Harrisburg Museums

(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - PA, USA)

Amongst the city's principal draw cards are a number of very interesting and well-planned museums, which tend to concentrate on different aspects of history relating to both the state of Pennsylvania and its capital, Harrisburg.

Sited on the southern side of downtown Harrisburg and just down the street from Capitol Park, the State Museum of Pennsylvania is operated on a not-for-profit basis, being founded in 1907 and managed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This cultural attraction moved to its present location in the 1960s and comprises four different levels.

The National Civil War Museum resides within Reservoir Park, on the eastern side of Harrisburg city center and just off Chamberlain Drive, where it is spread over two floors. This is the place to come if you have an interest in the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), since this educational institution is dedicated to that period in history, its aftermath and its veterans, as well as related subject matters, such as weaponry, soldiers, war music, battles, the navy and training practices.

State Museum of Pennsylvania

Address: 300 North Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17120, USA
Tel: +1 717 787 4980
Also known to some as the William Penn Memorial Museum, due to a sizeable statue of famous English philosopher William Penn (1644 to 1718) in its central hall, the State Museum of Pennsylvania enjoys annual visitor numbers topping more than 300,000 people. Exhibits concentrate on the American Civil War, the evolution of technology and industrial innovation, and native wildlife, with dioramas, audiovisuals and in excess of three million artifacts and exhibits. There is also a large modern planetarium, suiting those with an interest in the world of astronomy.
Open hours: Wednesday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors

National Civil War Museum

Address: 1 Lincoln Circle, Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17103, USA
Tel: +1 717 260 1861
The second floor of the National Civil War Museum is where your self-guided tour will commence, while on the first floor are more gallery spaces, a theater, temporary exhibits and a gift shop. In total there are around 25,000 items of interest, including war-related documents, old photographs and important manuscripts. Outside, the landscaped grounds appear more like a memorial, with bricks adorned with the names of surviving veterans.
Open hours: October to May, Monday and Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Wednesday - 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00; June to September, Monday and Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday - 09:00 to 18:00, Wednesday - 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for families, children and seniors

Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Address: 1820 North 4th Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17102, USA
Tel: +1 717 232 8915
Located just down the street from the Fourth and Dauphin Park, the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum is to be found within a historic Victorian fire station built at the very end of the 19th century. Visitors will find that this attraction is dedicated to the heritage of fire fighting in the state, via all manner of artifacts. These include vintage and modern fire-fighting equipment, old black and white photographs, fireman's past uniforms and helmets, restored alarms and gleaming vintage fire engines spanning more than two centuries.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00, Sunday - 13:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for families, children and seniors

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

Address: 222 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17101, USA
Tel: +1 717 214 2787
A popular rainy day attraction highly suitable for all of the family, the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is just a couple of blocks away from Harrisburg University and the Hilton Hotel. The center opened its doors in 1999 and incorporates three adjoining venues, namely the Select Medical IMAX Theater, the Sunoco Performance Theater and also the Harsco Science Center, which is spread over three levels and boasts live performances, themed exhibits and endless educational hands-on experiences.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - 09:30 to 17:00, Sunday - 11:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children