“Hands-on-history” best describes our approach to public education and outreach. Throughout the year, we provide fun and inventive ways to teach students of all ages about Mahoning Valley history.  It really comes to life during our summer programming series, Hands-On-History Open House. To see all the faces discovering unique facts about our area, while doing creative activities, proves the value of our MVHS mission.

Save these dates for the 2021 Summer Series of
Hands-On-History Open Houses

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will continue the Hands-On-History Open House Programs in an online challenge format during the summer of 2021. History Clips and coordinating activities will be posted each Wednesday from July 7 through August 4. This year, participants will travel through time to learn about the people who have lived in the Mahoning Valley over the last few thousand years.

Guidelines will be available for two levels of ages and abilities: “Assistant” and “Curator.” Each week, participants are asked to share their creations on our various social media platforms with #HistoryAtMyHouse2021

July 7
History Clip: The First Peoples
Learn about the history of the earliest inhabitants of the Mahoning Valley, our Indigenous Peoples who migrated here more than 10,000 years ago. Explore their daily lives and how those lives changed over the centuries.

July 14
History Clip: The Pioneers
Learn about the first people of European descent who moved into the Mahoning Valley to settle this area into the cities and towns we have today. Why did they come here? What made them stay and what challenges did they face in this rugged frontier?

July 21
History Clip: The Growers
Learn about the people who immigrated into this area for work in the late 19th century, mostly for jobs in the steel industry. Where did they come from and how did they keep their history alive? How did the population grow and change over time?

July 28
History Clip: The Unsung
Learn about the people you may not know – People of Color, women, religious minorities, and more. How did they impact the lives of people around them and help to shape our history?

August 4
History Clip: We, The People
Learn about how YOUR story impacts the world around you. How do you change the people around you just by being you? How do we all come together to create the community we have today?

Click on each program below to download its activities

Bring the magic of the North Pole to your house with this series of holiday at-home activities. Each Sunday, from November 22, 2020 through January 3, 2021, we will feature favorite children’s books and post example images and step-by-step instructions of crafts that can be done with simple household items. A little festive, creative time with the family will transport you right to Santa’s Workshop.

MVHS wishes to thank Southern Park Mall for sponsoring this 2020 Holiday Season online feature! If you need any help, please email Traci Manning, MVHS Curator of Education, at for assistance.

Thanksgiving in the Woods
Sunday, November 22, 2020

Learn about this wonderful story of a family’s special celebration of the November holiday, written by Phyllis Alsdurf and express your own creativity!

Click here to download activities.

Rainbow Crow
Sunday, November 29, 2020

The legend of Rainbow Crow from the Lenape indigenous people tells the tale of a large, strong, and brave crow who makes a courageous sacrifice to help his friends. The story is retold by author Nancy Van Laan and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Download this file and be inspired to dream in vibrant colors!

Click here to download activities.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Sunday, December 6, 2020

The iconic title character tries to stop Christmas from coming, yet has the heart-growing realization that the holiday is more than packages, bows, and NOISE. The story is authored and illustrated by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. Download this file and find ways to spread Christmas cheer!

Click here to download activities.

Hanukkah Bear
Sunday, December 13, 2020

Discover the generosity of a special bubba when she shares her delicious holiday cooking with an unexpected guest. The story is authored by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. Download our activities file and share your kind spirit with everyone around you!

Click here to download activities.

A Visit from St. Nicholas
Sunday, December 20, 2020

Few classic tales poetically describe the magic of Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve than what many folks refer to as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The story is authored by Clement Clarke Moore. Download our activities file and capture your own vision of Santa!

Click here to download activities.

The Legend of the Poinsettia
Sunday, December 27, 2020

Did you know this charming tale of a Christmas miracle through a little girl’s love and determination? The story is retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Download our activities file and celebrate one of nature’s iconic symbols of Christmas!

Click here to download activities.

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
Sunday, January 3, 2021

For the final Holiday Hands On History story of this series, a squirrel finds out what makes for the best kind of resolution. This book is authored by Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember. Seek out this story, download our activities file, and reflect on 2020, while looking forward to 2021!

Click here to download activities.

In 2020, due to public health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, we launch Hands On History At Your House, an online version of our summer Open House series that includes a weekly video challenge and downloadable activities. Each week, the “Click here” in the program description box will open the PDF that gives you what you need. Likewise, the web site link will take you directly to our video challenge posted on each program day. These instructions, historical information, and activities will become available online on their respective program days and remain throughout the summer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
1:00pm – Video Challenge

Learn about local places and their importance in history. With that knowledge, create an exhibit that showcases one or more of the sites.

Click here to download instructions and activities.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
1:00pm – Video Challenge

Discover important local events through online activities to create your own newscast.

Click here to download instructions and activities.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
1:00pm – Video Challenge

Find out about several influential local people and create a brief presentation.

Click here to download instructions and activities.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
1:00pm – Video Challenge

Explore various eras in local history through online exhibits, helping you create your own historic newspaper.

Click here to download instructions and activities.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
1:00pm – Video Challenge

Gather all of the information you’ve learned through the summer and choose the best way to present it to the world.

Click here to download instructions and activities.