If you're looking for a family outing that is both fun and educational, then look no further. The Historical Fair at the Landis Valley Museum near Lancaster, Pa., Saturday and next ** Sunday should fill the bill.
The event is a re-creation of an old-fashioned fair, where visitors can take part in an 1890's school lesson and a spelling bee, join a cake walk, make fire with a flint and steel, listen to performances by the Lancaster County Folk Music and Fiddler's Society and enjoy a variety of old-fashioned food.
Children can visit the farm animals, watch baby chickens hatch, card sheep's wool or play traditional games, attend a storytelling session, compete in a pie-eating contest, try an old-fashioned craft or join a sing-along. Gardeners may be interested in historical gardening demonstrations or in buying a plant at the traditional plant sale. History buffs can visit a 1700s military encampment, while crafts lovers enjoy demonstrations of more than 60 early Pennsylvania crafts.
On Saturday there will be a display of antique automobiles and performances by a juggler and cyclist. Sunday's agenda includes a vaudeville show, a German-style band, carriage rides and an 1830's magic show. Gerry Taylor, a historic interpreter, will portray Professor Mordecai Springfield, a traveling conjurer of 1836. There will be performances at 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for ages 6 to 17, free for those 5 and under. The museum is 2.5 miles northeast of Lancaster on state Route 272/Oregon Pike, a marked exit off U.S. Routes 30 and 222. For information, call (717) 569-0401.
Children's Colonial Festival
Historic Annapolis Foundation will sponsor a Children's Colonial Festival next Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the William Paca House and Garden in Annapolis.
Children aged 5 and older can participate in activities familiar to children 200 years ago. During an introductory tour of the Paca House children can learn how to grind corn and sample Colonial foods. There will be an 18th century scavenger hunt, Colonial games, songs and dancing along with hands-on activities such as cooking, gardening and making an herbal sachet.
A traditional high tea served with scones and strawberries will be included in the admission price of $18 for children, $8 for adults. One adult is required for each group of three children. Reservations are necessary, and you must request one of eight entrance times, which are every half hour between noon and 3:30 p.m. For information, call (410) 269-0432.
One of Virginia's biggest festivals, the 11th annual Red Cross Waterfront Festival, will take place next weekend at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria.
Attractions range from nautical events to music, crafts, food and children's activities. Many ships will be in port for the celebration, and some will be open for public tour. River charters, canoe rentals and nautical displays are some of the water-related activities. Other attractions are a continuous round of mu
sical entertainment, including rock, rhythm and blues, folk and the annual Carolina Beach Music Festival; more than 80 juried artists and craftspeople; clowns; jugglers; puppet shows; and rides and games for children. Fireworks are scheduled Friday and Saturday evenings.
Hours are 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for ages 6 to 12, free for those under 6.
A 24-hour festival recording, (703) 838-5005, will give up-to-date information on festival events, or call (703) 838-4200.
Vintage Virginia '92
Another big festival in Virginia is Vintage Virginia '92, the 11th annual Virginia wineries festival at Great Meadow Field Events Center in the Plains, Va., Saturday and next Sunday.
Thirty five of the state's wineries will bring their wines for sampling, and seminars will provide information on cooking with wine.
But the festival is not only for the wine connoisseur. There are arts and crafts exhibits, grape-stomping contests, music, pony rides and other children's entertainment. The event will be held, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $13 in advance or $15 at the gates for ages 21 or older; $3 for those under 21; free for those under 2. Take Interstate 66 to Exit 31 (the Plains/Middleburg) onto state Route 245 south and follow signs. For information, call (800) 277-CORK.
McHenry Highland Festival
The 5th annual McHenry Highland Festival will take place on Saturday at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Activities will be those of a traditional highland festival: athletic contests, bagpipe concerts, sheep dog exhibitions, sheep shearing demonstrations, and Scottish country dancing, foods and wares. There will also be Scottish and British living history encampments with drills and battle re-enactments.
One of the highlights will be the performance by Bonnie Rideout, recording artist and three-time National Scottish Fiddle Champion. If you stay until Sunday you can attend a Kirkin' o' the Tartans at 10:30 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church on state Route 135 in Deer Park.
Festival admission is $5 for everyone aged 12 and older. The fairgrounds are on U.S. Route 219 in McHenry. For information, ++ call (301) 334-1948.
Demuth Garden Tour
The annual Demuth Garden Tour Saturday and next Sunday features 13 outstanding gardens in Lancaster, Pa. The gardens are varied in size and content, and each has its own uniqueness. One of the tour stops is the garden of the late artist Charles Demuth, renowned for his flower paintings. The garden has been restored to its 20th century appearance. There are also multilevel gardens at Conestoga House and another garden with plantings dating back 110 years. A plant sale will be held and refreshments will be available at Conestoga House.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10, and tickets are good for both days. For information, call (717) 299-9940.