Meadowcroft to Kick Off 2021 Season on May 1

- The Washington County attraction offers families a safe and fun outdoor experience -
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Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in Washington County will open for its 2021 season on Saturday, May 1.
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, part of the Senator John Heinz History Center’s family of museums, will open for its 53rd season on Saturday, May 1.  

Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Pittsburgh in Avella, Washington County, Meadowcroft offers a safe and fun outdoor adventure for the whole family. 

Visitors of all ages can watch a blacksmith forge red-hot iron in a 19th-century historic village, use an atlatl (a prehistoric spear-thrower) in a 16th-century Monongahela Indian village, throw a tomahawk at an 18th-century Frontier Trading Post, and explore the prehistoric wonders of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter – a National Historic Landmark recognized  as the oldest site of human habitation in North America.  

Meadowcroft to offer exciting programs throughout season

Meadowcroft will offer a full slate of programming this season, with highlights including:

  • June 19: Annual Atlatl Competition Test your skills with the atlatl and watch some of the world’s best competitors from the World Atlatl Association compete for high score.
  • June 26: Beast Mode Archery Challenge – For the first time ever, the Beast Mode Archery Challenge is coming to Pennsylvania! Watch archers test their strength, stamina, and endurance in high-pressure, simulated hunting scenarios on the same land where pe ople have hunted for more than 19,000 years .
  • July 4: Independence Day Celebration Celebrate the spirit of America with historical demonstrations and period games at Meadowcrof t’s 18 th century frontier area and 19 th century rural village.
  • Oct. 16: Archaeology Day – As part of Pennsylvania Archaeology Month, archaeologists from the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology will present lectures and identify artifacts, accompanied by demonstrations of prehistoric technology.
In addition, the popular Insider Tours of Meadowcroft Rockshelter will return for the 2021 season. Each program features an in-depth lecture and tour led by James M. Adovasio , Ph.D., who achieved international acclaim with his archeological excavation of the Rockshelter that began in 1973. Insider Tours are scheduled for July 10, Sept. 4, Oct. 10, and Nov. 6. Space is limited, so please register in advance at .
Hours, Admission, Health & Safety
Meadowcroft is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in May. 
Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens, $7 for children ages 6-17 and students with a valid ID, and free for children ages 5 and under and Heinz History Center members. Advance tickets areavailable at
Social distancing and masks are required in indoor spaces, including the Rockshelter enclosure,while it remains a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health . Masks are required in Meadowcroft’s outdoor spaces when in close proximity with staff and other visitors. For more information on Meadowcroft’s health and safety procedures in response to COVID-19, please visit .
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village operates in association with the Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian and Pennsylvania’s largest history museum.  Meadowcroft, a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest site of human habitation in North America and features a massive rock overhang used by the region’s earliest inhabitants for shelter more than 19,000 years ago. The 16th century Monongahela Indian Village includes wigwams, recreated prehistoric artifacts, and hands-on activities related to agriculture. Two 18th century structures help to spotlight the similarities and differences between the everyday lives of European settlers and American Indians in the Upper Ohio Valley. Meadowcroft’s 19th century village features a covered bridge, one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and church that create a charming country village setting. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village is located in Avella, Pa., Washington County, within an hour’s drive of Pittsburgh. For more, visit .