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Hands-On History Programs

Hands-On History Educational Programming

Selections from our regular program series, Hands-On History, are presented for free to visitors on most weekends. The presentations are also available for private student and travel groups during their visit to Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum. 

All of our interactive programs (listed below) have been carefully developed by a team of historians, K-12 educators, and licensed battlefield guides. Program durations are approximately 45 minutes and can be customized for groups based on age, desired level of audience participation, and curricular needs.

If you are interested in booking a group visit to Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, please contact Abbie Hoffman, Director of Programs & Events, at or (717) 334-4723 ext. 106. 

Interactive Programs:

Children of the Battlefield - What was life like for kids during the Battle of Gettysburg? Dozens of first-hand accounts written by local children provide an answer. In this program, each participant will be assigned the identity of a real child or teen who lived in Gettysburg at the time of the Civil War and—through photographs, diaries, letters, and artifacts—will learn about their experiences before, during, and after the battle.

Debris of Battle - From canteens and belt buckles to bullets and artillery shells, authentic objects found in and around Gettysburg form the backbone of this hands-on program. Participants will have the opportunity to handle original Civil War artifacts and learn about the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, including how area residents faced the dangers of gathering and selling these remarkable artifacts to early tourists.

Native American Archaeology - Have you ever held a 5,000-year-old spear point in your hand? This program shines a spotlight on our collection of strikingly preserved Native American artifacts unearthed near Gettysburg. We’ll discuss the customs and possible uses for each item and some of the techniques archaeologists have employed to decipher the hidden history of Pennsylvania’s indigenous peoples. Participants will handle dozens of real Native American artifacts from our collection.

Presentation-Style Programs:

Caught in the Crossfire - How did families cope with being trapped in their cellars during the Battle of Gettysburg? What devastation awaited them when they emerged? Caught in the Crossfire uses eyewitness accounts and rare artifacts to give participants insight into what life was like for local civilians and serves as an excellent complement to the museum’s premier immersive experience.

Witnessing Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln spent just 25 hours in Gettysburg, but while he was here, he changed the course of history. This program follows Lincoln’s visit step-by-step and highlights dozens of first-hand accounts written by people who witnessed the president deliver the most famous speech of all time. Participants will have the opportunity to view up close one of the rarest artifacts in our collection— an original program from the Gettysburg Address.

The Eisenhowers at Gettysburg - Dwight D. Eisenhower lived in Gettysburg twice–first during WWI, when he led a tank training camp and combatted a deadly pandemic, and again as president, when he entertained foreign leaders and steered the country clear of nuclear war. Explore the life and legacy of our nation’s 34th president and his beloved wife, Mamie, through a host of rare Eisenhower images and artifacts from our collection.

Treasures From Beyond the Battle - From Pennsylvania’s Native American history to the Battle of Gettysburg and so much more, this program showcases the rarest artifacts and stories featured in our exhibits. This chronological presentation is a perfect companion to our museum and will enhance your experience as you explore Gettysburg’s history "beyond the battle."

© 2024 Adams County Historical Society

Any individual who financially qualifies, based upon level of income, may be granted free admission to the museum. The determination will be made by museum staff based upon that individual’s application for free admission.