Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


Saturdays at Burnside

Visit Burnside Plantation on the first Saturday of the month for family fun!

People at Burnside
Barn at Burnside Plantation

First Saturday of the month
May through October, 2023

10 am to noon

1461 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem

Little girl in the foliage of the Butterfly Garden at Burnside (c) Mindy Watson

Join us the first Saturday of each month for a day of family fun at Burnside Colonial farm! You're invited to explore the history of our “farm in the city” — a part of the Moravian community since 1748. Take a peek at the Burnside House, barn, and summer kitchen where you can learn about Colonial cooking. Follow it up with a donation toward some delicious homegrown veggies, herbs, and/or flowers at Burnside Garden's “Point and Pick” program. Plus, don't miss all the other exciting activities like nature walks, storytime, and hands-on history lessons

Activities are presented from 10 am to noon on the first Saturday of the month. See the schedule of activities below.

Volunteering at Burnside: We need your help to keep the fun going! Please get in touch with Keith Sten [email protected] to learn about volunteer opportunities at Burnside.

Monthly activities

  • Meet the Gardeners
  • Peek inside the Burnside House
  • Experience the Summer Kitchen
  • Complete the Burnside leg of the Heritage Trail
  • A special kids' craft and activity each month
  • Burnside Barn Tour

2023 Saturdays at Burnside Schedule

May 6th - What’s Growing in the Garden? 

April showers bring May flowers! Learn about many of the special plants growing in the Burnside garden and get a chance to plant your own seed to take home. Join us for a nature walk at 10am & 11am to explore the gardens at Burnside and learn about how they are taken care of.   

Special Craft: Paint a Planter – Decorate a flower pot to hold your very own seed to bring home and take care of! 

Visit the Summer Kitchen: James Burnside loved his sweets, especially butter and chocolate. Learn about a tasty “breakfast” treat -  “Chocolate Cream” – a recipe from 1769.  Did you know chocolate could be considered a healthy breakfast at that time? 

June 3 - Which Weather on the Farm? 

Explore the importance of weather for a colonial farm like Burnside. Try out a few weather-related activities or harness the power of the wind to fly a kite in the meadow.  

Special Craft: Wacky Windchimes – Turn the wind into sound with your very own windchime!  Where will you hang it at home?  

Visit the Summer Kitchen: Let’s churn some Butter!  Discover three ways to make this sweet treat, and try them out yourself.  Don’t forget to wash the butter when you’re done churning. 

July 1 - Barnyard Buddies 

A farm just wouldn’t be the same without animals!  Learn about some of the animals that would have lived on an early farm like Burnside Plantation and ways that they would provide help or important resources for a farm family. 

Special Craft: Barnyard Keepsake Box – Decorate a barn-inspired keepsake box to store small things at home.  A barn just isn’t the same without animals, so make sure to make a pom-pom farm friend to keep inside! 

Visit the Summer Kitchen: I scream, you scream, let’s all make “Chocolate Ice Cream” using a 1790 recipe.  Have you ever heard of a sabottiere?  Come and try it out! 

August 5 - Water, Water, Everywhere 

Do you know why the Monocacy Creek was so important to early Bethlehem and the Burnside family?  Join us for a nature walk at 10am & 11am to learn all about this great resource and the ecosystem that it supports.  You will also be able to explore how irrigation is used to make sure crops get enough water with a fun activity. 

Special Craft:  Mini Monocacy Aquarium – After learning about the Monocacy Creek and its important ecosystem, make your own mini aquarium display with this fun craft.  What will you put inside? 

Visit the Summer Kitchen: How do you say delicious in German?  One way might be “Schokolade Suppe” (Chocolate Soup).  Discover this tasty recipe from 1787 in the Summer Kitchen.   

September 2 - From Soil to Cellar 

With harvest season right around the corner visit Burnside to explore the colonial farming process - from planting seeds to harvesting them. Make sure to visit the Summer Kitchen to discover some historic and modern food preservation methods to keep food fresh throughout the winter 

Special Craft: Cool Crop Keychains – “Harvest” your own crop with a colorful bead keychain.  Follow one of the patterns to make a fruit or vegetable inspired keychain, or make your own design! 

Visit the Summer Kitchen:  Check out two recipes that probably would have reminded James Burnside of his youth in Ireland.  Learn about a 1747 recipe for “Fairy Butter” as well as “Irish Pancakes” from 1755.   

October 7 - Recycle those Resources 

Colonial farmers were very resourceful! Instead of throwing out certain materials they found additional uses for those waste products. Today we might only think of recycling plastic bottles or newspapers, but there are a lot of things that can be recycled if you find a creative use for them!  Learn about recycling and reusing materials on the farm and get inspired for your own recycling projects.  

Special CraftCrafty Recyclers –  Make your own useful recycled object out of newspapers, plastic bottles, cans, and more.  “Recycle” one of our suggested craft ideas, or come up with your own creative use for these reusable materials. 

Summer Kitchen:  No tricks here, just a delicious 1770 treat to learn about in the Summer Kitchen – “Chocolate Biscuits!”   

Check back for additional workshop dates with the Penn State Master Gardener program!

The History of the Burnside Plantation

Open to all: You Point, We Pick!

The award-winning Colonial Garden at Burnside Plantation is bursting with organically grown produce, herbs, and flowers now available to all visitors!

We welcome the public to visit the garden on the first Saturday of every month June 3 - October 7 between 9:30am and 12:00pm for You Point, We Pick! Visitors can point out anything you'd like to take home, and our volunteers will pick it for you in exchange for a donation of your choice. Cash and credit will be accepted. Visit throughout the season as all different vegetables, herbs, and flowers will be in bloom!

Please bring your own bags, baskets, or buckets, as we will not provide any materials other than the plants.

Please Note: The Colonial Garden at Burnside Plantation is not pick-your-own. We use many of our plantings for charity and educational purposes. Availability of all items is not guaranteed, and produce is first-come, first-served.


Kid's Activities

Kids will be able to discover the Colonial Garden and do a fun farm craft during their visit. Every month there is a new craft to make each weekend with extra activities on certain weekends. These outdoor activities and crafts are fun for visitors of any age! Check back for the full schedule of kid's activities for 2023.

Love Gardening?

Watch Head Burnside Volunteer Gardener, Pat Corpora, speak with Mike McGrath from PBS39/WLVT's You Bet Your Garden about:

  • The history of Burnside's fabulous garden
  • What we plant there today
  • And how you can get involved!

Volunteers make the garden and activities at Burnside Plantation possible each year.

Annual Events at Burnside Plantation

For more information, please contact the Visitor Center:
1.800.360.TOUR    |   [email protected]


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