10 Fun Things to Do Around Mount Joy in October

fall leavesSummer’s over, school’s under way, and now you’re looking for something to do to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Pick an activity or two, then after your adventure, cozy up in your room at the Inn and wake up to a delicious, home-made, three-course breakfast in the morning! Take a look at these great offerings.

  1. October 2, 9, 16, 23Bube’s Brewery Ghost Tour: Are you a believer in dimensions that exist beyond our finite senses? Confirmed by SyFy’s Ghosthunters, the Brewery is filled with paranormal activity. Come and see for yourself!
  2. October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – Free Music Fridays at The Vineyards at Grandview. Step into the Vineyard and join your friends for Free Music Fridays in October.  They’re extending music on the deck as long as the weather holds and will move into the winery in case of rain or cold. Check it out AND try some great wines while you’re there.
  3. October 3Bridge Bust in Columbia: Over 300 vendors will offer their wares in the categories of antiques, art, crafts, food and unique items in this popular event. And – get this – it’s all on a bridge!
  4. October 8-24Best Kept Secrets Tour: An unusual shopping/food and fun adventure featuring 37 off-the-beaten path businesses, hand-picked for their uniqueness. The stores are all around the county, but several are right here in Mount Joy for a great starting point for your shopping.
  5. October 10 & 11Harvest Days at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum: Come for demonstrations, exhibits, live music and activities, as well as horse-drawn wagon rides and a children’s discovery tent. Watch apples become apple butter and taste a cider float with fresh-churned ice cream, or see wool go from sheep to shawl.
  6. October 10-11, 17-18, 24-25Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights at the PA Ren Faire: Three weekends of mystery and mayhem kick off the weekend as spooky creatures of every variety haunt the Shire. Many events, contests, and tastings!
  7. October 22Crafter Hours Haunted Paint Night:  Painting party guests will gather at Olde Square Inn for an after-party with Howard and Annie Longenecker, the original owners of the home, which was built in 1917. Stay at the Inn October 22 and receive a $20 voucher off Crafter Hours event for that evening.
  8. October 24  Full Moon Tour at the Wolf Sanctuary:  Rather than a guided tour, you get to experience the sanctuary at your own pace. Walk from pack to pack, talking to tour guides stationed at each wolf pack.  If you get tired, you can sit next to the bonfire (weather permitting) and just relax. Bring a blanket, a flashlight, a chair, maybe some hot dogs and marshmallows.
  9. Through October 31Taste of Amish Country Dinner Tours:  Enjoy an evening in the Amish countryside. Leaving from The Amish Farm and House, their minibus will take you on a guided tour through the backroads of Lancaster County. Along your trip, your guide will stop at some Amish businesses and then for dinner. Included in your ticket price is a meal at a locally-owned restaurant with an exclusively Amish staff.
  10. Through October 31Lancaster City Ghost Tours: Reserve a spot to join a candlelight walking tour through the city nightly at 8pm and explore the long-forgotten mysteries of one of America’s oldest cities, with haunting tales of otherworldly vigils, fatal curses, and star-crossed lovers.

smiling pumpkinsYou know you need a night out. Give us a call at 717.653.4525 to book a room, or you can reserve directly through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon. No tricks – it’s all a treat!

Splashes, Specials, and Spectacular Events

Fountain in Mount JoyLots of things happening around here before our fantastic Memorial Day Weekend rolls in.

Splashes: Take a look at our beautiful fountain on the corner of East Main and High Streets. The borough truck pulled up this morning to open it, and of course I ran outside to strike up a friendly conversation and to see how it was done. It was already uncovered and, in what was not one of my brightest moments, I chirped to one of the workers, “Do you have to put water in it now?! Hehehe?!!”  You know how you understand that what you have spoken is stupid before you even finish the sentence? I ran back inside as soon as he answered, “Yes.” Ah, well. They can’t all be gems. The fountain rocks, though. Lots of photo ops.

Specials: Hope you can take a few minutes to visit our home page. We’ve added a Specials button at the top to let you know about our current offers. Be sure you check often; I’d like to change them up from month to month – or even a few times within the month.

Next, in the drop-down menu under “Inn” there’s a section called Things To Do to help you plan your trip to Lancaster County. It’s a work in progress, so you’ll see that changing also as we add to our list of things to see and places to go. If you have a favorite haunt not listed, let me know so I can add it to the planner.

Spectacular Events: Main StreetMount Joy has some fun planned for summer. Memorial Day weekend will feature a parade down Main Street at 2:00 and a Community Yard Sale. June brings our town’s 21st Annual Golf Outing, while in July you can look forward to the 13th annual Taste of Mount Joy Cruisin’ Cuisine. And after you’ve shopped and golfed and sampled and cruised, you can come back to your comfortable air-conditioned room at the Inn to relax or can take a dip in the pool in the back garden, or can just snooze on the balcony. Nice.

A couple more spectacular events I have to mention. Aimee and I were sitting on the side porchMusic on the Grand Balcony listening to strains of classic rock. “Love that,” she commented. “Which park is having a concert tonight?” Well, that was no park concert! We were being entertained by our own guests who were playing on the Balcony right above us! Joe and Monica Jo (aka Joe Squared) play Thursday nights at Da’s Pub in Blakeslee, PA. Lucky Blakeslee!  If you’re around that area, drop in to see them. You won’t be disappointed. Monica surprised Joe with an overnight getaway to Olde Square Inn along with reservations for a Mystery Dinner at Bube’s Brewery for his 40th birthday. Awesome!

Surprise engagement getaway weekendTo close on an additional excellent note, our guest Lennie executed the perfect trifecta: 1.) booked the Suite along with a Birthday Celebration Indulgence, 2.) made reservations at the Catacombs for dinner, 3.) popped a marriage proposal to his long-time girlfriend Lisa, who, of course, said yes.  Who wouldn’t say yes to a guy who can make plans like that? Only no one!

What is your personal trifecta? It’s time to get your vacation on and make reservations at Olde Square Inn for some time out during these upcoming glorious summer months. Not sure what to do?  Check our Things to Do section or call me at 717-653-4525 and I’ll help point you in the right direction. Looking forward to meeting you soon.

Every Child Left Behind: School’s Out Forever for Retired MTMS Teacher

JackieYou know we love a good celebration event here at Olde Square Inn, and I was honored to be able to host a retirement party for a former co-worker who is joining the ranks of  Those Who Will Now and Forever Love Sunday Nights. You know what I’m talking about – that feeling of dread that begins to creep over you Sunday afternoon as the gates of freedom slowly being to close right in front of your face, not to open again for another five days. The doors are soon forever open for her.

Anyway, Jackie’s good friends Eileen and Katrina organized the whole event; they could be my go-to party planners any time. We set up all the food, the drinks and the wine they had brought, then at 5:00 friends started dropping in to offer their congratulations and enjoy a great dinner.

Jackie had time to open gifts and had quite a haul, particularly in the wine department. (See the “wine purse” she’s holding? I thought that was was particularly clever and thoroughly coveted it.) I think she received so many libations due to the amount of time she spends at the Vineyards at Grandview on Friday nights – great music, food, and fun going on there.

Retirement is bittersweet for many people, and I think teachers in particular. The hours are endless when you include the planning, continuing education classes, meetings, IEPS, phone calls to parents, time at the copy machine, dreaming up new ways to engage students, and the countless sleepless nights worrying about “your kids.” But the kids, even the ones who irritate the heck out of you, are the reasons you love your job. There are truly dedicated people who have their hearts on the line to do their best to help your children become their best, and Jackie spent the last 32 doing that.

She retired to spend more time with family, to travel and enjoy life, to drink wine, dance, watch the sun set, and to sleep past 4:45 am. I taught foods and nutrition the last eight of my 24 years in education and knew it was time for me to go when a student said to me, “Ms. Skee, is it hard to make chocolate chip cookies?”

“No, why, Anderson?”

“Because you look really, really, tired. Let me get you a chair so you can sit down a little bit.”

Lucky he was charming, but at any rate how do you not love that? You miss the kids.renee

If you’ve had a wonderful teacher in your life or in your children’s lives – this year, last year, or 20 years ago – take a minute to look her or him up, jot a note, make a phone call. As a teacher you hope you somehow make a difference in your students’ lives. Let a great teacher know how you have been greatly influenced.

And congratulations, Jackie. Welcome to the club! Do what you love.



Latest Top 5 Happenings at Olde Square Inn & Main Street Mount Joy

I’m close to being the happiest person in the world now that the snow is gone, and I wanted to show you a few things that have been happening around the Inn and around town since the winter weather has broken. Everyone’s been busy!

1. We hosted our first Bridal Shower at Olde Square Inn. Melissa was treated to a beautiful luncheon by her Maid of Honor Tanya and her wonderful bridesmaids.

2015-04-25 11.06.12 2015-04-25 11.06.48 2015-04-25 11.28.08
2015-04-25 11.55.23Bridal Shower2015-04-25 11.31.56

2.  Pool is open! Now all we have to do is wait for a few 90 degree days so the water can warm up. By August I’ll probably wishing for a little bit of that snow we had in March. No, probably not. Ever.

2015-04-26 16.53.57 HDR

3.  Grand Balcony is open! You don’t even have to wait for a hot, hot day to enjoy this lovely spot. I had just finished putting up the indoor/outdoor carpet and bringing out the chair cushions when a guest and I thought we should test it out. We relaxed with a chat and a beverage and just enjoyed the lofty view. The Balcony is available to guests until 10 pm. Love, love love this mild weather.





4.  Two new shops have opened in Downtown Mount Joy and were featured this past weekend during our Fourth Friday event with ribbon cutting ceremonies. Next time you’re here be sure to check out Crafter Hours at 67 E. Main Street. Gather your friends together for an evening of creativity and “…inventing, experimenting, breaking rules, taking risks, making mistakes, having fun!”

If you’re looking for a great dress, jewelry, accessory for your yourself or as a gift for someone you love, take a look at Mayita’s Boutique at 83 E. Main Street. It’s a new women’s clothing shop where you can find some beautiful outfits and beautiful pieces to dress up the things you already own.

Harvey's Barbeque




5. The Pig Will Oink Again! Harvey’s Main Street Barbecue was damaged last June in a fire, and I know it doesn’t look like much, but take heart: this is solid evidence of recent rebuilding activity. Can’t you just taste those melt-in-your-mouth ribs, the pulled pork sandwiches, cajun sausage, mac and cheese, corn bread….? Sigh.


Don’t forget that a night at Olde Square Inn would make a fabulous Mother’s Day Gift for your  mom, auntie, your wife, a favorite friend, or you! You can book directly through our reservations page, or can give me a call at 717-653-4525 if you need any help. Looking forward to helping you treat someone special to a well-deserved break.

Lancaster County Best Kept Secrets Shopping Tour Coming in April


Look at the postcard I got in the mail the other day and check out the first April date! Have you ever been on one of these Best Kept Secrets Shopping Tours? My daughter and I did one last fall and it was a blast. Here’s how it works:

  • Follow the link above to find the location nearest you to purchase your $9 ticket.
  • When you get your ticket, you also get a bag full of little treats, entry blanks for prizes, coupons, a map and a list of all the places on the tour, which are like 37 stores!
  • You have between April 9 and April 25 to visit the places on the tour where you can enjoy refreshments, games, gifts, farm tours, demos, workshop tours, make & take projects, and all of the other free specials the businesses have planned for you.
  • You can play the Shop & Win game and enter to win over $800 in prizes or even a $200 shopping spree at one of the tour businesses you choose.
  • The businesses are unique places, and you won’t find out what they are until you get your ticket – that’s the secret part!

Two of my very first guests, Brenda and Judy, booked a room the second weekend I was open and did a Christmas Secret Shoppers Tour. They shared stories of their shopping adventures and I got to see some of the things they purchased. I tried to appropriate one of their finds – an amazing carved santa wall hanging – but they were on to me. I was hoping that if I displayed it on the mantle they would forget it was there, but it didn’t work out to my advantage. Oh well.

Here are two secrets I will share with you:

  1. Two of the businesses are in Mount Joy very close to the Inn. What a great place from which to start your tour!
  2. Book a stay at Olde Square Inn for your Best Kept Secrets Tour and receive 10% off your room when you reserve directly through our site. When you get here all you have to do is show us your Secret Shopper passport thingy filled out with your name and address and cha-ching! the discount is yours.

Aside from the cool shops handing out free stuff, the other thing that makes this fun is that you get to spend time with a favorite daughter (or mother, depending on who’s telling the story) or best friend, or new friend. You get to eat delicious snacks, find unique places, unearth great treasures.

The tour is a neat weekend away, or even a sneak-out-during-the-week getaway, since it runs 16 whole days. So, hey, Judy and Brenda, as well as all of you other Secret Tour Shoppers, I’m looking forward to seeing all of the lovely items you’ll bring back for me to display on my mantle. We’ll put them up there for just a little while. Maybe longer. I’m just sayin’.

Wine and Art for Your Mount Joy Getaway Weekend

PaintNiteLooking for something fun and different to do on a Friday night? Book your favorite room at Olde Square Inn and head on out to The Vineyard at Grandview for Paint Nite on March 27. Check in then grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. With the Vineyard less than 4 miles away from the Inn, you’ll still have plenty of time to make it to your creative painting session where you’ll replicate the beautiful meadow scene pictured above.

The Paint Nite folks provide everything you need – the paints, the brushes, the canvasses, smocks and, of course, instruction! You don’t even need talent or experience, because you’re guided through every one of the steps to create your own amazing masterpiece. No stress, a lot of fun, and in about two hours you’ll be headed out the door with your treasure. As the Paint Nite people say, they will “make sure your inner Picasso is unleashed.” How much fun is that?!!

Whether its a great couples’ weekend, mother/daughter time, or a night out will the girls, make some great memories with Paint Nite at the Vineyard and breakfast the next day at Olde Square Inn. The earlier session in March is already sold out so be sure you get your March 27  tickets soon for Paint Nite at The Vineyard at Grandview.


“Mount Joy” Movie in Lancaster at Zoetropolis

Mount Joy Movie PosterI was thumbing through LNP,  our Lancaster newspaper, Thursday and found this in the Entertainment section:

“After a year on the film festival circuit, Lancaster natives Jack Lewars and M. Angelo Mena are returning to Lancaster to screen their independent feature film “Mount Joy.”

The “indie-rock romance,” which was shot in Lancaster County in 2012, will show at Zoetropolis on Saturday in a kick-off event that will include a Q&A with cast and crew, followed by a week of screenings at Penn Cinema, Jan. 16-Jan. 22.

The kick-off event at Zoetropolis will have two screenings, at 7:15 p.m. and 9:35 p.m., as well as live music from local band Trio Agave, a Q & A with the cast and crew and collectible posters by a local artist.”

I love theater and, as some of you know, spent many of my 24 years’ teaching time directing middle school plays and acting in local productions. So the fact that “Mount Joy” director Jack Lewars and writer M. Angelo Mena attended high school together and are friends from way back touched my teacher heart. These aren’t just a couple of kids playing with a camera.

The film won awards at Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival AND lead Katie Hyde won for best actress at the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival.

I thought it would be a fun way to support them and honor their work by giving away a night for two in MOUNT JOY’s cozy bed and breakfast, Olde Square Inn. Attend the festivities tonight and you’re in the running for a lovely overnight stay. The drawing will be at the end of the evening, and I will contact the winner by email to deliver the gift certificate.

Next time you come to stay with us, be sure to take a look at the poster hanging at the Inn, compliments of “Mount Joy.” Do you love that or what?!  So exciting! Tickets for the film are only $10 and you can get more info at zoetropolis.comIMDB, and the official movie page.