The Pennsylvania Chautauqua EST 1892
Pennsylvania Chautauqua 125th


Welcome to the Pennsylvania Chautauqua!

The purpose and mission of The Chautauqua shall be the advancement of literary, scientific, intellectual, physical and social welfare and the promotion of cultural and religious activity, recreation and entertainment. 
For over 125 years the Pennsylvania Chautauqua has been a quiet retreat where art, culture, spiritualism, nature and community come together.
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua is located in the borough of Mount Gretna, a small Victorian community founded in the late 1800’s as a summer resort. Initially the only way for residents to reach their cottages in the tree-covered rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania was to travel by train. Mount Gretna was a stop along the Cornwall/Lebanon line that has since become the Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails. Our streets were footpaths until automobiles became the mode of travel. Many of the original cottages surround an open-air playhouse where numerous cultural events are held. Our quaint atmosphere attracts many visitors every summer for music, theater, the Historical Society, a visit to the local ice cream shop and lake, or just a walk in the woods. While we enjoy our quiet winters, we welcome with open arms the visitors who come to experience Chautauqua, stroll the tree lined streets, admire the historical buildings and participate in the variety of programs we offer to fulfill our mission.

Explore our website, check out our programming schedule, and come visit.

To support our mission please donate to the Foundation

This Week in Mt. Gretna

Corona Virus Update
We regret to announce that the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show scheduled for August 15-16, 2020, will be cancelled due to the evolving and unprecedented course of the COVID-19 virus. 
This was a very difficult decision to make but the health of our artists, volunteers, community, and patrons are at the forefront of this decision. It is heartbreaking to cancel this distinct show that has defined our community. We know that art heals and creativity is needed more than ever at this time. 
We did not make this decision lightly but determined that cancelling this year will help to preserve our capacity to put the show on again in the future. Our 2021 show will be held August 21-22, so please plan to help us celebrate the arts in our community. 
All best, 
Kerry Royer on behalf of the
Art Show Committee &
Pennsylvania Chautauqua Board of Managers

RAISED TO DATE!  $6,281.47.
The community came through big time!
Here is another opportunity to help add to that amount!
Mt. Gretna "Strong at Home"
2020 Mt. Gretna Community Fire Company Mug
Good News for all you collectors and anyone else wanting to commemorate this year of quarantine! The “Mount Gretna Strong At Home” 2020 mugs will go on sale beginning Friday, June 19, at these Mt. Gretna locations:- Outside the Post Office - Fridays 11-1 and 3-4; Saturdays 10-12
- Next to the Flower Lady - Fridays 10-11 and 1-2; Saturdays 9-2
- Mt. Gretna Visitors Center, Wednesday - Sunday 11:30 - 3:30 (717-964-1830)
- Or call 717-964-3138 to arrange a pick up time
Price: $15, check or cash, (exact amount please)
The mug sale supports the Mt. Gretna Community Volunteer Fire Company, which has had to cancel numerous fundraisers. With a huge thank you for your generosity during our “Filling the Boot” campaign, we ask you to continue your support by buying a mug. The mugs not only commemorate this pandemic year but also help to keep Mt. Gretna strong at home throughout the year!

From Our Campmeeting Friends
Some Resources to consider.

What makes the Chautauqua special
Quiet Time

Chautauquans treasure the peace and tranquility of our community. For many residents, relaxing, reading, reflecting, and rocking on porches is the highlight of the summer. Neighborly consideration encourages that noisy outside projects
be done September thru May, leaving the summer months and Sundays “quiet” for everyone’s enjoyment.

What Is A Chautauqua?

Chautauqua was founded as an outdoor educational experience for Sunday school teachers by John Heyl Vincent, a Methodist Minister and Lewis Miller, a local businessman on Lake Chautauqua, New York in 1874. The summer camp format proved to be popular with families - thus began The Chautauqua Institute. After its inception the movement spread rapidly through the United States, bringing education, culture, physical and religious activities as well as entertainment to rural America. There were over two hundred Chautauquas at the height of the movement. The advent of the automobile, the radio and movie theaters caused the demise of most of the Chautauquas.

Chautauqua today is organized around its four pillars:  Arts, Education, Religion, and Recreation.  Each area is woven into the schedules of the Chautauquas. 

If you are interested in learning more about the programming offered by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, view our Summer Programs

You can learn more about Chautauquas by visiting one of the 17 existing Chautauquas that comprise the Chautauqua Trail and by visiting the following web site. http://www.chautauquatrail.com

Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show
Hello Local Mount Gretna Puzzle People. We have 500 piece jigsaw puzzles of this year's Art Show Poster available for your stay at home days. We are not mailing them out at this time. To respect social distancing, you may pick one up from the bin outside my house, 315 Muhlenberg Ave., in the driveway. On our sweet community's honor system, please mail a $25 check (tax is included) to Mount Gretna Art Show, PO Box 637, Mount Gretna, PA, 17064. PM me after you have gotten yours and I will Lysol the outside of the bin. Kerry Royer


No Events at this time.

Message from the President of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua
May 9, 2020
I hope you are all well and finally enjoying Spring in Mount Gretna. It’s wonderful to see everything greening up outside and to see everyone walking and enjoying the fresh air.  We’re becoming experts at watching the incremental changes in our gardens.  As many of you are aware, the Pa. Chautauqua has cancelled traditional programming through June; we will be making a decision and informing you shortly about options for July events. We know so far that our church services in the Playhouse are cancelled for the summer but we’re going to explore offering something remotely.  Camp Meeting has cancelled all programming through July 31. 
I’m excited to tell you that Camp Meeting and Pa. Chautauqua are partnering in a joint advisory council to help us navigate the yellow phase next month.  Some things this council will consider are increasing awareness for our visitors and signage communicating the importance of wearing masks and not congregating.  I appreciate their time and look forward to their guidance and will be communicating with you more about the work of the advisory council in the near future.
The Pa. Chautauqua is committed to complying with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and the recommendations from the Pa. Department of Health.  In response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order, the Pennsylvania Chautauqua playground and basketball courts are closed.  While some local officials have announced plans to reopen Lebanon County earlier, the Supreme Court ruled on May 8 that Governor Wolf’s Stay at Home Order stands.  It is our hope that local businesses and tenants will remain in compliance as we navigate the Governor’s red-yellow-green matrix for safely re-opening our county.  
We will get through this together.  Please feel free to call (717-507-5751) or email me: lynnecurrandavies@outlook.com if you have questions or concerns.  
With kindest regards,
Lynne Davies 
President, Pennsylvania Chautauqua

Mount Gretna On Fodors List of Top 15 Summer Places
Posted on Jul 2nd, 2020

Phone Info
  • General Inquiries: 717-964-3270
  • Hall of Philosophy Rental: 717-964-3270
  • Summer Programs: 717-964-1830
  • Worship Services: 717-737-8133 or 717-964-3050

Mail Info
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua
PO Box 637
Mount Gretna, PA 17064