friendly version using simple traditional shapes.
June 29: John Bell Pottery*
Renfrew is known for our large collection of ceramics by Waynesboro potter, John Bell. Learn about the Bell family’s work in the Shenandoah Valley, view artifacts on exhibit, then form your own pots or figures from air-dry clay. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
NO CLASS ON JULY 6
July 13: Toleware*
Many Pennsylvania German families had beautifully decorated tin items in their homes. Learn about these useful household objects, see examples from Renfrew’s collection, then stencil traditional designs onto aluminum. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
July 20: Punched Tin
Punched tin was both decorative and useful. Learn about the tinsmith’s trade, see examples from Renfrew’s collection, then create your own punched tin lantern or candleholder from aluminum.
July 27: Leather
The Royer family tanned hides to make leather in large vats around the Renfrew property. Learn about the process from start to finish, then create a project from leather to take home.
NO CLASS ON AUGUST 3
August 10: Thaumatropes
Thaumatropes were a fun toy used by children in the early nineteenth century. An optical illusion created by spinning two different images to become one, they almost look like magic! Create your own thaumatropes with historic pictures or something drawn yourself.
August 17: Food Preservation
With no refrigeration in the nineteenth century, families like the Royers and Fahnestocks had to preserve the harvest to last all winter. Join us for a walk through Renfrew’s heirloom gardens, learn about different preservation methods, and string some veggies to dry.
August 24: Candle Dipping*
To light the dark night in a time before electricity, families like the Royers and Fahnestocks needed fuel like oil, tallow, or beeswax for their lamps and candles. Learn about candle-making and try hand-dipping your very own taper, with help from our staff, over an open fire. (*art smock or old t-shirt recommended)
August 31: Corn Cob Checkers
Families like the Royers often made their own toys and games from materials found on their farm. Visit the Museum House to see Renfrew’s original corn cob checkers set, then create your own with painted corn cob chunks and oilcloth game board.