By Betsy Natter
If you’re not heading out of town this Labor Day weekend, but still looking for a fun family activity, there is still lots going on close to home. Check out one of the events below while enjoying the last days of summer.
Morris Arboretum – Circus Week at the Garden Railway
100 E. Northwestern Ave., Phila., PA 19118
The Garden Railway at the Arboretum is a quarter mile of track featuring model trains traveling through seven loops and tunnels and over nine bridges, including a trestle bridge you can walk under. From Sat., Aug. 26 through Mon., Sept. 4 the railway transforms to feature elements from the circus including special train cars and the Big Top. Visitors can learn about the history of the circus and watch for special surprises along the way. The miniature railway world is constructed from all natural materials and transforms to feature special themes throughout the season. Admission to the Garden Railway is included in the general admission to the Arboretum. While you’re there enjoy one of the many family oriented learning activities including walking in the treetops with the Out on a Limb exhibit, the Wetlands or Sculpture tour. Check the website Family Activities page for downloadable activity sheets for kids to work on when you visit. The Arboretum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
Fonthill Castle – Tower Tour for Families
East Court Street & Route 313
Doylestown, PA 18901
Enjoy a unique look through the castle of Doylestown archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, and scholar Henry Mercer during this tour designed especially for families. Two tours are available on Sat., Sept. 2 at 10:30 am and 11:45 am. Learn about the history of this unique and creative man through stories and pictures as you travel through his former home. The one hour visit will take you from the basement to the rooftop terrace and into areas not usually on a tour including a view of the Kitchen, Morning Room and Wind Rooms. Children must be 6 years old or older and able to climb the steep stairs. Reservations are required and space is limited. Call (215) 348-9461 to reserve your spot.
Norristown Farm Park – The Eastern Coyote
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
Are coyotes the stuff of story books and movies or do the really live near us? While the bear and wolf populations have left our area, the Eastern Coyote has quietly colonized and been sighted in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Coyotes typically eat deer, mice, voles, rabbits and fruit, but they will also eat garbage and pet food left outside on porches. Park Ranger Tim Wilson will teach participants the natural history and habits of these beautiful animals during this workshop held on Sun., Sept. 3 at 6:30 pm. The talk also includes a walk in the park. Pre-registration is required for this free event and is designed for participants ages 6 and over. Call the park office to make your reservation.
The Market at DelVal – Apple Fun Days
2100 Lower State Rd., Doylestown, PA 18901
Kick off apple picking season by picking your own apples fresh from the orchard beginning Sat., Sept 2 and continuing every weekend through Sunday the 17 from 11am to 4 pm. Take a wagon ride from the Market to the orchard to pick your own fruit priced at $1.49/lb. Admission is $3 per person and includes inflatables for the kids and other fun activities. Enjoy the bounty of the market with its seasonal produce, deli, bakery, specialty kitchen items as well as hand-dipped ice cream.
Rising Sun Inn – Labor Day Picnic
898 Allentown Rd., Telford, PA 18969
Don’t feel like cooking your Labor Day feast? Let someone else cook and enjoy a picnic at the historic Rising Sun Inn on Sun., Sept 3 from noon to 8 pm. Participate in the Quoits tournament at 2 pm and enjoy $2 beer specials. While serving a variety of dishes, the restaurant is known for its bison specialties.
Call the restaurant for details and to make reservations.