Valley Forge & Montgomery County
Montgomery County celebrates a rich cultural tradition with museums that range from fine art to the art of comedy. Here are a few must-visit museums and attractions in and around Montco.
BERMAN MUSEUM OF ART
Notable art collector and former chairman of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philip Berman, graciously built a strong arts presence alongside his wife at his alma mater, Ursinus College. Ursinus is now home to the Berman Museum of Art, an internationally-recognized, impressive collection of fine art. Focused collections include American 19th and 20th century paintings, prints, and sculpture, which are utilized to illustrate historical trends in art, literature, science and political and social history.
One of the most stunning exhibit spaces in all of Montgomery County (and perhaps all of Pennsylvania), Glencairn Museum, part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District focuses on religious iconography, with permanent collections that cover a comprehensive range of ethnicities, artistic traditions, belief systems, and creative expression.
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON CENTER AT MILL GROVE
The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, former home of the famed artist and naturalist, is in the midst of a major renovation project. When the museum reopens in the summer of 2019, visitors can expect new exhibits in the galleries, a refresh of the library and gift shop, and a recharged presentation of the home’s history.
LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER
Families can enjoy a world of creativity, color, and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center with features that include local landmarks made from over a million LEGO® bricks. There’s also a fun and exciting LEGO® themed ride, a 4D Cinema, and plenty of blocky, imaginative fun.
MENNONITE HERITAGE CENTER
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
The Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center'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.
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, and also features an 85-seat theater for viewing classic Stooges shorts.
AMERICAN HELICOPTER MUSEUM & EDUCATION CENTER
Just 15 miles southwest of Valley Forge is the nation's premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center tells the history of these amazing aircraft through interactive and static displays. Helicopter rides are also available on select days throughout the year.
BOYERTOWN MUSEUM OF HISTORIC VEHICLES
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles displays a collection of antique and vintage automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, sleighs, carriages, and bicycles, all with a Pennsylvania connection. Many of the trucks on display were built by the Boyertown Auto Body Works, which operated on the site until 1990. Other highlights of the collection include the former Fegley's Diner, which has been completely restored and relocated to the museum, as well as an early Sunoco gas station.
BYERS' CHOICE CHRISTMAS MUSEUM
Byers' Choice Carolers® are a sought-after collectible around the holidays, but you can experience the holiday season all year long at the company's headquarters in Chalfont. Take a walk through the Byers' Choice Christmas Museum and see the artisans at work creating these one-of-a-kind pieces.
EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY
Eastern State Penitentiary is one a menacing building with a legendary past. Housing some of the most violent and notorious criminals of all-time, the former prison is considered among the most haunted sites in the country. The prison is open for tours throughout the year. In fall, the prison becomes even more frightening when cell blocks are transformed into the ultimate haunted house during Terror Behind the Walls.
Historic Philadelphia Center
Historic Philadelphia brings history to life through storytelling and first-person historical interpretation, operating Once Upon A Nation, Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, and Lights of Liberty. Group Programming available in Philadelphia and Valley Forge.
INDEPENDENCE VISITOR CENTER
The Independence Visitor Center is the official visitor center for the Greater Philadelphia Region and is the primary point of orientation for Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia, the Southern New Jersey and Delaware River Waterfronts, as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
JAMES A. MICHENER ART MUSEUM
Named for local author James A. Michener, the Michener Art Museum features the works of artists of both local and international fame, including a large collection of Pennsylvania impressionist works and a gallery of work by acclaimed craftsman George Nakashima.
MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Explore the halls of the new Museum of the American Revolution, the latest addition to our Patriot Trails itineraries. The interactive displays tell the story of our nation’s quest for liberty. The centerpiece of the collection is George Washington's marquee tent, used as his operation's center during the Valley Forge encampment.
NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER
The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia in 1787, and from that came the document that now governs and protects the United States of America. The National Constitution Center tells the story of the document, and how it affects Americans today.
THE BARNES FOUNDATION
Formerly located in Montgomery County, the Barnes Foundation moved its collection (including 181 Renoirs, 46 Picassos, and seven Van Goghs) to Philadelphia in 2012. Guests can still tour the Barnes Arboretum on the grounds of the original estate in Merion, Montgomery County from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
TURKEY HILL EXPERIENCE
Create a virtual ice cream, star in a Turkey Hill Commercial, milk mechanical cows, and learn about the ice cream making process at the Turkey Hill Experience. Enjoy unlimited samples and even create your own ice cream in the hands-on Taste Lab.
WHARTON ESHERICK STUDIO MUSEUM
Craftsman and artist Wharton Esherick was one of the most important figures in the American Arts & Crafts movement. The Wharton Esherick Studio Museum, tucked into a forested hillside near Valley Forge National Historical Park, preserves both his legacy and his work. His hand-built former home reveals his genius - a mix of whimsy and creativity.
WINTERTHUR MUSEUM & COUNTRY ESTATE
A short drive into nearby Delaware leads to Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, the former home of the Du Pont family. The museum showcases one of the country's largest collections of American antiques.