Fabulously Affordable Fall Photo Sessions!

If you were thinking of getting Fall photos taken of your family, we've found the deal of the Century for you! If you purchase a 48 minute portrait session from The Susquehanna Photographic by 10/30/13 at 3:30 PM, it will only cost you $48! PLUS you get the full rights to the photos and an online gallery for downloading.

Annnnd if you "like" Central PA Kid on Facebook? They'll shave off an extra $3, making your grand total for beautiful professional photos...$45! Check out our Facebook page to "like" and get the coupon code (if you already like us on Facebook, feel free to go ahead and use the code) We already bought our session - hurry up and book yours before time runs out! xo, Lauren

The York Halloween Parade 2013

We went to the York Halloween parade this past weekend, and what a perfect day it was! A warm sun, blue skies, the air was crisp but not too cold - it was just a gorgeous Fall day. Despite the parade being planned in a short amount of time this year, it was a ton of fun - I think my little girl jumped up and down the whole time and was beyond thrilled every time she got a wave (or candy!) from someone in the parade. Here are some of our family's photos:

We're so thankful that York Revolution saved the parade from an untimely death and hope that it will be around for many years to come! Here are even more gorgeous shots from the event from our friends at The Susquehanna Photographic:

P.S. If you liked The Susquehanna Photographic's beautiful shots, stay tuned for an amazing deal on a Fall family photo session we'll be sharing the scoop on in just a bit! We already purchased our session and I'm pinching myself that it's so affordable! xo, Lauren

Photo credit: Rick Crouse/The Susquehanna Photographic

Fall Fest at Smyser's Dairy Farm


We had a blast at Smyser's Fall Fest this past weekend! From pumpkin bean bag toss and a petting zoo to a large corn box to play in and free milk and apples, Smyser's had everything necessary for a fun Fall day!

My favorite part of the day was the 20 minute hay ride around the beautiful farm. This time of year is just amazing!

But if you ask my son, he'll tell you his favorite part of the day was navigating the corn maze with Daddy {who wasn't so sure they'd make it out with a 2-year-old leading the way!!}.
While we didn't exactly have a successful pumpkin patch photo shoot, our kiddos had a blast and so did we.

This weekend is the last weekend for Smyser's Fall Fest. Join Central PA Kid founder Lauren and her sweet family there for some fun on Saturday or head over on Sunday to take in all of the fun and beauty for yourselves! Visit their website for more information, directions and pricing.

Central Market York PumpkinFest


If you're looking for a fun Fall event for your little ones this weekend, look no further. Central Market York is hosting PumpkinFest this Saturday, October 26, to celebrate the Fall season and the fresh, local flavor of York. You can enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities from 9am-2pm including trick-or-treating, a costume parade, pumpkin decorating, kids' crafts and more. You can also bring in your decorated pumpkin to help celebrate. After the event, Central Market will process the pumpkins and donate them to the local food bank.

Central Market York PumpkinFest
Here are the times for all of the PumpkinFest events:

9am-2pm: Pumpkin decorating
9am-2pm: Trick-or-treating
9am-12pm: Face painting
9am-12pm: Kids' activities including crafts and games
Noon: Costume parade

Market vendors will also be offering PumpkinFest specials like pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie soaps, pumpkin coffee drinks, pumpkin harvest salad and more. Visit Central Market York's Facebook page to see all of the PumpkinFest specials.

Image Sources: The Susquehanna PhotographicCentral Market York

Crafty Ideas: Halloween Fun


Can't make it out of the house today? Here are a few fun crafty Halloween ideas for your wee ones:
P.S. Fall scavenger hunt and spooky haunted house FREE printables!

What to Do This Week

Looking for some fun activities for your little ones this week? Check out our calendar for a full list! Our featured activity this week is Harrisburg Riverboat's Family Night:

Enjoy pizza from the Wild Tomato Pizzeria, soda and a fun sight-seeing cruise on our Family Night, along with a few fun activities and entertainment from Midtown Bookstore Little Scholar and DJ Stevie Blatz! Activities throughout the season (ON different dates, not at once, see below) include Magic Shows, kid’s song karaoke, face painting, Storytelling, fun crafts, Christmas in July, and MUCH MORE! Midtown Scholar will also periodically provide a guest speaker, usually a children’s author, to talk about their book. This cruise is for families of all sizes who are looking for something different and fun to do. Take in the sights of the Harrisburg skyline and other sights along the river while enjoying the company of your family and friends. Our friends at Midtown Bookstore will also be providing a FREE gift bag with flyers, a bookmark, a coupon for the store and a doodle book in it for you to take home! Click the link to see all activities and dates.

And check out our calendar for more fun events and activities this week in the Central PA area.You can click on any event for more info.

If you know of any events or activities that we missed, email us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com, message us on Facebook, Twitter, or use our event submission form.

P.S. Want to see your activity or event featured on What to do this Week? Contact us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com for more information.

Image: Harrisburg Riverboat

15 Toys You Can Make with a Cardboard Box


With all of the rain that came down this past week we were going a little stir crazy indoors, so we got creative! There's nothing quite like the magic of playing with a good ol' cardboard box.
You can play with it as is or go crazy with glue, tape, scissors, and craft supplies, but either way the possibilities are endless:

Click through to see all fifteen projects...

Where to go Pumpkin "Picking"

We had a date to visit the pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins, but unfortunately we were rained out, so instead we headed out to one of our favorite greenhouses last night - Hueter's near Rocky Ridge in York. We "picked" out a pumpkin and pumpkin patch or not, our daughter was thrilled! For those of you who still haven't gotten your future jack o' lantern yet, here's a list of greenhouses and pumpkin patches in the Central Pennsylvania area. Please let us know if we missed your favorite place - we'd love to add it to the list!

York County:
Barefoot Farm (Dover)
Brown's Orchards & Farm Market (Loganville)
Charlie's Produce & Crabs (Thomasville)
Family Tree Farm (Red Lion)
Flinchbaugh's Orchard and Farm Market (Hellam)
Maize Quest (New Park)
Paulus Orchards (Dillsburg) 
Raab's Fruit Farm (Dallastown)
Smyser's Farm (York)
Swamp Fox Farms, Inc. (Glen Rock)
Miller Plant Farm (York)
Hueter's Greenhouse (York)

Lancaster County:
Cherry Hill Orchards Inc. (Lancaster)
Country Barn Market (Lancaster)
Lancaster Barnstormers Corn Maze (Lancaster)
Masonic Village Farm Market (Elizabethtown)
Union Mill Acres (Elizabethtown)
Corn Cob Acres (Mountville)

Cumberland County:
Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses (Mechanicsburg)
Basehore Farms (Mechanicsburg)
Paulus Farm Market (Mechanicsburg)

Dauphin County:
Smith Christmas Tree Farm (Harrisburg)
Strites' Orchard Farm Market and Bakery (Harrisburg)

Adams County:
Beechwood Orchards (Biglerville)
Gray Wolf Farm (New Oxford)
Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. (Biglerville)
K & J Farm Market (Hanover)
Mt Joy Berry Farm (Gettysburg)
Old Sword Farm (Gettysburg)
Smithfield Farm's Fields of Adventure (Aspers)
Swartz's Pumpkin Patch (Biglerville)
Naylor Farm (Biglerville)

Lebanon County:
Grays Apple Ridge (Jonestown)
Risser-marvel Farm Market (Annville)
Sycamore Spring Orchard Harvest Festival (Jonestown)
Toms' Corn and Soybean Maze (Lebanon)

What to do this Weekend

Not sure what to do with your family this weekend? We've got you covered!

Our featured activity this week is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at DreamWrights Theatre in York.

Ichabod Crane, the new school teacher in town, finds himself at wits with Brom Bones, the town bully. Brom spooks Crane by telling him the story of a Revolutionary soldier who haunts the Hollow in search of his head, lost during battle. As Ichabod rides home through the Hollow one night, he is chased by a headless figure and is seen no more. Is he a victim of the Headless Horseman or his own superstitious nature? Only you can decide.
Looks like a smashing good time! Plus here are oodles of other fun events for your little one this weekend:

  1. Does your kid like dinosaurs? Check out Dino Buddies at Hands on House.
  2. Listen to a story at Park City Storytime or Manheim Township Library's Sign & Sign Storytime.
  3. Lots of things going on at Hershey - check out Hersheypark in the Dark, Hershey S'mores Campfire Party, or Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens.
  4. Jump Gym in New Freedom is hosting Trunk or Treat or take in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at DreamWrights Theatre in York.
  1. Lots of fun morning events: have breakfast with Santa at Hershey, visit Baby Mania or Toddler Time at Manheim Township Library, Weekend Wake-up Workshop at Lancaster Science Factory, Autumn Pumpkin Party at Gymboree York, or go to the Pinkaliscious Party at Lancaster Public Library.
  2. For little ones with autism, check out Autism York's Morning at the Movies or Sensory Friendly Morning at the North Museum
  3. Attend the Children's Literacy Festival in Harrisburg for lots of family fun.
  4. Does your little one like puppets? Check out Rumplestiltskin at Hole in the Wall Theatre. 
  5. How about animals? Leg Up Farm is hosting an Open House
  6. Can't make it to a morning storytime? Check out Boogie Woogie Lunch Bunch at Manheim Township Library at lunch time or Barnes & Noble's storytime in the afternoon instead.
  7. Visit one of the many area Fall fests: Flinchbaugh's, Smyser's, Brown's Orchard, or Cherry Crest Adventure Farm to name a few.
  8. Like getting lost? Try Oregon Dairy's Barnyard Chaos corn maze.
  9. Find a spooktacular Halloween-themed activity to attend - perhaps Trick-or-Treat Time Machine at The Hershey Story, Mount Joy's Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest & Parade, Hersheypark in the Dark, Trick-or-Treat at the Turkey Hill ExperienceDutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings, or Pinchotween.
  10. In the evening, take in a play at DreamWrights, visit Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens, attend an Autumn Pumpkin Party at Gymboree in York, or visit Hershey for a S'mores Campfire Party
  1. Have breakfast with Santa at Hershey
  2. Didn't get to one of the many spooktacular Halloween-themed or fun Fall-themed activities yesterday? No worries - there are a bunch more today! Try Trick-or-Treat Time Machine at The Hershey StoryHersheypark in the DarkTrick-or-Treat at the Turkey Hill ExperienceDutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings, or Smyser's Farm Fall Fest.
  3. Like getting lost? Try Oregon Dairy's Barnyard Chaos corn maze.
  4. Hands on House is hosting Wacky Wind Ups - anything with the word "wacky" is okay in my kid's book!
  5. Get spooked with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at DreamWrights Theatre in York.
For more details on all of these events, visit our October calendar.  

If you know of any events or activities that we missed, email us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com, message us on FacebookTwitter, or use our event submission form.

P.S. Want to see your activity or event featured on What to do this Week? Contact us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com for more information.

Image: Kate Penn - York Daily Record/Sunday News

Haunted House Free Printable


I came across printable magnet paper at Michael's the other day and knew I had to use it to make something fun for my preschooler. She loves playing with magnets - especially a princess/castle magnet scene that my sister gave to her as a gift. So with Halloween fast approaching, I set to work creating a "spooky" haunted house scene for her to play with. She requested a witch (so far that's what she wants to be for Halloween this year - like the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz. Thinking of making the baby a munchkin maybe?) I probably had as much fun making it as she is having playing with it (which is a lot!)

She likes it so much I decided to post it as a free printable for you all as well. You can buy the magnet paper at Michael's, most office supply stores, or on Amazon. It takes a lot longer to print on than regular paper and smelled a little bit like burnt rubber while printing, but otherwise I didn't have any problems. The kind I bought only works with inkjet printers - not sure if there is any that works with laser printers or not. You can (obviously) play with it on anything magnetic - the fridge, a metal tray, white board or magnetic chalkboard.

If you don't want to buy the magnetic paper it could be printed on regular paper and played with that way as well, although something thicker like cardstock would probably be sturdier. And for more fun you could even color on it with markers! Stay tuned - I had so much fun I'll probably have another one for you next week (jack o'lantern decorating perhaps?) Hope your kids love it as much as mine does!

Happy Haunting!

Creating a Costume: The Hoodie Modification

Another inexpensive and easy way to create a costume for your little one is to modify a basic hoodie. My love for this method is not new - I first discovered it via this Etsy shop a few years ago. It's cheap, easy, and the best part is it's WARM (because here in Central PA we know that 99% of the time October 31st = cold.)

There are like a billion Etsy shops where you can buy these (just search "hoodie costume"), but they're pretty easy to make on your own with a little felt/fabric and a hot glue gun. Here are some fun examples and tutorials to spark your imagination:
I could go on and on - the possibilities are seriously endless!

Image Source: Mokkasin

A Fun Fall Scavenger Hunt


If you are looking for a fun Fall activity to get your little ones out of the house, look no further than your own neighborhood. My kids and their cousins had the best time scouring the streets and yards for items on their scavenger checklist. 

There are free Fall scavenger hunt printables all over Pinterest right now. I really like this one from Craft, Interrupted. The pictures were great for little ones who aren't yet reading. Another bonus, after our big walk and hunt, my kids slept like a rock. 

Click here for the printable we used and happy hunting!! xo, Emily

What to Do This Week

Lots of fun activities this week - pick a topic - reading, science, nature, outdoor fun, movies, music, Fall fun - we've got you covered! Our featured activity this week is Discover Water Experiments at the Lancaster Science Factory:

Strange formations, magical floats, powerful boats, liquid electricity, and more! Special activities run throughout the day to celebrate Columbus Day. The first session runs 10am-11am in our classroom space (reservation required) and additional sessions run 12-1pm and 2-3pm in our Science Cafe (no reservation required). All activities are free with your paid admission to the Lancaster Science Factory

Contact our Education Coordinator, Lauren Schaller, at lschaller@tlsf.org or 717-509-6363 x105 for more details...

And check out our calendar for more fun events and activities this week in the Central PA area.You can click on any event for more info.

If you know of any events or activities that we missed, email us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com, message us on Facebook, Twitter, or use our event submission form.

P.S. Want to see your activity or event featured on What to do this Week? Contact us at CentralPAkids@gmail.com for more information.

Image: Lancaster Science Factory 

Creating Halloween Costumes for Your Kids

When I create Halloween costumes for my kids, I usually try to do it on the cheap. And by that I don't mean that I'm some sewing or crafting or knitting wizard that can create an elaborate costume from scratch. I mean I try to use things that we already own to create something they'll love. Of course, I usually have to buy or DIY a few small things - a hat, a cowgirl vest, and the like, but mostly I just use clothing from the closet and random stuff from my crafting bin. Here's what I'm talking about:

On the left is my daughter on her first Halloween. We took her to the neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat and at the last minute I decided she should have a costume. I made a witch hat out of felt and pinned it to one of her fabric headbands, put on her striped dress and some black tights, and made a broom out of a dowel rod and some yarn. On the right is last year's trick-or-treat. Basically her own clothing with a vest I made using this tutorial (again out of felt and hot glue lol), her Poppy's bandana and a hat that her dad picked up at the local party store.

The beauty of using actual clothing to create your kid's costume is that you don't have to break the bank for a store-bought costume that's going to fall apart after you wash it once. And even if you do end up buying a new pair of tights or a dress or a pair of boots, they can use it for a significantly longer period of time, so you feel like you're not spending a ton of money for a few hours of wear. Here are a few ideas for you after the jump (feel free to substitute things that your kid already has in his/her closet):

Lancaster & York County Trick or Treat Nights


Here's a list of trick-or-treat nights for York and Lancaster counties - let us know if we missed any!

Lancaster County is keeping it simple - All 60 municipalities will observe Trick-or-Treat Night on Halloween night, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.

York County:

Oct. 29
Hanover, 6-8 p.m.
Penn Township, 6-8 p.m.
Oct. 31
Carroll Township, 6-8 p.m.
Conewago Township, 6-8 p.m.
Codorus Township – no set time
Dallastown, 6-8 p.m.
Dillsburg, 6-8 p.m.
Dover Borough, 6-8 p.m.
Dover Township, 6-8 p.m.
Glen Rock, 6-8 p.m.
Hopewell Township, 6-8 p.m.
Jackson Township, 6-8 p.m.
Jacobus Borough, 6-8 p.m.
Lower Windsor Township, 6-8 p.m.
Manchester Borough, 6-8 p.m.
Monaghan Township, 6-8 p.m.
Red Lion Borough, 6-8 p.m.
Seven Valleys, 6-8 p.m.
Shrewsbury Borough, 6-8 p.m.
Shrewsbury Township, 6-8 p.m.
Spring Garden Township, 6-8 p.m.
Springettsbury Township, 6-8 p.m.
Wellsville Borough, 6-7 p.m.
Warrington Township, 6-8 p.m.
West York, 6-8 p.m.
Wrightsville, 6-8 p.m.
Yoe, 6-8 p.m.
York, 6-8 p.m.
York Township, 6-8 p.m.
(Source: Flipside York)

What to do this Weekend

Not sure what to do with your family this weekend? We've got you covered!

  1. Check out Ghosts and Crows and Things With O's at the Hands on House.
  2. Fill some little tummies at Foodstruck York.
  3. Visit the YWCA for the grand opening of their new playground.
  4. Take in a show at DreamWrights - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is sure to get you in the Halloween mood!
  1. Have breakfast with Santa at Hershey.
  2. Check out one of the many area Fall festivals: Flinchbaugh's, Smyser's, Oregon Dairy, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, New Oxford, and Painted Spring Farm will be hosting this weekend.
  3. Go trick-or-treating at The Turkey Hill Experience
  4. Take your tiny tool belts to Lowes' Build & Grow Experience.
  5. Take in a show at DreamWrights - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is sure to get you in the Halloween mood!
  6. Visit Hole in the Wall Puppet Theatre for Rumpelstiltskin.
  7. Weave your way through the corn maze at Oregon Dairy.
  8. Visit some feathered friends at That Fish Place That Pet Place's Bird Show.
  9. Go trick-or-treating at the Turkey Hill Experience.
  10. Visit one of our wonderful area libraries or book stores! 
    • Manheim Township Library will host Baby Mania, Toddler Time, Boogie Woogie Lunch Bunch with Carson the Pig, or be a Superhero.
    • Come in costume to Glatfelter Memorial Library or make a mask while you're there! There will also be games, crafts and a book sale. 
    • York County Libraries will be hosting a day long Reading Rainbow event a the Byrnes Center.
    • Barnes & Noble will host Clifford the Big Red Dog for story time.
  1. Jump over to Atomic Bounce for their open bounce session.
  2. Have breakfast with Santa at Hershey.
  3. Check out one of the many area Fall festivals: Smyser's, Painted Spring Farm, The Haldeman Mansion, and JCAL Academy will be hosting today.
  4. Go trick-or-treating at The Turkey Hill Experience.
  5. Enjoy the Fall foliage on a guided walk at Nixon Park.
  6. Take in a show at DreamWrights - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is sure to get you in the Halloween mood!
  7. Weave your way through the corn maze at Oregon Dairy.
For more details on all of these events, visit our October calendar

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