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The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

4.3
#4 of 24 in Things to do in Harrisburg
History Museum Museum
Since its creation in 1905, The State Museum of Pennsylvania has collected, preserved, researched, and interpreted the cultural and natural history of the state. Originally located next to the Capitol, the museum moved to its current location in 1964. It became a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1945.
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4.5
  • Visited over the Memorial Day Weekend. If you're an ASTC member living outside of 90 miles, it's free! Three floors of very interesting exhibits, including Native Americans, Civil War, Transportation,...  more »
  • Great museum. Huge variety of all the history that has been and continues to affect and change Pennsylvania. Great exhibits and love the way of seeing it all in circular pattern layout.  more »
  • On a Friday afternoon, cut a little short by closing time at 5, my sister-in-law and I soaked up PA and regional American history and even failed (mea culpa) to get us all the way to the top level, th...  more »
Google
  • The children's area was fantastic for young imaginations. I loved the little "hillside" where the kids picked carrots and cabbages right out of the ground. The winter theme was also super cute! The kids built a snowman from bean bags and "skated" on the "frozen" pond in the "forest" while staying warm and toasty. It was an adorable place to play. Afterwards we finished our excursion with a nice cup of hot cocoa from Capital Joe's around the corner. It was a delightful day.
  • We made the State Museum of Pennsylvania a main stop on our Harrisburg visit. We had recently visited the Louisiana's state museum in Baton Rouge which gave us a frame of reference as to what state museums could be. We appreciated the tip to start at the top and make our way down the floors, and it's certainly easy enough to not miss anything as you travel in a circle around the round building...but the museum seemed to lack any kind of linear story of the state of PA. We also felt the entire top floor's focus on the formation of the earth and other similar items would be better suited to a natural history museum than to one which should be focusing more on Pennsylvania's story. (I mean what exactly does Pangea have to do with Pennsylvania?) I liked the Turnpike exhibit the best, and my wife particularly enjoyed the small exhibit of different products/companies which came out of Pennsylvania. It was also nice to see the high schoolers temporary art exhibit...there are some very talented young artists in PA! Overall though, a lot of the exhibits felt old, weren't particularly interactive and didn't leave us with the emotional impact we wanted in learning about the history of the Pennsylvania.
  • This is a nice museum nestled near the capitol building. Not crowded and they have some very informative displays. Located near many restaurants and shopping areas. Only 3 blocks from the riverfront.
  • A hidden treasure in Harrisburg. We went on a Friday , it was not crowded. There is something for everyone Nice variety of displays, clean and not expensive and an added bonus of a planetarium show. Perfect way to spend a cold winter day.
  • As a "transplant" citizen of PA, I appreciate this museum. Thanks!