10 Summer Weekend Escapes

Columbus Dispatch | May 25,2003

As reported by Alyson Borgerding, in the Columbus Dispatch  May 25,2003:

” The long weekend is gaining on the summer vacation. Responding to an uncertain economy and raised security levels since Sept. 11, 2001, travelers now take shorter trips to closer-to-home destinations. The latest research from the Travel Industry Association of America shows that, this summer, money troubles and lack of vacation time are driving people’s travel plans. Shorter trips cost less and don’t require much time off work, which means long weekends are more popular than ever. With that in mind, here are 10 places suitable for fast getaways……

Feed goats in Pennsylvania

Most vacations are escapes from chores, but a weekend at the Weatherbury Farm means rising early to help feed the animals.
Weatherbury Farm is a bed-and-breakfast that’s also a working farm. Guests aren’t required to help, but most kids — which are Weatherbury’s target demographic — can’t resist pitching in.
Located about 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh in tiny Avella, Pa., the farm is run by Dale and Marcy Tudor, former Pittsburgh residents who left the city for a quieter life.
Kids often are captivated by the chickens, ducks, geese and goats — not to mention cats — as soon as they set foot on the property.
‘A lot of times, it takes about a half-hour for them to check in after they get out of their cars.’ said Mrs. Tudor.
Besides the barnyard animals, kids can swim in the pool, play on the jungle gym, in the sandbox or in the kid-size treehouse.
The Tudors also keep on hand a full collection of toy tractors and farm equipment.
‘Lots of people have farm toys at home, but for some reason they seem to be more exciting to play with here,’ Mrs. Tudor said.
Youngsters who stay for two or more nights can be part of the kids program, where they get a packet to keep track of all the things they learn on the farm. At the end of the stay, they receive a certificate that proclaims them Weatherbury Farm kids.
Special events at the farm include the Sheep Fest July 26-27, when llamas and sheep visit the farm, as do weavers, spinners and other fabric-makers, all of whom reach visitors their art.
Sept 6 is the Hammer-In, hosted by the Tudors’ 22-year-old son  who is an architectural blacksmith — meaning he makes railings and gates, not horseshoes. The Hammer-In brings other blacksmiths to the farm to demonstrate their craft.
Rooms at Weatherbury Farm are family-size, so kids and parents can stay together. Weekend rates are $140 a night for a family of four staying two or more nights. The rates depend on the number of people in the family and the length of stay. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Call 724-587-3763 or visit weatherburyfarm.com/newsite.”