Warminster Township in Pennsylvania is a historic community, founded in 1711, with a population of 32,000 residents. The township maintains 14 parks, which total 409 acres, and has many pocket parks throughout its neighborhoods. As of time of publication, Warminster is home to only four museums, all of which are historic and child friendly.
Craven Hall is the headquarters of the Craven Hall Historical Society, Inc. It is a Federal/Greek Revival home, located on a ¾-acre plot, built between 1790 and 1845. During certain events, Craven Hall staff dress in 1800s period clothing and tell guests about life in Westminster during those days. The historic site occasionally hosts events for children, such as a Christmas open house and the visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus -- a free event which features food and crafts for children. Other events include a tea time for girls ages 6 to 12, and a holiday tea social for ages 12 and up.
John Fitch Steamboat Museum
Steamboats bring to mind the bygone days of Mark Twain and the novels which he wrote. Children can learn about the history of steamboats at the John Fitch Steamboat Museum, located on the grounds of Craven Hall. John Fitch, a self-taught scientist and mechanic, was the inventor of the first steamboat. The museum houses exhibits from John Finch and the steamboat he built. One of the highlights of the museum, which appeals to children, is the 6-foot long, steam-operated model of the first steamboat service in the world that carried both passengers and freight.
Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum
Children can learn much about American war history and science at the Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum. It was established to teach about the history of the Naval Air Development Center/Naval Air Warfare Center, which was located in Johnsville/Warminster, Pennsylvania. Though most children might not know what the word "centrifuge" means, they do know what navy pilots are. The museum’s artifacts include the original gondola of the Johnsville Centrifuge, a motion simulator that was used to train Navy jet pilots. Other attractions include science exhibits designed to explain technology to children.
Moland House Historic Park
Children can travel to the past at the Moland House Historic Park, which traces its origins to 1777, when Continental troops in the American Revolutionary War camped there and made Moland House General Washington’s headquarters. During the Continental Army’s stay in the area, Marquis de Lafayette came to the camp and joined Washington’s army and a Council of War was held at the site. Guided tours are available. Families can also take self-guided tours around the Nature Trail of the 12-acre park. Moland hosts a variety of family-friendly including Revolutionary War reenactments, which include puppet shows, 18th century children’s toys and games, folk painting and blacksmithing.
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