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]‬

 
  • Girl Scout WOW Journey Day
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 21
    Time:
    9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
    Details:
    This program is geared towards Brownies looking to fulfill all requirements for the WOW Journey.  Scouts will participate in stream water quality monitoring in conjunction with WWMC (World Water Monitoring Challenge), as well as learn how to save and protect our precious water. Designed as a drop-off program. $10 per registered Brownie, pre-registration required.  Contact jbrooks@countyofberks.com, or call 484-509-2667 to register.
  • Sewing Circle-Swedish Weaving/Embroidery
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 21
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    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: Types of Lace
  • Museum Day
    Schedule:
    Saturday, September 21
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    The Gruber Wagon Works and the C. Howard Hiester Canal Center will open their doors free of charge along with over 1,400 other participating venues for the 14th Annual Museum Day! Hosted by Smithsonian magazine, this one day event allows people all across the country to learn more about their favorite participating museums, free of charge. The Museum Day! Ticket will be available to download beginning in August at Smithsonian.com/museumday. Visitors who present the ticket will gain FREE entrance for two people, for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per e-mail address.
     
  • Paws On The Path
    Schedule:
    Sunday, September 22
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Join volunteer Beagle Puppy Zoey as we explore the trails at Antietam Lake Park.  Dogs must be well behaved around  other dogs and be on a leash.  Make sure to bring water for you and your dog.  This program is free but, we are accepting donations for the Animal Rescue League. Skill Level: Moderate.  Please call to register: 610-374-8839.  

  • Heavenly Fraktur
    Schedule:
    Sunday, September 22
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    PA German Faktur expert Del-Louise Moyer will explore the impact of taufschein  art (baptismal certificates) on the material culture of the PA Dutch and Moravians. The program is based off research for Moyer’s new book.
  • Hike & Yoga
    Schedule:
    Sunday, September 29
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    Together we will explore nature, focusing on aligning the body and spirit with our natural surroundings.  Unplug for a few hours and enjoy one of the most beautiful parks in our area.  Event includes: 15 minute stretch, 30 minute guided hike, 30 minute guided Yoga practice and 15 minute cool down stretch and full body relaxation at the end.  Please bring your own mat or towel.  Beginners welcome, space are limited.  Cost: $5 per person.  Registration with payment due September 25th to www.AOPaddle.com or 484-854-1271.  Appropriate for ages six years and up.  (no rain date)
  • The Lure of Antique Clocks
    Schedule:
    Sunday, September 29
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​The lure of antique clocks is related to their beauty, their usefulness to help us to control our time on earth, and their mechanics that make them so interesting on a creative and engineering basis.  Join Don and Eileen Muzyka on their 47 year journey of collecting and restoring clocks. The will share interesting thoughts about Antique Clocks including how they work, the types of clocks they have collected, the companies that made them,  along with the challenges related  to collecting, investing, and or speculating. The program will feature many photographs of various clocks including details of clock movements, along with a clock display.
  • Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 5
    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. Call 610-374-2944, ext. 2611 or e-mail John Pacharis at jp1974@ptd.net to register.
  • Lantern Tours of the Gruber Wagon Works
    Schedule:
    Friday, October 11
    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-Types of Lace
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 12
    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: Swedish Weaving Embroidery
  • Tatting Workshop
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 12
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 3:00 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. 29. Call 610-374-8839.
  • Outdoor Cooking 101
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 12
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Food seems to taste better when it is cooked outdoors!  Join this workshop and learn cooking tips from Jeff Hartman from Cabela’s, and park staff as we teach a variety of outdoor cooking methods, like Dutch Oven techniques with cast iron cookware, cooking over a fire or using backpacking stoves to cook your gourmet meal!  Recipes and cooking instructions offered, and you will get to taste some of our creations!  (Extend your workshop by joining us for the Camping 101 overnight program.)

  • Camping 101
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 12
    Time:
    4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Discover the joys of sleeping under the stars!  Join us for an intro to camping with hands-on activities like setting up your tent, outdoor cooking, a guided night hike, s’mores and more!  The cost is $7 per person and includes all activities and food.  Advance registration is required and space is limited.  More information (including a packing list and itinerary) will be given to those signed up.  Rain or shine.  Payment & registration due by Sept. 30th to 610-374-2944.

  • Camping 101
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 13
    Time:
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Discover the joys of sleeping under the stars!  Join us for an intro to camping with hands-on activities like setting up your tent, outdoor cooking, a guided night hike, s’mores and more!  The cost is $7 per person and includes all activities and food.  Advance registration is required and space is limited.  More information (including a packing list and itinerary) will be given to those signed up.  Rain or shine.  Payment & registration due by Sept. 30th to 610-374-2944.

  • The Industrial Revolution in Eastern PA
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 13
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    ​​Martha Capwell-Fox Historian and Archives Coordinator for the National Canal Museum / Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and local history author will explore the history of the industrial revolution in eastern Pennsylvania, along with the impact canals had on the growth of industry and trade in the eastern part of the state.  Following the presentation tours of the C. Howard Hiester Canal Center will be available.          
  • PowWow-PA Dutch Folk Medicine
    Schedule:
    Thursday, October 17
    Time:
    6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Location:
    ​​Bingaman Nature Center
     
    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. The formulas mix Christian prayers, magic words, and simple rituals to cure simple domestic ailments and rural troubles. Practitioners served rural folks with ways to heal common maladies. Learn about the history of this practice and discuss techniques and hear about some people who were treated in this program for teens and adults. Pre-registration is required, contact jbrooks@countyofberks.com or call 484-706-0020
  • FREE 3rd Saturday
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 19
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Visit the Gruber Wagon Works and the C. Howard Hiester Canal Center FOR FREE on the 3rd Saturday of every month from May through October. GWW tours starting on the hour from 10am-3pm and CHHCC open 10am-4pm, film and orientation every half-hour.

  • History Hike
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 19
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    Location:
    Kernsville Dam Recreation Area
    Details:
    Join volunteers of Blue Mountain Wildlife Inc. to learn and explore the rich history of transportation  corridor along the Schuylkill River.  See remnants from the canal system and how the railroad changed in the area by the Peace Rock.  Wear sturdy walking shoes for the hike.  Pre-registration by October 11th to 610-374-2944.
  • Monster Mash Halloween Bash
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 20
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 3:30 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 5-12.  Cost $5/child.  Call 610-374-2944 by October 14 to register. 

  • Forts of the Blue Mountains
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 20
    Time:
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    From 1755 until 1758 the Pennsylvania Forts were erected to try to stem the waves of attacks of French and Indians into the Tulpehocken Valley. Historian Lynn Otto answers the questions of, who built them and garrisoned them? And, were they successful?  Space limited. Registration requested.
  • Poe's Unhappy Hour
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 20
    Time:
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Location:

    Gring's Mill ​Barn

    Details:

    ​Enjoy some mulled apple cider, cookies and snacks as you relax listening to the hauntingly good tales of Edgar Allen Poe. In the upper level of the barn, by the fireplace, we will have family friendly short storytelling for all ages.  Downstairs, if you dare, will be an immersive Poe experience to tickle your spine (for ages 10+).

  • Lunch and Learn - GWW
    Schedule:
    Thursday, October 24
    Time:
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​Bring your lunch or purchase something from our snack bar and join us to learn all about The Gruber Wagon Works.  The Gruber Wagon Works was moved here from its original location in Mt. Pleasant.  After the talk, take a tour of the Wagon Works.    

  • Pumpkin and Pizza Party!
    Schedule:
    Thursday, October 24
    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 26th . 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
  • Historic Murder Mystery Dinner
    Schedule:
    Friday, October 25
    Time:
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    It started as a day of mourning for the late Susanna Baldwin.  Everyone blamed her death on her unbearable husband, Dietrich.  However, after the funeral, a policeman finds Dietrich the victim of an apparent stabbing.  Now, you need to find out who killed Dietrich and clear yourself as a suspect!  Join the cast of characters and search for clues to solve a ‘historic whodunit.’  Restricted to persons 18 years and older due to content. 
    Cost: $25/person (limited to 20 characters); includes four course meal and interactive mystery.  Registration with payment deadline October 7.  Call 610-374-2944.
     
     
  • Apron Workshop
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 26
    Time:
    9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Learn how to make an apron from park volunteer, Beth Shugar.     Cost $10 Registration and payment  to Beth Shugar due by October 20th. For more information and to register call 610-374-8839.
  • Halloween Hike and Hayride
    Schedule:
    Saturday, October 26
    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.
  • Reverse Color Harvest Basket Workshop
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 27
    Time:
    12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    A variety of dyed reed will make this basket unique for your weaving collection.   Bring a bucket, flathead screwdriver, scissors, 10 spring clothes pins and towel.
    Cost $30. Registration and deadline for payment to Vicky Heffner by Oct. 21st. Call 610 374-8839.
  • An October All Hallows with the Spirits Along the Schuylkill
    Schedule:
    Sunday, October 27
    Time:
    3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:
    Beidler house and the Ridgewood Winery farmhouse are two of the most haunted houses in Berks. Spend a late afternoon with ghost-host Charlie Adams as he recounts the chilling details. Cost:$25. Limited to 20. Must be over 21. Register with payment by visiting www.ridgewoodwinery.com.  Deadline Oct 10.
  • Fall Leaf Peeper Hike
    Schedule:
    Saturday, November 2
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    ​Get outside to enjoy Antietam Lake Park’s beautiful fall foliage.  Wear appropriate footwear. Free
  • Wearable Woods Workshop: Resin Jewelry
    Schedule:
    Saturday, November 9
    Time:
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    ​Create one of a kind resin jewelry from forest finds at Antietam Lake Park.  Geared towards adults.  $10 per registrant.  Pre-registration only, contact lgauker@countyofberks.com, or call 484-509-2667.
  • Sewing Circle
    Schedule:
    Sunday, 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: All About Wool
  • Nature Crafts for Kids- Workshop
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 14
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 2:30 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.
    $5.  Pre-registration is required, contact Jennifer Brooks, jbrooks@countyofberks.com or 484-509-2667.
  • Candlelight Open House
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 14
    Time:
    1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Location:
    Details:

    ​ Experience a colonial era German  Christmas featuring musicians, German holiday delicacies  and decorations of traditional fresh greens.

  • Winter Solstice Celebration with King Winter
    Schedule:
    Saturday, December 21
    Time:
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Location:
    ​Bingaman Nature Ctr.,2843 Hill Rd., Reading 19606​
    Details:
    Hike lantern-lit trails to discover whether King Winter has made his return!  Warm up next to a campfire and hear stories about the shortest day of the year.  FREE, pre-registration required, contact jbrooks@countyofberks.com to register, or call 484-509-2667.