You can take your family on a time-traveling adventure this weekend — and it won't even cost you any money to do it.
Museums across the country — including several in Harvey County — are participating in Smithsonian Museum Day on Saturday. The annual event sponsored by Smithsonian magazine allows people to visit local museums for free.
"Kauffman Museum participates in Smithsonian Museum Day as a way to recognize our connection with museums across our nation and our common goal to interpret the past," said Rachel Pannabecker, museum director.
You can take a trip back through Harvey County's past by visiting Kauffman Museum (2801 N. Main St., Bethel College, North Newton) or the Harvey County Historical Museum and Archives (203 N. Main St., Newton), which are both participating in the Smithsonian Museum Day. Visit www.smithsonianmag.com to register for a free ticket. You will receive a ticket via email that you must present at the museum in order to receive free admission.
Kaufman Museum is affiliated with Bethel College and offers exhibits on pioneer life and Mennonite migration from Russia and Poland. The museum also has a tallgrass prairie reconstruction and a historic farmstead.
Pannabecker said visitors will be able to visit the museum's current special exhibit: "Art That Worked: WPA Art in Newton, 1935-1943." The collaborative project with other area organizations features a variety of Depression-era artwork, telling the story of the Kansas Museum Project that employed artists to create prints and paintings, historic dioramas, models of industrial tools, and dolls in historic costume that were made available to museums and public schools to teach about the state's history.
"These are artworks that have been around town," Pannabecker said. "We're bringing some of those together."
The Harvey County Historical Museum and Archives is another site for Smithsonian Museum Day. The restored 1904 Carnegie Library houses five galleries and an archival research facility. Current exhibits include "The Way We Worked in Harvey County" and "Harvey County on the Homefront" (World War I).
Pannabecker said if you've never visited a local museum before, the Smithsonian Museum Day is a good way to explore Harvey County history.
"This is a free way to do it," she said.
Kauffman Museum hours on the Smithsonian Museum Day are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and Harvey County Historical Museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.