Outreach Programs

Can't make it to the Plantation? We might be able to come to you! In the past we have done outreaches for schools, libraries, festivals, and other big and small events. Below is just a sampling of what we can take on the road.

Traveling Workshops

Cost: Starts at $115.00 for each 45-60 minute program.

Traveling Workshops bring a variety of hands on activities to your location. These programs will appeal to all ages, especially those interested in Pennsylvania's colonial history. Traveling Workshops last for 45-60 minutes and can accommodate groups of up to 30. If the group consists of individuals under the age of 18, at least one responsible adult must be present for the duration of the program.

Colonial Toys and Games - Our interpreters demonstrate and discuss a variety of 18th century toys and games and their significance in a colonial child's development. Participants can then enjoy some of the toys and games themselves, and finish by making a colonial toy of their own to keep.

Colonial Clothing - a variety of artifacts and clothing pieces complement an interactive discussion and demonstration of 18th century clothing. Clothing styles of men, women, and children are all discussed. For an additional fee, this program may be enhanced with a take home, such as decorating a hat. Please inquire for details.

Candle Dipping - In this very popular activity, participants will learn about the sources of light available to early colonists, and how settlers worked with available natural resources (beeswax, tallow) to create their own light. Participants will be given the opportunity to dip their own candles (using paraffin), which they can take home at the end of the program. This program requires a safe place to have an open fire and is restricted to ages 6 and up.

Paper Making - Participants will learn about how valuable and rare a simple thing like paper was, and how labor-intensive a product it is to manufacture. Our educators will discuss how the use of paper changed the way Pennsylvanians were able to communicate and learn. Using water and pulp made from clothing fibers and recycled paper, participants will make sheets of paper that they can take home with them.

Natural Dyeing - Participants will learn about the most popular dye colors available to colonists, their history and uses, and will be able to dye a silk handkerchief or skein of yarn to take home. This program requires either a safe place to have an open fire or access to a reliable heat source.

Carding, Spinning and Weaving - Participants will learn about the "sheep to shawl" process of shearing, cleaning, carding, spinning and weaving wool, then they can try their hand at carding and spinning. This program can be adapted for small children with the addition of a storybook.

Butter Churning - In colonial times, farmers depended on cows less for fluid milk than for butter and cheese. While milk will spoil in a matter of days, butter and cheese can be preserved and enjoyed for months, even years. In an age before refrigeration, preserving food was essential, and butter making was one of the most lucrative ways that colonial women could earn money. Participants will learn about the science of churning cream into butter, then they will get a chance to taste their own creations. You can even try blue and red butter, and see how the mind plays tricks on the taste buds!

Rope Making - Ropes were an integral part of historic life. A rope is a group of yarns, fibers or strands that are twisted or braided together into a form that is larger and stronger than the fibers might be individually. Any fibrous material can be used for rope, but the most popular materials in the 18th and 19th centuries were hemp, silk, wool, hair, linen, cotton, jute, straw and sisal. Learn about the different kinds of rope used through history, and take a turn on the "rope walk" helping us to make our own rope. At the end of the program, you may take a length of the rope you made home with you.

Historic Block Printing - While a well-dyed piece of fabric can be beautiful, many 18th and 19th century men and women enjoyed wearing fabric that had been painstakingly block printed by hand. The prints that we enjoy today--from paisleys to polka-dots--originated with stamps dipped or rolled in dyes and then applied to fabric. In this program you can learn about the process of carving blocks, applying dyes, and printing fabric; younger visitors will have the chance to block print their own piece of paper or greeting card to take home.

Discovery Programs

Cost: Starts at $125.00 for each 45-60 minute program.

Discovery Programs focus on the ways that humans depend on natural resources for everyday survival. The emphasis is on the processing of raw materials into finished products. Programs typically run one hour and can accommodate groups of up to 30 participants. Ideal for ages 7 to 12 and includes age-appropriate hands-on activities.

What We Eat
Starting with an average school lunchbox, this program investigates the origins of some of our favorite foods and compares how these foods were made historically with how they are made today. May include foods like bread, butter, apple juice and vegetables. Please make us aware at time of booking if food allergies might be a concern.

What We Wear
This program analyzes the environmental and cultural history of our clothing. Participants will understand what fabrics come from our natural resources, how they are processed, and what you can tell about a person by what they wear. May include exploration of wool, cotton, linen, silk, jewelry and leather.

Reading-Based Programs

Cost: Starts at $95.00 for each 45-60 minute program

Perfect for daycares, libraries, and schools. Includes reading of one book, interactive discussion, and age-appropriate hands-on activities. Ideal for Pre-K to 2nd Grade. Program runs 45-60 minutes, for up to 30 participants.

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Teri Sloat
After Farmer Brown shears the wool from his sheep, they go on a journey to get it back! In the process they witness their wool get cleaned, carded, spun, dyed and woven into cloth. Children will learn that everyday items like clothes come from animals, and it's not as easy as it might seem!

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
A boy named Jack wakes up one morning craving a pancake. Our storyteller will read about Jack's adventures in acquiring the ingredients needed to make a pancake. Along the way, children will learn that food comes from fields and barns, and takes a lot of work to make!

The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall
A farmer takes to market all of the products that his family has made over the course of a year and sells or trades them for things they can't make at home. Children will learn not only about how people lived in the past, but about how activities are tied to seasons, and how colonial people depended on natural resources for survival.

The House that George Built by Suzanne Slade
THE HOUSE THAT GEORGE BUILT by Suzanne Slade will take children through the process of how the president's house came to be - starting with the contest George held to choose the perfect design for this house for all Americans. Readers will learn about making the bricks, mixing the paint to make the White House white, and how houses can change over time as new technologies develop.

Up and Away by Jason Henry
NEW FOR 2019. Back in 1782, a dreamer and inventor named Joseph Montgolfier noticed that a paper blown into his fireplace by a gust of wind was lifted into the air by the heat. With the help of his brother Etienne he created the world's first flying machine, sparking the birth of flight and the first step in mankind's journey to the moon. This program will feature a reading of Up and Away by Jason Henry, followed by a discussion of what materials work--and don't work--for making hot air balloons! If space and conditions allow, we may try to fly a miniature hot air balloon ourselves. Participants can use craft materials to design their own two-dimensional balloon (no fire required-just creativity!)

Travel Fees
For locations that are 20 miles or more from the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, an additional travel fee may be assessed at a rate of $.75 per mile. The need for such a fee will be determined by Plantation staff at the time of scheduling.

Under certain conditions, reduced fees may be available for outreach programs. Circumstances in which discounts might be available are as follows:
- Two or more programs booked in a single day, either at the same location or at multiple locations within close proximity to each other.
- Outreach programs booked in conjunction with a site visit.

Academic Standards
A list of academic standards fulfilled by each of our outreach programs is available upon request.


Mailing Address
PO Box 158
Gradyville, PA 19039

GPS Address
3900 North Sandy Flash Dr
Newtown Square, PA 19073

General Email

Quick Links

Hours & Directions


Facility Rental

Photography & Filming


Sign up for our e-newsletter!

First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail address:

All graphics and text on this site are © 2017 Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation unless otherwise stated.