What To Do: Pa. Hunt Cup, Pirate Adventure Day

Also: Dia de Los Muertos in Kennett; Mums the word at Longwood

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times


The 80th Edition of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup takes place Sunday, Nov. 2 in Unionville.

One of the most respected and longest-running equestrian events in the Brandywine Valley is the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup (Pennsylvania Hunt Cup racecourse, Newark Road, Unionville, 484-888-6619, http://pahuntcup.org). This year’s 80th annual staging of the event is scheduled for November 2.

The equestrian competition will feature four open races sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. Three of them will feature races over fences and one will be a race on the flat. The challenging course features 22 post and rail fences and is one of the few select four-mile races sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. Another popular race is the children’s Pennsylvania Junior Hunt Cup.

Gates open at 11 a.m. with the first event — the Pennsylvania Junior Hunt Cup — scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. There will be the traditional “Carriage Parade” at 1 p.m. followed by the Lewis C. Ledyard Memorial Foxhunters Chase at 1:30 p.m., the Arthur O. Choate Jr. Memorial Trophy race at 2:15 p.m. and the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup at 3 p.m. The final race of the day will be the Athenian Idol Race at 3:30 p.m.

Traditionally, the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup has had a number of local conservation organizations as beneficiaries. For 2014, the beneficiaries are Chester County Food Bank, Work to Ride and Upland Country Day School. Tickets are $60 per carload and include parking.

bwin river museum PirateDay

It’s “Pirate Adventure Day” at the brandywine River Museum, Nov. 2.


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A number of celebrations of Dia de Los Muertos will be held in the Kennett Square area on Nov. 1.

The Brandywine River Museum (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-2700, www.brandywinemuseum.org) will present “Pirate Adventure Day” on November 2 from 10 a.m.-noon and the museum will offer free admission from 9:30 a.m. until noon.

Kids who dream of being pirates will be able to create pirate-themed crafts, participate in a rope-tying demonstration led by “Pirates of the Northern Star,” hunt for art treasures in the museum and hear daring tales of journeys at sea presented by Hedgerow Theatre.

The museum will also host its “Brandywine Harvest Market” on November 1, 2, 8 and 9. Visitors will be able to shop for everything from honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry. Regional artisans will be showcasing their crafts in the museum’s courtyard. Hand-woven rugs, dried flowers and wreaths, pottery, quilted items and handcrafted dolls will be featured on a rotating basis.

In Mexico, November 1 is known as “Dia de Los Muertos” — the Day of the Dead. It is a festive day when families remember and honor their loved ones who have passed away. The well-known holiday is currently being celebrated on the big screen in the movie “Book of Life,” which is playing in theaters now.

Kennett Square will also be celebrating “Dia de Los Muertos” on November 1 with a special event at the American Legion Hall (208 East State Street, Kennett Square).

As a celebration of life, culture and the arts, Casa Guanajuato (645 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, http://www.casagks.org) will host an art exhibition on the Day of the Dead. The “Celebration of Life” event is a family-friendly activity with exhibits featuring local artists, music, traditional dances and a “Candle Lighting Ceremony” from 3-8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.


Longwood Garden’s Chrysanthemum Festival runs through Nov. 23.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) celebrates autumn with its annual Chrysanthemum Festival every year. The 33rd Annual Mum Fest, which runs through November 23, is a expansive exhibit featuring more than 20,000 colorful, blooming chrysanthemums in Longwood’s huge conservatory.

Longwood’s horticulturalists have grown and developed the mums into a variety of unusual forms. They have groomed chrysanthemums to resemble clouds, torches, spirals, fans, 13-foot arches and more. This year, Longwood has the largest chrysanthemum outside of Asia on display. Grown at Longwood, the plant is expected to produce over 1,500 perfectly placed, uniform blooms on one plant.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+) and $10 for students (ages 5-18).

This is a nice time of year to take a drive through central Bucks County to enjoy the fall foliage and this weekend is an even better time because it’s the weekend of Peddler’s Village’s Apple Festival (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com).

The 2014 edition of the popular annual event will be held November 1 and 2 at the Peddler’s Village complex and will feature a variety of artisans who will be demonstrating and selling their crafts. There will also be live music and the curiously entertaining pie-eating contests.

As expected, the free festival will be a showcase for apples served in all sorts of tasty ways — apple cider, caramel-covered apples, apple fritters, apple sundaes, apple pie and apple strudel.

Visitors will even be able to sample country apple butter cooked over an open fire. Many of the apple treats will be available for take-home as well as for eating at the festival. Additionally, visitors will be able to purchase a variety of fresh apples in bushels from the site’s orchard.

The schedule of live entertainment features Rendition, Lolly and Yo-Yo, Jim Haner, Tony Alosi, the Takeaways, Dick Rainer, New Dance Workshop of Jamison, Toby Mochel and Flying Green Turtles on November 1 and The Overtones, Jim Haner, The Mango Men, Dick Rainer, Mike Brill, Cross Keys Connection, Lenny G & the Soulsenders, Ran’d Shine and Mary Roth on November 2.

On November 1 and 2, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (300 Gap Road, Strasburg, 717-687-8628, www.rrmuseumpa.org) is presenting a special event that is sure to appeal to the patriotic spirit in everyone — an event called “Trains & Troops.”

“Trains & Troops” is the museum’s annual tribute to the U. S. Armed Forces — to all those who served or are serving in defense of our nation. At the annual autumn event, visitors will be able to greet our men and women in uniform — including veterans, civilians, railroaders and re-enactors from the Civil War forward. Also featured will be a large array of military and military railroad service-related posters, uniforms, equipment, field gear, maps, books and photographs on display.

The annual event is also a tribute to American railroads and their role in supporting the U. S. Armed Forces. Railroads built our nation and came to the country’s defense during times of war — both on the home front and overseas. The American Civil War marked the first major military application of railroads. The Military Railway Service was created in 1916 for World War I. In World War II, U. S. freight and passenger railroad service, both military and civilian, was huge.

There will be a salute to veterans and active duty service personnel with the Red Rose Honor Guard on November 1 at 11a.m.and November 2 at 1 p.m. The Lampeter-Strasburg Community Band will present a concert on November 2 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and the Lancaster Brass Quartet will perform from 1-2:30 p.m. on November 2.

The museum’s vast Rolling Stock Hall will come alive to the music of the Sound of Roses Big Band at the “Taking the Swing Train ’40s Dance” scheduled for November 1 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for the dance only or $35 for a combination with “Trains & Troops” admission. Tickets for “Trains and Troops” only are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for youth (ages 3-11).

Many retailers began stocking their shelves with Christmas item several weeks before Halloween arrives. The message is that it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. There are some advantages to getting a head start on the task. You don’t get hit with a lot of expenses all at once. More importantly, you can take your time and be selective when making gift purchases.

There is one good option in the area to get your holiday shopping season started — Gemarama which is scheduled for November 1 and 2.

Visitors to the 45th Annual Gemarama, which is being held at The School at Church Farm (Route 30, Exton, 610-490-5252, www.lapidary.org), will find an amazing variety of gems on display and available for purchase. Gem specialists and dealers from all over the country will be displaying and selling their specialties at this popular gem and mineral show.

Show attendees will be able to look at gems and rare stones from all around the world — many of which are for sale and not just exhibition pieces. Visitors will be able to examine and select purchases from a huge amount of collectible items ranging from fossils to precious gems.

As an added attraction, members of the Tuscarora Lapidary Society will be presenting demonstrations of various lapidary and jewelry making skills including faceting, intrasia, faceting, channel jewelry, metal craft, silversmithing, bead stringing, chain making and wirewrap jewelry.

At the “Children’s Table”, youngsters will be able to make bracelet and key chains, use informative children’s coloring books on gems and minerals and toss a bean bag to win a prize. Additionally, they can take the “Rockhound Quiz Challenge” and get a prize at the TLS booth.

Also featured will be a variety of competitive exhibits with awards in the following categories — Best in Show, Best Theme Exhibit, Most Educational Exhibit, Best Non-Member Exhibit, Best Mini-Case Exhibit and Director’s Award.

Gemarama tickets for adults are $6 with two-day tickets available for $9 while tickets for children (under 12) are $1.

If you’re really ready to get into a Christmas mood early, you’re in luck. On November 1, Koziar’s Christmas Village (782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, 610-488-1110, www.koziarschristmasvillage.com) kicks off its 67th annual season.

Koziar’s Christmas Village is truly a holiday wonderland — a wintertime spectacle that delights young and old alike with a huge amount of holiday displays and special attractions. It will remain open every night through January 1 — including Christmas Eve, Christmas Night, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Night.

The tours of “Christmas Village” feature visits to a variety of displays and exhibits, including “Santa’s Post Office,” “Christmas in the Jungle,” “Manger Scene,” “Christmas Beneath the Sea,” “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Olde Fashioned Bakery Shop,” “Toy Maker and his Toy Shop,” “Christmas in Other Lands” and “The Olde Church”.

Other attractions at Koziar’s Christmas Village include a huge model train display, a toy shop, a country kitchen, indoor and outdoor Christmas displays and a place to visit with Santa and even get pictures taken with the old guy in the red suit. Admission to Christmas Village is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (65 and older) and $7 for children (ages 4-10).

On November 1 and 2, Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-646-1595, http://www.ushistory.org/hope) will host its annual “1777 Whitemarsh Encampment.” This event commemorates the time from November 2 to December 11 in 1777 when General George Washington and the Continental Army were encamped in the Whitemarsh Hills.

Saturday’s activities will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a skirmish re-enactment in the back field. “Tour of the Earthworks” will be held in the back field at 1:30 p.m. followed by another skirmish re-enactment at 2:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the event will open with a Revolutionary War era church service in the formal garden at 10 a.m. There will be a weapons demonstration and pistol duel in the back field at 1 p.m. followed by a “Tour of the Earthworks” at 1:30 p.m. The weekend’s activities will conclude with another skirmish re-enactment at 2:30 p.m.

As an added attraction, the Hope Lodge mansion will be open for self-guided tours all day (except during the skirmishes). Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 60 and older) and youths (ages 6-17). Children ages 5 and under are free. There is a special family (one car) admission of $20.

One of the most popular annual events at Newlin Grist Mill (Cheyney Road and Route 1, Concordville, 610-459-2359, www.newlingristmill.org) is Tavern Night, which this year is scheduled for November 1 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Log Cabin.

Tavern Night is a one-of-a-kind evening of 18th-century food, drink and music. Participants can enjoy the warmth of the fire as they are served sample-sized portions of various foods and drink that are based on Colonial era recipes. A variety of punches, flip and other beverages will be served along with fresh, non-alcoholic cider.

Entertainment will include live period music and games. The event is only open to people age 21 or older. Tickets are $60 per person.

If you love Halloween events, this is the final weekend to satisfy your craving. Almost every event on the holiday schedule closes shop on November 1 or 2. There are a few that will also be open on the weekend of November 8 and 9.

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.

“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).

“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.

“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.

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).

“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.

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.

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