Cabin Fever Weekend Prescription

January 31 is Chinese New Year! Happy "Year of the Horse" to all readers of The Pursuit!

Does the continued cold and wet weather of this Montgomery County winter mean you've got to stay hitched up in your chilly barn with nothing to do?

Nay! The recommendations below should put some horsepower in your weekend.

Hometown China in the King of Prussia Mall is hosting a whole day of New Year activities on February 1. This retailer, offering distinctive Chinese products and gifts, can also open your hearts and minds to a truly multicultural experience, as its knowledgeable staff readily shares its unique insights with visitors. The New Year festivities include a tea ceremony, a demonstration of Taigi (gracefully choreographed movements expressing peace and harmony), kids crafts and a story time. Afterward, how about some food? We recommend Kamita Asian Bistro in Oaks.

The full "Mr. Ed" experience is available at Saddlebrook Equestrian Center on February 1, when the riding school features one of its monthly Ranch Time sessions. Ranch Time is a four-hour program that teaches children six and up about animal care and feeding, animal husbandry, riding and teamwork. There are prerequisites, including clothing appropriate to the outdoors and prior time in the saddle, so it's best to check with the center for eligibility.

Horses were an essential mode of transportation to Washington's troops as they hunkered down in Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-1778. Kids can learn the ins and outs of that experience by joining the Continental Army, February 1 at the Valley Forge National Historical Park Visitor Center. They will officially enlist, receiving enlistment papers and continental currency. Recruits will then be issued wooden muskets and learn how to stand, march, and present arms as one of Washington's soldiers would have done. The session is led by a park rangers dressed in Continental uniform. The recruits do spend some time outdoors, so appropriate dress is recommended. The muster is at 10:45 a.m. Don't be late. That's an order!

Kids Join the Continental Army

Nora Makes Her PredictionThe weather is nothing to horse around about, especially this year, when Old Man Winter seems to be on a rampage. When will it end? We should find out February 2, Groundhog Day, at Elmwood Park Zoo, when the animal kingdom's most accurate local predictor makes her call. That's right: Her. It's not that guy from Punxsutawney. It's our own local expert, Norristown Nora, who has beaten Phil in the accuracy department over the past two years. We blogged about Nora in the Tuesday posting to The Pursuit. Find out why she makes her appearance at the more reasonable hour of noon, rather than the usual 4 a.m. public an opportunity to determine if she sees her shadow.

A horseshoe over your doorway might be a cute way to bring good luck. But how do you know if it clashes with the rest of your home's furnishings and artwork? Especially if you're in one of the older homes of Montgomery County? Pennypacker Mills can help you determine what goes with what (and what doesn't) at its presentation of Decorating Your Historic House. Stop by on Sunday, February 2, to learn how you can enhance the character of your historic home with details related to its time period.

Woah, that's a lot of galloping around! When it comes time to hit the hay after a full weekend, hoof it on over to one of the hotel recommendations on our website. The Cabin Fever Reliever discounts still in effect are very enticing, and you're well advised to take advantage of them while they're still stable. That's advice right from the horse's mouth.