Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures
It’s that time of the year again in central Pennsylvania! The leaves are turning deep shades of orange, rust and yellow, and the crisp air beckons mid-staters to enjoy the variety of events available. From festivals to science, there isn’t any lack of ways to fill your weekend, whether you live in Harrisburg, Selinsgrove or Lancaster.
Feel like stepping back in time for a weekend? From Labor Day until the end of October, the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is in full swing. Even if you don’t decide to dress as if you just stepped out of a Shakespearean play, you’ll find yourself immersed in a past world teeming with knights, fair maidens and food a’plenty!
Want to get away from it all? The incredible corn maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm will help you lose sight of the world — literally. It takes at least an hour to get through this complex labyrinth, but don’t worry because there are guides to help along the way! You’ll leave feeling refreshed and knowing you made it through what USA Today calls one of the top 10 corn mazes in the nation.
Many of the first settlers to the mid-state’s regions were of German origin. You can learn more about the way they live, and even try some of their favorite treats at the 55th Annual Harvest Festival in Landis Valley on October 11–12, 2014. It’s definitely worth a little journey into the hills and dales to get a little living history lesson.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist or just someone who appreciates arts and crafts; you’ll find the Goggleworks Arts Festival on October 4–5, 2014, to be an exciting experience. At this yearly event, you’ll witness demonstrations of glass making, eat amazing foodstuffs and be able to purchase juried works of art.
Although Hersheypark doesn’t operate every day in the fall months, the amusement park does offer special Hersheypark in the Dark weekends at the end of October. You can take part in the rides, and even dress up in costume if you like! It’s a nice way to end the amusement park season and ride those famous rollercoasters after the sun goes down. Don’t forget to bring your jacket, though; Mother Nature turns central PA pretty frosty by this time of year!
On those days when the sky opens up and chilly rain falls, it’s always nice to know that you can visit the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. With an IMAX theatre playing family-friendly documentaries and short movies on a regular basis, the Whitaker Center is the go-to place when you want hands-on learning activities for kids. But don’t tell the kids these events are actually educational!
Love cars? The Fall Carlisle automobile collector show is a must-see. In 2014, it’s going to be held for several days from October 1–5 at the Fairgrounds in Carlisle. Not only is this a place where collectors showcase their best cars, but it’s a place where you can buy or trade collector-worthy vehicles as well. You’ll feel like you dropped into Top Gear heaven!
Okay, we admit it — the East Pennsboro Pumpkin Fest isn’t only about pumpkins… it’s also about having an amazing time while enjoying harvest-themed events, food and camaraderie. Lots of vendors offer their wares at this once-a-year festival with free parking and admission. Bring the kids on October 11 or 12, 2014, and plan to stay a while!
Don’t let a weekend go by this fall without taking advantage of the many chances to invigorate your body, mind and soul in the mid-state. There’s no need to travel far in order to feel like you’ve indulged in a true getaway. You’ll feel recharged and prepped for the holidays that are right on the heels of autumn’s last hurrah!