TOP OCTOBER EVENTS
Valley Forge & Montgomery County
Grab a sweater, a pair of comfortable walking shoes and a loved one. Against the backdrop of some of the most spectacular weather on our entire calendar, Montgomery County has a bounteous crop of things to do.
People come to Skippack Village for these two days of festivities to walk beneath canopies of golden foliage, to browse one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, to see handmade arrangements of dried flowers and breathe in the scent of crafted candles. But all that aside, people come to eat, which, given Skippack's reputation for dining excellence, is a perfectly good reason to stop by.
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Animals and apples, all in two autumnal afternoons. Morris Arboretum is bringing in a falcon from Elmwood Park Zoo, and Weaver's Way Coop is offering an array of the season's most flavorful, crisp apples. The backdrop for this family fun is the stunning foliage of one of the east coast's best arboreta, dressed in yellow-red-tan-gold splendor.
APPLE BUTTER FROLIC
Mennonite Heritage Center
This popular autumn festival, hosted by the Mennonite Heritage Center, has been enjoyed by the local community for over 40 years. The frolic is an opportunity to learn how Mennonites and their neighbors lived 100 or more years ago. It's also a chance to dive into the culinary magic of a pancake and apple sausage breakfast, an apple-baking contest and demonstrations from gramma's kitchen.
FLEA MARKET AND CRAFT FAIR
Elmwood Park Zoo
Early October gets people's creative juices flowing, resulting in prime time for craft fairs. The good news for the public is the chance to wander by interesting and engaging merchandise - things not for sale at the average big-box retailer - and pick up a treasure or two. This event is Elmwood Park Zoo's first ever flea market/craft fair, but if their past success at events is any indication, it is sure to become an annual favorite.
More than 90 vendors and 10 food trucks will set up shop on Butler Avenue, basking in the autumn sunshine and cool breezes. This party - thrown by Ambler Main Street - includes kids' rides, a beer garden, two stages' worth of musical performances and plenty of arts-and-crafts merchandise.
Upper Merion Farmers Market
Doggone, this is a good time! Celebrate man's best friend (and women's) at Upper Merion Farmer's Market on West Valley Forge Road in King of Prussia. Leashed dogs are welcome for treat and food samples, a costume contest and plenty of canine games. Rescue organizations will be on hand, providing information (and perhaps a sloppy kiss or two). Attendees are asked to bring donations of "gently used" shoes.
FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL
More than 30 food trucks - offering culinary adventures from waffles to falafel - line the picturesque streets of Phoenixville for one taste bud-tempting afternoon. Live music and the beautiful fall weather are plusses.
KING OF PRUSSIA BEERFEST ROYALE
October 6 & 8
King of Prussia Mall
The area's largest craft and international beer festival, the King of Prussia Beerfest Royale brings more than 100 craft brews, great food, live music and the popular cigar lounge to KOP for two days in October.
GRIST FOR THE MILL
Here's an escape from the usual "grind." Historian Dan Graham explains the little-known grist mills owned by John Potts, whose fame and fortune were based on his ironworks. The program also includes a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor, including its current exhibit, Potts and Family: Colonial Consumers.
William. Shatner. Captain. Kirk. Himself. Appearing. Onstage. At the historic. Keswick Theatre. Not much more need be said. This is a night that Trekkers and Shatner fans will line up for, a performance of personal stories, sharp observations, warm remembrances and maybe even (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, perhaps?) a song or two.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
Comic Tracy Morgan has included a one-night-only stop at the Valley Forge Casino Resort on his Pickin' Up the Pieces Tour. Starring for seven seasons on NBC's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning 30 Rock, and part of the legendary SNL family, Morgan recently wrapped production on Fist Fight alongside Ice Cube and Charlie Day, premiering in 2017.
ALL HALLOW'S EVE FALL FESTIVAL
Here's a golden opportunity on a golden afternoon, as the educators at Pennypacker Mills demonstrate how fall crops were processed back in the day. Give the vintage corn-shucker and the hand-cranked apple press a try for yourself. Then go jump in the hay pile and line up for a tractor-pulled hayride.
HARVEST HARD WON
Peter Wentz Farmstead
Explore the traditional chores performed during the autumn harvest on a colonial farm while the Revolutionary War was fought throughout the region in 1777. Visit the garden and spend time in the summer kitchen to experience food preservation. Join the farmers as they shell corn and press apples for cider. Learn about General Washington's use of Peter Wentz Farmstead as a temporary headquarters before and after the Battle of Germantown.
Opening October 20
Playcrafters of Skippack
This 1951 drama, staged by Playcrafters of Skippack, is a theatrical adaptation of a book by the same name, done by its original author, Agatha Christie. The set-up is classic: A number of guests arrive at a country house outside London, all with intertwined pasts. It doesn't take long before offstage gunshots propel the story forward, bringing on an intrepid inspector to figure it all out - along with the audience.
2016 HARRY POTTER FESTIVAL
Wizardry and wonder take over the streets of Chestnut Hill, turning them into a two-day panorama of all-things Potter. A costumed pub crawl features foamy mugs of butterbeer; literary events include readings and group discussions; and the fields of Chestnut Hill College are the setting for the grand and glorious Quidditch Tourney. This festival demands that even modest fans don't fall victim to the Immobulus spell, get moving, and go.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS
B Sharp Productions brings together five bands in Norristown's primo concert space, where they will battle it out in a note-by-note showdown. The audience determines who comes out on top, which, given the level of talent, means each band is going to have to put it all on the line to emerge victorious.
PHILADELPHIA'S ULTIMATE WOMEN'S EXPO
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
Explore your own personal style, renew your soul and uncover your passions during this two-day event at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. The inspiring keynote speakers are reason enough to go: Susan Lucci, NeNe Leakes and Ramona Singer. Their life-coaching advice is part of the greater experience that includes shopping, fashion, food, entertainment, cosmetics and travel.
The yearly Medieval Festival within the Bryn Athyn Historic District may come late in the season, but it is well worth the wait. Journey back to the days of knights and ladies, of hurdy-gurdy music and spinning wheels, when illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows were made to kindle heavenly inspiration. The museum's tower is also part of the day, offering spectacular views of colorful trees for miles around.
Opening October 25
Act II Playhouse
This run at Act II Playhouse - about two half-sisters who battle each other for a rare book of stamps - unfolds like a live-action version of TV's Law and Order or NYPD Blue. That parallel isn't surprising because the playwright, Theresa Rebeck, also wrote for those two shows. Her tight script for Mauritius was described by Variety as "...stitching tension into every exchange."