Stop Thinking… Start Driving (part 2 of 2)

Ideas for Great Lancaster County Excursions the weekends of October 1 – 10

Our series of mini-itineraries continues with a selection of things to do in PA Dutch Country during the first half of October.  The PA Reniassance Faire is still taking place duing this time, so if any of my picks don’t suite you, it’s a wonderful fall-back! Alternately, you could simply drive around to take in the ‘fall harvest’ hustle and bustle, or for additional options, check out the PA Dutch Visitors Bureau website.

Friday 10/1 – Sunday 10/3:

  • Friday:  First Friday in Lancaster, October 1: http://www.lancasterarts.com/firstfridays.  If you’ve never heard of “First Friday”, or the variations on the theme, you’re in for a treat. Local communities in Lancaster County typically choose one day during the month to showcase local shops, galleries and restaurants. Often businesses stay open a bit later than normal, and there’s some street entertainment as an extra attraction. First Fridays in Lancaster are a special treat, so definitely try to get here early enough to check it out.
  • Saturday:  Bridge Bust, Columbia, PA October 2nd: http://www.pavendors.com/events/york-county/wrightsville-october-bridgebust.htm . A recent guest at the Smithton put me onto this event. It’s an annual arts and crafts festival with more than 300 antiques, crafts, arts and food vendors plus entertainment held on the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge (officially known as Veterans Memorial Bridge) Proceeds from this event benefit the Susquehanna Valley Visitors Center. This is a very popular event and draws over 20,000 visitors. I’m looking forward to checking it out!
  • Saturday / Sunday:  Lancaster’s Fall Art Walk, Oct 2 – 3: http://lancasterartwalk.org/ . For art lovers out there, this is the weekend for the Lancaster ArtWalk, a self-guided tour of downtown galleries. The Fall ArtWalk has over 25 shops and galleries participating and is a great way to explore Lancaster’s wonderful, unique downtown district. Special exhibitions, meet-the-artist events, children’s activities and live demonstrations are all available for discovery within the bustling independent galleries of Lancaster city.
  • Saturday / Sunday:  Harvest Festival, October 2 – 3: http://www.bvwinetrail.com/trail_events.cfm . Experience the sights and smells of harvest and have a grape stompin’ good time as the eight wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail celebrate the 2010 vintage! You’ll find grapes galore as the vineyards commence harvest activities. Enjoy pastoral settings for picnicking, live music to “sit n’ sip” or dance by, grape stomping competitions, hayrides through the vineyards, BBQs, wine tastings & tours.

Friday 10/8 – Sunday 10/10:

  • Friday / Saturday:  Apple Dumplings and Musical Delights at the Ephrata Cloister, Oct 8 – 9: http://www.ephratacloister.org/events.htm . For over 25 years, the Ephrata Cloister has hosted this annual PA Dutch Tradition. Apple dumplings are sold on at the Historic Site Friday and Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day. On Friday sales will continue until 4 p.m. and on Saturday they will continue until the last dumplings are sold. An entire meal will also be available on Saturday with the addition of hot dogs, homemade vegetable soup and coffee available. This is a delicious way to invest in the preservation of history.
  • Saturday:  Lititz Chocolate Walk, Oct 9: http://chocolatewalk.homestead.com/index.html . A “Chocolate for Charity” event, the Lititz Chocolate Walk brings together some of the regions most talented chefs and candy makers for a fun and unique way of raising money for local charities. Walkers with button & punch-card in hand, follow their maps through historic downtown Lititz where chocolate treats are given out at each of the 30 locations this year. Think “Trick-or-Treat” for grownups!
  • Saturday / Sunday:  Harvest Days at the Pumpkin Patch, Landis Valley Museum, Oct 9 – 10: http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/cgi-bin/eventsdetail.cgi?Year=2010&Month=10&Day=09  . Come see 1700s and 1800s harvest, cooking and craft demonstrations. Horse drawn wagon rides, pick your own pumpkins from the patch, and enjoy plenty of hands-on children’s activities. Lively entertainment and great food too.

From all of us at the Historic Smithton Inn Bed and Breakfast, we look forward to seeing you soon!