Due to COVID-19, school tours, including groups of homeschoolers, will resume in the fall of 2021.
Old Economy Village offers a variety of tours that cater to the attention and interests of students of all ages. Whether this is your student’s first visit as a preschooler or if they’re returning one last time before graduation, there’s something to see for everyone.
Nineteenth century daily life and children’s chores come alive for preschoolers in the Kinderhaus. The Kinderhaus is a unique house with “Harmonist” furniture designed for younger children. The students will use their imagination and pretend they are living the life of a Harmonist child. Program components include:
- sampling home-made bread
- trying on Harmonist style clothes
- learning colors and numbers in German
- churning butter
- playing games
The Home Life tour guides the students through the daily life of a Harmonist. This program provides an interactive look at nineteenth century domestic activities with an emphasis on children’s chores and leisure time activities. Activities include:
- milking an artificial cow and gathering eggs
- grinding coffee
- playing children’s games
- singing music in a school classroom
Participants on this tour explore what it took to create a community. This includes comparing life in Economy to life in other local towns in the 19th century and today. Students will get a chance to do hands-on activities similar to what an apprentice would have done. Typical activities include:
- working the bellows in the blacksmith’s shop
- creating a rope with a rope machine
- discovering the role of education
- operating a printing press
This tour allows students to explore a nineteenth century Natural History Museum like the one the Harmony Society created in the 1820s. Tour elements include:
- discovering taxidermy and the preservation of natural specimens
- recognizing antique scientific instruments
- identifying birds and mammals
- observing nature and using a journal
As participants explore the historic site, this program provides a study of the lifestyle and economic development of the Harmony Society and the nineteenth century. If teachers have specific requests about any topics or buildings, please discuss those when arranging the tour. We are more than happy to accommodate requests. Tour components include:
- exploring the Society’s communal structure
- discussing town planning and Harmonist architecture
- learning about daily life, Harmonist personalities, and German culture
A combination tour, including elements of the Home Life and Community tours, is perfect for Day Camps, Scout Troops, and Home School Groups. Tours can be customized to fit the needs of your group. Contact the Museum Educator for more information on combined tours.
This seasonal tour begins the week after Thanksgiving and runs until Christmas.
Children explore different cultures, holiday traditions, human kindness, and the value of friendships. This tour concludes with a very memorable party with Belsnickel, the German keeper of Santa’s naughty and nice book. Tour components include:
- discovering German Christmas traditions
- creating a craft
- visiting historic exhibits and buildings
- enjoying a unique holiday story
Educational programs at Old Economy Village present aspects of communal life, the development of industry in the United States, life in 19th century Pennsylvania towns, and religious, political and cultural freedom in America as these relate to the Harmony Society. The docents at Old Economy Village interpret the history of the site for all grade levels from preschool programs which introduce the story of life in the nineteenth century, to tours for secondary and college students which examine economic, religious and agricultural components of the Society. Educational programs are designed to enhance study in the classroom, enriching students’ understanding of the development and benefits of community through the study of material culture.
Tour Admission Fee:
$5 per participant for preschool – high school tours
$9 per participant for college students and adult groups
All tour groups have the option of utilizing our picnic area for lunch. The Feast Hall is available as a rain location.
All educational tours must be pre-scheduled by contacting David Miller at (724) 266-4500 ext. 110.