STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Down on the farm
Alpaca Farm Days: There are more alpaca farms around here than you think. National Alpaca Farm Days 2015 is Sept. 26-27. Learn about the animals and products made from their soft fleece. To find an alpaca farm near you, and what hours they’re holding their open house, go to www.alpacainfo.com/alpaca-farm-days.
Apple Butter Frolic: The 42nd annual Apple Butter Frolic is held 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 3 on the grounds of the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Franconia Township. The Frolic offers an idea of how people in this area lived 100+ years ago, and other activities. Attractions include an apple foods tent, an apple baking contest, folk craft demonstrations, Pennsylvania German foods, children’s activities, horse and wagon rides, historic farming demonstrations and more. Admission is $8 for ages 13+, $2 for children 6-12. A pancake and apple sausage breakfast gets the event started early from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Cost is $8, $4 for children 8 and under. Park at Indian Valley Middle School and Indian Valley Faith Fellowship Church, both on Maple Ave., Lower Salford, with shuttle to the nearby Frolic on the MHC campus. For more information, call (215) 256-3020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wine-tertainng life
Phillip Silverstone, wine columnist and radio show host, shares stories, anecdotes and irreverent humor from his 25 years of “wining” on TV, radio and print in the Philadelphia region and in London in “Phillip Silverstone’s Wine-tertaining Life” at ACT II Playhouse. The show is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 and features music by Rich Cole and the “world premiere” of Silverstone’s interview with Julia Child. A meet and greet follows the show and features wines from The Wine Merchant. Tickets are $25. ACT II Playhouse is at 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. For more information, call (215) 654-0200 or check www.act2.org.
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center: A quote attributed to Les Paul states he wanted his guitars to be “seen, touched and played,” rather than put behind glass in a museum. One of Paul’s friends, Jim Wysocki, honors Paul’s 100th birth anniversary with an assortment of instruments from the music legend’s personal collection at the second annual All Things That Rock Fest 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the center, 100 Station Ave., Upper Providence. The event also features appearances by original Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley, Steven Adler of Guns ‘N’ Roses; Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia; Lita Ford; Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Gene Cornish of The Rascals; E Street Band alumnus Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez; and David Uosikkinen of the Hooters; plus more than 100 vendors buying, selling and trading rock ‘n’ roll collectibles. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Call (610) 389-1807 or visit www.allthingsthatrockfestival.com.
Invite to tune in
Dilworth Park: WHYY-TV will present Live at Lunch noon to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 30, with two free performances by Philadanco and an ensemble from The Curtis Institute of Music in the park at 1 S. 15th St., Philadelphia. It’s all to help celebrate and kick off the 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival. In addition, attendees are invited to visit the “Support the Arts” photo booth and join the conversation on social media by using #PBSArts and #ILoveWHYY.
From around the world
Ursinus College: “Presenting Childhood and Adolescence in Film” is the theme of this year’s International Film Festival series. The French film “Girlhood,” with English subtitles, is shown free at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Olin Auditorium, 601 E. Main St., Collegeville. Stick around for a post-movie discussion.
Meetings of families
Valley Forge National Historical Park: A free Valley Forge Family Day event is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 25. Among the activities planned are a chance to “join the Continental Army,” living history demonstrations, ranger walks and talks, trolley tours and refreshments, which will be available for purchase.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: PAFA celebrates the arts with a free Family Arts Festival noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 on Lenfest Plaza. It will feature free admission to the museum; dance, musical and art-inspired performances; live animal drawing and art-making projects; locally-made ice cream; a digital photo booth; face painting for the whole family and free snacks. The academy is at 118-128 N. Broad St., Philadelphia. See www.pafa.org/familyfest.
Mercer Museum: Builders of all ages are invited to “LEGO Castle Adventure,” the new feature exhibit, from Oct. 3-Jan. 17 at the museum, 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown. Construct your own LEGO castles, enter a LEGO Kingdom, explore a giant castle full of secret passageways, see a LEGO dragon, climb a lookout tower, construct a virtual castle and test its defenses with a catapult, joust on play horses and more. Admission is $14, $12 for seniors 65+, $6 for youths 6-17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Go to www.mercermuseum.org.
Don’t be scared
Academy of Natural Sciences: Get past the common myths and go eyeball to eyeball with live deadly snakes, colorful lizards, bizarre turtles and rugged crocodilians from around the world with “Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly,” running Sept. 30-Jan. 10 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. You can also learn how reptiles fit into the animal kingdom and their native environments. Interactive components let visitors “milk” a viper, learn to speak croc and test their knowledge with Turtle Trivia and Lizard Wizard. There’s an exhibit fee in addition to regular museum admission of $17.95, $13.95 for children 3-12, $14.95 for seniors 65+, military personnel and students. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Online discounts are at www.ansp.org. An cryptozoology-themed Overnight for Adults sleepover is offered 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3-9 a.m. Oct. 4. Navigate the underbelly of the academy on behind-the-scenes tours and see some of the skeletons in the collection. Stay up late, meet live animals, and then curl up under a T. rex. Dinner and breakfast are included for this 21+ event. Cost is $190. To register, visit http://bit.ly/1JoBRvC.
Full of flavor
Skippack Food Truck Festival: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or until supplies run out) Sept. 26 in the Blue Comet Motorcycle Club & Pavilion, 4042 Mensch Road, Skippack, it’s more than a dozen food trucks, a beer garden, a Kid Zone, live music and more. Food options to try include vegan, local meats, cupcakes, deep fried Oreos and much more. Bring your own seating for enjoying the three bands. The rain date is Sept. 27.
Main Line Restaurant Week: This year, it’s happening Sept. 28-Oct. 4, with special prix fixe menus, showcasing their chefs’ greatest dishes, all for $10-20 per person for lunch and $30-$50 per person for dinner. See the list of participating restaurants at www.mainlinerestaurantweek.com.
The Gershman Y: A monthly “Book It!” series begins with an appearance by cookbook author Leah Koenig, in a cooking demonstration and discussion of her newest book “Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen” at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Gershman Y, Broad and Pine streets, Philadelphia. Tickets are $10. Visit www.gershmany.org or call (215) 545-4400.
Pennypacker Mills: Experience the Victorian tradition of an afternoon tea on the mansion porch 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 27. Enjoy three courses, including scones and jam, tea sandwiches, desserts and tea, served by living historians. Actor Neill Hartley will portray showman P.T. Barnum, and following the performance there will be a short informational session about the circus, Barnum’s life and a short reading from his book “The Art of Money Getting.” The fee is $40 per person; preregistration and prepayment required. Pennypacker Mills is at 5 Haldeman Road, Perkiomen Township. Call (610) 287-9349.
Cliveden: The 6400 block of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, is where the anniversary of the Battle of Germantown is celebrated with the Revolutionary Germantown Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 3. Events include a period encampment, food on Germantown Avenue, a beer garden at Upsala, children’s activities with the sites of Historic Germantown at Upsala, an appearance by George Washington, The MacGregor Pipe Band, a Battle of Germantown reenactment, a children’s muster, a presentation by Ned Hector the African-American Revolutionary War soldier, an Oktoberfest celebration at Grumblethorpe and open houses at the Historic Germantown sites.
Montgomery County Community College: The Lively Arts Series for this year begins with a Carnatic concert of Indian classical vocal music with Ramakrishnan Murthy at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Science Center Theater, DeKalb Pike and Morris Road, Whitpain. Season subscriptions for all 13 performances are $125. For tickets for just this performance, call (215) 641-6518 or visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts.
Opera on the Mall: Check out a free HD broadcast of the performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” featuring West Chester resident Stephen Powell as Giorgio Germont, and staged by Opera Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music. The pre-show for “Opera on the Mall” starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 3 on Independence Mall. Look for the giant outdoor screen in the shadow of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Reserve your space at www.operaonthemall.org.
Lansdale: The 2015 Lunchtime Concert Series continues at noon Sept. 30 with Dharma’s Kindness on Railroad Plaza, 201 W. Main St.
Annenberg Center: Singer/songwriter and guitarist Toshi Reagon and friends perform her work-in-progress based on Octavia Butler’s novel “Parable of the Sower.” Set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles of the future, this gospel opera blends science fiction, African-American spiritualism and insights on gender, race and the future of human civilization. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 8 p.m. Oct. 2, and 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Harold Prince Theater, 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia. For tickets, call (215) 898-3900 or visit www.annenbergcenter.org.
Art and more
Fabric Workshop and Museum: Fall exhibits on view through Nov. 15 at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch St., Philadelphia, include “Cynthia Hopkins: Memorabilia” and “Nate Young: The Unseen Evidence of Things Substantiated.” FWM hosts a public reception 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 2. Call (215) 561-8888 or visit www.fabricworkshopandmuseum.org.
Souderton Art Jam: The free festival, held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 26 at Souderton Community Park, Wile Avenue and Reliance Road, Souderton, features fine arts and crafts, live music, “100 Thousand Poets 4 Change,” food trucks and craft beer, wine and hard cider tastings. VIP tasting tent tickets are $55 in advance. General admission tasting tent tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Go to http://stms.ticketleap.com.
Dilworth Park: From Oct. 1 to 8, a regionally curated selection of 30 works by Red Bull Art of Can finalists will be on view during a public exhibit at the park, along the west side of Philadelphia City Hall, 15th and Market streets. Launching on Oct. 2 with an opening night party, Art of Can 2015 festivities will include performances, DJs and a light projection display. Use your smartphone or tablets to cast a vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award. For more, see www.redbullartofcan.com.
Elmwood Park Zoo: Harvest Fest runs noon to 3 p.m. weekends Sept. 27-Nov. 1 at the zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown. Enjoy games, activities and different live performances each weekend. Harvest Fest is included with zoo admission of $14.95, $10.95 for seniors and children 3-12, $12.95 for students. For more information about Harvest Fest, contact guest services at (610) 277-3825, ext. 222 and check www.elmwoodparkzoo.org. By the way, Elmwood Park Zoo will offer free admission Sept. 26-27 for members of the Philadelphia Zoo because that zoo will be closed for Pope Francis’ visit to Philly.
James Park: West Rockhill Township’s 20th annual Septemberfest is set for noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 27 in the park at 1027 Ridge Road. Admission is free and highlights include live music; Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs mascot Ferrous; the Fitzpatrick Irish Dancers; a children’s pumpkin painting contest; a moon bounce, giant slide and rock climbing wall; horse and wagon rides; face painting; henna tatoos; caricatures; a magician and pony rides; fire company displays; food and more.
SteelStacks: A free Oktoberfest festival takes place Oct. 2-4 and 9-11 at SteelStacks, 1010 Founders Way, Bethlehem. The entertainment includes live music on two stages, food, beer, an Oktoberfest 5K, a keg tap with D.G. Yuengling & Son President Dick Yuengling, dachshund races, children’s games and activities, stein races, barrel rolling competitions, quoits and even Masskrugstemmen, the German test of strength and endurance in which individuals hold two full mugs of beer straight in front of them for as long as they can. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit www.steelstacks.org/oktoberfest.
Montgomery County Community College: MCCC and Whitpain Township invite the community to the 2015 Whitpain Community Festival 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 26 at the college’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Whitpain. Admission is free for the festival and musical performances. Highlights includes a performance at 7 p.m. by singer/songwriter Matt McAndrew, second place winner on “The Voice” season 7; a Health Expo; inflatable rides for children; tours of the college; a petting zoo, hay rides, pony rides; games; a food court; and music and dance performances.
Asher’s Chocolates: The 18th annual Fall Fest happens 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Asher’s retail store, 80 Wambold Road, Franconia Township. Activities include live music by The Manatees, face painting clowns, a strolling magician, moon bounces, raffles, hot dogs and drinks. Admission is free.
Hatfield Fall Festival: DJ Mike Trotter, refreshments and a car show will be happening 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 26 on Lincoln Avenue in Hatfield Borough. Vehicle check in is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and judging takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Get more information at (215) 855-0781 or email@example.com.
Rocktoberfest: Hatfield Township’s annual Rocktoberfest will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 3 in Clemens Park on Fairgrounds Road. The festival will feature a car and motorcycle show, vendors, children’s activities, food, crafts, music and more.
Church of the Holy Spirit: From 3 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26, the church at 2871 Barndt Road, Upper Salford, will host its annual Pulled Pork and Apple Bake Event, featuring classic cars and trucks. Proceeds benefit the Interfaith Hospitality Network. For details, call (215) 234-8020 or visit www.churchoftheholyspirit.us.
Penn Foundation Autumn Event: Sept. 29 Dan Harris, co-anchor of “Nightline” and the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” will talk about his 2014 “New York Times” best-seller “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Really Works — A True Story,” as well as the recovery from a 2004 on-air panic attack that led to the book. Held at Calvary Church, 820 Route 113, Hilltown Township, the event will also feature a presentation of the “Adventures in Excellence” Award to Thomas K. Leidy, retired President and CEO of Leidy’s Inc. Tickets are $20, or four for $60. Call (267) 404-5937.
Anyone for tennis?
Doylestown Tennis Club: “Game! Set! World!” is a tennis social to raise funds to assist the needy children served by Pearl S. Buck International. It starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 3. You need to register at www.pearlsbuck.org/Tennis to participate in mixed doubles. Entry fee is $50 per person. This event also offers refreshments, raffle baskets and live music.