Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Summer Live Music in Lancaster, PA

Summer is practically synonymous with exciting concerts, so if you’re wondering where you can go to listen to some live music this summer in Lancaster, PA, we’ve got you covered! From large-scale amphitheaters to smaller-scale live entertainment at some of our favorite restaurants, you’ll be sure to get your music fix for this summer in Lancaster County.

Lancaster Summer Arts Festival

Lasting from June 1-July 24, this festival is a must! All entertainment is free, including shows for children and locally made films. You’ll be able to find something for everyone at the Lancaster Summer Arts Festival, and it’s a great way to support local artists. Check out their brochure online to see which artists will be performing at the festival.

Friday Events

Fridays signify more than just the end of a work week—they’re all about fun and entertainment! Did you know that there are events going on for every Friday evening of the month in at least one of the towns in Lancaster? If it’s the first or third Friday of the month, be sure to go make an appearance in Downtown Lancaster for some live music. You can also catch live music in Mount Gretna on the first Friday of the month. If it’s the second Friday of the month, try heading over to either Elizabethtown or Lititz for a fun-filled evening including live music. Finally, on the fourth Friday of the month, check out Mount Joy or any of the River Towns (Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville) for their Friday night events.

Music in the Vineyards

Grab a lawn chair and a wineglass for this fun outdoor concert venue! Located at Nissley Winery, this is the perfect date night spot that would make any wine and music lover swoon. Check out their website for more details on upcoming Saturday night band performances.

Additionally, you can check out The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey for a similar experience. They have their Decked Out Live event every Friday evening, which features live bands and serves wine and beer. We also recommend checking out their Straws and Stripes event July 14th, at which big names like Uncle Kracker and Puddle of Mudd will be performing, in addition to local bands. Don’t forget to add Merlot Day to your calendar for August 18th, especially if you’re a fan of O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson, as they’ll be performing while food trucks and beverage stations will be readily available. Minors are not permitted.

If you have little ones but still want to enjoy this sort of experience, you’re in luck! The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey is hosting their second annual Summer Splash event, which is family friendly. Another compelling reason to attend: all of the adult ticket proceeds support the Children’s Miracle Network. A great cause and a fun time; be sure to mark August 4th in your calendar.

Summer Music Series

If you want to check out one of the top musical entertainment destinations in Central Pennsylvania, now celebrating its 56th season, Long’s Park Amphitheater is for you. The shows are performed here by upcoming artists and long-time performers from an assortment of genres. With a unique outdoor venue carved into a hillside, the free Sunday night shows, starting at 7:30 PM, are great for any music lovers. We recommend bringing some lawn chairs or blankets to get comfy while listening!

Restaurants

Believe it or not, some of our favorite places to listen to live music double up as our favorite places to eat! Some good places to check out include Marion Court, which has live music Fridays evenings, Annie Bailey’s, and Tellus360, which has live music nearly every night of the week.

American Music Theatre

Not just for plays and musicals—this theatre also houses talented bands and singers. Check out their brand new all age Rock at the Park music festival located at Clipper Magazine Stadium on July 21st for great music, delicious food, and other fun activities including a mechanical bull, dunk tank, and carousel. Fuel, Eve 6, Sister Hazel, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Fastball will be performing at this “must-see” concert. What better way to get in the summer spirit?

Hersheypark Stadium

Though not part of Lancaster County, neighboring town Hershey will be hosting concerts from many big names this summer, which we thought were worth mentioning. Artists including Harry Styles, Imagine Dragons, Zac Brown Band, and Kesha, to name a few, will all be performing there this summer.

Lancaster, PA Date Ideas for Every Kind of Couple

We all enjoy a little time with the one we love, but finding a new date night idea may be a challenge. We’ve all been there. Day-to-day activities take over, and it’s easy to feel stuck in a slump.

Add a little adventure to your date night, and ask yourself: what type of couple are you? Intellectuals or adventurers? Are you foodies? Extroverts? Or perhaps coffee connoisseurs? Scroll through the list below to get inspiration for your next date night in Lancaster, PA!

Adventurers

You hear the call of the daring spirit any month of the year. Go climbing at Spooky Nook Sports Complex. You can buy day passes and climb until your heart’s content. And, even better, you can end your night with dinner or a late night snack at Forklift and Palate (which is right on the premises) offering American-style fare, cocktails, beer, and wine to refresh weary climbers after a night of scaling and bouldering.

Foodies

Even the most accomplished home chef needs some inspiration from time to time. Don’t just go to the same place that you always gravitate toward for a night out. Why not grab dinner and cocktails at Annie Bailey’s Irish Public House? Then walk a few blocks and get a delicious dessert and after-dinner cocktail from The Press Room Restaurant. Going to two different restaurants will amp up your night and create a memorable dining experience.

Coffee Connoisseurs

If free evenings are hard to come by, why not take a quiet morning and enjoy coffee and a breakfast treat? Lancaster County offers a wide variety of coffee shops, each one with their twist on a freshly roasted cup. From Passenger Coffee to Prince Street Cafe, to the Speckled Hen, Square One, and Mean Cup, it’s worth taking a quiet morning to be with your favorite person. Maybe even go to work late and take advantage of a weekday morning. (Just don’t tell your boss you got the idea from us!)

Intellectuals

While a cozy night at home with your favorite person and book sounds like a dream come true, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find your next favorite book. With local bookstores like DogStar Books, Aaron’s Books, and The Rabbit & The Dragonfly, it’s easy to get lost in the rows of shelves showcasing books just waiting for their stories to be told. Each of these bookstores hosts occasional events if you want to extend your night to meet like-minded individuals in the community.

Beer Enthusiasts

The call of the couch is strong while sipping on your favorite bottled beer on an average Tuesday night. But why not experience the growing craft culture of Lancaster County? With a history of unique beers, Lancaster has a few for you to choose from regardless of your favorite varietal; Lancaster Brewing Company, Iron Hill Brewery, Appalachian Brewing Company, Wacker Brewing Company, and Spring House Brewing Company. All these breweries offer craft beer and delicious food, so it might be a good night to hit up more than one of these Lancaster staples.

Artists

Take a step beyond experiencing art in a gallery. See art come to life at the Fulton Theater. With exciting shows all year long, it’s an easy way to discover your new favorite story. Or how about dinner and a show? Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre pairs a buffet full of delectable offerings with live musicals and concerts, perfect for a romantic evening out.

Extroverts

Instead of just hosting a dinner party or a game night, what if you experienced a couples group activity that will test the mental limits of each team member?  Lancaster has a few Escape Rooms, Escape on Queen and Escape Room Lancaster that offers a variety of themed rooms ready to test your intellect. These Escape Rooms build camaraderie, team bonding, and the satisfaction of beating the record.

Introverts

Your introverted hearts are the happiest at home during a cozy night together.  But if you and your significant other are looking for an activity that will add a bit of spice to your daily routine, try a local cooking class. Most cooking classes are small (only 10-12 people per class), so it would be a fun way to learn a new type of cooking that you can enjoy at home time and time again. Zest offers a variety of classes, everything from cooking with an iron skillet to learning how to cook a Mexican feast. The Culinary Classroom provides a plethora of options from cooking techniques to making ravioli.

Whoever you are—artists or adventurers, introverts or extroverts—Lancaster County offers excellent date possibilities for every kind of couple. Make the most of your date night and try something new.

#DiscoverTheHolidays Scavenger Hunt

The holiday season is a joyous time of the year, but we all know it can be stressful. Every year December flies by – we blink and suddenly it’s Christmas. But it’s never too late to delight in the season! Take some time away from the madness to reconnect with your favorite people. Grab your friends or family, hop in the car, and take a break from the stress with this very merry scavenger hunt.

Here are a couple of quick rules before you get started:

1. We need evidence! You must take a photo or video at each stop as proof.
2. Everyone in the car must participate.
3. You don’t have to complete the scavenger hunt in order, but for each item you complete and share with us on Instagram, you will be entered to win.

Five merry winners, chosen at random, will receive a $50 gift card to one of the following:

–  Federal Taphouse
–  Bistro Barbaret
–  Annie Bailey’s
–  Carr’s Restaurant
–  Lancaster Brewing Company

Ready. Set. Go!

1. Go to Penn Square and get a photo with the Christmas Lights while jumping in the air

2. Find a house completely decked out with Christmas lights

3. Find a gallery or shop that has a window decorated for the Holidays

4. Snap a photo with a local gift you bought for someone

5. Catch a picture with Santa in Lancaster County (some places you might find him are Dutch Wonderland, Strasburg Rail Road, and Park City)

6. Hold up your holiday show ticket stubs and snap a shot

Use #discovertheholidays when you post your videos or photos on Instagram and be entered to win a sweet gift card to a local restaurant. Contest runs through December 31, 2017. Winners will be chosen and contacted on or around January 2, 2018.

Happy hunting!

Things to do in Lancaster this December

The holidays are here again. Despite the busyness of the season, Christmas is a great time to reconnect with friends and family in Lancaster. Soak in the season with traditional favorites as well as a few fresh twists for 2017. Here are some unique ways to participate in the merriment of a Lancaster County Christmas.

Outdoor Festivities

1). The Christmas Spirit Light Show at Manheim Township’s Community Park

This show is a one-of-a-kind Christmas light display you can enjoy from the warmth of your vehicle. On the mile-long track you will experience the latest in intelligent lighting solutions, including smart pixel technology, that fully integrates with holiday music to bring the magic of the season to life!

Running now through January 1.
For pricing and hours, visit this page.

2). Strasburg Railroad

Take a train ride with Santa, a Christmas tradition in Strasburg since 1959. Your family will be greeted by St. Nick as he climbs aboard the train and travel down the historic tracks to Paradise, Pa. As the anticipation of Christmas Day grows, board the Night Before Christmas Train or the Christmas Feast Train – featuring festive treats aimed to satisfy your holiday appetite.

Running on select days through December 21.
For location, tickets, and dates, visit this page.

3). Scootin’ with Santa

Join Santa on a 19th-century covered bridge holiday tour while riding a Scoot Coupe on the back roads of Lancaster to find the ever elusive Amish Christmas Lights. Enjoy the brisk December air in your hair with this unique holiday excursion on the open road.

Tour runs on select days now through December 17.
For location and reservations, visit this page.

Indoor Merriment

1). Sight & Sound

The Christmas Story comes alive right in front of your eyes at Sight & Sound’s Miracle of Christmas production. All ages will love the high drama, spectacular special effects, and live animals – all on a panoramic stage. Journey back in time to witness the telling of the season’s most memorable story in an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless.

Running now through December 30.
For location, tickets and showtimes, visit this page.

2). Kitchen Kettle Village

Experience the cheer of the season with Winter Holiday Fun at Kitchen Kettle Village. With over 40 shops, Kitchen Kettle is the perfect place for holiday shopping, tasty treats, and festive Christmas decorations.

Open now through December 24.
For location and more details, visit this page.

3). Yuletide at Wheatland

Take a trip back to 1875 with former U.S. president James Buchanan’s niece, Harriet Lane Johnston, who has decked the halls for an authentic Victorian Yuletide experience. Enjoy an elegant, timeless holiday tradition your whole family will love.

Running now through December 30.
For locations, tickets, and showtimes, visit, this page.

 

For more great holiday events, visit LancasterCountyChristmas.com.

Kauffman’s Famous Fruit Farm & Market

Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market has been family-owned and operated since the founder, Amos L. (A.L.) Kauffman planted the first fruit trees in 1911. Today, over 100 years later, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations run the business; and the orchards are now producing over 135 varieties of tree fruits on 100 acres. Pretty impressive!

When A.L. built a packing house in 1937, he made it larger than most other buildings in the area because he believed that his business would expand exponentially. He had dreams of growing the best tasting fruit in the region and building a successful business that would continue on for generations.

In 1954, a critical part of his vision was fulfilled when his five sons became business partners. A. L. Kauffman & Sons began a new chapter.

In A.L.’s lifetime alone, the orchard grew to have 55 acres of apples, 35 acres of peaches, 3 acres of pears, and 4 acres of plums and cherries.

For the Kauffman family, hard work, skill-perfecting, family traditions, and fond memories have marked every milestone, every season, and every year of their growing business. Picking apples in the orchard, making cider, assisting in the farm market, and managing a growing business have all been key to the family’s success.

While they are thankful for their rich history, strong values, and meaningful traditions, they continue to grow and adapt to the needs of their customers. They proudly combine values of the past with visions for the future.

Because the Kauffman family loves their business, the local community, and each customer, they promise to continue growing food responsibly, sustainably, and healthfully for many more generations.

Image Courtesy of Kauffman's Fruit Farm

Image Courtesy of Kauffman’s Fruit Farm

To learn more about the market and Kauffman’s delicious produce, read Christina’s post.

Learn more about the Kauffman family or purchase their 100th-anniversary keepsake book, FAITH, FAMILY & FRUIT.

Be sure to check out other iconic Lancaster County hot-spots such as Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Strasburg Rail Road, and Lancaster Central Market, and Green Dragon.

A Romantic Leap Get Away!

Whoever gets paid makes that plans. That’s the deal Cheryl and I have for date night. I got paid so I made the plans. I wanted a quiet get away. A place where we could have a fabulous dinner and hear each other talk. Casual elegance is a good description for what I had in mind. In addition, I wanted to be able to walk to dinner and back to our room where ever that may be.

We’d been talking about Cameron Estate Inn and Restaurant in Mt. Joy because our daughter will be getting married at the estate next January. We’d been there for dinner a couple of times and after each visit I thought it would be wonderful to be able to simply walk upstairs and spend the night. I called, made a dinner reservation for Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and booked the Donegal Garratte room on the third floor.

We arrived just before 6:00 p.m. At check-in they let us know our dinner table was ready and that we could come down at any time. We meandered upstairs, changed and made our way to the restaurant. The Inn, an early American mansion set on a 15 acre estate is absolutely adorable. It’s decorated with antiques and feels like a step back in time. There’s a sense of authenticity about it.

The hostess who was also the waitress remembered us from the last time we’d been there and that was some time ago. She seated us at a corner table in the sunroom so were surrounded by windows on two sides. Our view looked out over the estate. We got to watch it get dark and the lights around the mansion come up. It was awesome.

We started off with a ten year old 2006 Kendal Jackson Reserve, a Cabernet Sauvignon. The menu was incredible, as always.  From past experience we knew whatever we chose would be wonderful. The hostess recommended the pepper encrusted Lamb Porterhouse and the crab cakes. I got the lamb. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. It came with roasted vegetables and an unbelievable cherry reduction. Cheryl had the crab cakes. She loves crab cakes but these were over the top. I wrapped up with Crème Brulee and Cheryl had a hot chocolate spice cake that was to die for.

As the sun went down and the lights came on the estate took on a romantic glow. There was just enough light for a walk. We strolled along the foot paths and stopped momentarily on a small bridge to watch the light bounce off the stream and the water rush by.

We collapsed in a high four poster bed in our room at the end of the hall on the third floor. The next morning breakfast; a choice of quiche, pancakes and yogurt parfait was served at 8:00. Afterward we took another walk around the estate, we put our things together and made the 25 minute drive home.

It was a wonderful overnight stay. We didn’t go far. The Estate was both historic and romantic. There were people around but it wasn’t crazy. The staff was cheerful and engaging. Whether you are local or from out of the area a stay at the Cameron Estate Inn and dinner in the restaurant is a perfect choice for an overnight get away.

Take a Step Back in Time this Holiday Season

Terry w Triunial jpegI am addicted to technology, especially my phone – I will never go anywhere without it. This weekend, I took a step back to a time where there were no phones, televisions or even cars. The Magic Lantern Show, run by the Amish Experience, at Plain and Fancy Farm, let me escape from modern times and enjoy entertainment of the past.

Contrary to the name, a magic lantern is not what you would expect. This lantern is a brass lantern with three lenses to project hand painted illustrations on a projection screen. The magic lantern was developed in the 1850’s and was a precursor to movies. When first developed, the lantern used a candle to project and later, kerosene light.

The theatre is completely transformed to feel as though you are sitting in a barn. Before the show began, the showman, who was the host and storyteller, made sure the entire audience was in the Christmas spirit with a game of Christmas trivia. After we were in the holiday spirit, our showman began the show which consisted of classic Christmas stories, such as a Christmas Carol. My favorite part was the new Christmas stories, including a story about a giant snowball causing havoc on a town! All of the stories were narrated by the showman and accompanied by handmade illustrations and music.

The show lasted approximately an hour. During that time, I completely forgot about my phone and became immersed in a time less complicated. After the show I went to the local town, Bird-in-Hand, for homemade Amish foods and handcrafted goods. This show was a great way to experience a different form of entertainment and get into the Christmas spirit. The magic lantern show will definitely be a new holiday tradition!

Spend Your Thanksgiving Break in Lancaster

In an area that is filled with a tight-knit community of locals and business owners, Lancaster during the holidays lights up with excitement and warmth. It’s the truth, when residents are happy they radiate that happiness creating a magnetic draw to visitors. With this being said, explore Lancaster and feel the magic and energy through the streets and through these events!

When should you start getting into the holiday spirit? The day right after Thanksgiving, of course! No, seriously, when the weather gets cold you must find a way to stay warm with spirit!

On November 27, break your norm of Black Friday Shopping (who wants to wait in all the lines anyways?) Relax, enjoy your time off and go on a family outing! At 6:30 p.m., bundle up and join us at the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas. Want a traditional way to view the holiday window displays? Hop on a Horse Drawn Wagon Ride from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

On November 28, this is where the new norm is put into place. Small Business Saturday! All over Lancaster, business owners open their doors to help you find unique, memorable presents for everyone on your shopping list. When shopping local, you essentially build relationships with the shop owners, so it makes future interactions more personable and helpful. The beauty of shopping local is you have a VERY slim chance of purchasing the same item for someone that they might already have. Give gifts that are genuine and one of a kind!

On November 29, have your eyes light up gazing at Christmas displays. Find the hidden Santa’s on the layout at Choo Choo Barn from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Walk through a Dutch Winter Wonderland from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Warm up at the National Christmas Center and explore the 14 exhibits they have to offer.

Spend time this Thanksgiving breaking your norm and checking out the unique and festive events Lancaster has to offer.

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The author of this post, Julie Press, is currently the Marketing Intern at Discover Lancaster. She encompasses the Lancaster brand. Growing up in a farm house in Adamstown, she identifies with the rustic, homegrown feel Lancaster brings. Now relocated only minutes away from Lancaster City, she feels a strong connection to the City’s creativity, culture, and innovation. Julie studies Public Relations at Millersville University.

Experience Lancaster A Unique Way: On A Horse!

It was starting to feel like fall. As we drove down Nookside Stables‘ driveway passing open pastures, I was hit with nostalgia as I thought back to my childhood horseback riding lessons.

My day started with a text saying “bring sneakers- we’re going horseback riding!” As a Discover Lancaster intern, I was ecstatic to take a break from a regular day to go on an adventure.

A few employees of Discover Lancaster came along for the outdoor fun. As we arrived, we were greeted by Howie, the stable manager of Nookside and a few cute stable kittens.For $49 per rider (all ages 10 and up) you receive a full 1-hour Nookside Horseback Riding Adventure, a wagon ride, commemorative digital photographs posted on Facebook, meet and greet with farm animals, and have a chance to win prizes.

Once we were fitted for helmets, we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon to get to the next destination: the horses! I was paired with Cinnamon, a beautiful brown horse. This horseback ride is not a typical trail ride; it is an obstacle course. This gave us a chance to work with the horses by directing them through paths created by beams. Once we were fitted for helmets, we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon to get to the next destination: the horses!Throughout the hour, a stable worker was following us by horse and Howie was on foot encouraging us during the trip. This made me very comfortable having two employees close by throughout the trip.

Afterwards, Howie explained the mission of Nookside to us. He stated that some people believe that an upside down horseshoe is a sign of bad luck. At Nookside, they do not believe that your experiences are dictated by luck, but rather the intentional design by God. Nookside also gives a portion of every Horseback Adventure to those in need within the community.

This adventure was very rich and included many different elements. This property is great for a family outing, groups, birthday parties, or even a date! Come experience it for yourself!

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The author of this post, Julie Press, is currently the Marketing Intern at Discover Lancaster. She encompasses the Lancaster brand. Growing up in a farm house in Adamstown, she identifies with the rustic, homegrown feel Lancaster brings. Now relocated only minutes away from Lancaster City, she feels a strong connection to the City’s creativity, culture, and innovation. Julie studies Public Relations at Millersville University.

Make our Visitors Center your first stop

Located directly off the Greenfield Road exit of Route 30, a well-known highway that snakes through Lancaster County, you will find the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center. Make this place your first stop and your trip will be off to great start!

Here are 6 reasons to stop at our Visitors Center:

1. Restrooms, ATM, and Wireless Internet Access

Take advantage of our free wireless Internet access, onsite ATM, and clean restrooms. If you like coffee, grab a FREE cup of Lancaster County Coffee Roasters coffee courtesy of Discover Lancaster.

2. Informative brochures, maps, and expert advice

Do you want to find out what Lancaster County has to offer? We can help! From brochures and maps to advice from our experts, we’ve got you covered. Our friendly travel consultants can assist you by offering restaurant suggestions, helping with last-minute lodging needs, and giving directions to special, out-of-the-way places.

3. Art Gallery

Our Art Gallery displays a wide variety of local art ranging from quilts to pottery to paintings. Best of all, it’s all available for purchase.

4. Marketplace

Browse our marketplace filled with Lancaster County items from popular places such as Intercourse Canning Company, Kitchen Kettle Village, Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant, and more. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir (or a tasty treat!) before or after your stay in Lancaster.

5. Amish Countryside Tour

Enjoy a 90-minute Amish Countryside Tour operated by Amish Farm & House. Sit back and relax as you wander deep into Lancaster County’s heartland and learn about the area’s history, culture, and Amish lifestyle. Open Memorial Day (end of May) through October 31.

6. Mr. Sticky’s Homemade Sticky Buns

Directly outside of the Visitors Center, you will find delicious and downright addictive sticky buns. Be sure try one before you head out. Here’s a coupon! Open March throughDecember.

For more information about our Visitors Center, hours of operation, and directions, click here.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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