Event organizers are providing many hands-on activities and exhibits to help bring history to life for even the youngest visitors.
“Gettysburg always does a great job of engaging kids and keeping them interested,” said Carl Whitehill, media relations manager at Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, citing the area’s interactive museums and tours.
Whitehill said it’s usually not until a child has been to Gettysburg that they fully understand the Civil War and take textbook learning to the next level.
“What kids often see in Gettysburg helps them understand what they’ve learned in school,” Whitehill said.
There are a variety of ways to experience Gettysburg history and tour the battlefield.
“We know that people who visit Gettysburg come from all walks of life and with a spectrum of knowledge about the battle and Civil War history,” Whitehill explained.
“Events that take place in Gettysburg keep all generations in mind.”
10 family-friendly 150th eventsA variety of events will take place June 28 through July 7, many of which will provide an up-close look at cavalry, artillery and the lives that soldiers led during the Civil War.
Check out a few of the family-friendly activities to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg.
1. Where War Meets Compassion, The Confederate Field Hospital
June 28 through July 7
Held on the historic Daniel Lady Farm, visitors will be able to see the site as a Confederate field hospital and experience demonstrations throughout the weekend. The field hospital program will be kicked off with a re-creation of soldiers converging on the hospital following the battle on Culp’s Hill. For information, visit www.gbpa.org.
2. 150th Gettysburg Commemoration Family Festival at Adams County Winery
Adams County Winery in Orrtanna will be holding a free family festival, complete with activities, demonstrations, music and food in commemoration of the anniversary of the battle. For more information, visit www.adamscountywinery.com.
3. Corbit’s Charge — Union Mills 1863
June 28, 29 and 30
Soldiers used the Union Mills Homestead just down Littlestown Pike in Maryland as a place of encampment in June 1863 prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Walking tour, commemorations, re-enactments and encampments, musical celebrations and living-history displays will be held throughout the weekend. For information, visit www.unionmills.org.
4. 150th Gettysburg Re-enactment — A Blue Gray Alliance Event
June 29 and 30
This re-enactment, to be held on nearby farmland, will include battles, weapon demonstrations, period music, food vendors and living-history interpretations. Children can enjoy the Civil War-era atmosphere by touring the encampments. Spectator tickets are $10 per day for adults; there is no fee for children 12 and younger. For information, visit www.bluegraygettysburg.com.
5. Kids and Family Tent at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
July 1 through 4
This program tent will have free activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day for the entire family. Plus, guests will have a chance to check out the museum with its many interactive exhibits, including the Cyclorama painting and diorama depicting Pickett’s Charge. There is an entry fee for the museum, film and Gettysburg Cyclorama. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/gett.
6. Grand Opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum
The museum, located on the campus of the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary, will feature unique exhibits on the first day of Battle in Gettysburg, as well as highlights on Civil War medicine and faith. For tickets and more information, visit www.seminaryridgemuseum.org.
7. Opening Action on the Road to Gettysburg — 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Hanover
Cavalry will re-create this important battle that took place on June 30, 1863, just before the Battle of Gettysburg. Located on the Sheppard Farm in Union Township, Adams County, encampments will be open to visitors. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students 12 to 18 years old, and free for children 11 and younger. For information, visit www.lcacnet.org.
8. Pickett’s Charge Commemorative Walk
Organized by the Gettysburg National Military Park as part of its Anniversary Ranger Program, visitors will join either the Confederate or Union sides in a commemorative walk on the exact ground that Pickett’s Charge took place at the exact time, 150 years later. For information, visit www.nps.gov/gett.
9. 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle Re-enactment
July 4 through 7
Held annually by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, this re-enactment will feature a large living-history village, guest speakers, field demonstrations and battle re-enactments. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate. For tickets and information, visit www.gettysburgreenactment.com.
10. Confederates Take the Shriver House
During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Shriver House was overtaken by Confederate soldiers. Visitors can see a re-creation of Confederate sharpshooters taking aim from the Shriver family’s attic in this re-enactment — touted as the only one on the streets of Gettysburg. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and younger. For information, visit www.shriverhouse.org.