Featured Story

Take a Step Back in Time this Holiday Season

Terry w Triunial jpegI am addicted to technology, especially my phone – I will never go anywhere without it. This weekend, I took a step back to a time where there were no phones, televisions or even cars. The Magic Lantern Show, run by the Amish Experience, at Plain and Fancy Farm, let me escape from modern times and enjoy entertainment of the past.

Contrary to the name, a magic lantern is not what you would expect. This lantern is a brass lantern with three lenses to project hand painted illustrations on a projection screen. The magic lantern was developed in the 1850’s and was a precursor to movies. When first developed, the lantern used a candle to project and later, kerosene light.

The theatre is completely transformed to feel as though you are sitting in a barn. Before the show began, the showman, who was the host and storyteller, made sure the entire audience was in the Christmas spirit with a game of Christmas trivia. After we were in the holiday spirit, our showman began the show which consisted of classic Christmas stories, such as a Christmas Carol. My favorite part was the new Christmas stories, including a story about a giant snowball causing havoc on a town! All of the stories were narrated by the showman and accompanied by handmade illustrations and music.

The show lasted approximately an hour. During that time, I completely forgot about my phone and became immersed in a time less complicated. After the show I went to the local town, Bird-in-Hand, for homemade Amish foods and handcrafted goods. This show was a great way to experience a different form of entertainment and get into the Christmas spirit. The magic lantern show will definitely be a new holiday tradition!

Fall and Winter Pursuits DWW

Spend Your Thanksgiving Break in Lancaster

In an area that is filled with a tight-knit community of locals and business owners, Lancaster during the holidays lights up with excitement and warmth. It’s the truth, when residents are happy they radiate that happiness creating a magnetic draw to visitors. With this being said, explore Lancaster and feel the magic and energy through the streets and through these events!

When should you start getting into the holiday spirit? The day right after Thanksgiving, of course! No, seriously, when the weather gets cold you must find a way to stay warm with spirit!

On November 27, break your norm of Black Friday Shopping (who wants to wait in all the lines anyways?) Relax, enjoy your time off and go on a family outing! At 6:30 p.m., bundle up and join us at the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas. Want a traditional way to view the holiday window displays? Hop on a Horse Drawn Wagon Ride from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

On November 28, this is where the new norm is put into place. Small Business Saturday! All over Lancaster, business owners open their doors to help you find unique, memorable presents for everyone on your shopping list. When shopping local, you essentially build relationships with the shop owners, so it makes future interactions more personable and helpful. The beauty of shopping local is you have a VERY slim chance of purchasing the same item for someone that they might already have. Give gifts that are genuine and one of a kind!

On November 29, have your eyes light up gazing at Christmas displays. Find the hidden Santa’s on the layout at Choo Choo Barn from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Walk through a Dutch Winter Wonderland from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Warm up at the National Christmas Center and explore the 14 exhibits they have to offer.

Spend time this Thanksgiving breaking your norm and checking out the unique and festive events Lancaster has to offer.

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The author of this post, Julie Press, is currently the Marketing Intern at Discover Lancaster. She encompasses the Lancaster brand. Growing up in a farm house in Adamstown, she identifies with the rustic, homegrown feel Lancaster brings. Now relocated only minutes away from Lancaster City, she feels a strong connection to the City’s creativity, culture, and innovation. Julie studies Public Relations at Millersville University.

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Experience Lancaster A Unique Way: On A Horse!

 

It was starting to feel like fall. As we drove down Nookside Stables‘ driveway passing open pastures, I was hit with nostalgia as I thought back to my childhood horseback riding lessons.

My day started with a text saying “bring sneakers- we’re going horseback riding!” As a Discover Lancaster intern, I was ecstatic to take a break from a regular day to go on an adventure.

A few employees of Discover Lancaster came along for the outdoor fun. As we arrived, we were greeted by Howie, the stable manager of Nookside and a few cute stable kittens.For $49 per rider (all ages 10 and up) you receive a full 1-hour Nookside Horseback Riding Adventure, a wagon ride, commemorative digital photographs posted on Facebook, meet and greet with farm animals, and have a chance to win prizes.

Once we were fitted for helmets, we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon to get to the next destination: the horses! I was paired with Cinnamon, a beautiful brown horse. This horseback ride is not a typical trail ride; it is an obstacle course. This gave us a chance to work with the horses by directing them through paths created by beams. Once we were fitted for helmets, we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon to get to the next destination: the horses!Throughout the hour, a stable worker was following us by horse and Howie was on foot encouraging us during the trip. This made me very comfortable having two employees close by throughout the trip.

Afterwards, Howie explained the mission of Nookside to us. He stated that some people believe that an upside down horseshoe is a sign of bad luck. At Nookside, they do not believe that your experiences are dictated by luck, but rather the intentional design by God. Nookside also gives a portion of every Horseback Adventure to those in need within the community.

This adventure was very rich and included many different elements. This property is great for a family outing, groups, birthday parties, or even a date! Come experience it for yourself!

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The author of this post, Julie Press, is currently the Marketing Intern at Discover Lancaster. She encompasses the Lancaster brand. Growing up in a farm house in Adamstown, she identifies with the rustic, homegrown feel Lancaster brings. Now relocated only minutes away from Lancaster City, she feels a strong connection to the City’s creativity, culture, and innovation. Julie studies Public Relations at Millersville University.

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A Museum for Every Interest

Lancaster has many museums that offer valuable insight into history, culture, and mankind. You can visit an Underground Railroad center, tour a PA German living history village, or meander through the home of the 15th president of the United States.

Here are a few unique museums that top my list:

National Christmas Center Family Attraction & Museum 
Set aside a couple hours to walk through amazing life-sized exhibits that celebrate the history and traditions of the holiday. Don’t miss the 1950’s Woolworth’s 5 & 10 re-creation that showcases vintage Christmas toys and merchandise displayed in a realistic store setting.

Demuth Museum
Check out the rotating exhibitions and tour the restored 1700’s home and painting studio of Lancaster’s most famous resident and world-famous artist, Charles Demuth. Did you know that Demuth’s famous piece, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), is housed in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art?

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Discover the colorful history and dramatic technology of Pennsylvania’s railroad industry, plus see a world-class collection of 100+ historic locomotives!

National Watch & Clock Museum
This museum is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America. While it may seem boring to some, it’s NOT! Come experience for yourself a fun and fascinating journey into the world of timekeeping, beautifully illustrated by more than 12,000 treasures of time.

Robert Fulton Birthplace
Tour the early home of pioneer steamship builder, artist, inventor, and engineer – ROBERT FULTON!

American Military Edged Weaponry Museum
With more than 5,000 specimens, this museum has one of this country’s most comprehensive collections of U.S. military knives and artifacts used by the American servicemen.

Click here to see more museums.

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tomato pie

Food for Thought: We have more than PA Dutch dining

Lancaster County may be famous for traditional Pennsylvania Dutch-style cooking, but the comfort food that we’re known for now shares the stage with an eclectic collection of casual eateries, international restaurants, brew pubs, and fine dining. Like our PA Dutch dining restaurants, these also use locally-grown ingredients from the heart of Lancaster County.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday and all the delicious food that Lancaster has to offer, I’ve listed a few of my favorite restaurants below. It’s a “nod,” if you will, to the delicious cuisine outside of our famous PA Dutch dining.

  • Prince Street Café – This Downtown Lancaster hot spot is directly across the street from the historic Fulton Theatre, the oldest consecutive running theatre in the United States.
  • Café Chocolate of Lititz – This café is commitment to both decadent chocolate and sustainable agriculture: I believe in both passionately!
  • Tomato Pie Café – Tomato Pie Cafe encompasses the personality of Lititz, PA (a.k.a. The Coolest Small Town). I almost always order their specialty – Tomato Pie. Yummm!
  • DJ’s Taste of the 50’s – This 50’s-themed restaurant has to-die-for burgers, fries, and shakes. Even though I’m a vegetarian, I find lots of great stuff on their menu. The kid’s meal is served in a 50’s-style cardboard car – too cute!
  • Loxley’s –The menu is family-friendly and the atmosphere, especially the outdoor dining, (it’s in a tree-house!) is magical.
  • Forklift & Palate – The food here is remarkable. Top notch. Plus it’s in a re-purposed warehouse and features reused materials from the original facility. How cool is that? Chic and delicious!
  • Bube’s Brewery – Bube’s Brewery is one of the only breweries from the early days of the great American breweries that has been left intact. Today it features great craft beer, a restaurant, brew pub, an outdoor biergarten… and a couple resident ghosts.

My list just scratches the surface. There are so many fantastic places to discover! Check them out for yourself!

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Illusionist Brett A. Myers

A few weekends ago my 5 year-old daughter and I had the privilege of watching our friends, Illusionist Brett A. Myers and his wife, Labrina, perform at The Junction Center. This dynamic duo captured the attention of the audience from start to finish. Brett performed classic illusions such as a woman floating in the air and a girl disappearing before your eyes, plus he made a real bowling ball magically appear on stage, levitated an antique table, and much more.  What seems impossible is possible in Brett’s world of illusion. Labrina, his beautiful assistant and aerial acrobat, offered magic of her own throughout the show as she flew high above the crowd. During the performance, we were lucky enough to see a special guest appearance by their son, Starlin (caution: he is adorable!) Oh, and be aware, there’s always audience involvement and participation woven into their shows!

Brett and Labrina travel full-time performing illusions and sharing their passion for art, hope, and life. Currently they travel nationally and partner with theatres, community organizations and churches to produce their shows, but soon this fantastic act will have a permanent home in Lancaster.  Opening in April 2016, their new show MAGIC & WONDER will be live at the Bird-In-Hand stage.  More information regarding the show can be found at www.LancasterMagicShow.com and a finalized show calendar will be posted on www.Bird-in-Hand.com/on-our-stage.

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trails

Get Your Passport to Lancaster County

There’s so many great places to discover in Lancaster! You can visit Lancaster a dozen times and still find something new to enjoy. Here’s something that will make your trips even more fun and rewarding.

Lancaster County Wine, Spirits & Ale Trail

1. Pick up a passport at the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center.

2. Take your passport (and ID!) with you as you make your way across Lancaster, sampling locally crafted potables along the way. Learn a little, drink a little. Learn some more, drink a little more.

3. Get your passport stamped at each participating location, and with a minimum of 4 stamps, turn it in at the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center for a free t-shirt!

This trail is meant to be a fun, social way to soak up Lancaster’s drink culture, not a drunken pub crawl. By all means, indulge! But be respectful and be responsible.

Made in Lancaster Shopping Trail

1. Pick up a passport at the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center.

2. Travel across the county, scoping out, sizing up, and getting a taste of some of the best locally crafted goods Lancaster has to offer. You’ll find countless shops, kitchens, workspaces, and storefronts all over the county, whose owners and proprietors put the love for their craft into every item that walks out the door.

3. Get your passport stamped at each participating location, and with a minimum of 6 stamps, turn it in at the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center for a free t-shirt!

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Make our Visitors Center your first stop

Located directly off the Greenfield Road exit of Route 30, a well-known highway that snakes through Lancaster County, you will find the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center. Make this place your first stop and your trip will be off to great start!

Here are 6 reasons to stop at our Visitors Center:

1. Restrooms, ATM, and Wireless Internet Access

Take advantage of our free wireless Internet access, onsite ATM, and clean restrooms. If you like coffee, grab a FREE cup of Lancaster County Coffee Roasters coffee courtesy of Discover Lancaster.

2. Informative brochures, maps, and expert advice

Do you want to find out what Lancaster County has to offer? We can help! From brochures and maps to advice from our experts, we’ve got you covered. Our friendly travel consultants can assist you by offering restaurant suggestions, helping with last-minute lodging needs, and giving directions to special, out-of-the-way places.

3. Art Gallery

Our Art Gallery displays a wide variety of local art ranging from quilts to pottery to paintings. Best of all, it’s all available for purchase.

4. Marketplace

Browse our marketplace filled with Lancaster County items from popular places such as Intercourse Canning Company, Kitchen Kettle Village, Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant, and more. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir (or a tasty treat!) before or after your stay in Lancaster.

5. Amish Countryside Tour

Enjoy a 90-minute Amish Countryside Tour operated by Amish Farm & House. Sit back and relax as you wander deep into Lancaster County’s heartland and learn about the area’s history, culture, and Amish lifestyle. Open Memorial Day (end of May) through October 31.

6. Mr. Sticky’s Homemade Sticky Buns

Directly outside of the Visitors Center, you will find delicious and downright addictive sticky buns. Be sure try one before you head out. Here’s a coupon! Open March throughDecember.

For more information about our Visitors Center, hours of operation, and directions, click here.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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fall in lancaster

Autumn in Lancaster County

It’s time to put the flip flops and shorts away and dig out the warm socks and comfy sweatshirts.

Here in Lancaster, the air is growing cooler and the leaves are changing color. It feels like Lancaster was made for this time of year. The air is crisp and the landscape is breathtaking. It’s refreshing and peaceful.

Come visit us and see for yourself. Treat yourself to a weekend getaway.

While you’re here you can tour our covered bridges, enjoy a leisurely hot air balloon ride over the vast farmland, stop at road side stand or farmer’s market for seasonal produce, enjoy some family-fun Halloween activities or just sit back and relax.

From seasonal attractions to fall fairs and harvest festivals, we got it all. Check out our list of events. Something is sure to catch your eye!

P.S. Do you want to know the best weeks to see our fall foliage? If so, click here to see Pennsylvania’s Weekly Fall Foliage Report.

fall

Fall in love with Lancaster

I love fall! It’s my absolute favorite season of the year. That’s yet another reason why I love Lancaster; it is a quintessential fall destination. The countryside is beautiful and there’s lots of fun fall activities for all to enjoy. Here are my Top 5 favorite fall activities in Lancaster County:

1. Hiking

Lancaster County offers many unique parks for your hiking and biking pleasure. Fall is the perfect time to soak in the beauty of leaves changing color, plus the temperature is perfect- the mornings are chilly and the afternoons are comfortably cool. My personal favorite spot to hike is to Chickies Rock, which is a “light to moderate” hike. Once you reach the top, you see a stunning view of the Susquehanna River and the surrounding farmland.

2. Lancaster City Cafes

When I think of fall, I think of putting on an over-sized sweater with a big scarf, drinking a cup of coffee, and reading a good book. Whether you want to get work done or meet up with friends, spend a relaxing afternoon in one of Lancaster City’s numerous cafes. My personal favorite is Prince Street Cafe, located across the street from the Fulton Theatre. The food is great and the hot beverages will warm up your heart and your fingertips.

3. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is a great place for families to have a fun-filled day. The farm features a corn maize, a courtyard, and a barnyard with numerous activities. One can pet a llama, learn about farming, and go for a ride down a giant slide. A fun play area is also available for younger children. Oh, and don’t be surprised when you hear a loud train whistle – the Strasburg Rail Road steam engine passes right through the farm! It’s an incredible sight to see!

4. Haunted Attractions

For those of you who enjoy adding some thrill into your fall season, Field of Screams and Jason’s Woods are just two of many great Halloween attractions in the area.

5. Lancaster City Ghost Tours

Spend an evening walking around Lancaster City by candlelight. Explore the mysteries of one of America’s oldest cities. Experience the haunting tales of phantoms, unsolved mysteries, and star-crossed lovers. This 90-minute tour will be sure to send shivers down your spine!

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