The days are growing shorter, leaves are beginning to turn brown and red, the air has grown cool and crisp, and kids are back in school…Fall has returned to Lancaster County! Many of us hate to say goodbye to the long, warm, sunny days of summer, but thankfully there are plenty of fun things do in Lancaster that coincide with the arrival of Autumn.
Pile on a few extra layers of flannel, fill your thermoses with hot coffee, tea or cider and plan a fun day of outdoor activity here in Lancaster County!
PA Renaissance Faire
Take a trip back in time to an enchanted land filled with merriment, song and thrills at the PA Renaissance Faire in Manheim! Housed on the grounds of the Mt. Hope Estate and Winery, this popular Lancaster institution celebrates its 39th year of operation in 2019.
Visitors are immersed in the Renaissance era while interacting with hundreds of costumed characters strolling the grounds who engage attendees with period-specific stories, song, dance and games. Take in a variety of elaborate stage shows taking place throughout each day while savoring delicious food and browsing the eclectic assortment of artisan-crafted wares for sale.
Running through October 27, this year’s Ren Faire features Themed Weekend activities guaranteeing a unique Faire experience each time you visit. Some of this year’s fun, fall themes include Celtic Celebrations, Wizarding Weekend, Autumn Harvest and Oktoberfest.
They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so why not set your family up for a healthy Fall season with an apple-picking outing at one of Lancaster’s many pick-your-own orchards? No matter what your favorite apple variety is, you’re sure to find it at one of the county’s many fruit farms where you can bring your entire family along for a fun, outdoor activity when the weather begins to cool.
Some local favorites include: Cherry Hill Orchard in Lancaster, a family-owned orchard and outlet store offering over 45 varieties of apples; Masonic Village Farm Market & Orchard in Elizabethtown, offering over 60 apple varieties and pick-your-own pumpkins; and Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm Market just across the Susquehanna River in Hellam, where kids can enjoy wagon rides and a straw bale jungle alongside the apple picking.
Whether you’re planning to bake apple pies, apple dumplings, apple crisp, apple doughnuts or other sweet apple desserts, or press your own fresh cider, there’s no better option than picking your apples by the bushel at one of Lancaster’s many orchards!
Apple picking season typically runs through November, but you should check your orchard’s website for specific information.
Nothing goes better with the early days of autumn in Lancaster than the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of your local fair! Throughout the fall, local townships celebrate their agricultural heritage and community spirit through their annual community festivals.
This is a great opportunity for neighbors far and wide to come together to see livestock and produce exhibitions, friendly competitions, crafts and food vendors, games, petting zoos and live music—a wide variety of activities sure to please young and old alike.
Admittance to fairs is usually free and proceeds from many of the food stands offering a tasty array of hometown favorites benefit local non-profit organizations. Make it a point to visit one of Lancaster’s many fairs to learn about local history and culture, eat well, have fun and give back to the community.
Check out their websites to learn more about these local fairs: Solanco Fair (Sept. 19-21), Ephrata Fair (Sept. 24-28), Manheim Community Farm Show (Oct. 8-12).
Fun Among the Treetops
You can have aerial adventures throughout the year, not just during the summer months! Thrill-seekers can enjoy high-wire adventures among the treetops at Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center near Lititz. Choose from various family-friendly activities including zipline courses designed for beginners or more experienced riders as well as aerial obstacle challenges sure to test your nerve and your balance!
Other activities include a hands-on wildlife exhibit, high ropes course, climbing tower and problem-solving team builder exercises. Refreshing Mountain also offers overnight getaway stays in their fully furnished, family-sized cabin rental suites.
Halloween will be here before we know it, and what better way to celebrate this “spooktacular” time of year than visiting some of Lancaster’s many haunted attractions?
Lancaster County enthusiasts can learn more about our own haunted local history on a Lancaster Ghost Tour. Visitors can revisit spooky days from the past on guided, candle-lit walking tours through the cities of Lancaster and Strasburg and learn about the ghosts that reportedly still lurk around the homes and graveyards lining these streets.
For those seeking a more visceral, terror-ific Halloween experience, Lancaster is home to some more thrilling Halloween attractions as well.
Now in its 27th year of operation, Field of Screams in Mountville is billed as “America’s No. 1 Haunted Attraction”, featuring heart-pounding thrills with immersive, interactive scenes complete with scary lighting, sound, and special effects. Come face to face with ghouls, goblins and zombies in two haunted houses, the Haunted Hayride, and the Wicked Haunted Woods.
Looking for a new space during the fall months? Check out Prospect Leasing and Management's Properties For Rent to find your next home!