PITTSBURGH — Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, part of the Senator John Heinz History Center family of museums, will offer free admission for all kids aged 17 and under throughout September and October.
As a popular one-day getaway for families in the Tri-State Area, Meadowcroft, located in Avella, offers visitors of all ages a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gatherers, early settlers, and American Indians.
Visitors can discover 19,000 years of history in a day at Meadowcroft’s experiences, including exploring the Rockshelter, a rock overhang where the region’s earliest inhabitants dwelled, and traveling through three re-created villages:
• In the 16th-century Monongahela Indian Village, visitors can step inside a wigwam, test their skills with the atlatl (a prehistoric spear-thrower), and learn about American Indian agriculture.
• At the 18th-century Frontier Trading Post, they can examine 1770s-era buildings and discover how American Indians and European settlers learned from each other.
• In the 19th-century Meadowcroft Village, visitors can enjoy a lesson in a one-room schoolhouse and watch a blacksmith forge red-hot iron.
To close out its 2023 season this fall, Meadowcroft will offer several exciting public programs that the entire family will enjoy:
• Washington and Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival, Sept. 16-17: Visit Meadowcroft’s 1871 Pine Bank Covered Bridge during this free admission, annual celebration of covered bridges. For festival information, go to visitwashingtoncountypa.com.
• American Indian Heritage Weekend, Sept. 23-24: Learn about the region’s American Indian cultures firsthand by interacting with visiting members of the region’s historic tribes, who will demonstrate the daily life skills of their ancestors in 18th century and prehistoric Western Pennsylvania.
• Walk in Penn’s Woods, Oct. 1: In cooperation with the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Penn State, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as others across the commonwealth, Meadowcroft will serve as a host venue for a day of educational woodland walks, highlighting Pennsylvania’s forest and wildlife resources from prehistory to modern day.
• Archaeology Day, Oct. 7: Ever wonder how archaeologists learn about everyday life for prehistoric people? Do you have an artifact you want professionally identified? As part of Pennsylvania Archaeology Month, archaeologists from the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology will present lectures and identify artifacts, accompanied by demonstrations of prehistoric technology. The site will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Meadowcroft’s Taffy Pull and Fall Celebration, Oct. 21: Join us in one of our historic log houses to learn about historic confections while you make an old-fashioned sweet treat to take home. Additional program fee applies, and pre-registration is recommended.
• Insider Tour of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Oct. 28: Visitors can enjoy the last, exclusive Insider Tour of the 2023 season with James M. Adovasio, who achieved international acclaim with his archaeological excavation of the Rockshelter in 1973. Pre-registration required.
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village is open from Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Labor Day.