Featured Partner: Landis Valley | Village & Farm Museum

Posted by Jeff Pauls on 28th Nov 2018

Featured Partner: Landis Valley | Village & Farm Museum

Some History of the Museum

In 1953 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania became the steward of what is one of Lancaster County’s most exquisite treasures. Over the years, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum has become “the largest collection of Pennsylvania German artifacts in the country.” However, for visitors to be truly educated and inspired, a collection like of this caliber must be skillfully curated. Offering carefully researched “presentation[s] of authentic traditional farming, village and industrial life, skilled craft demonstrations, and historical animals and plants, the museum promotes education, research, programs, and events for the benefit and enjoyment of its visitors and the community.”

The 1700s brought many German immigrants to what is now Pennsylvania. Known as the “breadbasket of America,” by 1790, Southeastern Pennsylvania was home to many farmers. 40% of these farming families were of German descent. In addition to farming, “Pennsylvania Germans labored in a variety of crafts and businesses, as clockmakers and clergymen, tavern keepers and tinsmiths, storekeepers and weavers.”

George and Henry Landis were keen to preserve the heritage and traditions of their ancestors. After collecting over 75,000 Pennsylvania German artifacts from the 1700s and 1800s, they were ready to share it with the public. Their small museum became a permanent addition to the Landis Valley homestead in 1920.

“A visit to Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, the largest Pennsylvania German museum in the country, provides the visitor with a wonderful overview of two brothers’ passion for collecting ‘things of the past.’”(Quotes and general information: Landis Valley - Site History)

December Events

Landis Valley hosts programs, events, and various exhibits throughout the year. This past October, Denise Wilz taught a class on Pennsylvania Redware. Participants made redware and learned to decorate it using sgraffito and slip trailing techniques. This past month, Landis Valley blacksmith, Fred Eberly, taught a class on making a hammered weathervane. And these two offerings are just a glimpse of what can be enjoyed throughout the year. Landis Valley is truly a hands-on educational center.

Take a look at what’s being offered in December (Click link for all available dates). Also, be sure to check out their “Everyday Happenings” here.

Country Christmas Village (December 1 & 2)

New this year! Landis Valley explores Christmas through the years with the help of literature. What was Christmas like for kids like Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie)? Or for young ladies like the March sisters (Little Women)? Or for young couples like Jim and Della (“The Gift of the Magi”)? How did Pennsylvania German traditions influence these stories?

Kids! Post your letter to Santa at our Landis Valley Post Office. Landis Valley once had a working post office and we’re opening it again to accept letters to Santa Claus. Kids will learn about Santa from our Education Department and craft the perfect letter in their best penmanship. Then, each child will put their letter in an envelope and drop it off in the post office in the back of the Country Store. We will send them to the North Pole and each letter will receive a reply from Santa.

Parents: Please fill out a permission form so that we can post your child’s letter.

Cost (for letters only): $1.00 for postage.


Celebrate the many classic Christmas traditions handed down to us from the Pennsylvania Germans! Join us for holiday shopping, a wonderful meal and a visit from the Belsnickel! New for 2018: PA German storytellers, period dancing, interactive activities and caroling on a wagon ride! Dinner includes a wine and cheese reception in the museum store and a holiday dinner in the historic Landis Valley House Hotel. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; festivities begin at 6 p.m.

$50 for adults ($45 for Landis Valley Associates members); $35 for children 12 and under. Reservations available until November 27 at Noon.

Hours: 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Register online or contact Jamie Schuring at 717-581-0590 or c-jschurin@pa.gov.


Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum welcomes the community to spend an evening with us, free of charge, as we celebrate a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas on Friday evening, December 14, from 6-8:30 p.m. Take a wagon ride, tour several of our decorated historic buildings, huddle around a large bonfire and sign carols accompanied by the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir. Afterwards, join friends and family in our Yellow Barn for cookies and hot cider. The event is free and open to the public and there is ample free parking. Landis Valley asks that visitors bring one or more non-perishable food items to the event. Donations will go to the Lancaster Food Bank.

WINTER DAY CAMP (December 27 & 28)

As the holidays approach, we will take a nostalgic look at Christmas through the eyes of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Our Winter Day Camp will feature crafts including sewing a rag doll (boy or girl), making a tin punch ornament and cooking a holiday feast.

This camp is geared towards kids ages 5-11.

Please call education coordinator Sheri Brown at 717-569-0401 ext. 228 for registration. Registration is limited. Call early!

Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. each day

Cost (for both days): $55 per child ($40 per LVA member child)