Tag Archives: Kitchen Kettle Village

May Things to Do

Ten Things to Do in Lancaster County in May

The flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. It’s May in Lancaster County! With the longer days come exciting events and things to do, whether you’re visiting for a day or a week.

Fruity Festivals:

Strawberries and Rhubarb are being celebrated this month at foodie-approved festivals.

Kitchen Kettle Village’s annual Rhubarb Festival will be held May 20 and 21 to pay tribute to this spring vegetable. This family-friendly festival features live music, a Rhubarb Race Car Derby, and a Rhubarb Dessert Contest. Stroll around the village, sample rhubarb-centric treats, and browse a variety of shops.

To celebrate strawberries, Country Barn will host their first annual Strawberry Festival on May 28th to celebrate the harvest of this colorful fruit. Foodies and families can enjoy activities, home-made ice cream and strawberry dishes, wagon farm tours and a strawberry contest while visiting this working, family-owned farm.

Take in a Show:

From spiritual to comical, there’s a variety of shows on stage this month that will have you awestruck or dancing in the aisles.

For the music-lover, Million Dollar Quartet debuts at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, and tells the story of the recording session that brought Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins together for the first and only time. It’s a blast from the past that will have you tapping your toes beginning May 6 and running through June 19.

From the silver-screen to the stage comes Ghost: the Musical at the Fulton Theatre, running through May 14. If you’re looking for a captivating, romantic musical with Broadway-caliber performances, this one is for you.

Show Off Your Team Spirit:

If the thrill of an exciting sporting event is more your style, May brings exciting games to Downtown Lancaster and Spooky Nook Sports.

Cheer on the US Women’s National Field Hockey Team as they take on Chile in a test series at Spooky Nook Sports on May 14, 17 and 19. This series is a great opportunity to support the team as they prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

For the soccer fans, professional soccer returns to Clipper Magazine Stadium May 22 and 24. The Harrisburg City Islanders will play Bethlehem Steel FC (May 22) and Toronto FC II (May 24) in Downtown Lancaster to kick off the first two of five matches at this stadium this season.

Experience the Art Scene:

Lancaster’s art scene is blossoming and the spring ArtWalk is the perfect time to experience local independent galleries. This event features a self-guided tour of downtown galleries, special demonstrations, meet-the-artist events, children’s activities and more, taking place May 7 through 8.

Step Back in Time:

History buffs can step back in time with a visit to one of Lancaster’s many historical attractions.

19th century baseball comes to life with Strasburg Rail Road’s® Vintage Base Ball Day on May 14. Hop aboard a steam train which will take you to Verdant View Farm for a baseball game played by old-fashioned rules.

Travel back to the 1700s at Ephrata Cloister, one of America’s earliest religious communities. This Mother’s Day, you can experience the tasks performed by mothers during this period with hands-on activities like making butter, spinning thread and writing with a quill pen.

LancasterHistory.org brings World War II to life during their Encampment on May 21 through 22, where you can explore vintage military vehicles, talk to the troops and view artifacts and photographs. The recreated camps complete with tanks, truck, tents and troops will transport you back to the 1940s for an immersive historical experience.

And that’s just the short list! For a complete list of the events happening in Lancaster County in May and beyond, visit our online events calendar. Happy travels!


An afternoon stroll through Intercourse

One of my favorite places to visit in Lancaster County is the Village of Intercourse. Yeah, it has a funny name, but it also has some of the best little shops to visit, especially if you love taste testing great food and seeing beautiful handcrafts.

Kitchen Kettle Village is a huge draw to this location and, with over 40 shops, there is a lot to see. My favorite shop is the Jam and Relish Kitchen where they can, bottle, and jar jams, jellies, relishes, salsas, and more for you to take home. If you like to taste-test samples, this will be one of your favorite places since nearly every item for sale is open for you to try. Online ordering is also available.

A short walk from Kitchen Kettle Village is the Old Candle Barn. Don’t let the name fool you, they have much more than candles. There are tons of home decorations, lamps, and linens waiting for you to look through. The shop is changed seasonally, so no matter when you visit, you will find something wonderful to take home with you. The candle selection is marvelous and includes soy candles which are fragrance and dye free.

If you are a quilter you must visit Zooks Fabric Store. I’ve been getting my quilting fabric from them for over 25 years. They have a fine selection of popular commercial brands plus Kona cottons and the hard-to-find Amish solids you need to finish that Sunshine and Shadow quilt you’ve been making.

Cross the street and you can visit the Intercourse Pretzel Factory. A free tour is offered when the factory is in operation; otherwise, you can sample and buy a wide variety of freshly made pretzels. Both hard and soft pretzels are made in the factory and all are delicious.

If taste-testing is your favorite hobby, then you definitely want to visit the Intercourse Canning Company. A huge selection of canned goods waits for you in a rainbow of colors and flavors. Previously housed in an older building, the Canning Company has moved to Center Street, but is still within walking distance of the heart of Intercourse.Cooking demos are offered at certain times and a video history of canning is also available.

Near the Intercourse Canning Company is Stoltzfus Meats and Deli. This is a great place to pick up a snack of some lebanon bologna and farmer’s cheese and a nice cold drink. Be sure to pack a cooler in your car to take home a pound or two of their great meats and cheese for later. They also feature Amos’ Place Restaurant if you need more than a snack.

I know you are curious… so here’s the scoop on the village name. The Village of Intercourse was founded in 1754 and the word intercourse at that time was used to reference fellowship or a social gathering. Since the village is also the place where two main roads cross it makes a lot of sense that it was named Intercourse. But if you’d like to think that this piece of history is all wrong and it means something else, well, there will be a lot of t-shirts to support your theory in the gift shops, so have fun!


A village of shops and surprises

This day trip was an extraordinary surprise. It was so much more than I expected.

My five-year-old son and I visited Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse for the first time, and found a lively village of shops mainly showcasing hand-crafted creations, both culinary and handcrafts. There are shops that had leather goods, pottery, tinware, jewelry, quilts, and more. A highlight for me as a craft-lover was the Lancaster Yarn Shop. It was bright, friendly and welcoming, and stuffed full of hand-picked yarns, choice tools, and books. I will definitely need to go back and linger a little longer next time.

Outside the back entrance of the yarn shop was a singer-songwriter playing an acoustic guitar as part of the annual Music for Everyone Festival. On the main stage in the center of the Village were The Roof Rockers who lived up to their name. They had people’s attention as they belted out dance music from the 70’s and 80’s.

Also in the center of the Village is The Bake Shop and the Jam & Relish Kitchen, where you can decorate your own cookies and watch the making of jams and jellies. During our visit, they were canning blueberry preserves. Yum – our mouths were watering! While checking out the goodies on the shelves, we learned that you can also order most everything from their online shop. But you have to see this working kitchen for yourself. It is such a wonderfully unique experience.

Next we decided to take the buggy ride through the Lancaster County countryside. There was a 35 minute and a 55 minute ride. We opted for the 35 minute ride given our time constraints.

In the matter of five minutes, we were swept away from the lively, bustling Kitchen Kettle Village to quiet country roads. It’s incredible how dramatic the scenery can change in the matter of a mile. We saw Amish farmers with their mules baling straw, a pair of newly born colts playing in a field, and farm after farm with laundry on the line and children working in the garden with their mothers. It was a bucolic scene. The perfect weather seemed ordered up for the occasion. Our driver pointed out where the power lines stopped since the Amish homesteads don’t use modern electricity. It was educational and scenic – a real joy.

As we returned to Kitchen Kettle Village, we decided to get a quick ice cream snack. We listened to a trio of bluegrass musicians and meandered through the toy store.

Word of advice: You can easily spend a whole day at Kitchen Kettle Village, so plan accordingly!

We definitely plan to go back again. I wonder what they’ll be canning in the Jam & Relish Kitchen next time…




Lancaster out & about adventures

Last week, 14 staff members from the Lancaster Visitors Bureau, including myself, enjoyed a day of team-building. During our road trip through the County in the most beautiful fall weather imaginable, we visited a handful of delightful places.

First we stopped at Kitchen Kettle Village for a blind taste test of their delicious salas, relishes, and jams followed by a scarecrow-making contest (yes, we built two scarecrows from head to foot, including the stuffing in between). Kitchen Kettle Village is a quaint attraction that houses over 40 country shops and several restaurants—all of which are built around their nationally celebrated Jam & Relish Kitchen. They also have fun and interactive festivals throughout the year, like their Tailgate Festival which was in full swing during our visit. Afterward we walked through the quaint village of Intercourse to the Intercourse Pretzel Company for taste-testing, pretzel twisting demonstrations, and a speed competition. Talk about experts! The folks there know how to make a yummy snack—whether hard, soft, sweet, savory, big or bite size.

Before lunch we headed to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm to tackle the Amazing Maize Maze and a couple of their other fun onsite farm-related activities. This is an awesome place that the whole family will enjoy for an entire day  (I can’t wait to take my 3 year old!).

By this time our tummies were growling, so it was off to The Strasburg Country Store & Creamery for lunch and homemade ice cream. The ice cream is to die for (Sweet Cream & Nuts is my favorite). In addition to homemade ice cream, they also have homemade fudge, candy, nut butters, and honey that is simply wonderful (I ate more free samples than I care to admit).

After lunch we headed to Village Greens Miniature Golf and Snack Shoppe for 9 challenging holes of mini golf. Village Greens has two spacious miniature golf courses in a unique garden setting along with a snack shoppe and outside patio. The weather was perfect for our after lunch activity.

Our day wrapped up at Clearview Lanes Bowling Center for drinks, appetizers, and thoroughly entertaining games of bowling. From gutter balls to Turkeys, we laughed until our sides hurt. Clearview Lanes is a great place to have fun with your friends without breaking the bank.

We may have been divided into teams or pairs for some of the competitions throughout the day, but we all walked away feeling a renewed excitement. We love where we live and where we work; but most importantly, we love working with each other.

It was an awesome day!


Yummie’s Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Kitchen Kettle Village

The Boys with Yummy at KKVI was able to take the boys over to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse yesterday morning for Yummie’s Annual Giant Easter Egg Hunt.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t Yummie that 6 foot tall anthropomorphic Gingerbread Man that regularly strolls down Pepper Lane?”


The good folks over at Kitchen Kettle had plenty of free things for the kids to do leading up to the hunt. The boys got some balloon animals made for them, they made their own custom Easter egg and pencil toppers, and they even got to hold some baby chicks. Of course, when I’m at the Village I always have to pick up a gi-normous bag of Kettle Corn. Yes, it was 10 o’clock in the morning, but I was hungry and I love that stuff. Don’t judge me.

Noah handles a PeepAnyway, the skydiver they had on tap was delayed due to a pesky low cloud cover so they got right to the main event.  Kids and parents were broken up into separate age groups and hunted for eggs throughout the village. My wife went off with my 6-year-old and I escorted Jacob, my 3-year-old, next to the Village Quilts shop to make sure he extracted his allotted amount of eggs (to make sure everyone got a fair share).

Turns out Jacob luckily procured himself one of the special prize eggs that entitled him to a chocolate-covered treat over at Pepper Lane Fudge & Sweets shop. His mother (ol’ sweet tooth as we like to call her) was especially pleased about this particular instance of eggshell serendipity.

After a quick stop at the Canning Kitchen to pick up an Easter gift for my father-in-law (an extra large jar of Pepper Jelly, his favorite) we were off, but not before one last photo-op with the cookie man himself. All in all, it was a pretty great way to start our Easter weekend in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.


Judging Desserts at the Rhubarb Festival

I recently had the honor of serving as a “celebrity” judge for the Rhubarb Dessert Baking Contest at the 26th annual Rhubarb Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse. I was chosen by Director of Fun Lisa Horn to represent the many fans of Pat Burnley’s charming village of shops, sweets, and success nestled in the village of Intercourse. I must say, it was quite an honor for me and well worth the drive-up from Winston-Salem, NC.

The Rhubarb Festival began on Friday, and was highlighted by cooking demonstrations, live music, and sampling of rhubarb based food and drink. The weather was beautiful and there was a sizable crowd enjoying the sights and sounds of the Village. The first cooking demonstration was conducted by Kitchen Kettle’s “Food Guy,” Tom Rothfus. Tom is the former owner of Market Fare restaurant (now Carr’s) in Lancaster and a former chef for an Army general. Tom made rhubarb chutney and a goat cheese and strawberry salad with a rhubarb onion vinaigrette dressing. They were both delicious and a big hit with the crowd (and with me, as I had two servings).

Some of the foods sampled throughout the Village included: Rhubarb Sangria, Spicy Rhubarb BBQ Cocktail Wieners, naked rhubarb (or with salt or sugar), Rhubarb Dessert Quesadillas, and Rhubarb Salsa. While walking around the Village my friend Sarah from the PA Dutch Convention and Visitor’s Bureau spotted me and we chatted a bit. She was filming some of the Festival, including the Rhubarb Whoopie Pie Filling Contest. My wife took part in this event, in which contestants had to make six Lemon Rhubarb Whoopie Pies and package them. The Whoopies were quite good and I told Kristine Grego, Kitchen Kettle’s Food Specialist, that she should sell them during the month of May. Kristine, held the second demonstration making a rhubarb tiramisu and a Rhubarb Turkey Monte Cristo Panini. Both were excellent, of course.

The Rhubarb Dessert Baking contest was held on Saturday morning. After the competition, pieces of the desserts were sold with all proceeds going to Lancaster Farmland Trust. The desserts were broken down into three categories with four judges for each category. The categories were: pies, cakes, and open competition (cookies, etc.). I was asked to judge in the pie category with Cheryl Deaven of the PA Dutch CVB, Paul Abrams representing Kitchen Kettle Lodging fans, and Karen Martynik, Director of Lancaster Farmland Trust. In the open Rhubarb Dessert competition, PA State House District 100 Representative Bryan Cutler, Cory Amman of Willow Valley Resort, Rick Stein of MIX 106.7 FM, and Connie Shuff, a former Grand Champion of the Rhubarb Dessert Baking Contest were the judges. In the Rhubarb Cake category the judges were Lynn Schmidt Miller of Lancaster Newspapers, Sue Long of Lancaster County Magazine, and Donald Robinson a retired board member of Lancaster Farmland Trust.We sampled 16 different pies, and two other desserts for the Grand Champion Prize, which turned out to be a Rhubarb Pear Pie by Belinda Myers of Dallastown, PA (this pie also won the pie competition).

I suppose I ate a total of about four or five pieces of pie during the entire competition. A couple were excellent, a couple were, let’s say not up to par, but most were good. The emcee of the event, Jerry Reeser, was hilarious and kept asking people if they had been to Winston-Salem (after finding out that is where I live) and that the winner of the competition would get $250 and a trip to Winston-Salem. I told him I would rather just stay in Lancaster County!

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