MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
Valley Forge & Montgomery County
Find relief from the drab colors of winter, when the landscape seems made exclusively of various shades of white and gray. A winter visit to the following museums adds a dash of color to the day.
904 Sheble Lane
The knockabout comedy of The Three Stooges is encapsulated into one, three-story building that bursts with memorabilia and mayhem. The Stoogeum (rhymes with "museum") displays more 100,000 items, ranging from Stooge breakfast cereal to Stooge video games. An 85-seat theater, a warm escape from a chilly day, runs a steady stream of the trio's comedic short films. Be sure to plan ahead as the museum has limited public hours.
BERMAN MUSEUM OF ART
601 East Main Street
The current exhibit at the Berman Museum of Art, on the campus of Ursinus College, puts the spotlight on painter and naturalist John James Audubon. His stunning work - groundbreaking in its comprehensiveness and detail - is interpreted by nine contemporary artists in media that include paint, photography and sculpture.
MENNONITE HERITAGE CENTER
565 Yoder Road
The collection at the Mennonite Heritage Center preserves three centuries of life in eastern Pennsylvania, representing one of the oldest communities in the New World. Browse the artifacts and artistry of "Work and Hope: Mennonite Life in Eastern Pennsylvania," which covers facets of daily life such as fashion and domestic craftsmanship.
SCHWENKFELDER LIBRARY & HERITAGE CENTER
105 Seminary Street
This museum's permanent exhibit speaks to the longevity of this faith community and the deep impact it had on the area. Pieces on display range from Native American artifacts that date to the earliest settlers to beautiful, hand-crafted examples of Pennsylvania Dutch needlework for both practical and decorative purposes.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
340 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA
The gallery of the Fine Arts Center showcases the talented faculty and alumni of MCCC at a show lasting throughout February. All media are represented, ensuring a wide scope of artistic interpretations. A Meet-the-Artist reception takes place February 10.
1001 Cathedral Road
Bryn Athyn, PA
One of the most stunning exhibit spaces in all of Montgomery County (and perhaps all of Pennsylvania), Glencairn Museum has permanent collections that cover a comprehensive range of ethnicities, artistic traditions, belief systems and creative expression. The Egyptian gallery, for example, covers gods, mythology and even mummy magic. Miniaturized dioramas bring the ancient world to life.
BERWYN ART & PHOTO GALLERY
4 Midland Avenue
BOYERTOWN MUSEUM OF HISTORIC VEHICLES
85 South Walnut Street
This museum houses dozens of automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles manufactured in Pennsylvania while the industry was still in its infancy. Visitors can also explore a 1920s-style Sunoco gas station, complete with candlestick telephone and signage advertising fuel for 17 cents a gallon.
AMERICAN HELICOPTER MUSEUM & EDUCATION CENTER
1220 American Boulevard
West Chester, PA
A mere 15 miles southwest of Valley Forge is the nation's premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. Its mission statement may highlight collection and preservation, but the site has a large commitment to fun as well, evidenced by several opportunities per year for the public to go aloft in a whirlybird.