Pennsylvania Festivals will welcome all who enjoy festival hopping in the 13 colonies. Call TravelKatz – we will assist you in planning your vacation to include these and other festivals. 352-277-7300
2nd Annual Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival: Join us as we turn the North Shore Riverwalk and Great Lawn into a Pumpkin Patch of Prodigious Proportions—with fruits weighing from 1,000 to over 2,000 pounds! We drop them, carve them, and in one of the most “pumpkin-sanity” activities ever…create the silliest seascape possible with “The Great Gourd Race”—humongous pumpkin boats paddling the Allegheny River competing in Pittsburgh’s fruitiest regatta! And, NEW this year…enter the LECOM “Costume Caper” 5K Run/Walk as you race along the river in your favorite Halloween garb; with special prizes for best costumes as well as top finishers. North Shore, Pittsburgh; Sat, Oct 19 – Sun, Oct 20
25th Annual Enchanted Halloween Trail and Festival: Shaver’s Creek comes alive in late October with this community festival that celebrates the fall harvest and includes pumpkin carving, face painting, music, entertainment, activities, natural history programs, and the Enchanted Halloween Trail! The tradition of the Shaver’s Creek Halloween Trail does not portray the typical scariness with which Halloween is normally associated. The Shaver’s Creek Trail is truly a family event! Children (and their families) are led by guides to different sites along the trail with costumed characters who help children understand the season and the cultural items we use to depict it. Children learn about natural history associated with Halloween, like why we use images of owls, spiders, corn stalks, and pumpkins during this time of year. The walk lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. The Halloween Trail stations are staffed by Penn State students, bringing outstanding energy and creativity to the festival. Each year they create new, exciting, and activity-filled stations that cover topics such as pumpkin and jack-o-lantern folklore, the non-scary truth behind bats and spiders, the origin of trick-or-treat, and more. Festivalgoers are invited to participate in the Children’s Costume Competition and the Pumpkin Carving Contest during the festival! Children are encouraged to attend the festival in a creative costume for entrance in the costume competition. Entry forms will be available on-site the day of the festival. We will be accepting entries for both contests Saturday and Sunday during regular festival hours. Judging will take place and winners will be notified on Oct. 31. Petersburg; Sat, Oct 26, and Sun, Oct 27.
PA Bacon Fest: This fest has grown into one of the region’s most popular events. With 150+ vendors, 12+ musical acts, and several stages, the two-day festival is sure to leave an impression. PA Bacon Fest was named one of the Top 300 Festivals in the world by FEST300.com! Regionally, the event won a Townie Award from Pennsylvania Downtown Center. And locally, PA Bacon Fest was voted Best Culinary Event in Lehigh Valley Style magazine’s Best of the Lehigh Valley. Easton; Nov. 2, 2019 – Nov. 3, 2019.
Christmas Market Festival: The Harmony Museum’s annual WeihnachtsMarkt, a Christmas market in the German tradition that has become a major regional attraction, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9 to 10th in the heart of Harmony’s National Historic Landmark District. The festival has become the museum’s prime annual fundraiser while presenting seasonal gift-shopping in a family-fun atmosphere. The thousands of visitors who attend each year find handcrafted and German imports. Artisans and vendors are chosen to participate based on the quality of their offerings; no stereotypical “shopping mall festival” stuff here. Entertainment, food and refreshments also reflect Harmony’s German heritage. Almost 50 artisans and specialty vendors provide the market part of WeihnachtsMarkt. Museum quilters and weavers demonstrate their work. Harmony; Sat Nov 9 – Sun Nov 10.
LIGHT-UP FESTIVAL: Beaver, PA welcomes Santa during the annual holiday parade. Relish in our traditions of horse drawn carriage rides, live entertainment and fireworks. Nov. 29th, Parade at 6pm, Fireworks at 9pm.
Enlist TravelKatz to help you plan for this festival by scheduling your vacation around the Fall of 2020. Call us at 352-277-7300 to get started!
Pennsylvania State Capital: Harrisburg
Harrisburg began as a ferry stop and trading post, run by John Harris Sr., and colloquially known as Harris Ferry. Briefly renamed Louisbourg after Louis XVI of France, the town’s founder (and son of John Harris Sr.) John Harris Jr. insisted the town be renamed after his father, the first white settler in the region—and so, Harrisburg was founded.
Pennsylvania State Capitol: Beautiful architecture throughout! Don’t miss this! Photos do not capture the reality! The details are incredible. The State Capitol Building is open for tours Monday thru Friday and it’s free of charge. There’s a nice restaurant on grounds. Lots of history inside that building. You can easily spend 3 hours there. The building itself is ornate and spectacular. The artwork and the architecture are breathtaking. The building was completed in 1906, designated U.S Historic Landmark 02/13/2013. Tours are given and it is family friendly.
State Museum of Pennsylvania: This museum has an interesting mix of science and history. The museum has an impressive collection of Indian artifacts. Everything from simple scrappers to ornate hand carved jewelry. The skill these people had with the use of stone is hard to believe sometimes, very impressive. There is something for everyone, from bugs to an “Old Town” display. Native Americans displays are superior. Archaeology provides a structure, so lessons about the importance of excavations and the way that sites encode and preserve information is excellent too.
National Civil War Museum: The is a great museum for Civil War fans. It puts the history of the war in chronological order. It also compares both north and south. (Not one sided). Also has videos and military firsts. Some great artifacts you don’t see at other Civil War battlefields. It does a thorough job of touching on major events, battles and people. They also have a lot of photographs and touch on the human side of the war as well. The series of facts about “firsts” in the civil war is interesting. You also get to see a good amount of equipment, guns, gloves, swords etc. that were used during the war. Exhibits are a mix of plaques, videos, dioramas and maps. Good place for a picnic outside if you want to bring lunch.
Fort Hunter Mansion and Park: Fort Hunter Park has a lot of inviting features for the entire family to enjoy! Mansion tours begin in May for a small fee. This is a beautiful riverfront property with gorgeous architecture making this location ideal for family photos! There’s comfy bench swings to cozy up with your Sweetheart and watch the sunset over The Susquehanna River! Solo picnic tables are perfect for romantic picnics on the water’s edge or a very nice pavilion with fireplace for family gatherings also overlooking the river! You can see the longest stone arched train bridge in the WORLD, that crosses over The Susquehanna River! There’s a dear little church for intimate waterfront weddings too! The park is on both sides of North Front St. There’s a restored stable that is very pretty, the old historical tavern to view and a lovely covered bridge that takes you to the canal front path! Both sides of the road offer a playground for children and picnic areas with plenty of free parking! The mansion is lovely, and has lots of history. The tour guides are well-informed, and makes for a great tour!
Pride of the Susquehanna: Like traveling on the water? Well, you just might like the idea of jumping aboard the Susquehanna river boat. There are daily tours in the summer, and the ride is very relaxing. You can see a great view of the city as you travel slowing up the river. There are also reservations you can make, if you’re hosting special festivities of any kind as well. Harrisburg is a part of history and it will be described to you onboard this trip. The City Island is an experience. It is a great way to spend your day. Take the boat ride and then the Train Ride around the Island. Let the kids play and just enjoy the River.
Pennsylvania National Fire Museum: The fire museum is interesting for all ages. A dedicated group of volunteers have preserved and displayed artifacts from years of fire-fighting. Besides the equipment, you can go upstairs to see where the firemen lived while on duty. The staff is super friendly and very knowledgeable. They explain the history of the building and exhibits. The place has some working pieces of equipment that kids (big and small) love. You learn about the history of the fire service and equipment. There is a very good scavenger hunt for children to really explore the displays.
Flights from Tampa are readily available. TravelKatz suggest renting a car and you may want to extend your vacation and go to Hersey, PA where the amusement park and Hersey chocolate is made. Just give us a call and we will make this vacation happen for you and yours.
**As a side trip, one could venture to Gettysburg, PA (south and west of Harrisburg) to visit The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Adjacent to the battlefield of Gettysburg, this museum is one of the largest in the area, with twelve different galleries encompassing the five years of the American Civil War. Starting in 1860 and culminating with the Restoration, the museum offers different artifacts and videos describing various battles, highlighting the three days of battle at Gettysburg.
The Living History series kicks off June 9 (running through mid-August on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Visitors can take a shuttle bus to one of the best preserved and significant Union field hospitals from the Battle of Gettysburg. The George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital site treated 1,800 Union soldiers and 100 Confederate soldiers. This summer, there will be doctors and soldier reenactments, historian lectures, and a Women’s Relief Association discussion about the importance of female contributions during the war, among other series at the farm.
Where to stay: The Federal Pointe Inn is a boutique hotel located in the heart of the Gettysburg historic district.
Where to eat: Fidler & Co. Craft Kitchen is located in Adams County and serves rustic, local cuisine from the surrounding farmland.
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