Category Archives: Seasonal

6 Reasons We are Obsessed with Fall in Lancaster

As Anne of Green Gables once said “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Here in Lancaster we are especially glad- actually more than glad, we are obsessed! Lancaster seems to glow in the autumn- bustling with harvest festivals and farm days or whipping up all sorts of pumpkin flavored goodies. We just can’t wait to put on our flannel and boots and go crunch some leaves. Read through our top six reasons we are obsessed with fall in Lancaster, and then get out there and enjoy the season!

  1. Leaf-peeping
    The foliage in Lancaster is a highlight of all fall-activities… you can’t seem to go anywhere without noticing the beautiful oranges, reds, and golden yellows painting the background of your day.
  2. Perfect Weather
    Not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right for an outdoor adventure. Unplug from your busy days and spend some time outside hiking or biking around the county.
  3. Hayrides
    Haunted or not, who doesn’t enjoy going on a hayride? This fall tradition is fun for all ages. If it’s a chilly night you can bundle up in sweaters and blankets, or warm up with some hot apple cider.
  4. Pumpkin Everything
    Pumpkins seem to pop up everywhere once the leaves start to turn and the air cools down. In farmer’s markets, on door steps, in foods and drinks, you name it and there seems to be a pumpkin variation of it.
  5. Apple Picking
    Apple picking is a great way to spend the day outdoors with family or friends. Once you are finished choosing your apples you can make all sorts of delicious treats – pies, crisps, caramel apples, dumplings, or cider donuts, whatever tickles your taste buds! Try heading over to Cherry Hill Orchards or Brecknock Orchard Farm Market.
  6. Seasonal Brews
    Pick your poison- coffee or beer– both have great seasonal varieties in the fall. Pumpkin spice latte, cinnamon chai, or Oktoberfest, we can’t decide which flavor is our favorite.

Celebration of the Arts in Lancaster

From city to country, contemporary to classic, Lancaster is known for an eclectic variety of art and galleries. This month Lancaster is celebrating the arts in two big ways: Fall ArtWalk [10/6-7] and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Pennsylvania [10/21-26], where we will enjoy art all week long and finish out with a celebration of some of Lancaster’s locals.

ArtWalk – October 7-8, 2017

ArtWalk in Lancaster has a long history – with the first one beginning in 1965, known as Art Sunday. Today, ArtWalk is your opportunity to try something innovative – from participating in a public art piece to hearing a new style of music or watching a play, to seeing lots and lots of art.

To view a full list of the nearly 35 featured stops, including special exhibitions, meet-the-artist events, children’s activities and live demonstrations, click here.

Stops we don’t want to miss:

  • Meet the Artists [including some of our personal favorites Freiman Stoltzfus, Christiane David, and Cindy Schlosser]
  • Print Your Own Posters/Coasters at Typothecary Letterpress
  • Lancaster Dream Factory Video Project [stop in the “studio” and let them know what you want to be when you grow up in 5 seconds or less]. We can’t want to see the finished piece of Lancaster hopes and dreams!

Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Pennsylvania – October 26, 2017

This year we are honored to host the statewide awards ceremony, especially with some of our very own receiving awards: Barry Kornhauser – Artist of the Year, and Mayor Richard Gray and Gail Gray – Special Recognition for Public Leadership in the Arts.

This event has been a celebration of the arts since 1980, is free and open to the public. Click here to register for free tickets.

Lancaster has an opportunity to celebrate the arts all week long from October 21-26 showcasing our local talent in a variety of ways. Each day will be dedicated to a specific genre of art:

Saturday – MUSIC
Sunday – PARADE
Monday – DANCE / THEATER / PERFORMANCE
Tuesday – FILM / PHOTOGRAPHY / POETRY
Wednesday – MURALS / PUBLIC ART
Thursday – VISUAL / AWARDS CEREMONY (ceremony is at 7pm at the Convention Center)

To see all the details about this week-long celebration, click here.

Picking Pumpkins in Lancaster County, PA

Can you believe it is prime pumpkin picking season again?! We are loving the cooler temps and boots and scarves weather. As you drive around Lancaster, you’ve probably noticed that the roadside stands have switched over from their summer strawberries and melons to fall’s apples, pumpkins and squash. Whether you’re picking up a pumpkin at a roadside stand or headed out into the field to find the perfect one, we’re here to help.

Below is a roundup of Lancaster-area pumpkin patches, as well as some local choices for roadside stands. Please remember to call ahead if you have concerns about the weather or possible closings. We hope your fall is off to a fantastic start, and happy pumpkin patching!

Pick Your Own Pumpkins

Roadside Stands/Markets [local favs via Instagram]

  • Little produce stand opposite Hayloft Candles in Leola
  • Stoltzfus Gourd and Pumpkin Farm
  • Roadside Stand on Rothsville Road, across from 1509 – perfect pumpkins, perfect price
  • Fisher’s Festivals on Irishtown Road, right off Ronks Road – pumpkins, gourds, and mums

October in Lancaster Travel Guide: Halloween & Harvest

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are beginning to fall, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re starting to see pumpkins and fall wreaths made of burlap pop up in our towns, and the farmers getting ready to harvest out in the fields. Our children are animatedly choosing their Halloween costumes and talking about the fall treats we’ll bake. However you plan to celebrate fall, October is the perfect month full of activities and events that you’ll enjoy whether your preference is Halloween or harvest.

Check out our October Travel Guide below:

Halloween

  1. Howl at the Moon
    Pack your blanket, hotdogs, and marshmallows for the bonfire, and learn about the wolves that live in Lititz during the Full Moon Tour at the Wolf Sanctuary of PA.
  2. Lancaster’s Haunted History 
    This is no hocus-pocus – you’ll hear authentic ghost stories told at the actual sites of the hauntings. These walking ghost tours take place nightly in October.
  3. Enjoy Spook-tacular Family Fun
    Put on your costumes, pack up the mini-van and head on over to Dutch Wonderland’s Happy Hauntings where you’ll see Duke the Dragon in his Halloween best. Don’t forget to trick-or-treat with the dinosaurs!
  4. Take an Eerie Three-Wheeled Tour
    Take a hauntingly fun tour of the back roads by scooter withStrasburg Scooter’s Spooky Scoot. Available October 13-14, 20-21, & 27-28. Rider’s tip: pack warm gloves and a scarf.
  5. Award-winning, Spine-tingling Chills
    When it comes to terrifying thrills, visit USA Today’s Best Extreme Haunted Attraction Field of Screams is the place to be. You can also visit the haunted hayride, attractions, and houses at Jason’s Woods.

Harvest

  1. Annual Harvest Breakfast
    Kick off the harvest season at Lancaster Central Market with everyone’s favorite Harvest Breakfast, featuring farm-to-table food, live entertainment, and family fun.
  2. Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
    Head to one of our many fields to pick the perfect carving pumpkin, and enjoy apple cider and hayrides. If you’re not in to carving pumpkins, perhaps you can head to an apple orchard and bring home some fresh apples to douse in caramel for the perfect fall snack.
  3. Fall ArtWalk
    Immerse yourself in Downtown Lancaster’s art scene at Fall ArtWalk. This self-guided tour takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8.
  4. Head Outdoors with a drive, a Hike or Bike Ride.
    Grab your favorite pumpkin flavored hot beverage from one of our local coffee shops, and then head out to get lost on our winding backroads and experience the beauty of fall.
  5. Fall Fairs & Festivals
    Explore traditional fall on the farm with Fall Farm Days at Amish Farm & House or Harvest Days at Landis Valley Museum. Try some local brews with Stoudt’s Oktoberfest events, or if you’d rather go back in time, dress up in your best medieval garb and visit the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. And don’t miss our full list of our County Fairs and Farm Shows.

Lancaster Locals’ Favorite Coffee Spots & Cafes

Coffee, café, java, cup-of-joe – Lancaster is no stranger to coffee shops, in fact we have over 70 coffee shops and cafes around the county- including 9 that roast their own beans! We talked with some Lancaster locals to ask them for their tips on the best places. Read the list below for a new suggestion on where to grab your next cup, it may become your new favorite!

Ryan S. – Passenger
7 W. King St., Lancaster, PA 17602 | passengercoffee.com
“I mean, Passenger is definitely the best. I like it for its philosophy about roasting – nothing is too dark or burnt, they excel at bringing out unique flavor profiles in each roast. The options are on point, from cold brew to pour overs. The space itself is modern and beautiful, there’s really nothing like it in the city. It brings a little bit of the west coast vibe to our town.”

Jordan H. – Passenger
“I love Passenger, but those $1 refills from Mean Cup give them a run for their money.”

Ryan M. – Prince Street Café
15 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17602 | princestreetcafe.com
“We have some great coffee and cafes in this little city, but I think for me my favorite is still Prince Street Café. It probably has a lot to do with the nostalgia of the place. It is where I use to have my first client meetings when I was starting up my business. The coffee is consistently great, the food is excellent, and the eclectic din of conversation provides for a great environment to meet with a friend, connect with a client or get some last-minute studying done before your next final. Prince Street Café feels authentic and well lived in… it feels like home.”

Amber S.Mean Cup or Buzz
398 Harrisburg Ave. #200, Lancaster, PA 17603 and at Lancaster Central Market| meancup.com
“I can’t decide between Buzz and Mean Cup. When it comes to coffee at Central Market, I am fiercely loyal to Mean Cup. But on non-Market days, my downtown go-to is Buzz.”

Annie W. Buzz
36 W. King St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | eatabuzz.com
“My vote is cast for Buzz. I’m always greeted with a cheery hello and there’s something fun about walking up to their window. The coffee is only one size but it just so happens it’s the right size for me – large. They’re there for me when I need them.”

Katie W. Café One Eight
18 W. Orange St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | cafe1eight.com
“I love the calming environment and all of the natural light in Café One Eight. I highly recommend trying their pesto breakfast egg-sandwich, or their avocado toast with your coffee  delicious!”

Dana D. Copper Cup
922 Columbia Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 | coppercup.co
“I love Copper Cup Coffee in Lancaster.  It’s one of the few coffee shops that has the option of hanging out and enjoying their unique vibe inside or zipping through their drive through window if you’re in a hurry.”

Ally H. Courtyard Café on Main
349 Main St., Denver, PA 17517 | courtyardcafeonmain.com
“One of my new favorites is Courtyard Café on Main in Denver. It has a lot of charm – from their outside courtyard to the sense of community felt throughout the café. They put a lot of thought into their food menu, as they feature local, seasonal ingredients and house-made pastries.  Whether I’m in the mood for coffee or tea, they have a great selection of drinks to choose from.”

Sarah L. Speckled Hen
141 E. Main Street, Strasburg, PA 17579 | speckledhencoffee.com
“My vote is for Speckled Hen. I have always loved taking my kids to Strasburg, but mostly just for the train-themed attractions and the creamery. I feel like Strasburg is coming into its own with the new(er) businesses opening up. Speckled Hen is a place where you not only get served excellent food and fresh roasted coffee, you get to mingle with the locals – Amish included. If you’re not into coffee, don’t leave without having the London Fog – it’s one of the best.”

Luke W. Dosie Dough
45 S. Broad St., Lititz, PA 17543 | DosieDough.com
Dosie Dough is my favorite. I love the diversity in people that pass in and out – everybody from a mom running an errand on a Saturday morning, to a bike group stopping by, to the regulars, or just people passing through town. It has its own unique, quirky vibe and is always bustling with activity. I also love walking up the steps off of the beautiful section of Lititz Pike, through the outdoor seating. Everyone just seems so relaxed and content.”

Honorable Mentions:
Tomato Pie Café
Lancaster Coffee Roasters
Café Chocolate
Commonwealth on Queen
Chestnut Hill Café
Café di Vetro
Perkup & Co.
Folklore Coffee & Company
On Orange
Square One

On Tap: Fall Edition

As a fall beer lover – September feels like Christmas morning. The first time I see a pumpkin beer on tap is like waking up to gifts under the tree. It’s a surefire sign that fall is quickly approaching.

Lancaster has some great local brewers, passionately crafting ales, ciders, IPAs, stouts and some tasty seasonal beers to enjoy as the leaves change. [see the full list of local breweries here]

Find these on tap at various locations across the county throughout the season:Baked Pumpkin Ale & Oktoberfest from Lancaster Brewing Company

Lancaster Brewing Company (locals may refer to it as LBC) produces two great fall brews with different flavor profiles. Their Baked Pumpkin Ale (ABV: 7.5%) packs a pumpkiny punch. Its rich flavor features notes of pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, and is best enjoyed while munching on sweet potato fries.

For the lager lover, LBC’s Oktoberfest (ABV: 5.5%) is a full bodied brew that pairs well with pizza and roasted or grilled meats. You’ll find this deep copper beer has a lingering malt sweetness to go along with its full body.

Find both brews at Lancaster Brewing Company in Downtown Lancaster and Lancaster Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill, along with select locations around the county.

Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale for Zombies from Spring House Brewing Company

Whether you’re a zombie or a human, Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale (ABV: 7.8%) is for you! Brewed with fresh pumpkin, this is fall in a glass. It features a fresh pumpkin flavor, complimented by autumn spices and bold malt flavors that will warm you up as the air chills.

Head over to Spring House’s Hazel Street Brew Pub or the Taproom on King Street for your taste of Braaaiins!

Madtoberfest from Mad Chef Brewing Company

This season, we’re mad about Mad Chef Brewing Company’s Madtoberfest (ABV: 5.5%) – a clean, crisp seasonal beer featuring notes of caramel and toffee.

You’ll find this brew, along with other hand-crafted ales and tasty all-American fare (including fantastic french fries with a wide array of sauce choices) at Mad Chef’s Brew Pub in East Petersburg.

Pumpkin Cider from Lancaster County Cider

If you prefer cider to beer, we’ve got you covered. Lancaster County Cider has created their seasonal Pumpkin Cider (ABV: 5.5%) by combining spiced apple wine, pumpkin wine, hard cider, and fresh pumpkin puree, and adding a pinch and a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar. Truly a glass of autumn, this cider is a great gluten-free alternative to beer.

Try it for yourself at Mount Hope Estate & Winery.

Favorite Lancaster-sourced Farm Fresh Ingredients

Three local chefs share their fall favorites, and which dishes you can find them in

We love when the seasons change in Lancaster for so many reasons – in autumn’s case, the air turns crisp, Mother Nature puts on another show of her vibrant colors, and for my fellow foodies, it allows us to eat flavors that may only come around once a year.

Everybody knows that one of the most-anticipated flavors of fall is pumpkin, but there is so much more to be found at the fall farmers market. Check out these three chef’s favorite autumn dishes, which all include locally sourced ingredients.

John J. Jeffries
Sweet Potatoes & Lamb

Eating seasonally is not the norm in today’s society, but Chef Cavanaugh works closely with local, small, family organic farmers to source produce and meats year-round for John J. Jeffries ever changing menu. For the fall, you’ll find Japanese white sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes on the menu. He typically purees the sweet potatoes for an accompaniment to meat, or you’ll find them used in vegetarian entrees.

Lamb is ready to come off the pasture in early fall. You can find the lamb used head-to-tail, so the cuts on the menu vary from braised lamb, lamb leg steaks, and lamb chops.

Forklift & Palate
Beets

For a meal that can go either casual or a little fancy, head to Forklift & Palate, where their fall menu includes locally sourced beets, Brussel sprouts, and winter squash. Who doesn’t love the sweet, vibrant and colorful beet root? This chef’s tip is to choose smaller bulbs, as they tend to have a richer flavor.

The seasonal dish of choice? Try the Beet Salad Appetizer.

Speckled Hen Coffee
Apples

This fall, the Speckled Hen will be featuring local apples from the Meck family with Meck’s Produce. You can find their apples in an Apple Pie Crumble (scratch made) which is delicious as is, or to add another local ingredient, can be served a’la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream from Lapp Valley Farms.

If you’re in the mood for something savory, you can enjoy a Harvest Turkey Sandwich, made with bacon, sharp cheddar, apple slices and a drizzle of maple syrup grilled on wheatberry bread.

Fall Foliage in Lancaster

People have all sorts of ways for predicting the weather and seasonal outcomes of the year, such as reading a Farmer’s Almanac, studying the way the moss grows on trees, achy bones, etc.

According to the interactive map on SmokeyMountains.com, it the predicts that the peak time for foliage peeping in Lancaster is at the beginning of October. Others may factor in that we have had quite a bit of rain this summer which usually makes for an early autumn. One thing we do know for certain is that Lancaster is beautiful in the fall and so is its foliage.

Below is a list of popular Lancaster County spots to take in the beauty of the season.

Parks and Preserves
Parks are a great place to admire Mother Nature dressed in her fall finery, and better yet they are free! Make a day out of it by taking a hike and packing a picnic lunch. Below are some of our favorite parks around Lancaster County.

– Breezyview Overlook at Chickies Rock County Park
– Lancaster County Central Park
– Lititz Springs Park
– Pinnacle Overlook, Susquehannock State Park
– Speedwell Forge County Park
– Money Rocks County Park
– Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Not a hiker? There are still plenty of ways for you to leaf-peep. Sit back, relax and take in the foliage from one of these various modes of transportation. You will also get great views of Lancaster County’s countryside.

-Take a Strasburg Rail Road train ride through the countryside.
-Try a helicopter tour with Smoketown Helicopters over the patchwork of farmland.
-Gaze at the tree tops in a U.S. Hot Air Balloon Ride as you gently float on you may even be able to reach out grab a leaf!
-Drive along Discover Lancaster’s Covered Bridge Tour (this way you can stop and take photos wherever you want to).

Sip while you sight-see
See the auras of autumn view while you are sipping. These vineyards not only serve local wine, but also provide great outdoor spaces to take in the view.

The Vineyard at Grandview
The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey
Nissley Vineyards
Waltz Vineyards

Gretna Theatre

Are you a movie or theater lover, but can’t stand the idea of spending a beautiful evening inside? The Gretna Theatre is the perfect spot for you! Located in Mt. Gretna near the lake this outdoor theater puts on spectacular summer productions. The Chautauqua playhouse has continuously operating since 1892, bringing Broadway to our own backyard since 1927. Mt. Gretna was originally established as an arts/resort community. It is now a mix of residential and vacation-rental homes, but the Chautauqua playhouse still draws a crowd in June and July.

Currently running is the popular Tony Award winning show, Man of La Mancha which is based on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. Set during the Spanish Inquisition, it begins as famous author, actor, and poet Miguel De Cervantes is thrown in prison. He must convince his fellow inmates not to burn his beloved manuscript by convincing them of its worth before he himself must face a similar trail for his own life. He enlists their help to put on his production, making it a play within a play. The casting of characters is wonderfully done, and the singing and choreography of the show are Broadway caliber. Entertaining the audience as they follow the multiple storylines.

The show runs through July 22 as both matinee and evening productions. But don’t worry if you cannot make it, there are several other productions happening this summer as well. The summer performance schedules can be found here as well as information on other events and educational programs.

Top 25 Things To Do this Summer

Summer fun is plentiful in Lancaster, PA – whether you’re looking for family fun, outdoor adventure or great ways to spend the evening.

Start planning your summer visit with our list of 25 things to do this season:

1] Fly through the trees on the Ziplines at Refreshing Mountain.

2] Discover new music at an outdoor concert.
Nissley Vineyards hosts concerts on Saturday evenings (adults only), and Long’s Park holds family-friendly concerts on Sunday evenings.

3] Explore the county by bike with either a self-guided or guided tour with Intercourse Bike Works.

4] Stroll around Downtown Lancaster during Music Friday with live performances scattered throughout the city.
Held on the third Friday of each month.

5] Relax while floating down the creek with Sickman’s Mill Creek Tubing.

6] Watch Fourth of July Fireworks light up the Lancaster sky.

7] Celebrate trails and the great outdoors.
The National Trails Day Celebration will be held at the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail on June 3.

8] Snap a photo and enter the
#Lancastergram contest.
#Lancastergram is Discover Lancaster’s annual photo contest hosted on Instagram with great prizes for winning photos. The contest begins on June 26 and ends on September 4.

9] Dive into Lancaster’s rich history with a Historic Lancaster Walking Tour.

10] Splash in Duke’s Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland®.
This water playground is great for kids 12 and under especially on a hot day.

11] Take your family out to the ball game to see the
Lancaster Barnstormers.
Fireworks and concerts after select games.

12] Find fresh picked produce at a local roadside stand or market.

13] Meet Thomas the Tank Engine™ when he comes to Strasburg Rail Road.
Day Out with Thomas™ takes place June 17-25.

14] Find your way through the maze and enjoy farm themed fun at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.

15] For a little friendly competition, go for a round of mini golf.

16] Cheers to craft brews at Lancaster Craft Beerfest.
Held on August 26 in Downtown Lancaster.

17] Spend a day at Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach for swimming, picnicking, and fun.
Located 25 miles north of Lancaster County.

18] Camp out and toast a marshmallow or two at a local campground.

19] Sip wine and learn more about libations at local wineries.

20] Zip along the back roads by scooter on a memorable tour.
Strasburg Scooters offers a variety of tours daily.

21] Whether in a cup or in a cone, cool down with tasty ice cream… 

22] Or make ice cream of your own at the Turkey Hill Experience’s Taste Lab.

23] Join in the celebration of culture, diversity, and the City of Lancaster.
Celebrate Lancaster is held on June 30 with music, food vendors, pub areas, and fireworks.

24] Browse fine arts and crafts at an outdoor craft show.
Including Long’s Park Art Festival, Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show, and Lititz Outdoor Art Show.

25] Experience Lancaster in authentic fashion by staying on a farm.

For more exciting happenings, check out our events calendar.

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