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Lancaster, PA: History On Display

The many museums in Lancaster, PA are perfect for a family day trip or “staycation.” As the fourth county established in Pennsylvania, Lancaster has an eventful and colorful history. Whether you’re interested in learning the county’s past, looking toward the future, or taking in the arts, Lancaster’s museums offer something for every member of the family, both young and old.

Visiting Museums in Lancaster, PA

Many museums in Lancaster are open six or seven days a week. We suggest calling ahead or checking online to ensure you’ll be able to see your Lancaster museums of choice.


Lancaster History Museums

President James Buchanan’s Wheatland ­— Tour the historic home of a U.S. President right in Lancaster with a visit to this estate. Tours and special events give a unique look at what life was like in 1800s Lancaster. Too bad his presidency was not as nice as his house.
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum – This open-air living history museum provides a realistic look at what early Pennsylvania German life was like. Visitors can walk around the farm and town buildings, learning about history as they go through demonstrations and exhibits.
Ephrata Cloister – Founded in the 1750s, this Germanic Cloister was an early religious settlement for 80 men and women who lived a monastic lifestyle. The Cloister was a hub of art and culture in early Lancaster and played a role in caring for soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
1719 Herr House & Museum — Built by Christian and Anna Herr in 1719, the Herr House is Lancaster County’s oldest home. This historic building is also the oldest Mennonite meeting house in existence through the entire Western Hemisphere.


 Wheatland House, home of James Buchanan.

Children’s Museums in Lancaster

North Museum of Nature and Science — Located adjacent to Franklin & Marshall College, the North Museum features scientific exhibits, live animals and a planetarium that teach kids and families about the world around them.
The Hands-on House — It’s okay to touch everything in this museum! The Hands-on House helps kids learn about science, nature and careers through interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Lancaster Science Factory — Perfect for kids in preschool through eighth grade, the Science Factory uses interactive exhibits and activities to teach children about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Unique Museums in Lancaster

National Watch & Clock Museum — This museum provides an interesting look at the history of time itself, from Stonehenge to today. While not explicitly focused on local events, the National Watch & Clock Museum collection includes priceless pieces you can’t see anywhere but right here in Lancaster.
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania — Fascinating for kids and adults alike, the railroad museum features over 100 historic locomotives and train cars to examine up close.
American Military Edged Weaponry Museum — A great stop for the military history buff in your family, this extensive collection is uniquely focused on knives used by the U.S. armed forces. The collection also features important artifacts from wars in American history, including recruitment posters and select firearms.
The Demuth Museum — Famous within the art world for his Precisionist artwork, Charles Demuth created many of his famous paintings right here in Lancaster. His family’s home, garden and tobacco shop have been historically preserved. Demuth’s works can be found here in Lancaster as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other famous museums. 

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928). Demuth's most famous work

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928). One of Demuth's most famous works. 

Show Your Hometown Pride with a Lancaster Pennsylvania Sweatshirt

Whether you’re coming home for a visit, showing your friends and family around or having a great time in your own backyard, let everyone know you’re a Lancaster original with one of our great Lancaster County Born and Raised sweatshirts and t-shirts. It’s the perfect attire for visiting any of the great museums in Lancaster. Let everyone know you’re born and raised in the one and only Red Rose county!

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