What To Do: Crafts, sports, home show…and pumpkins!

More than just Halloween stuff to do this October weekend

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times


If you love pumpkins, then the Pumpkin Days event at Tyler Arboretum, Oct. 18 & 19 might just be the ticket for you.

These days, it seems that there are pumpkins all around you — big pumpkins, tiny pumpkins, carved pumpkins, huge pumpkins, artificial pumpkins and even illuminated pumpkins.

This is also the time of the year when pumpkin celebrations abound and one of the best in the area is the annual Pumpkin Days event at Tyler Arboretum. (515 Painter Rd., Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).

Tyler Arboretum’s Pumpkin Days is a fun-filled family festival as well as being one of the nature-oriented site’s major annual fundraising events. This year’s event will be held October 18 and 19 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

The wide array of activities includes hay wagon tours, scarecrow making, a moon bounce, face painting, a pumpkin patch, an inflatable obstacle course, arts and crafts, a haunted tree house and pumpkin painting.

The list of kids’ activities includes a variety of games such as Hay Dash, Kiddy Corral, Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin Ring Toss, Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe, Pumpkin Play and Feed the Pumpkin Catapult, as well as children’s crafts including Leaf prints, Lollipop Ghosts, Paper Bag Trees and Spider Webs.

Other free attractions and activities are “Family Photo Backdrop,” “Spooky Fort Tyler (a non-gory experience for smaller children),” “Stubby the Traveling Helicopter,” pumpkin carving by William Rush Woodcarvers, balloon sculpting, pumpkin decorating, “Green Partners’ Farm Explorer” and “Jon the Bugman’s Creepy Critters.”

Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-15). Free parking for Pumpkin Days is exclusively at the Penn State Brandywine campus, where visitors can catch the complimentary shuttle bus to and from Tyler Arboretum. Parking at the Arboretum is reserved for handicapped parking.

hagley craft fair

The Hagley Craft Fair celebrates its 36th anniversary, Oct. 18 & 19, at the Hagley Museum, just south of Kennett on Rt. 52 in Delaware.

The Hagley Craft Fair is not only one of the most popular annual craft events in the Brandywine Valley — it is also one of the oldest.

Celebrating its 36th anniversary this year, the event will be held October 18 and 19 at Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5.

The eagerly-anticipated annual show, which is being held inside Hagley’s Library Building and Soda House along with the grounds outside the building, is a juried craft fair with more than 50 top-flight artisans demonstrating, displaying and selling their crafts.

The Hagley Craft Fair, which was created to celebrate the history of the textile industry along the Brandywine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, will spotlight artists who work in woodpottery, jewelry, fibers, metal and other media.


This weekend, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-EXPO, http://www.phillyexpocenter.com) will host a pair of shows with wide appeal — the Suburban Fall Home Show (www.phillyexpos.com) and Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular (www.fanaticsauthenticshows.com).


The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks hosts the Suburban Fall Home Show, Oct. 17 & 18.

The Suburban Fall Home Show, a free event which runs from noon-8 p.m. on October 17, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on October 18 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on October 19, is for those who have already started repair projects as well as those who are just contemplating changes around the home.

The event, which is produced by D&D Expositions, is geared to meet the needs of homeowners in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and home decorating. There will be exhibits presented by manufacturers and importers of appliances, home repair items, bathroom items, kitchen ware, home electronics, furniture, accessories and decorations.

A wide range of products will be featured at the show, including kitchens, landscaping and design, appliances, lumber, architectural services, lighting, and outdoor play systems. There also will be a number of celebrity guests making appearances over the weekend.

Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular, which is also free, runs from 4:30-9p.m. on October 17, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on October 18 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on October 19. The event offers sports enthusiasts the opportunity to meet their favorite sports heroes and to get items autographed.

This weekend’s event includes the “1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Champions Reunion” featuring appearances by Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Darren Daulton, Fergie Jenkins, Von Hayes, Pete Incaviglia, Bob Boone, Bake McBride, Larry Bowa, Bobby Wine, Larry Christenson, Ron Reed, Ozzie Smith, Marty Bystrom and Warren Brusstar.

The list of legendary Phillies slated to participate also includes Lenny Dykstra, Juan Samuel, Mitch Williams, Dickie Noles, Del Unser, Gary Maddux, Jim Bunning, Lee Elia, Dallas Green, Keith Moreland, Greg Gross, George Vukovich, Lonnie Smith, Mike Ryan, Kevin Saucier and Sparky Lyle.

The list of special guests features luminaries from other sports such as Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Thomas Hearns, Jake Lamotta, Sugar Ray Leonard, Dick Vermiel, Joe Montana, Bob Gibson, Andre Dawson, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Bernie Parent, Dan Marino, Tommy Lasorda, Dwight Clark, Ronne Lott, John LeClair and several current Philadelphia Eagles who have a bye week this weekend.

There is also another big event for memorabilia collectors this weekend — the Philly Non-Sports Card Show. The event will be held on October 18 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 19 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Merchants Square Mall (1901 South 12th Street, Allentown, 717-238-1936, http://phillynon-sportscardshow.com). Tickets are $8 — $12 for a two-day pass.

There are sports cards and non-sports cards. Sports cards depict athletes at all levels. Non-sport cards offer so much more. There are card sets dealing with music, movies, politics, nature, pop culture and history.

For more than a century, non-sport trading cards have documented trends in pop culture – providing people with history lessons provided by small, rectangular pieces of cardboard.

Twice each year, collectors from across the country come together in eastern Pennsylvania for this very special event. Now in its 31st year, the event is the oldest show of its kind in the country. This weekend’s extravaganza, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown, is the 61st edition of the show.

Many of the hobby’s top manufacturers will have exhibit booths at this weekend’s show and will be distributing free promo cards. There will be a huge array of non-sport cards, sets, singles, wrappers, chase cards, promos, and related memorabilia.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 215-299-1000, www.ansp.org) is celebrating oceans and things found in the world’s oceans. Ocean Fest — which includes the third annual staging of the Philadelphia Shell Show, will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on October 18 and 19.

Billed as “The largest show of its kind in the Northeast,” the event features competitive displays by collectors and amateur scientists. It also provides visitors with the opportunity to participate in mollusk dissections, make crafts, shop an international shell market, and go behind the scenes to see some of the 10 million specimens in the Academy’s Malacology Collection (which is the third largest in the world).


Ocean Fest, and the third annual Philadelphia Shell Show, will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on October 18 and 19 at Drexel University.

Ocean Fest Activities include the “International Shell Market,” “Under the Sea” (dealing with the ecology of the ocean), “Academy Animal Ambassadors,” screening of the film “Ocean Odyssey,” “Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Ichthyology,” a live animal touch table, “Ocean Crafts,” “Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Malacology,” “Name That Shell,” “Closer Look: Sharks,” “Ocean Immersion,” Clockwork Snail Races” and “Under the Sea Tattoo Parlor.

And, as an added attraction, “Eddie,” the Academy’s popular T. rex mascot, will be touring the museum throughout both days. Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $13 for children (ages 3–13).

The 1696 Thomas Massey House (Lawrence Road, Broomall, 610-353-3644, http://www.thomasmasseyhouse.org) will be celebrating autumn with its Harvest Day Festival on October 18. The free festival features demonstrations of a variety of colonial crafts by period re-enactors and other special activities from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Visitors will be able to learn how to make apple butter, churn butter and make candles. There will be a working walk-in fireplace as well as a working blacksmith shop. Live music will be provided by the Marple Community Band.

stoudts 2Stoudts Brewery (2800 North Reading Road, Adamstown, 717-484-4386, http://stoudts.com) is hosting a “Cancer Benefit Brew Fest” on October 18 with an afternoon session from noon-4 p.m. and an evening session from 6-10 p.m.

Tickets include four hours of unlimited sampling of craft beer, live music performed by Fire in the Glen (matinee session) and the Octavia Blues Band (evening session). Admission price for either session is $40. October is Cancer awareness month and this event is being held with “Living Beyond Breast Cancer” as its beneficiary.

There will be brews from a wide array of beer crafters including Stoudts, Golden Avalanche, Columbia Kettle Works, Chatty Monks, Evil Genius, Saucony Creek, Victory, Union Barrel Works, Ohio Brewing Co., Otto’s, Long Trail, Appalachian, and St. Boniface.

If you prefer wine over beer, there is another special event for you this weekend. On October 18 and 19, the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail (http://lehighvalleywinetrail.com) will introduce visitors to the region’s official wine grape during Chambourcin Weekend.

Chambourcin is the only wine grape that is grown by all nine wineries. In the greater Lehigh Valley, there are more than 40 acres of Chambourcin that ferments into approximately 150,000 bottles of wine.

Each winery will feature its own activities such as wine tastings, live entertainment, vineyard tours and food and wine pairings. Event hours at all of the wineries are Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Chambourcin Weekend is a free event but some of the wineries charge for wine tastings.

The nine wineries on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail are Amore (Nazareth), Big Creek (Kresgeville), Blue Mountain (New Tripoli), Clover Hill (Breinigsville), Franklin Hill (Bangor), Galen Glen (Andreas), Pinnacle Ridge (Kutztown), Tolino (Bangor)  and Vynecrest (Breinigsville).

The countdown is on. El Dia de los Muertos is just two weeks away so the spirits are starting to come alive. They know Halloween and All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows Day) are coming soon.

El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is a Mexican celebration on November 1 — a day when families celebrate and remember their departed love ones. It is thought that the spirits of the dead visit their families on October 31 and then hang around until November 2.

In America, celebrations focus more just on Halloween (October 31). The holiday that features trick-or-treating and other ghostly fun events takes its name from All Hallows Evening (Hallow e’en).

All around the area, Halloween activities are already in full swing. There is a wide array of special sites, holiday activities and scary events to satisfy almost any taste. The following is a chronological look at many of these events.

For “Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place” (100 Sesame Place, Langhorne, 215-752-7070, www.sesameplace.com), which is continuing through October 26,  the popular amusement park has been converted into a Halloween-themed safe venue for kids with trick or treating, pumpkin decorating, hayrides and a hay maze. Featured attractions are “Abby Cadabby’s Magical Halloween Maze,” “Rubber Duckie Costume Party,” “The Count’s Un-Haunted Castle Maze” and “The Not-So-Spooky Hayride.”

Admission to the park is $43.

“Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park” (3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, 610-395-3724, www.dorneypark.com), which runs now through November 1, features scary creatures roaming the park and scarecrows lining line the walkways while frightening activities take place at the following attractions — “Fright Lane Including Skeleton Key,” “Feed Your Fears,” “Chamber of Horrors” and “CarnEvil” along with seven mazes and four “Creepy Scare Zones.” Admission is $35.99.

Corn mazes, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and scarecrows will be featured at Ramsey’s Farm (500 Ramset Road, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-477-1499, http://www.ramseysfarm.com) on weekends now through November 1. The theme for the Corn Maze at Ramsey’s Farm this year is a trip around the world with sections for North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. Tickets are $7 for the corn maze, $4 for the sorghum maze, $3 for the hay maze, $2 for pumpkin painting and $3 for a hayride.

Another popular corn maze in the area is running now through November 1 at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Ronks (150 Cherry Hill Road, Ronks, 717-687-6843, www.cherrycrestfarm.com). The main attraction is Cherry Crest’s “Amazing Maize Maze.” Billed as “the world’s most dynamic and interactive corn maze,” it is a five-acre corn maze with over two-and-one-half miles of paths, scenic bridges, and clues. Tickets are $15 on Thursday and Fridays and $18 on Saturdays, $18.

“Valley of Terror” (1215 Wawaset Rd., Kennett Square, 484-886-6080, www.valleyofterror.com) will be held now through November 2 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each weekend and will offer two attractions — “Zombie Safari,” which features a zombie-killing ride in the back of a 40-foot military truck stocked with 22 individual, bolted-down paintball guns, and “Gateway to Hell,” which is an unguided and unlit stroll through scary territory. Admission is $20 for “Gateway to Hell,” $25 for the “Zombie Safari” and $36 for a “Combo Ticket.”

“Haunted Hayride, Bates Motel and Haunted Corn Maze at Arasapha Farm” (1835 N. Middletown Rd., Gradyville, 610-459-0647,www.thebatesmotel.com) will be scaring visitors through November 2.The haunted hayride through the woods features monsters, special effects and actors. The Bates Motel has haunted rooms with special effects and computerized lighting. A haunted trail is cut through a cornfield inhabited by monsters. Admission prices are: Haunted Hayride, $20; Bates Motel, $15; Haunted Corn Maze, $15; combination tickets, $40. There are reduced rates for children.

Pennhurst Asylum (100 Commonwealth Drive, Spring City, 484-866-8964, www.pennhurstasylum.com), which is open through November 2, is on the site of a former mental asylum which has been shuttered for over a quarter of a century. It has been transformed into a haunted attraction with huge sets, detailed rooms and live actors. Visitors can also explore the labyrinth of underground tunnels. Tickets are $16 for “Pennhurst Haunted Attraction”, “Dungeon of Lost Souls” or “Tunnel Terror,” $20 for “Ghost Hunt” and $47 for a four-event combo.

“Hurricane Hill Farm Maze” (Baldwin’s Farm, 704 East Reeceville Road, Coatesville, 610-384-6952, www.hhfmaze.com) will be open Saturdays and Sundays until November 2. This event features miles of trails through a five-acre corn maze along with a corn slide, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and a farm animal display. Tickets are $12 — $10 for seniors (ages 60 and over).

The  “23rd Annual Fright Fest” (Six Flags Great Adventure, Route 537, Jackson, NJ, 732-928-2000, www.sixflags.com), which is running now through November 2, features family-oriented activities during the day and much scarier attractions after dark for teens and adults including “Asylum,” “The Haunted Heist,” “Voodoo Island,” “Total Darkness,” Wasteland,” “Circus Psycho,” “Bone Butcher Terror-tory,” “The Manor,” “The Bloody Fountain” and “Crop Circles.” Tickets are $66.99 for adults and $39.99 for juniors (under 54 inches).

Ghost Tour of Philadelphia (215-413-1997, www.ghosttour.com) and Ghost Tour of Lancaster (717-687-6687, www.ghosttour.com) operate through November and offer an eerily entertaining evening of true ghost stories and real haunted houses. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

The “29th Annual Jason’s Woods” (99 Stehman Road, Lancaster, 717-872-5768, www.jasonswoods.com), which is running through November 8, is a horror show complex that features a combination of live actors, impressive animation and scary special effects. Popular attractions include “Horrifying Hayride,” “Chamber of Horrors,” “Zombie Apocalypse,” “Lost in Jason’s Woods,” “Carnival of Fear,” “Fields of Fright”and the “The Grand Jason’s Woods Theater.” Admission prices are for combo tickets are $25 for three attractions and $40 for six.

“Terror Behind the Walls” (Eastern State Penitentiary, 2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, 888-763-NITE, www.easternstate.org), which continues through November 8, takes place at a site Penitentiary that was once was an active prison and is now a National Historic Landmark. It is a scream-inducing event featuring laser and special-effect lighting, digital sound, sinister scents, animatronic creatures and 3-D illusions. Admission prices, which vary with the date, range from $13-$39.

“Pumpkinland” (Linvilla Orchards, 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com), which is open through November 9, features fairy tale characters from nursery rhymes along with a huge scarecrow and a really tall storybook. Other activities include train rides, a straw bale maze, hayrides, pick-your-own apples and pony rides. Another attraction, which runs through October 30, is “Hayride to the Witch’s House.” Admission is free and hayrides are $9 per person.

“Field of Screams” (Stone Battery Road, Lancaster, 717-285-7748, www.fieldofscreams.com), which is open now through November 9, features “Den of Darkness” (three-story horror house), “Frightmare Asylum” (walk-through haunted barn), “Nocturnal Wasteland” and the “Haunted Hayride” (a 25-minute fright-filled ride featuring state-of-the-art special effects, pyrotechnics and animatronics). Admission is $33.

“Boo at the Zoo” (Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, 610-277-3825, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) will take place every Saturday and Sunday from October 11-26 from noon-3 p.m. each day.The family-friendly Halloween event will feature trick-or-treat stations, themed attractions, costume contests, hay bale and corn mazes. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for children with children two and under admitted free. Opening Day (October 11) will also feature “Story Corner” at the Exploration Zone.

“Candlelight Ghost Tours” (Fort Mifflin, Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, http://fortmifflin.us) are scheduled for October 17, 18, 24 and 25. Visitors can tour historic (and haunted) Fort Mifflin by candlelight from 7-10 p.m. each night and hear true stories of ghostly encounters. This event is billed as an “authentic experience.” Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students (12 and under).

October 18 is the day for the Upper Main Line YMCA Haunted Mansion and Halloween Festival (Upper Main Line YMCA, 1416 Berwyn-Paoli Rd., Berwyn, 610 854-1604, http://umly.org). The UMLY site will transform its historic 1908 Cassatt Mansion into a haunted house. The Halloween Festival is scheduled to run from 4-8:30 p.m. and October 20 from 3-7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per family.

Another event scheduled for October 18 is the All Hallows Eve Fall Festival at Pennypacker Mills (5 Haldeman Rd, Schwenksville, 610-287-9349, www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills). The event is free but there si a suggested donation of $2 per person.

The annual event, which is slated to run from 1-4 p.m., features tractor-pulled hayrides , pumpkin painting for kids, fall crafts, an apple cider press, corn shucking, a “Hay Pile Jump” and a bean bag toss.

October 18 and 25 are the dates for “Ghosts in the Graveyard” (Old Swedes Historical Site, 606 Church Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5629, www.oldswedes.org). From 6:30-9 p.m. each night, visitors will be able to stroll through the complex, meet some of the ghosts who reside in the site’s burial grounds and maybe even solve the mystery of the late night bell ringing at Old Swedes Church. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students (ages 12-17).

The “Great Pumpkin Express Trains” (West Chester Railroad, Market Street Station, West Chester, 610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) are scheduled for October 18, 19, 20, 25 and 26. The “haunted trains” with ghoulish characters leave West Chester’s Market Street Station at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets, which include the train ride, admission to “Spooky Manor” and one pumpkin, are $25 for adults, $23 for children and $14 for toddlers.

“West Chester Halloween Parade” (Market and Church streets, West Chester, 610-436-9010, www.west-chester.com), which is slated for October 22, starts at 7 p.m. on Market Street between Church and Darlington streets and features performances by local high school bands and cheerleading squads. Rain date is October 24 at 7 p.m.

From October 23-25, “The Great Pumpkin Carve” (Chadds Ford Historical Society, Route 100, Chadds Ford, 610-388-7376,www.chaddsfordhistory.org) will have its 2014 run. The annual event will start with the carving competition on October 23. Live entertainment, hayrides and hot food are featured all three days. Admission is $10 for adults (18 and older), $5 for youth (ages 7-17).

The South Street Headhouse District’s Sixth Annual Pumpkin Fall Festival (east end of South St., Philadelphia, 215-413-3713,www.southstreet.com) will be held on October 25 from noon-5 p.m. under the historic Headhouse Shambles located on Second Street between Pine and Lombard streets. The free event will feature a pumpkin decorating activity and live entertainment.

“Boo at the Zoo” (Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington, 302-571-7747, www.brandywinezoo.org) will be held on October 31 and November 1 from 5-7:30 p.m. each night. The popular annual non-scary family event features games, animal enrichment programs, live critters and trick-or-treating. Children (and their grown-ups) are encouraged to wear costumes. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children.

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