The Institute sets upcoming programs and events

WAYNESBORO, PA–The Institute has scheduled a variety of upcoming programs for families:

Wee Wonders Nature Series for Preschool—Fall 2023

Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26, and November 2 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

The Institute’s outdoor learning program for kids ages 2.5 years through 5. Pre-registration required for full series of five programs. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Taught by Institute educators, age-appropriate program activities make learning fun, and include exploring the outdoors, hikes, nature stories, rhymes, finger plays, nature games, and puppets.

Series Fee: $40/child Institute member; $50 general public. Email to: [email protected]. Website link:

Friday, October 6 • 6 p.m.

An Evening with Poe: Theater in the Park

The Wharf,10141 Wharf Road in Waynesboro, Pa.

The Institute presents a theatrical production spotlighting Edgar Allan Poe, performed outdoors by MEG Theatre (Maryland Entertainment Group). Professional actor Todd Loughry brings Poe to life, performing alongside a talented and creepy cast of actors, dancers, and musicians. Loughry has been portraying Poe for more than 20 years. Enjoy a unique evening of Poe’s greatest work—like you have never seen before. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic if you wish. FREE and open to the public. For more info, call 717-762-0373 or email at: [email protected].

Website link:

Saturday, October 21 • 12–4 p.m.      

Pumpkins & Pippins Fall Festival Fundraiser

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

Support The Institute by bringing your family to a fall celebration of Pumpkins & Pippins! Enjoy live music and have lunch from a food truck, with dessert from our bake sale. Activities include pony rides, Kid Zone Playground Games, a StoryWalk® and more. In addition, shop at the vendor tables, and watch the star attraction—the Trebuchet Pumpkin Launcher! This event is a fundraiser for The Institute. For more information call The Institute at 717-762-0373, or visit

Website link:

Saturday, October 14 • 12–2:30 pm

Annular Solar Eclipse Watch Party

Red Run Park, 12143 Buchanan Trail E, Waynesboro, PA

NASA space scientist, Todd Toth, and The Institute’s staff will guide a safe viewing experience of an annular eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the Moon is at its furthest distance from Earth. The eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon. With equipment to measure temperature, clouds, barometric pressure, relative humidity and more, data will also be collected and uploaded to the GLOBE App. Music, entertainment, solar telescopes, and hands-on activities including making your own safe pin hole eclipse viewing device. Free. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email [email protected]. Website link:

Monday, December 4 • 6 pm 

Star Party with Tri-State Astronomers

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

In partnership with the Tri-State Astronomers. A telescope viewing of the night sky. Tri-State Astronomers will set up telescopes and be on hand with guidance. Free. (Cloud date TBA if needed—check website if cloudy). For more information, call The Institute at 717-762-0373 or email to [email protected]Website link:

Thursday, December 21 • 4–6 pm 

Winter Solstice Celebration

Red Run Park, 12143 Buchanan Trail E, Waynesboro, PA

The Institute’s fourth annual Winter Solstice Celebration, marking the longest night—or shortest day—of the year, which falls on December 21 this year in the Northern Hemisphere. Since ancient times, people all over the world have recognized this important astronomical occurrence and celebrated the “return of the sun” in a variety of ways. After the solstice, the days get gradually longer. 

Join this family-friendly celebration of the season with folktale storytelling, hands-on solstice activities for children like making garlands of popcorn and berries and edible ornaments for animals, live music, fire-pit warming stations, and hot chocolate stations.

Members of the Tri-State Astronomers club will be on hand with telescopes to observe the winter skies. After sunset, there will be opportunities to view the celestial features of the winter sky. Vendors and specific details are to be announced. The entire event is outdoors, so dress accordingly. For questions, email us at [email protected].

Website link:

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