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“Day At The Museum”

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Ranked #6 of 53 things to do in Harrisburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Museum housing more than two million objects associated with or significant to the history and heritage of Pennsylvania.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
126 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Day At The Museum”
Reviewed July 13, 2014

Likes: Fascinating information about the people, geology, and former residents (dinosaurs) of Pennsylvania. Beautiful mural between the 2nd and 3rd floors. I visited on a Wednesday afternoon...and just about had the museum to myself.

The "Hall of Mammals" display is a little dated, but the dioramas are fun to look at.

Visited July 2014
Thank TrademarkTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
York, PA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The Place to learn about PA's People, Land and History”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

I'm not much of a museum-goer but I went because I like history, I'm a lifelong Pennsylvanian, and had never been there. Modest fee to get in-- $5 or $7. Top floor is wildlife of PA, some of it pretty boring for a native-- like their stuffed squirrels-- but some of it very interesting, like the buffalo, bobcats, and dinosaur fossils.

There are exhibits for everyone, including the history of automobiles, with different carriages and cars dating back to the late 1800's, a Native American exhibit, Civil War exhibit-- mainly about Gettysburg, since that was the most interesting Civil War event in PA-- a walkthrough streetscape of a Philadelphia street in the 1700's, complete with period-style building facades and rooms, a rotating art exhibit, and more! I enjoyed the football in the current art exhibit. It was made out of recycled aluminum cans: Coke, Budweiser, Yuengling, etc. Very clever!

The most interesting parts of the museum to me were the three-story mural of significant PA events within the heart of the circular, "top-down" museum, and the founding documents on display. A plaque gives a description of the several documents from the Penn Charter to the State Constitution.

The museum is clean, the exhibits are very interesting, and it is right across the street from the Capitol. I had 1.5-2 hours, more time would have been better to see everything. Definitely the place to learn about Pennsylvania's land and history!

Visited May 2014
Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, New York
2 reviews
“Don't Let The "Dated" Look Deter You”
Reviewed July 4, 2014

The State Museum of Pennsylvania does have a bit of a "dated" look to it as the exhibits do look like they are set up in a style that harkens back to the 60's and 70's. But don't let the absence of modern "bells and whistles" deter you from visiting this fine state museum. The circular, "top-down", three floor museum lay out is easy to follow and the huge statue of William Penn provides a central focal point. Exhibits are topical and center upon geology and nature (3rd Floor), human settlement, Pennsylvania's role in the Civil War, and industrial development (2nd Floor), and art and State foundational documents (1st Floor). Parking is nearby and The State Capitol next door is a must see. Allow for 2-3 hours to see this fine museum.

Visited July 2014
Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Pretty Nice!”
Reviewed June 8, 2014 via mobile

Lots to learn and see about the state. Would be better if there were more interactive exhibits. The dino exhibit was my favorite of them all.

Thank hrhpixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
71 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“An Excellent State Museum”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We like to visit State Capitols and State Museums. Today we visited Pennsylvania's and we're much impressed. We had only an hour-plus; at least a couple of hours would be better. Excellent exhibits! Friendly staff! Right next door to the PA State Capitol building.

Visited June 2014
Thank RHA1936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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