Happy Valley Agventures Fall on the farm

– by Lesley Kistner

Fall is the perfect season to enjoy what is grown, produced and crafted in Happy Valley, PA. Happy Valley Agventures, a joint initiative of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County, has a few suggestions to get you started on a memorable seasonal agventure.

Fall_kids_Wasson fest

Top 10 fall ‘Agventures’

1. Pick your own pumpkins – The pumpkin patch at The Heirloom Farmer in Port Matilda opens on Sept. 23 and features 10 varieties of pumpkins, from traditional jack-o-lanterns to funky decorative pumpkins. At Wasson Farm and Way Fruit Farm, pick-your-own pumpkins (why stop at one?) and pumpkin carving are among the activities at their annual fall weekend events.

2. Attend a festival – It is not just football that fills the weekend calendar in September and October. Fall events at Wasson Farm and Way Fruit Farm offer fun, food and entertainment for the entire family. Visit the adorable Minnie Whinnies (miniature horses) at the Talleyrand Fall Fest; stop by the Happy Valley Agventures booth at the Dutch Fall Festival for more inspiration on ag-related things to see and do; or watch the pumpkins fly into Joseph Sayers Lake at the annual Howard VFD Punkin Chunkin at Bald Eagle State Park.

3. Enjoy farm fresh ice cream – It is OK to wear white and eat ice cream after Labor Day! Wasson Farm is extending its ice cream stand season to be open for its popular fall festival weekends. Nittany Valley Creamery, Meyer Dairy and Berkey Creamery are also fantastic options to savor summertime treats a bit longer.


4. Hold a farm-to-fork themed tailgate. Impress the most ardent “foodie” football enthusiasts by elevating your game day tailgate with delicious local products. Goot Essa cheese shop, Long Lane Farm Stand and the Tait Farm Harvest Shop have plenty of local and PA produced food items to gain your own fan following.

5. Attend a workshop or class. From wreath making and flower arranging demonstrations, to sip and paint and (goat) yoga classes; to charcuterie workshops and more, Happy Valley Agventures destinations offer enjoyable entertainment options all season long.

6. (Responsibly) sip wine in the great outdoors. The wineries of the Central PA Tasting Trail offer delicious seasonal wines enjoyed in beautiful indoor and outdoor settings to appreciate the changing scenery, which includes rows of grape vines at Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery and University Wine Company. The millrace – and friendly Mallard ducks – provide the backdrop at Pisano Winery. Favorite flavors – such as Autumn Nectar and Spiced Apple at Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery, or Fireside Chills and Wicked Pumpkin at Seven Mountains Wine Cellars, bring a taste of fall with every sip.

Fall_Kids_Way Fruit Farm pumpkin patch

7. Pick your own blooms. Dahlias and specialty sunflowers are starting to bloom at Rooted Farmstead. One large sunflower field is scheduled to be in full yellow glory in late September/early October, hopefully in time for the Sept. 30 Fall Market. At The Heirloom Farmer, additional sunflower cutting dates are planned for Sept. 8 and 9, weather and bloom dependent.

8. Stock up on farm store finds. Centre County is home to a wealth of destinations for farm fresh food, flowers, handmade goods, and more. Tait Farm, Long Lane Farm Stand, Rooted Farmstead, Goot Essa, and The Heirloom Farmer are just some of the best farm stores for local products. If you are planning to stop at Long Lane Farm Stand for some homemade cowboy candy, you have a few more days to do so. The stand closes for the season on Sept. 9.

9. Savor farm-to-table food and drink. Fall’s harvest makes its way on to the menus of Happy Valley, PA’s most popular field-to-fork restaurants. RE Farm Café, Pine Grove Hall and Elk Creek Café + Aleworks are perennial favorites, while Titan Hollow, J.L. Farm & Cidery and now Axemann Brewery, all produce crisp, refreshing hard ciders.

Fall_flowers_Heirloom table

10. Invite out-of-town friends and family to experience their own fall-themed ‘Agventure.’ Your guests can start by enjoying a stay at a Nittany Meadow Farm cottage, or at the equine inspired Apple Pony Inn, Haven Valley Homestead, which is offering Fall Farm Experiences with animal tours and hay wagon rides by appointment in September and October – offers a rustic homestead cabin. The Pines at Strawberry Hill features lovely accommodations in a nature and farm-inspired setting.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events