Museums of the Bethel Historical Society

Mornings at the Museum and other programs

Mornings at the Museum: Through the Years

Every Thursday morning during July, we offer a series of free hands-on activities for children ages 5-10. Appropriately called “Mornings at the Museum,” this program was launched in 2015 and has continued to grow and expand into an exciting learning experience for young children. During the 2023 season, we worked with forty to fifty children each week and created summer employment for eleven local high school students who served as student docents.

Over the years, we have offered our hands-on artifacts room, special tours of the 1813 Mason House, outdoor games with wooden baseball bats and golf clubs, hand- and treadle-sewing, preparing food and cooking in our 19th century kitchen, washing and drying clothes using a hand-wringer and wooden clothes pins, and watering and caring for our courtyard garden utilizing water pulled up in buckets from the original well — among other activities.

In 2022, we focused on the arts, with activities that included creating self-portraits while dressed in vintage clothing, live folk music and dancing, and handcrafts. We offered kid-friendly tours of our historic buildings and our newly-opened local history exhibits, as well as traditional outdoor games, from croquet to hopscotch. The theme for 2023 was "Nature and Pollinators" and activities included a large mural for a local pollinator garden, making bird feeders and bird houses, and looking at nature through microscopes. Our next theme is "Waters of Maine," so watch for activities that will focus on historical uses of Maine's rivers and lakes and the value these resources have for all of us in today's world