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Things to do in October in Lancaster, PA

Things to do in October in Lancaster, PA

Often in when we think of October we think of ghosts, goblins, or The Great Pumpkin. While we certainly have spooktacular events here in Lancaster County we also have a lineup of other great events! Whether you are ready to get your fright on, or you prefer to sip on a pumpkin spice latte and savor the awesomeness of autumn we have got you covered. Locals and visitors alike will surely find plenty to fill their weekends in Lancaster this fall. Below is a list of our top things to do around the County this October.

Fall Festivals

The Star Barn Village Fall Harvest Day
October 2 | The Star Barn Village at Stone Gables Estate
We highly recommend you check out the Star Barn if you have not already- this architectural gem is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been beautifully restored. While on the grounds guests can enjoy tours, check out the Leviathan full-scale steam locomotive, and participate in yard games. Children will love the petting zoo with alpacas, fainting goats, miniature horses, and even their very own unicorn! There will also be food, live music, wagon rides, and pony rides.

Opening Weekend of Kid’s Pumpkin Pickin’ Days
October 5 | Oregon Dairy
What is October without pumpkins? At Oregon Dairy’s Pumpkin Pickin’ Days, kids take a ride on the wagon to the patch and pick out their own pumpkins to carve or decorate for Halloween. Also be sure to try out the pun’kin chuck’r and legendary gourd launch, or the pedal tractor rides and hamster wheel races. After you can go through corn maze, play on the playground and visit the petting zoo area. Pumpkin pickin’ days are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Harvest Breakfast
October 6 | Lancaster Central Market
This perennial favorite is always highly anticipated amongst locals. Join Lancaster Central Market as it celebrates the harvest season in the most delicious way- with fresh breakfast items prepared and served by stand holders in the alleys surrounding Market. This fun-filled morning offers kid’s activities, live music, and great comradery.

Autumn Festival and Old Fashioned Day
October 13 | Indian Echo Caverns- Echo Dell
If you are looking for a day of family friendly fun, this is the place to go. You can try your hand at old fashioned games, enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, and check out antique tractors and farm equipment. Children can enjoy face painting, geode cracking, and a bounce house. In addition to the fun activities there are heritage demonstrations, art and craft vendors, food and more. Plus, new for this year is a pumpkin carving contest! (Guests must enter in advance, but carving is done on site). Guided walking tours will also be given of the Indian Echo Caverns.

Cultural Happenings

Bridge Bust
October 6 | Veteran’s Memorial Bridge
Experience nearly 300 vendors offering a variety of goods, crafts, antiques, and delicious foods. You can take in amazing views of the Susquehanna River as you stroll down 1.25 Miles of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville. (Rain date for this event is October 13.)

Fall ArtWalk
October 6-7 | Downtown Lancaster
Discover the City through art! Lancaster ArtWalk is a self-guided tour of the downtown galleries in Lancaster City. Special exhibits, meet-the-artist, children’s activities, and live demonstrations are all available for discovery within the bustling independent galleries throughout downtown.

Day of Music at Ephrata Cloister
October 7 | Ephrata Cloister
The sounds of history come alive at this event as the historic Ephrata Cloister presents its annual Day of Music. The Cloister Chorus presents three mini-concerts in the impressive five-story structure built in 1741. The program includes music composed at the community in the 1700s as well as other early American communities. Concerts are held at 2 PM, 3 PM, and 4 PM. October

Maker’s Market
October 13 | Creatively Lancaster at the Lancaster Barnstormer’s Stadium
Shop from 70 vendors at this curated pop-up market of talented makers selling their original creations, unique wares, and beautiful designs. Enjoy delicious eats, sip local brews, and listen to live music while you shop. You are sure to find a wide assortment of talented makers- artists, hobbyists, crafters, creators, bakers, designers, upcyclers and more!

Wine & Paint Night
October 18 | Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
This event makes for a fun and relaxing evening at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where you will be inspired to paint a colorful picture of one of our historic locomotives with the assistance of instructors from the Zole Art Factory. Bring-your-own favorite beverages (alcoholic or non) and light snacks to enjoy while you paint.

Haunted Landis Valley Tea & Tour
October 27 | Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Celebrate the spooky spirit of the season at this special event. The day includes Pennsylvania German scary stories, interactive activities, wagon rides around the Landis Valley Village, and hot apple cider. The tea luncheon includes scones, soup, sandwiches, and dessert.

Central PA Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival
October 27 | AACA Museum
Sample some of the finest whiskies and other spirits at the AACA Museum. Guests can choose from 200+ liquors. Come and celebrate the rebirth of whiskey production in Central Pennsylvania. Ticket prices varies from $30 for designated drivers to $165 for VIPs.

Family Fun

October Covered Bridge Tours
October 1 through 31 | Strasburg Scooters
Join Strasburg Scooters as they wiz around the backroads of Lancaster County, taking in the autumn scenery and gorgeous vistas. Along with exceptional views of the farmland riders can see Amish farms, schoolhouses, and some of Lancaster’s oldest covered bridges- exploring over 35-miles of backroads while on a 50cc scooter.

Happy Hauntings
October 13 through 28 | Dutch Wonderland
Families can enjoy over 30 themed, non-scary rides, special entertainment, and tasty treats throughout the day. Take a walk down the trick-or-treat trail, a safe interactive trick-or-treating experience. Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland occur on Saturdays from 2-9 PM and Sundays from 2-8 PM. Be sure to wear your costume!

Hands on History Day
October 18 and 25 | Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Step back in time and experience crafts, and history at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Children can try their hand at fall farm chores ranging from fence building to stuffing mattresses. Learn how warm weather clothing was made by processing wool, and celebrate fall in the one room school house with a seasonal lesson.

Great Train Robbery
October 20 | Strasburg Rail Road™
Travel back in time to 1934 for a Bonnie and Clyde adventure! This 45-minute interactive steam train ride through scenic Amish country offers riders the opportunity to catch this infamous duo as they discover clues along the route. Bring a camera, and pay attention- the action may happen anywhere!

Trunk-or-Treat
October 21 | AACA Museum
Dress in your favorite Halloween costume and enjoy an entertaining afternoon at the AACA Museum! Kids can decorate their own “Trunk-or-Treat” bags and then hunt for a variety of “Trunk-or-Treat” locations around the museum exhibits. Halloween themed videos will play at the indoor Drive-In theatre and Hershey treats will be given out.

Trick-or-Treat at Turkey Hill
October 27 | Turkey Hill Experience
The Turkey Hill Experience trick-or-treat event is filled with great surprises. There are a total of thirteen stops, six of which are free while others require admission into the paid portion of the Experience. However, there are plenty of treats to be enjoyed by all- be sure to wear your costumes!