Top 30 Things to Do this Fall in Lancaster, PA
Fall brings cooler weather and beautiful foliage to enjoy, whether you’re out and about with the family or diving into Lancaster’s haunted history.
Fall in love with autumn here in Lancaster, PA with this list of 30 things to do this season:
1] Search for the perfect pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch or farm stand. Pick-your-own farms are a great option for families looking to venture around the farm in search of a future jack-o-lanterns. If you’re looking for gourds and more for decoration, local farm stays have just what you need.
2] Enjoy a fall-inspired breakfast at Lancaster Central Market. Their Harvest Breakfast is an annual favorite, filled with tasty breakfast items, activities for kids, and live music. Grab your market basket and take in the abundant community vibes to kick off the fall season.
3] For those looking for spine-tingling, creepy fun, you’re in for a treat. Lancaster, PA is home to two award-winning haunted attractions, Jason’s Woods and Field of Screams, which are open weekends throughout September and October for the ultimate scare-fest.
4] All aboard on the Strasburg Rail Road – they have some great happenings taking place this fall. In addition to the special offerings, you’ll be treated to a ride through the countryside, dotted with vibrant fall colors. Gear up for the following events: Day Out with Thomas, the Great Train Robbery, and Strasburg Spooktacular.
5] Celebrate the bountiful fall harvest with events around the county. Learn about life on the farm during this exciting time of year, participate in family-friendly activities, and get in the autumn spirit with events at the Star Barn Village, Amish Farm & House, and Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.
6] Find the perfect apple as you wander the orchards of Lancaster. Apples are one of fall’s most popular picks, for snacking, baking, making applesauce and more. You can also celebrate this fantastic fruit at the Apple Fall Festival at the Haldeman Mansion.
7] Hop on a hay ride. Paired with apple picking or pumpkin picking, hay rides make for an afternoon of family fun. If you’re looking to hitch a ride this fall, stop by one of these spots: Corn Cob Acres, Brecknock Orchard, and Cherry Hill Orchard.
8] A+ antiquing can be found in Lancaster this autumn. Towns including Adamstown, Lititz, Strasburg, and Columbia are chock-full of antique shops with wares spanning generations. If you’re in town at the end of September, be sure to stop by Adamstown for their Antiques Extravaganza weekend with sales, extended hours, and plenty of items to browse.
9] Break out your lederhosen for two German-centric events. The Lancaster Liederkranz hosts their annual Oktoberfest event at the end of September, filled with live German music, food, and drink. Wacker Brewing Company gets in the Oktoberfest spirit with their annual Biergartenfest, where adults can sip on Wacker’s German-style beers, listen to live music, and dig in to tasty food truck fare.
10] Amusement park fun doesn’t end when summer is over. Both Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark transform for spooktacular fun, including themed areas and rides, trick-or-treating trails, costume dance parties, and more. Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland is ideal for little ones, while Hersheypark in the Dark offers 13 coasters for thrill seeking teens.
11] Scoot around the back roads for beautiful Lancaster County views. Strasburg Scooters will take you on a one-of-a-kind tour, scooting from covered bridge to covered bridge. If you’re looking for an eerie experience, they also host a Spooky Scoot on Saturdays and Sundays in October, filled with local folklore and stories.
12] Jump back in time to the days of kings, queens, and jousting, as the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire takes place on weekends through the end of October. Interactive shows will capture your attention as you enjoy a turkey leg as big as your head.
13] Get lost – in a corn maze that is. With all the corn grown in Lancaster, there are plenty of mazes to explore as a family or with friends. Some of our favorites can be found at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, Barnyard Kingdom, and Oregon Dairy.
14] Dive into Lancaster’s spooky history with a candlelight Ghost Tour, held throughout the fall. As you wander the streets, you’ll hear eerie stories from Downtown Lancaster’s thorny past and learn more about one of the oldest inland cities in America.
15] Spend an evening strolling down the midway at a local town fair. Entertainment varies from live music and carnival games and rides, to farming exhibits, antique tractor pulls, and parades. Don’t forget the tasty fair food – caramel apples, funnel cakes, French fries and so much more.
16] Fall is the perfect time to take a hike or go for a bike ride in Lancaster. The cooler weather and festive foliage make for an enjoyable afternoon in nature as you set off on a trail along the river or through the countryside.
17] Experience the foliage from above with Smoketown Helicopter Tours or the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team. Whether you’re cruising around the county or floating above the tree tops, the patches of vibrant orange, red, and yellow dot the beautiful farmland below.
18] Discover the art scene of Downtown Lancaster during Fall ArtWalk, held in early October. As you walk around the city on this self-guided tour, you can meet the artists, take part in fun activities, and get to know charming Gallery Row.
19] Experience the covered bridges of Lancaster as you wander the backroads. Our driving tour offers beautiful views and plenty of foliage to see while you learn more about the history of these iconic architectural beauties.
20] Connect with the Columbia community during their annual Bridge Bust event, held at the beginning of October. Stroll the bridge that’s lined with vendors with tasty food and homemade items, and enjoy this family-friendly event.
21] Catch a show this season at one of Lancaster’s spectacular theatres. From popular musicals and comedies running throughout the fall to shows with short runs held in intimate spaces, there’s something for every taste, budget, and age.
22] Howl at the moon at the Wolf Sanctuary of PA. Once a month, they hold a special Full Moon Tour, where guests can visit the resident wolf packs, learn more about wolves and their habits, and warm up by the bonfire. Guests must be 16 years or older, making it a great event for couples and groups of friends.
23] Awe shucks – it’s time for Annie Bailey’s annual Oyster Fest. At the end of September, head over to this popular Irish Pub for a special raw bar, drink specials, a menu full of oyster goodness, and live music to compliment the festive occasion.
24] Trick-or-Treat! Kid-friendly attractions in Lancaster, like Turkey Hill Experience and the AACA Museum, offer fun trick-or-treating events where kids can experience the attraction, while gathering goodies. Costumes aren’t required but are certainly encouraged for even more fun.
25] Get a taste of the season at one of Lancaster’s fine dining restaurants. Many source their produce locally and change their menu according to the time of year, so you can delight in a true farm-to-table dining experience that captures the bountiful fall harvest.
26] Cool weather camping at a local campground can be gratifying for those traveling with an RV or looking to stay in a cabin. Set up camp, roast some marshmallows, and take in all that nature has to offer especially during this gorgeous, crisp season.
27] After spending time in the crisp fall air, pull up a seat and recharge with a locally roasted cup of Joe. Whether you like your coffee black or combined with rich pumpkin spice, Lancaster’s cafes and coffee shops are the perfect spot to warm up, relax, and reconnect with friends.
28] Before the cold of winter sweeps in, get in a few more rounds of golf. Golf courses in Lancaster will be lined with beautifully colored trees as the leaves change, making for a stunning, refreshing afternoon.
29] Cheers to fall beers! From hearty Oktoberfest lagers to ales packed with pumpkin spice, there are plenty to sample at some of Lancaster’s finest craft breweries. Cozy up with a pint as you savor the season.
30] Meet some friendly farm animals, from cows and sheep to wooly alpacas- you’ll find an abundance of animal experiences in Lancaster.