For release: Immediate
October 1, 2014
Contact: John Golden, Communications Director
Halloween Season Brings Spooky Spectacles,
While Hayrides and Pumpkin Patches Cater to Kids
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - The earlier sunsets bring longer shadows at this time of year, and in those dark corners, there just may be something unpleasant (but fun) lurking in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa.
For those who like their Halloween celebrations dialed back a bit, the area also features plenty of cheery jack-o-lanterns and smiling scarecrows.
The following attractions are petrifyingly perfect for Halloween haunt aficionados (but may be too intense for children):
- Scream Mountain uses a bit of local lore to drive its haunted attraction, an overlay of scares atop Spring Mountain Adventures in Schwenksville. The mountain's actual past as a quarry serves as the foundation for the macabre backstory: A group of locals, in hopes of evicting a mining camp, set fire to the cabins and tents housing the crew. The spirits of the former workers return each October to wreak revenge. Scream Mountain, opening Friday, October 3, has a variety of ways to experience the monsters and mayhem, including a walk through haunted woods, a hayride through the former mining camp and a trifecta of the walk, the ride and a thrilling zipline through the darkness.
- Pottstown's Temple of Terror, which swings its creaky doors open for the season on Friday, October3, creates a legend of jealousy, envy and a love affair gone horribly wrong. A number of special events are being unearthed for Sunday, October 19: That morning, while the grounds of Montgomery County Community College (West) are still shrouded in mist, runners can flee from a multitude of mindless marauders in the Monster 5k. At noon, Riverfront Park is setting for the first annual Zombie King and Queen Pageant, which includes a talent competition. How many contestants excel at raising the dead remain to be seen.
- "Uncle Louie" is master of the manor house at the center of the Lulu Shriners House of Horrors, Plymouth Meeting, unveiling itself on October 10, 2014. The terrifying tour begins with a wagon ride through a haunted woods, and of course, past a haunted graveyard. Then, it's time to visit the house and its various inhabitants. The eerie evening ends with a corn maze that organizers promise can be safely navigated... at least in theory.
- Flashlights are not allowed at the Friday, October 17 Park in the Dark event at Norristown Farm Park. The ghostly stories told along the way might just raise a specter or two, so it's best advised that no one lag behind on the three-quarter mile trail. All works out in the end, though, as the evening finishes around a bonfire.
- The Haunted Woods at Riverfront Park, Norristown, runs Friday-Saturday, October 24 and 25, and the accent is on the word run. The trek through the darkened trees and rustling leaves is only the beginning. If participants survive the ghostly encounters in the woods, they then face a bewitching boat ride on the Schuylkill River. The weekend weirdness is hosted by the Norristown Business Association and the Norristown Dragon Boat Club.
In addition, the area offers plenty of family-friendly Halloween adventures:
- Merrymead Farm kicks off a month of autumn awesomeness on Saturday, September 26, with its traditional "Lighting of the Great Pumpkin," a huge jack-o'-lantern that takes up residence on the farm's lawn. Intrepid explorers can take on the five-acre corn maze, after which a snack might be advisable. Good thing the apple cider donuts are in season.
- For 16 years, the Fall Fest at Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, has been a centerpiece for children and their parents to enjoy together. The festivities of Saturday and Sunday, October 4-5, include pumpkin painting, apple tasting, animals from Elmwood Park Zoo and the chance to stuff a scarecrow. These masterpieces then go on display at the Scarecrow Walk until October 19, after which visitor votes will determine the best dressed. The backdrop to the festivities is the spectacular variety of trees that are gradually changing into their autumnal grandeur.
- It's a retro-approach to Halloween at the Pennypacker Mills 30th annual All Hallows Eve Fall Festival on Saturday, October 18. The afternoon includes pumpkin painting, fall crafts, tractor-pulled hayrides and the long-ago art of shucking corn.
- Gather around the bonfire at Green Lane Park on Saturday, October 25, for An Evening of Bone Chilling Stories. The flickering flames may create weird shadows, and the crack of the fire may cause listeners to jump, but the tales are appropriate for all ages.
- If your child is the apple of your eye (and whose isn't?) he or she will love the Saturday, October25, Candy Apple Workshop at Cairnwood Estate, part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District. Apples will get a gourmet coating of goodies, and afterward, children can don Victorian clothing and pose for pictures. Aside from the candy apples, additional sticky treats of spiced cider and hand-flamed s'mores are part of the day.
- Freddy Hill Farm in Lansdale goes all-out-orange for Halloween. Plenty of perfect pumpkins can be purchased precut or plucked right from the patch. The full day's October activities includes a corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, pony rides, giant slide and farm animals to visit, but the event that gets the crowds cheering each weekend is the piglet races.
- The adventure of selecting a pumpkin at Kohler Farms, Horsham Township, begins with a hayride to the fields to find a gorgeous gourd. The farm also sells straw, scarecrows and other Halloween-themed decorations. The corn maze and obstacle course provide the opportunity to burn off some energy.
- Pumpkins abound at Little Acre Farmstead, Cedars, but better still, so does pumpkin pie. Visitors can also watch the cider mill in action, as it gushes forth with frothy fresh apple cider.
- Plymouth Meeting's Maple Acres Farm boasts an impressive approach to its agribusiness, a minimal use of chemicals around its produce and poultry. Visitors can leave with a pumpkin already gathered from the field, knowing that it has been grown in an environmentally friendly manner. The farm also features tractor-pulled hay rides and farm animal visits.
- Have a blast at Northern Star Farm, Trappe, this October! The usual fall-fest staples - pumpkin patch, corn maze, haunted corn maze, child-sized haybale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides - are only the beginning. New this year is a giant cannon that will launch anything from apples to water bottles to small pumpkins. Ready, aim, fire!
- If the fall chill sets in during the Fall Harvest at Varners' Farm, Collegeville, no worries: The hot chocolate and warm cider are free. One of the notable aspects of selecting a pumpkin from Varners' Farm is being transported to the fields by way of a pair of stunning Belgian draft horses. In addition to the usual mazes, Varners' October attractions include a pedal tractor course, cattle roping, and kiddy wagon train. Crafty folk can make their own scarecrow or paint their own pumpkin onsite.
A full day in the autumn sun, with so many things to do and see, can be tiring. Valley Forge and Montgomery County Pa., feature numerous locations where visitors at this time of year can rest their bones and revive their spirits. A list of accommodations - from major chains to small boutique hotels to B&Bs - is available on the VFTCB website: www.valleyforge.org. As you explore our mayhem this season, be sure to share your pictures, updates and stories using #MakeItMontco.
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The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, a twice-weekly blog.