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The Morning Call: Looking for free family fun? Head to Bethlehem’s Kemerer Museum on Sundays

April 9th, 2018 |

Written by Jennifer Sheehan for The Morning Call

Family fun that’s free — if that sounds good to you, you’ll want to head to Bethlehem’s Kemerer Museum of the Decorative Arts on Sunday afternoons.

The museum, which is at 427 North New St., will now be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays for free, officials from the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites announced this week. You’ll find a range of programs and activities that caters to many ages and promotes creativity and exploration.

A few examples:

Explore careers:

This quarterly program will allow kids to explore different careers. Local professionals will talk about their jobs and kids will take part in an activity that demonstrates how they use design in their job. From 2 to 3 p.m. April 22, Lindsey Jancay, director of Collections and Programming at Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, will talk to kids about what it’s like to be a museum curator and kids can have fun designing and creating their own museum exhibitions in mini-museum dioramas.

Get crafty:

The museum’s family room will host a variety of rotating activities such as:

* Make your own family tree, family album, or time capsule box;

* Practice your Colonial penmanship by learning calligraphy and see examples of calligraphy written by Bethlehem school children in the 1800s;

* Learn the art of crossed letter writing, a Victorian process that helped save paper and postage costs;

* Make a knitted bookmark or a crazy quilt bandana and view historic examples on display;

* Fill out, then color your very own Fraktur, a Pennsylvania Dutch form of artistic record keeping.

Learn about history:

Kids can learn more about the history of some of the museum’s pieces during storytime, 1:30 p.m Volunteers will read from books inspired by the artifacts in the museum’s collection. Upcoming books featured in storytime:

* Sunday: “Penny Olive,” written and illustrated by Rachel Yoder. Learn all about Pennsylvania Dutch culture and art then see actual historic and modern examples on display. Yoder’s book, artwork, and Penny Olive Doll will be available for purchase at the museum gift shop

* “What A Family!” by Rachel Isadora, April 15;

* “The Museum” by Susan Verde, April 22;

* “Dear Mr. Washington” by Lynn Cullen, April 29.

Go on a hunt for fun

* Kids can explore and take part in a scavenger hunt that teaches them about the museum’s unique pieces such as the Murano Glass Chandelier, a Lithophane Lamp, a Silver Tea Set, the Weiss Clock, and more.

* Kids can also check out the museum’s hand-made dollhouses in the “Once Upon a Treehouse Interactive Play Room.”

Info: call 1.800.360.TOUR or visit


* What: Free Sundays at the Kemerer Museum of the Decorative Arts

* When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays

* Where: 427 North New St., Bethlehlem

Info: call 1.800.360.TOUR or visit

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