Sunday, February 4th
Explore the rich history of the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts and the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem for FREE – every first Sunday of the month from February through November. Enjoy complimentary admission to both museums from 11 am – 5 pm and a hands-on activity the whole family is sure to enjoy!
Free Sundays are funded with the generous support of the Jones Children Fund.
February 4 from 11 am -5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Make you own Victorian-style Valentine
During the Victorian era sweethearts often exchanged handmade valentines made from materials like silver and gold applique, lace, silk flowers, ribbons, and even seashells. However, not all valentines were so heartfelt. During this period, it also became popular to anonymously send so-called “vinegar valentines” to fend off unwanted suitors. This Free Sunday create your own Victorian-style valentine. Naughty or nice? The choice is yours!
At The Moravian Museum: Make Your Own Scherenschnitte Valentine’s Day Card
In the 18th century German immigrants brought the art of scissor cutting or “scherenschnitte” to colonial Pennsylvania. This technique involved making detailed designs by cutting paper with scissors or knives and was often used to decorate love letters and family lineage records. Choose from several scherenchnitte templates (or design your own) to make a custom Valentine’s Day card!
March 3 from 11 am – 5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Make Your Own Felt Moth Plush
Did you know that there are over 500 species of wild and domestic silk moths varying in color and size? Learn more about the lifecycle of a silk moth and make your own felt moth plush to take home.
At The Moravian Museum: Make and Decorate Your Own Felt Pocket
During the 18th and 19th centuries pockets were separate articles of clothing, tied around the waist. Often decorated with silk embroidery, these pockets provided space for women to carry their most important possessions. Make and decorate your own felt pocket to take home.
April 7 from 11 am – 5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Create Your Own Customized Silk Scarf
Welcome spring in style! Create your own customized silk scarf using colored tissue paper. Spray with water and watch as your unique design appears!
At The Moravian Museum: Make Your Own Decorative Silk Paper
Did you know that in ancient China paper was often made from silk? Following the invention of paper around 105 CE, silk remained the preferred material for writing Imperial Decrees. Try your hand at making decorative silk paper using Tussah silk and recycled sari fibers!
At The Kemerer Museum: Create Your Own Mixed-Media Bouquet
During the Victorian era flowers held symbolic meaning and were often given to express specific sentiments like love, devotion, and even danger! Choose from a selection of faux flowers to create your own mixed-media bouquet on canvas.
At The Moravian Museum: Create Your Own Colonial-Style Sweet Bag
Spring has arrived! To celebrate the warmer weather, make your own colonial-style sweet bag using herbs and spices like mint, rosemary, cloves, and nutmeg. During the 18th century, sweet bags were worn around the neck to ward off unpleasant odors as a less expensive alternative to perfume.
At The Kemerer Museum: Design Your Own Mixed-Media Hotel Collage
Did you know that the roots of the modern hotel can be traced to ancient Rome? During the 19th century, the expansion of the middle class led to a rise in the construction of hotels and growth of the hospitality industry. The finest Victorian hotels featured luxuriously appointed rooms and were the first to introduce modern conveniences like elevators and private bathrooms. This Free Sunday design your own mixed-media hotel collage. What amenities will your hotel include? The choice is yours!
At The Moravian Museum: Design and Paint Your Own Wooden Inn Sign
In the 18th and 19th century tavern and inn signs served as the first form of roadway advertising. These wooden signs were painted on both sides and typically featured the innholder’s initials, the date the inn was established, and an image. Birds, suns, soldiers, ships, suns, and coats of arms were popular motifs. Design and paint your own wooden inn sign.
At The Kemerer Museum: Design Your Own Restaurant Menu
During the Victorian Era, fine restaurants offered a wide range of dishes sure to please the most discerning of palates. Typically consisting of multiple courses, Victorian menus were influenced by French cuisine and culinary traditions. This Free Sunday design your own restaurant menu and be sure to browse our collection of historical menus for inspiration.
At The Moravian Museum: Write a Letter Home and Close it With a Real Wax Seal
During the 18th century, colonial inns served a variety of functions. Aside from providing lodging and food, many also functioned as early post offices. Imagine that you are spending an evening at the Sun Inn in the 1760s. Write a letter back home sharing your observations. Once you’re finished, close your letter with a real wax seal!
September 1 from 11 am – 5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Create a Mood Board to Design a Hotel Guest Suite
Interior design and decoration impact a guest’s experience of hospitality. Imagine that you are hired to redesign a hotel’s guest suites. What wallpaper, paint, and furnishings will you choose? Create a mood board to organize your ideas!
At The Moravian Museum: Design Your Own Personalized Deck of Playing Cards
During the 18th and 19th centuries taverns provided entertainment for locals and travelers alike. Card games and other diversions were popular, though in Moravian Bethlehem gambling was frowned upon. This Free Sunday, design your own personalized deck of playing cards.
October 6 from 11 am – 5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Design and Make Your Own Block Print Stamps
Halloween is a few short weeks away! Design and make your own block print stamps. Once you’re pleased with your design, use the stamps and fabric paint to create a custom printed trick-or-treat bag!
At The Moravian Museum: Make Your Own Corn Husk Doll
Corn played an important role in colonial agriculture. Learn about the multiple uses of this crop and make your own corn husk doll to celebrate the harvest! This popular 19th century toy dates to the beginnings of corn agriculture over 1,000 years ago.
November 3 from 11 am – 5 pm
At The Kemerer Museum: Design and Decorate Your Own Paper Cone Ornament
Did you know that many of the Christmas traditions we enjoy today were first popularized and commercialized during the late 19th century? During this period trees and tree decorations became big business! One popular Victorian ornament was a paper cone, typically made using decorative paper and filled with sweets. This Free Sunday, design and decorate your own paper cone ornament.
At The Moravian Museum: Make Your Own Putz Display
A Putz is a traditional Moravian Christmas decoration featuring miniature hand-crafted figurines, including animals, buildings, and people. This holiday season, learn more about this incredible Moravian tradition, and try your hand at making your very own Putz display!