By Betsy Natter

The nights are beginning to get crisp and there is a tinge of color to the foliage on the trees. As the bustle of back to school ends and schedules settle in, take some time to relax with the family and enjoy the outdoors at one of these family friendly events.

Upper Perkiomen Bird & Wildlife Festival

2298 Green Lane Rd., Green Lane, PA 18054 • 215-234-4528

Enjoy a full day of outdoor learning at the Upper Perk Bird & Wildlife Festival at Green Lane Park on Sat., Sept. 30 from 11 am to 3 pm. Visit with the animals from the Red Creek Wildlife Center and Aark Wildlife Rehab. Learn about bee hives, taste and buy honey, or stand among hundreds of butterflies in the Monarch enclosure. Hop on the hay wagon for a free ride around the park grounds, enjoy food vendors and listen to the musical sounds of the Lost Local Boys.
Kids will also enjoy the games, activities and puppet show. Purchase natural food and home products from local vendors or pick up a few native plants to add to your garden. There’s lots to see and do at this free event. Plenty of parking is available in the amphitheater parking lot.

Apple Butter Frolic

Mennonite Heritage Center • 565 Yoder Rd., Harleysville 19438 • 215-256-3020

Nothing says falls quite like apples. Join in the fun of this local tradition at the 44th annual Apple Butter Frolic at the Mennonite Heritage Center on Sat., Oct. 7 from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Arrive early and enjoy an Apple Sausage Breakfast from 7:30 – 10:30 am priced at $8 with children under age 8 paying only $4. Throughout the day watch farming and folk craft demonstrations and learn about the bake oven and pretzel making. Kids will love the tractor parade, and the variety of activities including butter making, pinch pots, crawling through the straw maze and horseback and wagon rides. Plenty of Pennsylvania Dutch food will be available in the food tent and to take home.

Participate in the apple baking contest by bringing your baked pie or cake and recipe by 10:30 am for judging. Entrants get free admission to the Frolic and the chance to win a gift basket from Bauman’s Fruit Butters.

Admission to the event is $8 for adults and youth, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, and children under 6 are free. Parking is available at Indian Valley Middle School, 130 Maple Ave., Harleysville with a shuttle to the Frolic. All proceeds support the work and mission of the Mennonite Heritage Center which is to preserve the stories of Mennonite faith and life in eastern Pennsylvania.

Full Moon Hike

Norristown Farm Park • 2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403 • 610-270-0215

Parks typically close after sunset, but on Thursday, Oct. 5th Norristown Farm Park is providing an opportunity to enjoy the woods and meadows into the evening. Join Ranger Dave at 7 pm as he leads a hike to explore the emerging animal night life by the light of the fall’s first full moon. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear for the two mile hike. Pre-registration is required and is for adults and children ages 8 and over. Meet in parking lot #5.

By The Light of the Moon

Upper Schuylkill Valley Park • 1615 Black Rock Rd., Royersford, PA 19468 • 610-948-5170

Join the nature center staff on Saturday, Oct. 7th at 6:30 pm for a moonlight tour of the park grounds. Learn about nocturnal animals and listen to the sounds they make as night falls. Bring a flashlight and dress warmly as the entire presentation is outdoors. The program is for all ages and a $2 per person donation is suggested. Call the park to pre-register by Oct. 5th. Light refreshments will be served. 

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