By Betsy Natter

celebration-315079_960_720

With fall festivals over and everyone trying to figure out what to do with piles of Halloween candy, it’s time to think about Thanksgiving and turkeys. From nature programs, to buying fresh farm raised birds, to running a race in their honor, Montgomery County has something for everyone this November.

Learn About Turkeys

Norristown Farm Park – Turkey Tales
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
(610) 270-0215

Time for little ones to learn all about the bird that takes center stage this time of year on Wed. Nov. 16 at 1 pm. Touch turkey feathers, hear their calls and take a short walk to look for turkey food and visit their habitat. Make a special craft to take home too. Designed for children ages 3 and up accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required with a $5.00 fee. Meet at the park office.

Upper Schuylkill Valley Park – Terrific Turkeys
1615 Black Rock Rd., Royersford, PA 19468
(610) 948-5170

Many wild turkeys live in the park and this program will let you see them up close on Fri. Nov. 18 at 10 am. Learn about the birds’ habitat, diet and the feather display put on by the males. Participants will also make a craft to take home. The program is for children ages 3-7. Come dressed to be outdoors. Pre-registration is required with a Nov. 16th deadline. There is a $4 suggested donation.

Preparing for the Feast

Norristown Farm Park – Thanksgiving Centerpieces
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
(610) 270-0215

Make your Thanksgiving table extra special this year with a handmade centerpiece that you craft yourself! Join the creativity on Sun. Nov 20 at 1 pm to learn to arrange a natural tabletop masterpiece using leaves, acorns, grasses, berries, field-dried and fresh fall flowers. Bring your own clippers and a special container, vase, or lined basket in which to create your centerpiece. Everything else will be supplied. This event is for adults and children ages 14 and over. Pre-registration with a $5 per person fee is required.

Order A Farm Fresh Bird
Enjoy a farm fresh bird this year by ordering from one of Montgomery County’s local farms. Orders must be placed in advance and some require a deposit. Check below for a farm near you.

Quarry Hill Farms
620 Quarry Rd., Lower Salford Township, PA 19438
(215) 513-1514

Quarry Hill Farms organically raises their own birds to be soy-free and pastured. This year they are offering two breeds of turkeys. The Standard Bronze has a traditional round shape and is a variety that originated by breeding native wild eastern turkeys with domesticated birds brought from Europe by the early settlers. The Bourbon Red is the result of combining three breeds. It is shaped like a wild turkey and is enjoyed for its dark meat. Orders may be placed online at http://quarryhillfarm.net/turkey-order-form . A deposit is required.

Longview Farm and Market
3215 Stump Hall Rd., Collegeville, PA 19426
(610) 584-6580

Deep Roots Valley Farm, just north of Reading, PA, will deliver their pasture raised turkeys to Longview Farm in Collegeville for pickup on Tues. Nov 22 from 4-6 pm. The farm is raising broad breasted whites this year. The birds are fed locally grown whole grain non gmo seed and are provided with a fresh supply of bugs and greens. They are antibiotic free. Orders must be placed in advance online at http://www.deeprootsvalley.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=69&products_id=205 and a mail-in deposit is required.

Merrymead Farm
2222 S. Valley Forge Road Lansdale, PA 19446
(610) 584-4410

Merrymead sells turkeys from Weaver’s Turkey Farm in Lancaster. These birds are all natural turkeys- never frozen, with no growth hormones or artificial ingredients. Birds are available up to 30 lbs. Call the farm to place your order by Fri. Nov. 18th.

Turkey Trotting

Towamencin Turkey Trot
Fischer’s Park
2225 Bustard Road, Lansdale, PA 19446

If you want to get a head start on the calorie burning and maybe win a Thanksgiving bird, sign up for this annual pre-holiday run. Held on Sat., Nov. 19th, the 5K run delivers a free turkey prize to the top male and female runners. Medals are awarded to the top three runners in each age category and prizes are given for best costumes. The run begins at 9 am. Registration is required online at http://www.active.com/lansdale-pa/running/distance-running-races/towamencin-turkey-trot-5k-walk-run-2016 and closes on Nov. 13th or at 800 runners. A free kid’s fun run for children 10 and under starts at 8 am but no registration is required for them. Strollers and pets are welcome.

Thanksgiving Day Races

Abington YMCA Gobble Wobble 5K
1073 Old York Rd., Abington, PA 19001

Join the Abington YMCA for their annual turkey-day tradition. The 5K course winds through residential areas with rolling hills and finishes Olympic style on Abington’s Memorial Field. A 2 mile walk features a flat course. Everyone is invited to participate and costumes are encouraged! Prizes will be given. The race begins at 9 am. Get more information and register by Nov. 22 online at https://philaymca.org/programs/run-series/abington-ymca-gobble-wobble-5k.

North Wales Turkey Trot
1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454

The whole family can participate in this run with lots of options: an 8K, 5K, Kids ½ Mile Fun Run and a 2 mile walk. These runs/walk all begin at the corner of the 463 and 202 Parkways and continue down the scenic 202 parkway which will be completely closed to vehicles. The event is chip timed and awards are given in five year age increments. Bib pickup will be held at the Joseph Ambler Inn with the first race taking off at 8 am. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Life is Good Kids Foundation and The Wissahickon Water Shed Association. For a complete schedule of the mornings events and registration instructions visit https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/NorthWales/NorthWalesTurkeyTrot5k8kKidsFunRunand12mileWalk.

Toss Your Turkey 5K
101 College Dr., Pottstown, PA 19464

This 5K, flat course begins at the River Front Park and ends at the Pottstown Campus of Montgomery County Community College. Also available is a 1 mile Kids’ Fun Run. A unique feature of this race is the Saucony Turkey Toss. The male and female that toss a frozen turkey the farthest before the race and complete the course in under 30:00 (male) and 35:00 (female) will win a free pair of Saucony running shoes! Proceeds from the race benefits a local homeless shelter. Register online at https://www.runtheday.com/registration/race_info/toss-your-turkey-5k4 or on site at 7:15 am. Race begins at 8:30 am.