The convergence of cooler temps with the arrival of harvest's bounty and approach of Halloween makes this time of year perfect for events, festivals, gatherings and celebrations.

Just look at the listing below of recommendations for those in The Pursuit of a full Saturday and Sunday.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated announcements for this weekend - at least over the past two weeks - is the reopening of Valley Forge National Historical Park. It was an emotional sight this morning when the flag was unfurled in front of the Visitor Center (which, by the way, is sporting a new walkway and plantings). The park's treasures, from the huts of the Muhlenberg Brigade to the soaring architecture of the U.S. National Memorial Arch, are all eagerly anticipating your return. Jog the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, stroll by the Grand Parade, grab the dog for a leashed trot alongside Washington's Headquarters, snap a photo of the colorful trees near Washington Memorial Chapel; it's all there for the taking. The Park is hosting a "Welcome Back Weekend," where guests may enjoy:

  • The full array of touring options, including by trolley (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday) and bicycle (10:30 a.m. Saturday). Both tours are being discounted 10 percent. Bike rentals are also available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Landscapes and Structures Photography Program resumes on Saturday at 8 a.m. at the covered bridge (info, contact: Jeff Oates, 610.783.1009)
  • Storytellers at Washington's Headquarters and the Visitor Center
  • Ranger-led walks at 12:20 p.m. and 2:20 p.m.
  • Living history at the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Children's activities in the Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., when youngsters can try on 18th Century clothing and play colonial games
  • Renovated entrance to the Visitor Center, sporting new walkways and plantings
  • A stunning display of leaves in gold, orange, russet, and crimson
The leaves, they are a changin'

The leaves, they are a changin'

Admission to the Park is free. As the Continental forces would say in celebration: "Huzzah!"

The fifth annual Suburban Fall Home Show takes up residence at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center this weekend. The JFK ExperienceThis is the place to be if you need ideas for decorating and remodeling the ol' homestead. Experts will be on hand for consultations, product recommendations and money-saving tips. The show also features The JFK Experience, an extensive collection of personal items from President John F. Kennedy, spotlighting his significance as both politician and a family man. The Tuesday edition of The Pursuit profiled this moving and unforgettable display.

If you're a dog owner (or just a fan), Saturday at Waterworks Park in Trappe is where the fur will fly. Barktoberfest, hosted by the Perk Valley Pet Eatery, is a free, full-fledged canine carnival that's fun for humans, too. The docket includes a canine kissing contest, agility demo, bobbing for sausages, costume contest and a version of musical "chairs" that tests who can sit fastest. The Limerick Township K9 Corps will be put through their paces, and pet rescue organizations will be distributing information. This is a day that will send you through the "woof."

This weekend marks the opening of the Elmwood Park Zoo's Halloween-themed event, the Little Boo at the Zoo, which also runs October 26-27. Kids can meet Bubby the Bison and visit candy-collection stations as they trick-or-treat. Three costume contests, tiered by age groups, will evaluate the wee werewolves and pint-sized poltergeists who compete. Special decorations, crafts, games and scarecrows prove that when Elmwood throws a Halloween bash, they don't monkey around.

The Abington Art Center Fall Fest allows visitors to view the creative interpretations of local painters, sculptors and sketchers, while enjoying live music, wine, beer and plenty of food. The center makes full use of all its gallery space, both inside and out. So imagine the appeal of viewing an avant-garde statue standing against the backdrop of a copse of trees bedecked in reds, golds and yellows. Bring the kids; they can careen around the inside of a moon bounce, get their faces painted and create an artistic treasure of their own.

Abington Art Center

This list barely scratches the surface of all the things going in Montgomery County, Pa., this Saturday and Sunday. A more extensive list is available here.

And if all the outdoor exercise, expo wandering dog activity, candy collection and art appreciation leaves you feeling like a sagging scarecrow, refresh yourself with an overnight at one of our distinctive area accommodations, listed on our website.