Welcome to the County of Berks
Interpretive Programs

We offer a series of programs and workshops starting in February through December. These programs are free unless otherwise indicated. For more information, or to register for a workshop, please call the Berks County Heritage Center at 610-374-8839, or at the number indicated.

 

 Interpretive Programs List of Events ‭[2]‬

 
  • Pow-Wow: PA Dutch Folk Medicine
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 22
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:
    Pow-Wow is said to be a collection of European magic spells, recipes and folk remedies of a type familiar to students of folklore. Learn the history of this practice and discuss techniques with “Porcupine Pat” McKinney from the Schuylkill Conservation District.
    Co-Sponsor: Spring Township Parks & Recreation
  • History Hike
    Schedule:
    Monday, September 24
    Time:
    6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Join park staff and volunteers to learn and explore the history of this not as well-known section of Antietam Lake Park.  Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes. Meet at 230 Angora Rd.
     
     Call  610-374-2944 to Register.
  • Tatting Workshop
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 29
    Time:
    9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Tatting- “knot” a lost art! Karen Wattai, a self-taught tatter and member of the Lace Lovers of Lebanon, has years of experience teaching this versatile art form. A comparison of threads, needles and shuttle tatting will be discussed as students learn to make rings and chains resulting in a tatted bookmark. Kit includes medium size tatting needle, threads, and pattern. Bring scissors.
     
    Cost: $10. Registration with payment (payable to instructor) by Sept. 22. Call 610-374-8839.
  • Indian Campfire Stories
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 29
    Time:
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Location:
    Kernsville Dam Recreation Area
    Details:
    ​Dave “Big Owl” McSurdy will stand on ‘twelve skunk skins’ to tell stories about Rainbow Crow, How a Cicada tricked a Coyote, a race between a rabbit and a turtle, and other stories told around an American Indian campfire. Stories are for all ages from young to young at heart. In case of rain, the program will be canceled. Program sponsored by the Blue Mountain Wildlife Inc. in partnership with the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Spectacular Spiders
    Schedule:
    Sunday, September 30
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Join us for this unique opportunity to be introduced to spiders found in the east and the unique adaptations of our eight-legged friends. Presented by Ken Lebo, visitors will learn how to identify spiders by their eyes, shape and webs, as well as discover the ways in which spiders catch their prey.
    Co-Sponsor: Spring Township Parks & Recreation
  • Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 6
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    BAMBA Parking lot on List Road by Camp Lily
    Details:
    Bring your children along for a fun-filled family day of mountain biking on Mount Penn's best trails! You can help pass your passion for pedaling on to those that matter the most: your kids. Take part in this internationally recognized outdoor event sponsored by the Berks Area Mountain Biking Association and enjoy the early fall scenery and sights along the Mt. Penn trails. Bring our mountain bike and helmet.
     
    FREE - Registration required by Sept. 26. Call 610-374-2944, ext. 2611 to register.
  • Lantern Tours of the Gruber Wagon Works
    Schedule:
    Friday, October 12
    Time:
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Join us for an evening lantern tour of the Gruber Wagon Works, recognized as the finest example of rural manufacturing in the United States and a National Historic Landmark. See the Wagon Works in a “new light” and learn about the wagon making process in this 19th century factory. Tours will leave on the half hour. Group size limited to 12. Cost: $5. Please call to register and select a tour time.
  • Sewing Circle
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 13
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Join us in our monthly gathering for an old-fashioned sewing circle. Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc. This month’s topic: How to read a clothing pattern.
  • Monoprintin' Madness!
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 13
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    ​Learn this easy printmaking technique that creates one-of-a-kind works of art! Draw inspiration from the woods as we gather materials to include in our masterpieces, learning about the flora and fauna of Antietam Lake Park. We’ll gather to experiment with inks and paints to create our piece, then use a simple printing press to make the magic happen. No experience necessary – come out and enjoy creating in the parks!
     
    Ages 12-adult - To register, call 484-509-2667, ext. 3. – Cost: $10.00
  • Wise & Witty Sayings on PA Dutch Slipware
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 14
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    One of the media the Pennsylvania Dutch used to create their everyday tools and utensils was clay. Utilizing a decorating process known as slipware, potters often ornamented their utilitarian and commemorative pieces with wise and witty sayings both in decorative Fraktur script and motifs, as well as everyday German script. In this illustrated powerpoint talk, we shall take a look at the scripts and motifs; the potters who made the redware; the materials they used; and how the pious and contrasting often very bawdy proverbs they used reflect the Pennsylvania Dutchman’s spiritual aspirations nurtured by a very human heart.
  • An October All Hallows with the Spirits Along the Schuylkill
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 14
    Time:
    5:15 PM - 7:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Spend a spooky Autumn evening with Charles J. Adams III. Visit the mysterious 18th century Beidler House, then on to Ridgewood Farm and Winery where a tragic ghostly tale of anger and jealousy lingers. Must be over 21. Cost $20. (Limited to 30). Register and payment at: ridgewoodwinery.com  Registration Deadline October 11.
  • History Storytime: Quilts and Harvest
    Schedule:
    Wednesday, October 17
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Pre-School Children

  • Pumpkin and Pizza Party!
    Schedule:
    Thursday, October 18
    Time:
    5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
    Details:
    Bring a pumpkin to carve and donate it to the Halloween Hike and Hayride. Also bring your carving tools and a drink, and we’ll provide pizza! All donated pumpkins will line the trail for the hike on the 20th . All ages welcome.
     
    This event is free, however pre-registration is required because space is limited! 484-509-2667, ext 3 or jbrooks@countyofberks.com
  • Fall Leaf and Tree ID
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 20
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Bring the whole family on this hike led by Parks staff to identify native trees, learn about the historic and current uses of these trees and complete a fall leaf project. FREE Registration requested. Call 610-374-8839.
    Co-Sponsor: Spring Township Parks & Recreation
  • Halloween Night Hike
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 20
    Time:
    6:15 PM - 9:00 PM
    Details:
    Experience the wonder of the night while hiking through the beautiful Angora Fruit Farm orchards, meeting nocturnal animals along the way. Guides will lead families along a pumpkin-lit path where children will meet and talk with local "animals" of the night. Families can then enjoy a hayride, or a treat while sitting by a campfire. This program fills quickly! Hikes leave every 15 minutes. $5 per person - Pre-registration required. – 484-509-2667 ext. 3 or jbrooks@countyofberks.com-All ages welcome! Children may wear their costumes.
  • Paws on the Path
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 21
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:
    Dogs need to get exercise just as much as we do. Join our park staff as they lead a hike designed for you and your dogs. Hike will be about 1 hour and cover some of the easier and scenic trails at Antietam Lake Park. Dogs must be good around other dogs, and be on a leash. Please bring along water and a bowl for your dog, as well. 610-374-8839 for more information.
     
    FEE: As a fee, we are requesting that you bring along something from the following list as a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County: Dog or cat food, washcloths, towels, blankets, and kitty litter
  • History Hike
    Schedule:
    Wednesday, October 24
    Time:
    5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    Details:
    Join us for a hike at the Angora Fruit Farm. We will hike some of the many trails at Antietam Lake Park. Hiking skill level - moderate. Please wear sturdy walking shoes and bring along water. We will meet at the Angora Fruit Farm parking lot.
  • Murder Mystery -Murder at the Turnkey Inn-FULL
    Schedule:
    Friday, October 26
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    FULL - Become a detective in this interactive dinner mystery. Each participant is assigned a role to play in this fictional, yet historically-based murder mystery. Set in the late 19th century at the Turnkey Inn (next to a train station by the new Lebanon Valley Railroad along the Union Canal). On a dark evening, the Turnkey’s innkeeper is found murdered. During dinner, discover who has motive to commit this crime and clear your character’s name.
     
    Cost: $25/person (limited to 22); includes four course meal and interactive mystery.
    Registration with payment deadline October 5. Call 610-374-2944.
  • Quilt Workshop
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 27
    Time:
    9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​The Hopewell Quilters invite you to come for a workshop on quilting. Participants will be making quilted potholders.
     
    Cost $10 Registration and payment due by October 19th
  • Fall Leaf Hike
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 27
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Details:
    ​Get outside to enjoy Antietam Lake Park’s beautiful Fall foliage. Wear appropriate footwear.
     
    FREE – Register: -484-509-2667, ext. 3 or e-mail jbrooks@countyofberks.com
  • Monster Mash Halloween Bash
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 27
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​It’s a Monster Mash! A Halloween bash! Spooky fun, ghastly horrors and mad creations await any who dare enter the grim Gring’s Mill barn. Grab your Halloween costume and join us for some un-scary FRIGHTENING FUN!
     
    For ages 7-12. Cost $13/ghoul. Call 610-374-2944 by October 15 to register.
  • Cherokee Comb Basket - Workshop
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 28
    Time:
    12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:
    This basket has many colored reed to weave with and is handy to hold anything, not just combs! Bring a bucket, flathead screwdriver, scissors, 10 spring clothes pins and towel.
    Cost $25. Registration and deadline for payment to Vicky Heffner by Oct. 21st. Call 610 374-8839.
    Co-Sponsor: Spring Township Parks & Recreation
  • The French & Indian War in PA 1749-1758
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 28
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:
    As early as 1749 the French were placing themselves in Western Pennsylvania and contending for the Ohio Country. Historian Lynn Otto will discuss how the British and Native Americans, along with the French, helped ignite the spark that flared into a War for Empire, all starting in Pennsylvania and continuing through 1758. FREE PROGRAM
  • Sewing Circle
    Schedule:
    Saturday, November 10
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie. In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities. Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc Topic: Simple Placemats
  • Print A Log
    Schedule:
    Saturday, November 10
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    ​Learn to see the forest for the trees and investigate the flora around Antietam Lake park. We’ll be looking at several interesting species of trees that call Pennsylvania home, why we need them, and how you can help. Then we’ll ink up a few slices of logs to make a beautiful, one of a kind, tree ring print. Each participant can take home their print to frame on their wall, equipped with a new-found knowledge of our woody friends.
     
    Ages 14-adult - To register, call 484-509-2667, ext. 3. – Cost: $10.00
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 1
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Sit back and relax as the Mount Laurel Brass takes you on a Christmas musical journey featuring classical, sacred hymns, children’s songs, carols and contemporary Christmas music in various styles from around the globe. (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 2
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Free- Kids Holiday Movies & Crafts
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 2
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Polished Brass quintet performs a wide variety of brass music, ranging from the classics to contemporary. Through the years, these five brass players, originally from the Pottstown Band, have played in various locations even at an art show! With their vast experience and unique approach this show promises to put you in the mood for holiday fun. (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Thursday, December 6
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Mike Miskie
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Friday, December 7
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Reading Choral Society -is a subset of the full Choral Society that takes on small ensemble projects and outreach performances in the community. They have prepared a selection of Christmas carols - some familiar and some unusual choices.​ (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Sewing Circle
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 8
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    An old-fashioned sewing circle offered the opportunity for new and experienced stitchers of all crafts to gather and exchange skills and camaraderie. In our era of technology, it is fun to take a step back and renew these opportunities. Each person should bring a project of their own to work on, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc Topic: Quilting​
  • Candlelight Open House
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 8
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 8
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Brass Menagerie invites you to enjoy an evening of traditional and "less traditional" seasonal brass music. Playing together for over 15 years, the Brass Menagerie offers a night of music that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 9
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    1-4 pm: Kid’s Holiday Workshop & Santa's Sing-A-Long Kids can make crafts to decorate your home, and Christmas tree. Visit with Santa for a treat, or check out to the model train display. Free admission!
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 9
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    The Belle Tones (6:30-8:30)
  • Ice Fishing 101
    Schedule:
    Tuesday, December 11
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    New to ice fishing? Learn the basic skills with the PFBC, like rigging and using a tip-up, working a jigging rod, selecting bait and lures and using an auger to bore your fishing hole. Also included in the program is information about basic ice safety and how to determine adequate ice thickness for fishing. Participants will make and take an ice awl with them, after the program. Cost TBA. Call 610-374-2944 by November 26 to register.
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Thursday, December 13
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Berks Holiday TUBAdors is a low brass ensemble comprised of local musicians who also play in various Brass groups, Concert Bands and other musical organizations throughout the Greater Berks and beyond area. The Holiday repertoire includes familiar holiday music,traditional and non-traditional carols as well as a variety of “sing-along” pieces encouraging audience participation.
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Friday, December 14
    Time:
    6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Pretzel City Chorus
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Friday, December 14
    Time:
    7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Thomas Shugar, presents a "Holiday Blend Program" - a diversified variety of classical guitar music from around the world, blended with his own arrangements of timeless Christmas Classics.
  • Nature Crafts for Kids
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 15
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Celebrate the holidays with handmade gifts from the heart! This program is a drop-off program designed to give children the time to create masterpiece gifts for loved ones from natural materials for the holidays. Craft supplies are provided.
     Cost: $5.00 Pre-registration is required, contact Jennifer Brooks, jbrooks@countyofberks.com or 484-509-2667 ext 3.
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 15
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Christmas Traditions in America w/ Roy Justice
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 16
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Jurkiewicz Family Strings- Join us for an evening of some elegant chamber music featuring Mercedes Jurkiewicz, a cello player in the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, and her three musical children. (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Thursday, December 20
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​“Celtic Seasonings” with Ken Gehret & Irish Mist performs a full spectrum of Celtic music including traditional, modern, original, and seasonal favorites to inspire you just in time for the holidays. www.kengehret.com (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Friday, December 21
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    The Williams Duo
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 22
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Dave Kline & A Mountain Folk Christmas w/ Special Guests
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 23
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Harp & Soul- features Nichole Rohrbach on the harp and Noelle Bryant on the cello. The unique blend of the rich tones of the cello with the percussive sounds of the harp will help you ease into the holiday spirit. www.harpnsouln.com (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Thursday, December 27
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Maggie Spike with Tom Montgomery
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Friday, December 28
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​Peter Errich & Todd Zarzecki
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 29
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    "Good-Time Family Fun, Music & Comedy" w/ Ray Owen- shows at 6:30 and 7:30
  • Holiday Lights
    Schedule:
    Sunday, December 30
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Harrisburg Mandolin Ensemble