Labor Day may have represented the end of the summer travel season, but this weekend is the real deal. September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox, meaning that this Friday-Saturday-Sunday is the last weekend of summer 2016.
We can think of no better reason to dive into our 20 recommended events.
Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza - Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
The weather outside isn't quite frightful yet. But winter is soon coming. With over 600 quilts on display and over 200 vendors set to attend, the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is the place to find the perfect coverlet to keep cozy this season. Expert quilt makers and tools to make your own decorative pieces will be there to help inspire.
Mexican Independence Day - El SarapeSeptember 15-18
Celebrate Mexican independence in Blue Bell. This three-day fiesta at El Sarape includes traditional food like enchiladas and tamales - plus plenty of surprising specials. Oh, and did we mention the free tequila samplings? Well, there are free tequila samplings!
8th Annual Oyster Festival - Legal Sea FoodsSeptember 15-18
Back by popular demand, the 8th annual oyster festival at Legal Sea Foods is a celebration of all things oyster. Everyone is invited - mavens of the mollusk and oyster newbies - all who share the belief in the idiomatic saying, "the world is your oyster."
Next to Normal - Playcrafters of SkippackOpening September 15
This family-centric rock musical being presented by Playcrafters of Skippack won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for drama. It's the tale of an on-the-go clan (and, in a stroke of art-meets-life, the cast is primarily made up of members of one family) trying to keep things together while helping their bipolar mother. The original Broadway production ran nearly 800 performances.
Liberty Pro Rodeo - LuLu Shriner ArenaSeptember 16-18
Calling all cowpokes! For the past 28 years, the LuLu Shriners have given suburbanites a form of entertainment they don't see every day: a traditional rodeo. The outdoor seating ensures that even the smallest buckaroos get a great view of the ridin', ropin' and wranglin'. Live performances also include plenty of countrified music.
Scarecrow Festival - Peddler's Village
Montgomery County's neighbor to the north, Peddler's Village, offers two days stuffed with kid-centric activity. A number of scarecrow-making demos are scheduled throughout the festival, and the results are lined up for all to enjoy. Pumpkin-painting and other children's activities are there for the enjoyment.
Pike Fest - Lower Gwynedd TownshipSeptember 17
The first ever Pike Fest will bring the community members of Lower Gwynedd Township together. Local musicians and restaurants are providing the entertainment and food for this one-day event. Bring the kids or bring out your inner kid as there will be amusement rides, inflatables and train rides. Pike Fest is located on Bethlehem Pike near Spring House, where there will be free parking. This is a great way to end summer on a high note.
Upper Providence Township Community Day - Anderson Farm ParkSeptember 17
The nearby neighborhoods of Collegeville, Royersford and Trappe call this annual party a "not-to-be-missed" day. But there's enough outdoor entertainment, pony rides, rockwall climbing, petting zoo animals, and food to accommodate attendees from all over Montgomery County. Hang out at Anderson Farm Park at least until 8 p.m., when the whole shebang ends with a bang - the last fantastic fireworks show of summer 2016.
Train Robbery - Colebrookdale RailroadSeptember 17
Colebrookdale Railroad's dinner-and-show trains have been a solid hit, offering everything from magicians to murder mysteries to musicians. The September 17 run, however, is something that overflows with retro-cool. It's an old-fashioned train robbery, complete with bad guys, sacks of cash, a heroine in distress and of course, a dashing hero. The evening's meal features appetizer, salad, roast beef and dessert.
Tavern Night - Pottsgrove ManorSeptember 17
Raise a glass to the passing of summer into autumn. The September 17 afternoon revelry at Pottsgrove Manor includes samples of beer, wine, cider and distilled spirits from local vendors. Light refreshments are also served, sparking conversation about modern brewing techniques as compared to the 18th century way it was done by the Potts family.
Craft Marketplace - Pennypacker Mills
The programming at Pennypacker Mills captures the grandeur and quaint sophistication of the late-Victorian era, making its annual craft marketplace especially appealing. Set against the backdrop of its wide porch and cool shade trees, this outdoor celebration of handmade furnishings, accessories, accents and accompaniments is a glorious way to spend a late-summer Saturday.
Hamlet - The Colonial TheatreSeptember 17
How's this for female empowerment? This film production of Shakespeare's drama, staged by the Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and screening at The Colonial Theatre, casts actress Maxine Peake as the brooding, young prince. The original stage version - the basis for this film - was the Royal Exchange's fastest-selling show in a decade.
Carousel of Flavor - Borough Hall, PottstownSeptember 18
The 2015 edition of this Pottstown highlight attracted more than 6,000 attendees, all eager to soak up some autumnal sun, view the displays of art, survey the artistic creations of local vendors and chow down on the masterpieces of the borough's most talented chefs. Proceeds benefit the ongoing restoration of the 1902 Carousel at Pottstown, which is nearer than ever to completion and opening.
Geology Walk - Schuylkill Canal Park
Bring out your inner adventurer for this Sunday afternoon at Schuylkill Canal Park. Dave Williams from the Schuylkill Canal Association is leading a guided tour where he'll point out faults, fossils and items on the hike. The trail takes 1.5 hours to complete, so be prepared to work up a sweat.
Wine Education Class - Boyd's Cardinal Hollow WinerySeptember 18
The experts at Boyd's Cardinal Hollow Winery share their knowledge of bouquets, blends and bold infusions in this monthly program. The two-hour course is a little sipping, a little insight, a little snacking and a whole lot of fun.
Grist Mill Demonstration Day - Morris ArboretumSeptember 18
The historic feed and flour mill across the street from Morris Arboretum's main entrance springs to life with the help of a crew of dedicated volunteers. The 160-year-old machinery cranks into gear, driving a one-ton millstone as it pulverizes corn kernels into meal. The demo not only shows off 19th century engineering, it also includes a taste of vintage cooking, as the resulting flour becomes a key ingredient in home-baked muffins, warm and tasty for sampling.
Rocking River Fest - John James Audubon Center at Mill GroveSeptember 18
The John James Audubon Center is a flurry of activity during its free family friendly event. Canoe trips, bird walks, water studies, live owl presentations and arts and crafts projects are all up for grabs. There's an informational piece, too, as educators explain the importance of local waterways, both for residents and wildlife.
Festival of the Arts - Jenkintown Town Square
For the past 17 years, the Jenkintown Community Alliance has held a juried art show, attracting creative folks from all over to vie for prizes. The general public has flocked to the event as well, eager to view paintings, photographs and sculpture, all while sipping crafted brews, sampling tasty bites from local restaurants and enjoying the gorgeous late-summer weather.
Narberth Fall Music Festival - Haverford & Forrest AvenuesSeptember 18
The accent here is on having a great time on a picturesque Sunday in Narberth. But there is a serious side to this food-music-crafts celebration. There is no admission fee, but attendees are asked to bring a $1 donation to Philabundance (or a canned food donation). The goal is to make a serious dent in the food shortage problem throughout the borough and beyond.
Restaurant Week - ConshohockenSeptember 19-25
Okay, so this isn't a weekend event per se, but it's certainly something you want to plan for this Saturday and Sunday to be able to jump right in on Monday and beyond. Conshy and West Conshy unite in one fabulous feast, all at prices that are unbelievably wallet- and purse-friendly. Dining experiences are still being added, but at this point, there's plenty of pleasing plates in store, including those from Coyote Crossing and The Lucky Dog Saloon and Grille.
You can make this a four-star weekend by shuttling from event to event, across Montgomery County. Or you can easily nest into a local hotel room and have easy access to it all. We can show you the wisdom of the latter option on our website.