Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cheer And Warm Tidings For All At Lancaster County Museums Holiday Events

When our inn's guests are looking for holiday festivities to help them get into the spirit of the season,
Christmas tree
I recommend visiting a few of our area’s museums and historical sites. Several offer holiday-themed events to get you inspired and excited about the warm and wonderful times to come with family and friends.

Check out these wintertime events at Lancaster County museums:

Ephrata Cloister

Christmas at the Cloister – December 8 & 9, 2014
Featuring the Ephrata Cloister Chorus with musical group Seasons (known for their fusion of Celtic, folk, and bluegrass music on harp, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, fiddle, and other instruments).

Call 717-733-6600,
visit the website, or visit the museum to reserve tickets, $6 per person.

The Great Comet Lantern Tours 2014 – December 26, 27, January 2, 3 
Experience these tours that take you back in time. You’ll visit the Cloister in the year 1743, the year of the Great Comet. For reservations, call 717-733-6600 (beginning December 1). $10 adults, $9 seniors (65+), $7 (ages 6-11), $5 f(ages 3-5), under age of 3, free.

Landis Valley Museum

"Days of Belsnickel" Dinner Tour – December 3, 2014, 5:30 – 9 p.m.
Begins with shopping at the museum store, then on to a wine and cheese social, followed by a wagon ride to the 1856 Historic Landis Valley House Hotel to enjoy a sumptuous holiday meal. Includes a candlelit tour of two historic buildings, and wraps up with a vignette by "der Belsnickel." Reservations required: 717-581-0590, $36.50 per person.

Country Christmas Village – December 6 & 7, 2014
Tour decorated buildings, see how traditional holiday foods are prepared, and meet "der Belsnickel." All can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and gingersnaps at the tavern. Plus, kids can make seasonal crafts to take home. And, handbell ringer Ron Bellamy will perform at 1 p.m. in the Visitor Center, followed by an interactive ringing & caroling session.

See their website for hours of operation and admission rates.

Holiday At Landis Valley Bonfire – December 12, 2014, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
A free event celebrating a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas. Complete with wagon rides, an opportunity to tour decorated historic buildings, and warming up around a bonfire and of course, singing carols (accompanied by the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir). The fun then continues in the Yellow Barn for hot cider and cookies.

Please consider bringing one or more non-perishable food items to the event. They will be donated to the Lancaster Food Bank.

"Days of the Belsnickel" Lunch Tour - December 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
It begins with a video, followed by a guided tour through the village, and then a holiday lunch in the historic 1856 Landis Valley House Hotel. The fun continues with the hilarious antics of "der Belsnickel" at the Firehouse. After that, you’re welcome to shop for locally made treasures at the Museum Store. Reservations required: (717) 581-0590, $34.50 per person.

For a full list of Lancaster County’s holiday attractions and events, visit the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureauwebsite

Remember to let me know which you loved the most!

Image courtesy of nipitphand at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Warm Up To Winter In Lancaster County With What’s Hot In Theater

If spending time outdoors in the chill of late autumn and winter isn’t your thing, don’t dismay. The
Lancaster County theater scene stays hot year round!

Check out these Lancaster County winter theater season highlights:

Ephrata Performing Arts Center / Sharadin Bigler Theatre – Don’t let winter go by without seeing one or more of EPAC’s exceptional productions. You’ll find the theater just down the street from the Historic Smithton Inn. Convenient, right? Known for its critically acclaimed community theater, you’ll find productions that range from classics to avant garde.

One of the most loved musicals of all time!
December 4 - 20

Fulton Theatre – Located in downtown Lancaster, The Fulton is just a half hour drive from our inn. You’ll love its breathtaking architecture and the unforgettable theater experience. The Fulton has something for everyone with its variety of shows including favorite Broadway productions to fun musicals for the whole family.

Bringing the beloved Bing Crosby holiday movie to life on stage.
November 18, 2014 – January 4, 2015

Sight & Sound Theatre  Get ready for inspiring productions that share the favorite stories of the Bible in grand form. The theater is just 20 miles from our bed and breakfast. Sight & Sound has become a must-experience destination for people of all ages and religious backgrounds. Nearly all of their shows feature live animals – always a big hit with the kiddos! And check out the "Behind the Scenes Tour" for a glimpse of how the Sight & Sound crews create the majesty and magic on stage.

The greatest epic tale from the Old Testament on stage.
March 8, 2014 – February 7, 2015

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre – Fun, food, and theater are what Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre serves up. What could be better than entertaining musicals accompanied by a delightful meal?

The on-stage version of the holiday classic movie celebrating life and its blessings.
November 13 – December 23

Rainbow Dinner Theatre – If a few laughs are right up your alley, then this is the place for you. Rainbow Dinner Theater is known for "all comedy...all the time.”

Burglar’s Holiday (a Christmas comedy)
Crime pays and Christmas wins in this cleverly loony show.
November 1 – December 28

Hershey Theatre – This gorgeous venue is an easy 40-miles west on Rte. 322. Hershey Theatre offers a wide variety of entertainment including Broadway performances, concerts, and even classic films.

To see their full list of events, visit their website.

American Music Theatre – Amazing live musical performances await you here! AMT is only 20 minutes from the Historic Smithton Inn. Rock, Country, Classical, Big Band, plus comedy and specialty performances, too. I think you’ll find their lineup of shows and featured stars on tour impressive. Their own original shows have gained acclaim as well.

An AMT original! The sounds of the season abound in this critically acclaimed holiday extravaganza.

And there’s a lot more going on at AMT—see their website for more shows.

As you can see, the Lancaster County winter theater season won’t leave you out in the cold. Which shows will you see in the coming months?

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raise Your Glass And Celebrate Fall At “Wine Just Off The Vine™”

Say “cheers” to satiating your thirst for autumn fun. Fall brings not only pumpkins and bold and
Wine and grapes
beautiful foliage our way, but also some of the best local wine and spirits you’ll ever taste.

Make plans to stay at the Historic Smithton Inn and then prepare to savor the season at the Mason Dixon Wine Trail’s 2014 Wine Just Off The Vine™ event Saturdays and Sundays from November 8 through November 16.

It’s an experience you won’t forget! Enjoy as you to sip and sample, and meet and greet local Lancaster and York business owners among the 20 participating southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland wineries, distilleries, and cidery.

Mason Dixon Wine Trail 2014 Wine Just Off the Vine Details:

  • Event runs noon to 5 p.m. on November 8, 9, 15, & 16.

  • Ticket cost: $15 [Includes full event access, a collectible wine glass, wine tastings (must be 21 years old), light refreshments, presentations by the winemakers, and a 10% discount on wine purchases at participating wineries.]

  • Designated driver/Non-alcoholic tickets are also available for $15 [Includes light refreshments, presentations by the winemakers, and 10% off wine purchases (must be 21 or older). Does not include wine tastings or a collectible wine glass.]

Before you go, check out the online Mason Dixon Wine Trail Brochure and Map so you can chart your course for an afternoon of delicious discovery.

I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Lancaster County while the Wine Just Off The Vine event is here. I’ve still got room at the inn, so make your reservations now!

Image courtesy of lobster20 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Venture Off the Beaten Path: Lancaster County's Best Kept Secrets Tour

 If you think you’ve seen nearly all there is to see in Lancaster County, think again!

Lancaster’s Best Kept Secrets Revealed
From October 10 through October 25, 2014, Lancaster’s Best Kept Secrets Tour will introduce you to 37 unique and off-the-beaten path businesses.

Shopping, eating, architecture, art…all sorts of fun and surprises await you. The event resembles a home or garden tour in that you’ll drive yourself from place to place. Make the rounds and enjoy the added perk of enjoying all the special freebies including refreshments, gifts, demos, and more.

There’s even a “shop & win” game with over $1,000 in prizes and a chance to win a $200 shopping spree at the business on the tour you liked best.

All businesses on the tour will have operating hours Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — or longer.

To join the tour, simply buy a ticket (just $8, $1 of which will be donated to the Christ’s Home for Children). You can visit all business in a single day or tackle the tour a few businesses at a time over the course of the entire 16 days.

So you’re probably wondering, “Which businesses can I expect to discover on the tour?"

Great question!

But I can’t tell you. That’s why they call it the “Best Kept Secrets" Tour.

According to the Best Kept Secret Tour’s website, on the tour you’ll find – among many other things – garden and gift stores in a Victorian mansion, renovated factories, historic old homes, locally and globally made crafts, farmers markets, Amish fruit farms, specialty stores (chocolate, books, fabrics, and more), an alpaca farm, and lots of other distinctive shops.

Get Your Best Kept Secrets Tour Tickets
You’ll get a free goody bag to boot if you’re one of the first 2000 people to purchase your ticket!  Your ticket (in booklet form) will serve as your guide to each business. It includes the businesses’ names and addresses, a map to help you navigate, a calendar of extra events, and coupons from every business.

Enjoy your adventure, and be sure to stop back here to leave a comment sharing which best kept secrets you loved most!

By Rebecca Gallagher
Visiting Lancaster County? Stay with us!

Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, October 13, 2014

Put your Halloween in High Gear: Halloween Activities in Lancaster County, PA

Hooray for Halloween in Lancaster County!

From corn mazes to jack-o-lanterns to haunted hayrides to ghost stories, Lancaster County has all the ingredients for a Halloween to remember. When you visit our area in October, you’ll find plenty of spooky fun to make this Halloween frightfully fabulous.

Here’s a sampling of Lancaster’s Halloween highlights, so read on…if you dare!

Mysterious, Melancholy and Macabre – at the Ephrata Cloister 

Friday & Saturdays – Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26
Two performances - 7 pm and 8:30 pm
Advance Tickets: $12 Adults, $10 Children
At the Door: $15 Adults, $12 Children

Located just about one minute down the road from the Historic Smithton Inn, a beckoning guide at the Ephrata Cloister will take you on a spooky tour of the grounds where storytellers will give you chills with their true tales of strange occurrences witnessed by staff, volunteers and visitors. The evening ends with a dramatic presentation (1741 Meetinghouse of The Ghosts of Longmarsh Run: Three Wives of Christopher Beeler) by local actors about a haunting which took place at the Cloister.

Hersheypark in the Dark 

5 – 10 pm on Fridays, Oct. 18, 25 and Nov. 1
Noon – 10 pm on Saturdays, Oct. 19, 26 and Nov. 2
Noon – 9 pm on Sundays, Oct. 20, 27 and Nov. 3
See their website for admission rates

Halloween is a wonderful time to experience Hersheypark in a whole new way! You’ll find "roller ghosters," screamtastic attractions, and live entertainment tailored to the holiday theme. There’s also Hershey's Trick-or-Treat Adventure for children who are age 12 and under. “Sweet” doesn’t begin to describe this fun family Halloween adventure that’s an easy 30 mile drive from our inn.

Field of Screams 

Times of operation and pricing packages vary so visit their website for hours and rates.

If you love Halloween, you’ll be nothing less than enamored by all that Field of Screams has to offer. Fasten your seatbelt for the Haunted Hayride, brave the Den of Darkness, see if you can keep your wits about you in the Frightmare Asylum, or put your courage to the test at the Nocturnal Wasteland. They’ve also got an entertainment area (free with the purchase of an attraction ticket) with other activities, including games, bands, and competitions. Best of all, the fun is within a half hour’s drive from our B&B.

Jason’s Woods  

7 – 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 4 – Nov. 2
7 – 9 pm on Sundays Oct. 5 – Nov. 3
See their website for ticket prices.

Another Halloween-lover’s paradise just a half hour away from Ephrata, Jason’s Woods offers haunted attractions worthy of your best scream. Experience the thrills and chills of the Horrifying Hayride, Chamber of Horrors, and Pirate’s Revenge. Plus, there are kid-friendly rides and other entertainment available when you need to step away from the scary stuff and catch your breath.

As you can see, Lancaster County offers all you need for a spooktacular Halloween. So go get your scare on, and let me know which you dub as your favorite haunts!