Area yields a Top 10 list of family-fun festivities
King of Prussia, Pa. - As a blanket of orange, blazing yellow and red bursts through the landscape of Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., the area yields a bumper crop of creative family-fun fall festivities. Here's a list of 10 recommended by the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester showcases the Fall Harvest, 18th century-style, on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Demonstrations will include preserving fruits and vegetables, apple cider pressing and the breaking, scutching and combing of flax, to eventually being spun into linen thread.
Washington Memorial Chapel, on the grounds of Valley Forge National Historical Park, hosts its free Founder's Day Fall Festival on September 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With a Colonial era theme, the event showcases artisans and crafters and the chapel's impressive architecture, stained glass, and carillon. Pumpkin painting, a dog show and children's games round-out the entertainment.
Upper Schuylkill Valley Park in Royersford will be the site of a "What happens in the fall?" scavenger hunt on Sunday, September 26, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Clues lead families through the park to learn about its flora and fauna and how leaves, and even resident animals' coats, change with the season.
Friday, October 1, kicks off Merrymead Farm's month-long Harvest Days. Storytelling, hayrides, live music and the lighting of the Great Pumpkin set the celebration's autumnal tone. And, every weekend throughout the month, visitors can navigate the Lansdale farm's five-acre corn maze and search for hidden Merrymead trivia questions.
A corn maze with a giant slide is also one of the seasonal treats at Freddy's Fallfest, held every October weekend at Freddy Hill Farms and Family Fun Center in Lansdale. Pig races, a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch, hayrides and a petting farm add to the fun.
Pennsylvania German heritage and a favorite fall fruit take center stage in Harleysville's Mennonite Heritage Center during the Apple Butter Frolic on Sunday, October 2. See apples pressed for cider and cooked into butter over a wood-burning fire. Blacksmithing and quilting will also be demonstrated during the Living Hope Farm event. Sample the scrumptious Pennsylvania German foods, too, like apple dumplings and fritters, homemade crushed cherry pie and scrapple.
The Schuylkill River Festival at Riverfront Park, in Pottstown, gives participants an opportunity to work off the previous weekends' culinary indulgences. In addition to enjoying live music, Native American dancing and numerous cultural and wildlife exhibits, visitors can kayak, geo-cache, hike, bike, fish and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. It all takes place Saturday, October 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Let the kids try games popular 100 years ago, like hay pile jumping and gravestone rubbing, at the All Hallow's Eve Fall Festival at Pennypacker Mills in Worcester. There'll also be tractor-pull hayrides and pumpkin painting. Saturday, October 16, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
On October 24, marvel at pumpkins elaborately carved by local artists Haldy Gifford and Ellen Glendinning, during the acclaimed one-night-only Pumpkin Show illuminating the grounds of The Highlands Mansion & Gardens in Ft. Washington. Held between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., spectators are challenged to identify celebrities, sports teams and other icons ornately sculpted into more than 100 squash.
Easily frightened? Skip to the next item. If not, you'll relish ghoulish ghosts and goblins storytelling shared along a half-mile Park at Dark Halloween hike through Norristown Farm Park, in West Norriton. Starting at 7 p.m. on October 30, hikers will also discover the nuances of nocturnal animals.
Valley Forge National Historical Park was rated one of the top 10 parks in the USA for leaf peeping by the National Park Service, so it's an area autumnal "must-do." To build your fall Valley Forge weekend escape around these and other great events, visit www.valleyforge.org for more information and affordable, family-friendly hotel deals, or, follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/VisitVF for the latest happenings.