A Local Spring Bucket List

Spring has arrived and life is looking up! The days are growing longer and temperatures are climbing higher. It’s time to get growing. There is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, as vaccination efforts ramp up across the state. As we begin to see some semblance of normalcy, it is the perfect time to get out and safely enjoy all-things spring in Lancaster County.

1. Celebrate Mom! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9. Make a reservation at her favorite restaurant or order take-out. Because of Covid restrictions, you’ll need to be flexible and maybe honor Mom on Friday or Saturday. But, no matter the day or manner in which you celebrate, we’re sure she’ll enjoy having a day off from kitchen duty. Don’t forget flowers and sweet treats! 

2. Go on an Adventure Created by Uncharted Lancaster. Similar to geocaching or letterboxing, the quests curated by Uncharted Lancaster aim to take locals off the beaten path in pursuit of the county’s history, lore and best-kept secrets. Visit unchartedlancaster.com for details. 

3. Visit a Local Farm, such as Spooky Nook Farm (spookynookfarm.com) or The Amish Farm and House (amishfarmandhouse.com), to meet the adorable baby animals born this spring.

4. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, 1862, history was made when the Mexican Army defeated French forces during the Battle of Puebla. Now, Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is synonymous with celebrating Mexican culture, food and drink. Join in on the fun at such area restaurants as El Serrano, Maize Mexican Cantina, Cocina Mexicana (all in Lancaster), Chilangos Authentic Mexican Restaurante (Lititz), La Borimex (Ephrata) and Tres Hermanos (Mount Joy). 

5. Hop on a Bike. If you bought a bike during the pandemic and are tired of riding solo, check out the many rides offered throughout the week by the Lancaster Bicycle Club. Rides are held all over Lancaster County and are geared to all levels of experience. Social rides focus on breakfast, lunch/brunch and ice cream stops. Visit lancasterbikeclub.net for details. 

6. Challenge Yourself to a Race. Even if you aren’t a running enthusiast, races and runs (most of which can also be walked) are a great way to get active and support a good cause. If you are physically able, training for a long-distance run or triathlon is a great way to push yourself. Lancaster County has no shortage of options, including the Race Against Racism 5k (April 24-May 22), Be the Difference 5k (April 17-May 17), Red Rose Run (June 3-6) and TRI for Life (May 2), just to name a few.

7. Visit Longwood Gardens. Take a trip to Chester County to stroll through refreshing green foliage, colorful tulips, flowering trees and fragrant wisteria during Longwood’s Spring Blooms display (through May 2). Festival of Fountains opens with a splash on May 6 and continues through late September. For details, visit longwoodgardens.org. 

8. Catch Dinner. Trout season opened April 3! Spring is also a great time for foraging; Pennsylvania provides a wealth of natural ingredients like dandelion flowers and greens, nettles and the elusive morel mushrooms.

9. Take Your Dog to Happy Hour. Four-legged friends are welcome at Dalton’s Doggie Deck at Spring House Brewery’s Hazel Street location. A water dish and treats are provided to all canine guests. Visit springhousebeer.com for details. 

10. Catch a Drive-in Movie. To accommodate for social distancing, Penn Cinema created a pop-up drive-in theater last year during the early months of the pandemic. After closing for the winter, the drive-in is back! Tickets must be purchased in advance, as space is limited. Visit penncinema.com for details. 

11. Indulge in Forest Bathing. Join naturalist Brooke Sycamore on May 2 for deep-listening meditation and mindful-walking instruction through the forest at Theodore A. Parker III Natural Area. Details about this and other Lancaster County Parks programs can be found at co.lancaster.pa.us/317/Public-Programs.  

12. Have a Tea Party. Gather a few friends and catch up over tea at Piccadilly Tea House, Sugarplums & Teas or A Tea Affair. Don’t forget your hat!

13. Support the Arts. Lancaster City’s annual Artwalk event is May 8-9, when galleries, shops, museums and restaurants will be celebrating Lancaster’s creative community with appearances by artists, special exhibits, live demos, children’s activities and more. For details, visit lancastercityartgalleries.com. 

14. Have a Picnic. Grab take-out from a local eatery, head to your favorite park or natural area, spread out a blanket and enjoy.

15. Shop at your Favorite Local Market or Roadside Stand. Be sure to check out Columbia Market House, which will reopen on May 29 after undergoing extensive renovations since its closure in 2017. The market will host a grand reopening on May 29 that will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, vendors, music, food, guest speakers and a soda toast. All are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the market on Facebook @ColumbiaPAMarketHouse. 

16. Have an Outdoor, Spring Photo Shoot.
Tudbink’s in Conestoga recently erected an arch on the farm that is available to the public for photo sessions. Beautiful spring blooms now decorate it. To learn more, visit tudbinks.com. 

17. Start your Garden. Lancaster County has a wealth of garden centers and nurseries whose staffs can help you create a thriving flower or vegetable garden.

18. Art & Craft Shows are Back! Heart of Lancaster Arts & Craft Spring Show (hlcshow.com) will make a return to Root’s Country Market in Manheim on May 15 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). The Lititz Ambucs Crafts in Lititz Springs Park show (lititzpa.com) is tentatively scheduled to return on June 12 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). 

19. Tis the Season for Rhubarb. Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse celebrates the season’s first harvest May 21-22 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) with a dessert contest, homemade food, a race-car derby and other rhubarb-related activities. Visit kitchenkettle.com for details.  

20. Take your Workout Outdoors. Break your routine by going for a hike, attending an outdoor fitness class or simply doing your usual workout regimen outside. Lancaster Rec, along with the City of Lancaster and Lancaster Township, created the Big Green Gym, which provides equipment and directions for self-guided workouts in parks across the city and township. For details, visit lancasterrec.org. 

21. May the Bluebird of Happiness … Naturalist Lisa J. Sanchez will lead a walk along the bluebird trail in Lancaster County Central Park on May 8 and 18. Look, listen and learn about the life cycle of bluebirds and other cavity nesters living in the boxes. Details about this and other Lancaster County Parks programs can be found at co.Lancaster.pa.us./317/publicprograms.  

22. Pamper Yourself. Visit your favorite salon or boutique to help refresh your look. Now that it’s almost sandal weather, treat yourself to a pedicure at a local nail salon.

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