722 E. Market St. Marietta, Pennsylvania 17547
During the 18th and 19th centuries, immigrants from Germany seeking freedom of religion settled in Lancaster County that offered a mild climate and rich soil ideal for farming. The Pennsylvania German word for Lancaster is Lengeschder. The dialect is Pennsylvania Dutch that is a derivative of the German language. And, you can still see old world farming on the many Amish farms throughout the county.
These immigrants also brought their German traditions such as Belsnickle. The traditional Belsnickle would make home visits one to two weeks prior to Christmas to see if children were behaving. He was ragged and disheveled and carried a switch to swat naughty children, but also brought cakes and candies for good children. While it may seem like a scary and harsh character, the tradition of Belsnickle is meant to be fun and amusing.
To celebrate this tradition, the Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County are hosting the Belsnickle Christmas Tour on December 4-5, 2015. You’ll have the opportunity to tour over 22 inns dressed for the holidays. As you tour the inns, be on the look out for Belsnickles. Find at least five and you’ll be entered to win the Grand Prize valued at $325. Visit the Belsnickle web page for a listing of local businesses that are offering holiday specials and/or treats.
Advance tickets are available for $15 by contacting the B.F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast or $20 at the door. Your ticket also includes entrance to the National Christmas Center located in Paradise, PA. All proceeds will benefit a children's charity that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
For the past 30 years, Mount Hope’s Theater in the Mansion has been performing Poe Evermore, which opens on October 31 and continues through November 15. Edgar Allan Poe is considered the father and master of psychological horror stories. Two talented casts will perform this year’s stories and poems as they take you back to 1844. Stories include:
The Tell-Tale Heart, a Poe favorite about a haunting heartbeat below the floorboards.
Berenice, a macabre story about a man’s obsession with a beautiful girls smile even though her face is being torn apart by disease.
Poe, listen to him recite one of his most popular poetic works “The Raven” and “Dream Within a Dream” and “To One in Paradise.”
Performances are about two hours and you can add a lunch or dinner to your show package. Enjoy a scrumptious meal at the Anchor & Mermaid Tavern or the Wharf bar has lighter fare options prior to the show.
Reservations are recommended since performances sell out. Tickets or show packages can be purchased online. Show times are weekdays at 7:30pm; Fridays at 6pm; Saturday and Sundays at 1pm, 4pm and 7:30pm. Visit the website for more information.
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre is a year-round dining and entertainment venue. Decorated in beautiful rich colors, the 370-seat theatre offers unobstructed views of the stage. Each show performed is a top quality production attracting performers from around the country who have performed on national tours and on Broadway. Many of the directors, designers and choreographers are also nationally recognized creating stunning performances. A live orchestra adds a special touch to the evening.
Prior to the show, enjoy a delicious hot buffet that includes a salad bar, several meats, vegetables, pasta and potato dishes and a variety of desserts including shoofly pie and Turkey Hill ice cream. The choices change with each show.
Shows for this Fall and upcoming holiday season include:
Visit the website for more information about the shows and to purchase tickets. The 2016 season will bring several changes: more private seating with tables for two and four, more food choices such as a la carte items and lighter meals in addition to the traditional buffet. The theatre itself will have a more contemporary look. Shows for 2016 include:
Smokey Joe’s Café: January 14 – February 14
Clue, The Musical: February 19 – March 12
Menopause, The Musical: March 17 – April 30
Million Dollar Quartet: May 6 – June 19
Mary Poppins: June 24 – August 6
Yeston & Kopit’s Phantom: August 11 – September 24
Anything Goes: September 29 – November 12
Holly Jolly Christmas: November 17 – December 31
Celebrate the grape harvest during the annual “Wine Just Off the Vine” events scheduled for November 14-15 and 21-22, 2015. Hear first hand, from the 16 wineries along the Mason Dixon Wine Trail, the results of the just-pressed harvests. Sample a selection of wines and stock up for the holidays. Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $20 that includes: tastings at all Wine Trail locations during both weekends, light food items, a souvenir wine glass, and 10% discount on wine purchases. Hours are Noon to 5:00 pm.
The wineries along the Mason Dixon Wine Trail pour their passion and knowledge into making award-winning wines. The wineries are located in central Pennsylvania throughout Lancaster and York County. You’ll find a nice diversity of artisan wines as well as those using family-farming traditions offering a selection of premium wines to please every palate.
Wineries located in close proximity to the B. F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast include: The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, Mount Hope Winery, Tamanend Winery and Moon Dancer Winery & Cider House. For more information about the wineries, visit the website.
As summer ends and the leaves begin to change in color, September is always a nice month for a quiet and peaceful paddle along the Susquehanna River. Just across the river you’ll find Shank’s Mare Outfitters in Wrightsville. You can rent a canoe or kayak from their full fleet of touring, fishing and whitewater kayaks in addition to the safe and stable sit-on-top kayaks for beginners to paddle the river on your own. Or participate in the Native American Rock Art Paddle Tour (last one of the season) on September 19, 2015. One of the most unique sites on the Lower Susquehanna are the rocks that contain Native American Art. Learn the story of the Native American’s that populated the river hundreds of years ago as told by expert Paul Nevin. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the rocks, enjoy a picnic lunch and do some very scenic paddling. Tour departs at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with an experienced guide. Already have your own canoe or kayak; Shank’s Mere can assist you in navigating the river with special tips and maps.
The Wilton Armetale Factory Store is located in Mount Joy in an old turn of the century tobacco leaf-drying barn. Shop for beautiful first quality pieces or save up to 60% off select seconds, discontinued and closeout items.
Not familiar with Wilton Armetale products? Wilton Armetale is a family owned business that was founded in 1862 by the Wilton Family near Wrightsville, PA along the Susquehanna River. The company produces a variety of products made from armetale metal that is a non-toxic aluminum-based alloy. Armetale products are designed to last a lifetime and will not break, crack, chip, rust or tarnish under normal use. As substantial as they are beautiful, you’ll find a vast array of products at the Factory Store. From casual, stylish to rustic, each piece is crafted and designed to capture the spirit of life. Their products are sold throughout the U.S. and internationally at specialty and department stores.
Hot foods stay hot longer and cold foods stay cold longer. Visit the website to see their complete line of metal products. You’ll want to check out the Gourmet Grill ware. The same piece can be used to cook on the grill and to serve at the table. The website offers a variety of recipes and which piece is best to use.
A unique shopping experience that is worth the trip and is just minutes from the B.F. Hiestand House Bed & Breakfast.
Held annually at the Mount Hope Estate, 2015 celebrates the 35th season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. The kingdom opens August 1, 2015 and goes for 13 weekends through October 25, 2015. Each weekend offers a unique theme that provides a different experience of entertainment, foods, contests and activities each time you come. Themes include: Myths & Legends, Chivalry & Romance, Scottish & Irish, Octoberfest, Wine Harvest and more.
Immerse yourself in the long ago days of Merrie Olde England. A variety of costumed characters and merrymakers fill The Shire with dancing, music, jousting knights and royal delights. Savor 16th Century foods at one of his Majesty’s Kitchens. You’ll want to try the turkey legs – a Faire Staple. Enjoy signature-brewed ales from the Swashbuckler Brewery. Take in a variety of shows such as Human Chess, Jousting Tournament, Boarshead Brawl and The Queen’s Variety Show. A variety of merchants are located throughout the 35-acre village with handcrafted wares.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online for a discount or at the gate. Season passes are also available to enjoy multiple weekends. Visit the website for complete details.
While you don’t have to go in period clothing, if you like dressing up for Halloween, here is another opportunity to go in costume.
Take a break from the summer heat with a tour of Indian Echo Caverns where the temperature is a consistent 52 degrees year around. This 440 million years old limestone cave is an amazing natural wonder. Guided tours are offered that last about 45 minutes and showcase the natural underground beauty of the passageways, rooms and its array of geological formations. View stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and crystal clear lakes that sparkle in a show of colors. Your professional interpretive guide will explain the geology and history of the cavern.
As you enter the cavern, you’ll walk on the same paths as the early explorers and Susquehannock Indians who inhabited the area over 300 years ago. After the tour spend time exploring the gift shop that offers a variety of local, regional and national gift selections.
Indian Echo Caverns is located three miles west of Hershey along US Route 322 and 30 minutes from our Bed & Breakfast. It is open everyday except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Looking for furniture that is still made the old-fashion way? At George’s Furniture each piece is handmade by master craftsmen, signed and dated. These beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture are carved from solid cherry, oak, maple or walnut with a variety of stain options. Only the finest quality products are used to craft each piece of furniture. You won’t find any veneers, particle board or softwoods. You’ll find a wide variety of designs including: country, mission, shaker or straight line traditional.
You can watch the craftsmen making furniture at their store located at 9 Reichs Church Road in Marietta about 10 minutes from our Bed & Breakfast. Each piece is handcrafted, no factory assembly line. Through every stage of the process from selecting the lumber to the final inspection, a high level of commitment and detail goes into each piece. Handcrafted furniture is a seasoned skill to produce superior quality. The furniture in our dining room and the Blakemore room is solid cherry and made by George’s.
Free tours of the workshop and showroom are offered Monday through Friday. It can be arranged for you to watch your own furniture being made. George’s Furniture is a second-generation family owned business. You won’t find their furniture at your local furniture store or at any furniture store.
The furniture is amazing and well worth a visit.
There are lots of factory tours in York City and the surrounding area. Experience true American craftsmanship. York County offers everything from a working dairy farm to crafting violins and everything in between. One-of-the-best factory tour is the 45-minute real life tour at the Harley Davidson Motor Company. Visit the Factory Tour Capital of the World website for a complete list of factory tours. Some of my favorites are:
York City Pretzel Company is York’s first craft pretzel bakery. Learn the history of the pretzel and see their on-site baker demonstrate the rolling and twisting techniques. Tours are by appointment. Location: 39 W. Market Street, York, 717-467-3556.
Sunrise Soap Company offers natural body care products including soaps, shampoos, butters, scrubs, lotions and lip balm in their open-air kitchen. All soaps are made in small batches and hand-cut and hand-wrapped. A mini-tour is available for walk-ins or you can call and schedule a longer tour. Location: 29 N. Beaver Street, York, 717-843-SOAP.
Perrydell Farms is a working family-owned dairy farm. See how cows are milked and fed, and how milk is bottled on a free self-guided tour. After the tour, enjoy a hand-dipped ice cream cone. Location: 90 Indian Rock Dam Road, York, 717-741-3485.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company offers a behind-the-scenes tour to watch the making of a legend. The tour begins with a short video and then continues onto the factory floor. You’ll see the manufacturing of key components for the Softail, CVO & Trike motorcycles. The tour is free and is available Monday thru Friday and on select Saturdays from 9:30am to 1:00pm (June 20, July 18 & August 15). Location: 1425 Eden Road, York, 717-852-6590.
Bluett Bros. Violins demonstrates the process of how a violin is crafted, the wood selected, carving and tap toning to the finished product. Location: 122 Hill Street, York, 717-854-9064.