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July 4th: Patriots in the Park


Enjoy the 4th of July at Valley Forge!

Celebrate our nation's independence through historical games, demonstrations, storytelling, tours, food and more!  Learn about the birth of the nation and the pivotal role the Valley Forge Encampment played in securing our freedom from Great Britain - all while celebrating the 4th of July in your national park. 

Most programs run from 11:00AM - 3:00PM unless otherwise noted.  Most programs are free.

Readings of the Declaration of Independence

Visitor Center | 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30

Join Benjamin Franklin as he recites the Declaration of Independence and sign your "John Hancock" to the bottom of our copy of the Declaration.

Crafts and Kids Activities

Visitor Center | 11:00 - 3:00

Dress-up like a colonial soldier or civilian, make your own finger print flag, and make a tricorn hat!  Take a fun photo with Ben Franklin as well as wooden cut-outs of revolutionary characters.

4th of July Junior Ranger Program

Visitor Center

Become an official National Park Service Junior Ranger by completing a variety of fun educational activities while exploring the park.  Start your quest to learn and discover more about Valley Forge at the Visitor Center and pickup your Junior Ranger Booklet.  Earn a special edition 4th of July Junior Ranger token.  Open to all ages.

Trolley Tours

Visitor Center | 10:00, 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00

Take a 90-minute guided tour by trolley to explore the landscape and stories of the Valley Forge Encampment.  Trolley makes extended stops at the Muhlenberg Brigade huts and Washington's Headquarters.  Buy your tickets inside the Visitor Center.

Bike Rentals

Outside of Visitor Center | 9:00 - 6:00

Explore the many trails and historic destinations within Valley Forge by bike.

Ranger-led Walks

Begin at Visitor Center |  10:50, 12:50, 2:50

Join a Valley Forge National Park Service Ranger for a short walk up to the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts.  Witness soldier life demonstrations and have the opportunity to ask the “soldiers” about life at Valley Forge during the 1777-1778 winter encampment.

Hungry?

Step-up to the Canteen outside the Visitor Center and purchase delicious grilled hot-dogs, ice cold beverages and more!

Storytelling

Multiple Locations | 11:00 - 4:00

Listen as Once Upon A Nation storytellers share riveting stories of the Valley Forge encampment and how it became a turning point in the Revolutionary War.  Benches are located on the Train Station platform at Washington's Headquarters, adjacent to the Visitor Center, and near the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts.

Black Powder Demonstrations

Muhlenberg Brigade Huts | 10:15, 11:30, 12:15, 1:30, 2:15, 3:30, 4:15

Watch reenactors load, prime and fire a variety of Revolutionary War muskets and rifles.   Learn about the drilling, training and military techniques of the Continental Army soldier from National Park Ranger and volunteers.

Join the Continental Army

Meet and Register at Mini Parade  |  11:45, 1:45  (Requires registering before program begins)

Kids can "enlist" in the Continental Army and learn to march and drill like a Continental Soldier.

Meet Monty the Fox

Visitor Center | 12:00 - 2:00

Take your picture with Monty the Fox - the friendly, furry mascot of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.

Secrets and Spies

Washington's Headquarters | 12:30 and 2:00

George Washington needs your help!  There’s rumor of a plot to have him kidnapped at Valley Forge.  Be the first to enlist and join an American spy network to uncover the traitors involved.  The program is presented with children in mind, but fun for participants of any age!

Discover the Bookstore and Learn Even More!

Visitor Center |  9:00 – 6:00

Browse an expansive collection of great books, clothing, souvenirs, refreshments and more at The Encampment Store.   The Encampment Store supports the interpretive, educational, scientific and historical activities of Valley Forge National Historical Park as a 501c3 and official park partner.

Tour Washington's Headquarters and Train Station Museum

9:00 - 6:00

Explore the original, temporary home of George and Martha Washington during the 6-month Valley Forge Encampment.  Visit the Train Station to view interpretive exhibits and multimedia presentations about Valley Forge.

Historic Military Impressions

Muhlenberg Brigade Huts |  11:00 - 3:00

Historic Military Impressions portrays the life and times of the American men and women who served in the Armed Forces from Pre-Revolutionary times to the present, through participation in living history events and reenactments. HMI has twice received the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation Award for portrayal of the fighting men and women in the history of the United States of America.

Trails on Tap

Betzwood Picnic Area  |  12:00 - 9:00

In partnership with Schuylkill River Greenways, Trails on Tap brings a pop-up beer garden to Valley Forge this summer. Stop by and enjoy delicious food, Mainstay beer on tap, and non-alcoholic beverages and relax in the outdoors with chairs, hammocks, and restrooms.   More info: www.trailsontappa.com

Hike, Walk, Bike Valley Forge

Explore the more than 30 miles of paved and unpaved trails through woods, meadows, monuments, along the Schuylkill River and more.

Picnic in the Park

Bring your own picnic and enjoy the holiday outside at the Wayne's Woods and Varnum's Picnic Areas.

Watch the Park Film:  “Valley Forge:  A Winter Encampment”

Visitor Center |  9:30 – 5:30

Learn more about the history of the Valley Forge Encampment by watching our free, 18-minute orientation film.  Also available online at go.nps.gov/vafofilm

Life as a Continental Soldier

Mulenberg Brigade Huts and Redoubt (Fort) #2  | 10:00 – 4:00

Step into the world of a Continental Soldier by exploring the reconstructed huts and fortifications of the Valley Forge Encampment.  Watch colonial cooking demonstrations at the Bake Oven, led by living history volunteers.  Learn how soldiers and their families lived, worked and trained during the encampment through a variety of interpretive exhibits and demonstrations.

Explore Varnum’s Quarters

Varnum’s Quarters  |  11:00 – 3:00

Step inside an original encampment-era farmhouse and learn about lives of local civilians during the encampment and the experiences of  General James Varnum.



Earlier Event: July 3
Trails on Tap
Later Event: July 5
Trails on Tap