Valley Forge (when it's fun outside)
Valley Forge was a tough place for George Washington's troops to spend the winter of 1777-78.
But as a tourism destination this fall, the region sounds like a lot of fun.
Pick pumpkins or wander through the corn maze at Freddy Hill Farms and Family Fun Center in Lansdale on weekends in October. If you prefer shopping to agri-tourism, check out the King of Prussia Mall or Philadelphia Premium Outlets in nearby Limerick.
Fans of the old “Three Stooges” show will want to check out The Stoogeum, a museum in Gwynedd Valley dedicated to the slapstick trio. It's open by appointment only (www.stoogeum.com/id7.html).
For golfers, Montgomery County has more than 40 public golf courses, and for bikers there are 55 miles of trails. Fall is also a great time for bird watching, as the birds head south for the season. You can look for the migrating species at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove.
And if seeing the fall foliage through your car window isn't exciting enough, take a look from a zip-line as you zoom 40 mph along Spring Mountain.
Finally, if you want to find out what it was like to be a soldier at Valley Forge, without the snow, Valley Forge National Historical Park has programs for kids the first Saturdays of October and November where they can receive enlistment papers, be issued dummy muskets and learn how to march. Area info – and details on how to earn a free $35 gas card for your trip – at www.valleyforge.org.
If and when the spirit moves you …
Looking for answers? You might find them Nov. 22-23 at the Victory of Light Psychic Festival, in Sharonville.
Psychics, tarot card readers, astrologists and dream interpreters convene to tell you what will happen to you and why. Guests include Victor Paruta, a Cincinnati psychic who has been on “The View,” and Lai Ubberud, author of “Celebrity Pets Tell All.” $15 for weekend pass, $20-$40 for readings.
Details: 513-929-0406; www.victoryoflight.com
A century since the first pheasants arrived
South Dakota is getting ready for a “Pheasantennial,” celebrating 100 years since the Chinese ring-necked pheasant was introduced to the state.
Six birds were introduced originally, but there are now millions of them around the state, and pheasant hunting is a $219million industry, according to Buddy Seiner, spokesman for the South Dakota Office of Tourism.
The official hunting season is Oct. 18-Jan. 4. Before open season begins, the first weekend in October is reserved for youth hunters and the second weekend for residents only.
Out-of-staters must purchase a nonresident small game license for $110. It's good for two five-day periods.
In addition to pheasants, a small game license allows you to hunt grouse, quail, cottontails, partridges, doves, squirrels and other small creatures.
Hunting licenses may be purchased online at www.sdgfp.info/licenses.htm. Small game licenses are also sold over the counter in South Dakota and may be purchased at most gas stations, bait shops and outfitters.