Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pottery Works in Lancaster PA

How many of you have bought the Adamstown Inns & Cottages stoneware mugs that we display in our gift shop? I own a pair and they are just perfect for a warm cup of coffee in the afternoon. My favorite thing about them is that they’re super durable and dishwasher safe! The inn buys them from Bujno Pottery, a local shop. The next time you’re in town, I recommend picking up some mugs or visiting Bujno’s online store to pick out a personalized gift as a reminder of your trip. But if you’d prefer to explore your creative side, then visit The Bead & Pottery Works in downtown Lancaster.

With two shops right around the corner from each other, you can choose to paint pottery, or create jewelry from local rocks and minerals. The advantage of making jewelry is that you can take your items home with you that same day. With pottery, you need to leave it to be glazed, which can take up to a week (for a small fee, they will ship your item). To start, you choose from more than 250 pieces of pottery. They offer fun knick-knacks of cartoon characters, and animals. Or you can choose a more functional pottery piece such as a piggy bank, light switch cover, toothpaste holder, or kitchenware. Then you pay a flat fee, depending on the size of the pottery that you chose (typically $10-$20), which includes your paints and time in the studio.

I chose an ice cream cone that doubles as a jewelry box. My friend chose a keepsake box of Woody, from the toy story, and found that it was a much more difficult design. If you happen to be painting for a couple hours and realize that you too chose a difficult design, or you are a meticulous painter, the Pottery Works will hold your artwork, free of charge, for up to one year. You’ll be able to return as many times as you need to, whether it’s during the same trip, or during a different visit to Downtown Lancaster.

The Pottery Works hosts parties, so you could do this as part of a girlfriends getaway weekend. They even allow you to bring snacks, or have food delivered while you’re painting. Or just take your family, or significant other. No matter what age, or whether you’re artistic, you’ll have a fun time sharing the experience with someone close to you. Oh, and don’t forget to ask your innkeepers what pottery pieces they've painted!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lancaster, PA Attractions

Are you finding that your kids are getting antsy being couped up in the house all winter? Well, this might not be entirely accurate since its been a milder winter than most, but we all know it doesn’t take much for kids to get antsy! Whatever the case my be there’s great opportunities in Lancaster County to get your kids out of the house and to entertain them. Not to mention the luxurious, yet family friendly, accommodations at the Adamstown Inns & Cottages. The Natural History and Science Museum, as well as the Hands on House, both cater to children who love to touch exhibits and prefer interactive learning.
Located near downtown Lancaster, the North Museum of Natural History and Science features exhibits, live animals that you’re allowed to touch, special events, and a planetarium. If you visit the museum before May 13, you’ll explore the world of bugs in clear detail. Enlarged sculptures of the bugs are displayed, with some being up to 10 feet tall, so you can see the intricate details of their bodies. If you’re not squeamish, plan to visit the weekend of March 17, when they’ll have live bugs on display.

The museum also hosts more traditional exhibits of mounted birds, rocks and minerals, dinosaurs, fossils, and Native Americans of the Susquehanna Valley. The planetarium typically plays four shows daily, all geared towards different age groups. Sometimes they even show movies in the evenings. If the museum hours don’t fit your schedule, try visiting the first Friday of each month, when they participate in Lancaster’s First Friday celebration and are open until 7pm. 

The Hand’s on House, in Lancaster, is geared for kids under the age of 10 and encourages interactive play with their family. Feel free to wander around the different stations, or drop in for the occasional extra-fun event. The museum has many scenarios that you might play at home, but they also have all the fun toys and accessories that are just “make believe” in your house. Your children can sort mail in the post office, create machines in a factory, go grocery shopping, and much more. There’s no eating facility, so plan a packed lunch or get your hand stamped to grab a bite to eat nearby at the Olde Hickory Grill or Uncommon Pizza.

As for the lovely accommodations, the Adamstown Inns has two smaller cottages for families, and one vacation home for several, or extended families. All homes have central living/dining areas, kitchens, and access to a shared hot tub. You can save money by booking a special, sharing it with friends, or even by preparing meals in your home away from home. It’s the perfect location to begin you family adventures.