Hershey Travel Blog :: Insider Tips, Activities & Attractions

Our Delicious Mincemeat Bar Recipe Revealed

 

Today we’re sharing a favorite holiday treat: Mincemeat Bars. For those of you who are unfamiliar mincemeat is a delicious mix of fruits and spices. We love to treat our guests to fresh baked refreshments throughout the day in our garden-front dining room– it just adds a homey feel! This one is a go-to for the holidays.

Mincemeat Bars

  • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose FlourMincemeat Bars
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 (27 oz.) jar None Such Ready-to-Use Classic Original Mincemeat

  1. HEAT oven to 400°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add oil and milk, stirring until mixture is evenly moistened and crumbly.
  2. RESERVE 1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly into bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Top evenly with mincemeat. Sprinkle evenly with remaining crumb mixture and nuts.
  3. BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill if desired. Cut into bars.
Enjoy this special holiday treat! For more easy, delicious recipes like this check out our cookbook– it’s full of all of our guest’s favorites.
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Top 10 Holiday Activities :: Luxury Hershey Getaway

After the air becomes crisp and the leaves have lost their golden luster of autumn, there is another season that visitors and residents of Hershey, PA look forward to. The thrill of the holiday season is now in full swing in and around Hershey, and perhaps no other time of year is quite as festive and romantic.

Hersheypark Christmas

 

Although there is always plenty to do in and around Hershey, there are “10 Activities To Do in Hershey for the Holidays” that the Inn at Westwynd Farm highly recommends. Here is a list of our favorites, including something for everyone in your entire family:

 

  • Christmas Candy Lane: It’s always at the top of our list. It’s simply magical! This year it’s bigger and brighter than ever, with over four million twinkling lights. In addition to the other rides, four of the favorite coasters will be running, too. The view should be amazing from the peak of the Wildcat. Of course, there’s plenty of holiday treats, shopping, and entertainment!
  • Hershey Sweet Lights: If you’d prefer to stay a bit warmer, you can drive the family  to enjoy close to 600 light displays of the Hershey Sweet Lights. Many of these displays are animated, which is exciting for kids and grownups alike!
  • Santa Visit: If you have little ones, Santa will be available at Hershey Park. He’s here for the children and ready to see if they’ve been nice (or naughty). You will also get a great photo opportunity of some live reindeer. Ask your children if they can spot Rudolf!
  • Ice Skating at Rudolph’s Skating Pond: Speaking of all ages, ice skating is a fun way to spend an afternoon. We love having fun at Rudolph’s Skating Pond!Hershey's Candylane
  • Live Entertainment: Throughout the holiday season, music is part of the underlying charm of Hershey, Pennsylvania’s region. This year’s show at Hershey Park is called, “A Music Box Christmas: The Littlest Tree” and the show is appropriate for all ages.
  • Hershey Lodge: From November 27th to December 27th, the Chocolate Avenue Christmas Dinner Theatre will be open at Hershey Lodge. There will be an EMMY Award winning team of performers at this year’s Chocolate Christmas, transporting Broadway to the home of delicious chocolate.
  • Craft Breweries: Chase away the cold chill of winter by touring the many craft breweries and wineries in the Hershey area.
  • Museums: For history buffs, the Hershey area has a rich and interesting past. You can experience it first hand – while getting a fascinating look at how our festive town came to be – at places like the Hershey Derry Township Historical Society and the Hershey Story. Both have some wonderful holiday events planned, such as “Snowball Saturdays” and “Little Elves Workshop”. There are also super toy train exhibits at both the Antique Car Museum and the Historical Society.
  • ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park: Bundle up and enjoy eleven acres of wildlife at ZooAmerica, a unique walk-thru zoo that will give your family a chance to see real reindeer, mountain lions, bears, beavers, owls and more. The Wild Winter Adventure is scheduled for December 19 – 20th, 2015 but you can explore this awesome wildlife sanctuary most any day of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the winter months.
  • Inn at Westwynd Farm: Don’t miss the opportunity to stay at our remarkable Inn, where we will have plenty of tea, coffee and hot cocoa to warm up our guests after a long day of fun holiday festivities. Rest in comfort and serenity as you visit and enjoy the Hershey, PA region this holiday season!

Hersheypark Sweetlights
This Top 10 Activities in Hershey for the Holidays list is just a few of the many activities in and around our region this holiday season. We’re always happy to spend time helping you plan the things that will make your visit to Hershey memorable. We’re looking forward to having you join us! Book your stay today. Please call 717-533-6764 to ask about rates.

 

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Restaurants In Hershey :: Romantic Pennsylvania Getaway

Restaurants in or near Hershey – Our Five Favorites Plus One

  • The Circular at The Hotel Hershey
  • The Mill Restaurant
  • Devon Seafood + Steak
  • What If… of Hershey
  • Piazza Sorrento
  • Troegs Tasting Room and Snack Bar

 

Here are five of our favorite restaurants in Hershey, within 15 minutes of the Inn at Westwynd Farm. They are unique to the south central Pennsylvania area aside from Devon Seafood + Steak, which has restaurants in a few other locations.

 

An upscale casual atmosphere will be found at all of our favorites, and the cuisine mostly falls into the contemporary American category — although Devon’s menu centers on seafood, and Piazza Sorrento is all about classic regional Italian dishes and is known for its extensive gluten-free menu.

 

The five restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner with a few exceptions: The Circular offers lunch on Fridays and Saturdays only and it is limited to a buffet; What If… doesn’t serve lunch on Sundays; and Piazza is closed Sundays, but the pizza and sub shop Mr. Sorrento’s, which is accessed through the Piazza restaurant, is open. Sunday brunch is available at The Circular, Devon, and The Mill.

 

Since these are among the area’s most popular restaurants, reservations are recommended. Casual dress is acceptable for most. The dress code at The Circular specifies no tank tops for men, no graphic T-shirts, and no hats; denim that is not torn or faded and dress shorts are permitted.

 

For those dining with a group or hosting an event, a private room can be arranged at all five favorites.

 

Also, there are benefits to being a guest of the Inn at Westwynd Farm: a 10 percent discount at The Mill and one appetizer free of charge at Devon.

 

The Circular at The Hotel Hershey

100 Hotel Road, Hershey, 717-534-8800 (reservations required)

Lunch Buffet: Friday and Saturday, noon to 2 pm

Sunday Brunch: noon to 2:30 pm

Dinner: Monday through Saturday, 5 to 9:30 pm; Sunday, 6 to 9:30 pm

Happy Hour: Daily, 5 to 6:30 pm

 

Choose The Circular for its:

  • Impressive reputation — The Circular has maintained a AAA Four Diamond rating since 1988 and was one of eight restaurants in the Northeast to win an Achievement of Excellence Award from the American Culinary Federation in 2014.
  • Elegant setting — The hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America and one of four Pennsylvania hotels earning the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rating in 2015.
  • Exceptional wine list — It earned a 2015 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, which lists selections numbering 550 and French and California wines as strengths.
  • Signature cocktails — Classic, contemporary, and chocolate libations are crafted by certified mixologists at the circular bar in the center of the dining room.
  • Exquisite desserts — Skilled pastry chefs prepare dreamy confections at the central bar while diners look on. A local restaurant critic picked The Circular as one of her favorite spots for dessert in the region in 2015.
  • Legendary brunch buffet on Sundays — It’s best to make reservations well in advance.
  • Appetizers and small plates — There’s no shortage of options, including favorites like lobster bisque and cocoa-dusted scallops, for those with smaller appetites.
  • Imaginative semicircular layout — Per Hershey Chocolate Company founder Milton S. Hershey’s instructions to the architect, no corners or columns obstruct the view for diners.
  • Longevity — The restaurant, originally called the Circular Dining Room, was built in 1933 during the construction of the hotel.
  • Proximity to the Inn at Westwynd Farm and the Hershey Gardens — It’s a three-mile drive to the inn, and the entrance to The Hotel Hershey is located opposite the Gardens entrance.

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The Mill Restaurant

810 Old West Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, 717-256-9965

Lunch/Dinner: Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to midnight; Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm

Sunday Brunch: 10 am to 3 pm

Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, bar and high-top tables only

Benefit for guests of the Inn at Westwynd Farm: 10 percent discount

 

Choose The Mill Restaurant for its:

  • Past life — Dating to 1914, the brick and limestone building known as the Curry Feed Mill served as a warehouse, a mill, and a store selling flour, grain, feed, coal, and heating oil.
  • Thoughtful reinvention — A strong connection to the building’s architectural history survives because the owners opted to keep its structural integrity intact in the dining areas and build an addition to house the kitchen, elevator, and restrooms.
  • One-of-a-kind look and feel — From sleek and modern to rustic to industrial, the design spotlights inlaid glass doors, zinc bar tops, brick and stacked stone walls, iron spindles, copper tiles, metal ducts, and lots of wood (much is reclaimed lumber from the original structure) — posts, beams, plank walls, doors, and the staircase.
  • Fresh, seasonal “melting pot” menu — Current offerings include deviled eggs, house-pulled mozzarella with heirloom tomato and basil, house-cured bacon, fried chicken with rosemary waffles, sesame-crusted ahi tuna noodle bowl, seared sea scallops with sage and cheddar grits, and duck breast with butternut squash risotto.
  • Outdoor dining — Patio seating at umbrella tables is available on the lower level, adjoining the parking lot and adjacent to the train tracks.
  • Entertainment options — Live music performances and other events take place on the third floor on select Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
  • Three floors of dining — Each level has a distinctive tone and layout as well as its own bar area with televisions.
  • Loft lounge — The top floor provides a spot to relax and survey the building from a new perspective.
  • “By the tracks” location — One mile from downtown Hershey, it’s bordered by Old West Chocolate Avenue in front and railroad tracks in back.
  • Immediate success — Recipient of Harrisburg Magazine’s Readers’ Choice award for best new restaurant in 2015, The Mill opened in September 2014 and appeared on a local restaurant critic’s year-end top 10 list just two months later.
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Devon Seafood + Steak

27 West Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, 717-508-5460

Lunch: Daily, 11 am to 4 pm   

Sunday Brunch: 10 am to 3 pm

Dinner: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 pm; Sunday, 3 to 10 pm

Happy Hour: Monday through Friday and Sunday, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, bar and high-top tables only; Saturday, 1 to 3 pm, entire restaurant

Benefit for guests of the Inn at Westwynd Farm: one appetizer free of charge

 

Choose Devon Seafood + Steak for its:

  • Fresh seafood — The Seafood Mixed Grill entrée allows diners to sample the shrimp, scallops, salmon, and jumbo lump crab cakes; other dishes feature calamari, clams, king crab legs, lobster, mussels, oysters, and tuna.
  • Variety of simply prepared fish — The menu is updated daily to highlight the freshest available fish, such as barramundi from New Zealand, mahi mahi from Hawaii, halibut from Alaska, swordfish from Block Island, haddock from Massachusetts, and rainbow trout from Pennsylvania.
  • Jumbo lump crab cakes — Served with creole remoulade and mango tartar sauce, they were named the region’s best crab cakes in 2014 by a local restaurant critic.
  • Surf and turf options or just steak — Steaks include center-cut filet mignon, Kansas City strip, and bone-in ribeye.
  • Notable collection of wine — It earned a 2015 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, which lists selections numbering 160 and California wines as a strength.
  • Convenient downtown location – The Hershey Story museum resides next door and the Hershey Theatre sits across the street.
  • Century-old building — Completed in 1916, the Hershey Press Building was renovated and its original façade restored in 2005; it received the Hershey–Derry Township Historical Society’s Preservation Award in 2007.
  • Local following — It garnered three Simply the Best awards (seafood, service, and power dinner) from Harrisburg Magazine in 2015.
  • Critical success — Praising the seafood, service, biscuits, desserts, and Sunday brunch, a local restaurant reviewer selected Devon as one of her top five favorite restaurants in south central Pennsylvania in 2014.
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What If… of Hershey

845 East Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, 717-533-5858

Lunch/Dinner: Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 11 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to midnight; Sundays, 4 to 11 pm, dinner only

Happy Hour: Daily, 4:30 to 6:30 pm

 

Choose What If… of Hershey for its:

  • Eclectic American cuisine — Pan-seared scallops, fried calamari, and hand-cut steaks are among its signature dishes; the current menu also offers several pasta dishes, chicken and seafood entrees, plus veal and pork options.  
  • Small plates and specialty salads — The selection of small plates ranges from pierogies and pizza, to crab martini and baked Brie, to buffalo shrimp and bone-in short rib bites. Salads include wedge, arugula, spinach, Caesar, Greek, Gorgonzola, and watermelon and can be topped with shrimp, scallops, tuna, salmon, jumbo lump crab, lollipop lamb chops, or sesame chicken; there are seven house-made dressings plus six house-made vinaigrettes.
  • Plentiful desserts — The hot fudge peanut profiterole is a favorite, but the kitchen abounds with sweet creations: from brownies, cobblers, pies, and cakes, to paris-brest, tiramisu, mousse, and crème brûlée, to ice cream, sorbet, and gelato.
  • Martini menu — The house specialty is a fruit-infused vodka martini; also listed are vanilla watermelon, pomegranate, summer punch, sour cherry, grapefruit, and sweet and sour, as well as three gin martinis (French cat, Negroni, and basil smash) and four dessert martinis (vanilla cream caramel, white chocolate raspberry, espresso, and chocolate).
  • Romantic ambiance — The What If… restaurant qualifies as a hidden gem: After the unremarkable hotel exterior, the stairs to the lower level, and the front-room bar with televisions, diners will discover a large, welcoming dining area that’s divided into smaller, more intimate sections filled with candle-lit tables and booths.

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Piazza Sorrento

16 Briarcrest Square, Hershey, 717-835-1919

Lunch/Dinner: Monday through Wednesday, 11 am to 9:30 pm; Thursday through Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm; Sundays, closed, but Mr. Sorrento’s pizza and sub shop (at the same address) is open from noon to 9 pm

Happy Hour: Daily, 4:30 to 6 pm

 

Choose Piazza Sorrento for its:

  • Classic Italian cuisine — Piazza Sorrento’s menu is built on the family recipes of one of its owners, Anna Maria Collura, who was born and raised in Sicily. Her homemade ricotta cheesecake is a favorite.
  • Pizza — The hand-tossed pizzas can be simple (Traditional, White, and Old World), focused on vegetables (Margherita, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian), or topped with meat (Arugula, Prosciutto, Pecorino; Meat Lovers; Buffalo Chicken). The Woodsman, which is layered with sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto, mushrooms, black olives, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella cheese, was named by a local restaurant critic as one of her favorite pizzas in the region in 2015.
  • Gluten-free menu — The gluten-free menu is extensive, listing all 10 pizzas that appear on the regular menu plus five salads, five subs, and seven desserts. There are eight appetizers (bruschetta, eggplant involtini, baked crab dip, clams, garlic shrimp with crostini, ahi tuna, prosciutto mozzarella crostini, and Pete’s grand appetizer), eight lunch entrees, and 16 dinner entrees, including lasagna, five cheese ravioli, chicken Alfredo, penne Bolognese, garlic shrimp pasta, fettuccini with spicy crab, chicken or veal piccata, and chicken or veal Marsala.
  • Italian wines — Vineyards in the Abruzzo, Apulia, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Piedmont, Sicily, Trentino–South Tyrol, Tuscany, and Veneto regions of Italy supply the majority of the wines served at Piazza Sorrento.
  • Neighborhood feel — Residing in a shopping complex and adjoining a gas station, Piazza Sorrento doesn’t necessarily make a great first impression. However, inside, there’s a comfortable atmosphere in both the front room, which offers a few tables plus bar seating with televisions, and the main dining area with booths and tables.

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Troegs Tasting Room and Snack Bar

200 East Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, 717-534-1297

Sunday through Wednesday, 11 am to 9 pm; Thursday through Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm

 

And just for fun, don’t miss Troegs Brewing Company, a local craft brewery that focuses on seasonal and specialty beers. The current brewery tap list includes Master of Pumpkins (brewed with neck pumpkins harvested a few miles from the brewery), Dead Reckoning Porter (the flavor of which begins with chocolate and roasted malts), and year-round favorite Troegenator Double Bock (a 2014 Great American Beer Festival gold medal winner).

 

The snack bar, offering plenty of picnic table seating, features an unexpected menu, with items like root cellar vegetable chips with walnut salt and smoked cream cheese; duck confit with Yukon Gold pancake, braised red cabbage, cider glaze, and slab bacon; and porchetta on maple sweet potato roll with apple butter, endive sauerkraut, Amish cheddar, and hop fries.

 

The Troegs brewery in Hershey opened in 2011 after being relocated from Harrisburg. Tours are available every day of the week. In 2015, Troegs earned Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply the Best award for local beer and Susquehanna Style’s Best of Harrisburg award for best brewery.

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Delicious Dessert Recipe :: Pear Galette

Pear GallettFrank’s absolute favorite fruit is pears and our local farmers markets have a wonderful supply this year. This easier than pie, free form fruit tart is terrific with vanilla ice cream (another Frank favorite) or a dollop of crème fraiche. Guests at the Inn at Westwynd Farm always love this treat!

Ingredients
1 refrigerated pie crust (9-inch)
3 tablespoons of caramel sauce, divided
3 ripe Red or Green Anjou Pears
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon granulated or turbinado sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring pie crust to room temperature as directed on package. Unroll the pie crust on a non-stick or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread one tablespoon of caramel topping on the crust, leaving a 1 ½-inch border. Peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice each quarter lengthwise into 4 even slices. Place pear slices in a bowl and toss with cinnamon and flour. Starting in the center, arrange the slices on the dough in a spoke pattern, in overlapping layers as necessary to fit and leaving a 1 ½-inch border. Drizzle the pear slices with 1 tablespoon of caramel topping. Fold the edge of the crust over the tart. Brush the top of the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is lightly brown. Let galette cool 10 minutes. Drizzle top of the fruit with the remaining tablespoon of caramel topping before serving.

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Recipe of the Week :: Lemon Lover’s Coffee Cake

Lemon Coffee Cake

We’re thinking of calling this scrumptious coffee cake – “Sunshine on a Rainy Day.” It certainly has been a bright spot at breakfast. We made two pans at the Inn at Westwynd Farm and it just disappeared.

Ingredients
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 jar (about 10 oz) lemon curd
Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
5 to 6 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, butter, lemon peel, baking powder, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, until blended. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally (mixture will look curdled). Stir in flour. Spread in pan. Spoon lemon curd by rounded measuring teaspoonfuls about 3/4 inch apart onto batter.

3. Bake 23 to 26 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

4. Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake. Serve warm or cool.

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Grand Hershey Theatre :: Musicals, Comedy & Concerts

The stage of The Hershey Theater. PROVIDED, The Patriot-News

The stage of The Hershey Theater.
PROVIDED, The Patriot-News

For those whose design sense leans toward the opulent, the intricate or the atmospheric – or for those who relish the majesty of Venice or the grandness of Greece, the Hershey Theatre is a must-see historic building.

But even for those whose taste is more down-to-earth, this 1,904-seat venue, which opened in 1933 and is located at the corner of Chocolate and Cocoa avenues in downtown Hershey, has much to offer – from touring Broadway productions and family-friendly shows to popular recording artists and highly sought after comedians.

StraightNoChaser

Among the offerings in the Hershey Theatre’s Broadway series this year are:
• “Once,” about an Irish singer-songwriter and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. The show, which received eight Tonys, including Best Musical, in 2012 as well as the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album in 2013, is based on the 2007 Oscar-winning film of the same name and features an ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments on stage. It runs Tuesday, September 15, through Sunday, September 20.
• “Matilda The Musical,” about an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life and, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand. Winner of four Tony Awards in 2013 and seven Olivier Awards in 2012, the show is based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl. It runs Tuesday, November 10, through Sunday, November 15.
• “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” about the world’s most famous reindeer and his adventures with friend and fellow misfit Hermey the Elf. Featuring familiar songs and dialogue, the show is remarkably faithful to the 1964 stop-motion animated television classic. Performances are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, December 8 and 9.

Those seeking family-friendly entertainment can choose from:
• “The Illusionists: Live From Broadway,” a thrilling mix of magic tricks, stunts, and acts of wonder performed by five illusionists, on Saturday, October 3, at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, and Sunday, October 4, at 1 pm.
• “Clifford the Big Red Dog Live!” a musical adventure that teaches Clifford, Emily Elizabeth, and their pals about friendship and teamwork, on Saturday, October 10, at 10:30 am and 2 pm.
• “Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales,” a musical exploration of “Cinderella,” “Beauty and The Beast,” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” with the help of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, on Saturday, November 7, at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.

For adults who want to escape for a night of laughs, the Hershey Theatre is hosting some of today’s best comedians:
• Wanda Sykes, ranked by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 25 funniest people in America, on Friday, October 2, at 8 pm.
• Dave Chappelle, hailed by Comedy Central as one of the greatest standup comedians of all time and the star of Chappelle’s Show, on Wednesday, October 7, at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, and Thursday, October 8, at 7 pm.
• Jerry Seinfeld, star of Seinfeld and perhaps the best-known comedian in America, on Thursday, November 5, at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.
• Gabriel Iglesias, who recently sold out Madison Square Garden in New York City, on Friday, November 20, at 8 pm, and Saturday, November 21, at 7:30 pm.
• Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, improvisational geniuses from television’s Whose Line Is It Anyway?, on Sunday, November 22, at 7:30 pm.WandaThe Pennsylvania Gospel Musical Festival comes to Hershey Friday, September 11, through Sunday, September 13. It will be divided into five sessions: Aaron Wilburn, Mark Trammell Quartet, Guy Penrod, the Erwins and the Nelons, performing on Friday at 6 pm; a hymn sing with Greater Vision, TaRanda Greene, Mylon Hays Family, Legacy Five, Aaron Wilburn and the Erwins on Saturday at 2 pm; Booth Brothers, TaRanda Greene, Greater Vision and Legacy Five on Saturday at 6 pm; a worship service with Dr. Phil Hoskins and music by the Taylors on Sunday at 10 am; and Aaron Wilburn, Dailey & Vincent, the Martins, Blackwood Brothers Quartet and the Browns on Sunday at 6 pm.

Straight No Chaser, a 10-man acapella group, returns to the Hershey Theatre on Sunday, December 6, at 3 pm and 8 pm, as part of their “The New Old Fashioned Tour.” The group’s 2013 album, Under the Influence, featured collaborations with the likes of Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton. A new album, titled The New Old Fashioned, is scheduled to be released in October 2015.

While you’re in town, try to fit in a tour of the Hershey Theatre itself.

The blue-and-gold ceiling mosaic in the inner foyer is patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice; also, in the lobby, you’ll find a polished Italian lava rock floor along with walls and arches designed with four types of marble.

In the auditorium, the amazing details are far too numerous to list. Highlights include the winged lion that looks out from its perch above the stage, walls that are reminiscent of a Byzantine castle with balconies on windowed towers, and the dramatic “star and clouds” ceiling.

Be sure to book your stay with us at The Inn at Westwynd Farm when you get your tickets to the show!

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Recipe of the Week – Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnut RecipeWe haven’t posted a recipe in awhile but I had to share our latest guest favorite at the Inn. These doughnuts are simply wonderful…foolproof, delicious and easy. The house smells so good while they are baking and they taste even better. I’ve already made several promises to bake them again for returning guests.

Baking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.

Into a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the baking pans filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.

For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch saute pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar.

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Classical, Jazz, & Blues – Mt. Gretna Music Celebrates 40 Years

A half-hour’s drive from the Inn at Westwynd Farm, a hidden woodland treasure of Central Pennsylvania awaits exploration. Mt. Gretna and its environs abound with recreational opportunities, offering a lake, a beach, a picnic grove, a roller skating rink, miniature golf, hiking trails, a rail-trail, an environmental center, an observation tower and state game lands.

Lakes in Central PennsylvaniaBut another entertainment option can be found among the historic cottages of this quaint community – the Mt. Gretna Playhouse. One of the most anticipated summer series held at the playhouse, a 708-seat pavilion-style venue, is Gretna Music, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Gretna Music’s opening week, July 1 through July 5, saw performances by husband-and-wife pianists Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, presenting both solo and four-hands works; the political satire group The Capitol Steps; and the Gretna Baroque Players, featuring Gretna Music founder Carl Ellenberger.

The season continues Sunday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 pm with French pianist Lise de la Salle, making her Gretna Music debut with the 16-member Festival Chamber Orchestra, and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 pm with “Wister Quartet and Friends Play Mozart.”

For classical concerts, premium seating is $23 and standard seating is $19 unless otherwise noted. Discounted tickets are often available for ages 19 to 26 and for ages 18 and under.

Mt. Gretna Music’s classical schedule includes five additional concerts:

• Monday, August 3, at 6 pm: This fund-raising dinner (tickets are $100) at the Cornwall Inn showcases members of the Festival Chamber Orchestra playing “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and other favorites.
• Saturday, August 8, at 7:30 pm: The Festival Chamber Orchestra performs Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, Copeland’s Clarinet Concerto, Hanson’s Serenade for Flute, Harp and Strings, and Bach’s Prelude from Partita No. 3 in E major.
• Sunday, August 9, at 11:45 am: Concertgoers sit on the playhouse stage with Duo Parisienne — violinist Nancy Bean and harpist Anne Sullivan — at this intimate concert, which follows a 10 am brunch with the musicians at the Mt. Gretna Hall of Philosophy. Tickets are $15 for the concert and $40 for brunch.
• Sunday, August 30, at 7:30 pm: Along with guest violin soloist Maria Bachmann and guest artists Emily Daggett Smith on violin and Born Lau on viola, the Lysander Piano Trio delivers an all-French program of Ernest Chausson, Lili Boulanger, and Cesar Franck.
• Sunday, September 6, at 7:30 pm: The Momenta Quartet presents works by modern Mexican composer Julián Carrillo plus Mendelssohn’s first published quartet and Janacek’s second quartet.

Jazz Festival

A second musical satire and parody show, several jazz events, and a blues concert (the first ever for Gretna Music) round out the season. Performances begin at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted:

• Friday, Aug. 7, the political comedy of Mark Russell. Tickets are $27-$40.
• Sunday, Aug. 9, “Paul McCartney Songbook,” performed by jazz singers Joanna Pascale and Paul Jost, teamed up with the Matthew Parrish Group. Tickets are $15-25.
• Friday, Aug. 28, the blues of harmonica virtuoso Phil Wiggins and the Chesapeake Sheiks, joined by tap dancer Baakari Wilder. Tickets are $12-$18.
• Saturday, Aug. 29, “A Night of Legends,” featuring vocalist and pianist Freddy Cole (brother of Nat King Cole) and his quartet as well as trumpeter Eddie Henderson (who got his first informal lesson at age 9 from Louis Armstrong) and his quintet. Tickets are $20-$30. This concert is part of the 35th annual Central Pennsylvania Jazz Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday at various locations in the Harrisburg area.
• Saturday, Sept. 5, the New Orleans jazz of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band. Tickets are $18-$33. This is the last Gretna Music performance for the Black Eagles, a group that first took the stage in the series’ second season and has returned every year since for a total of 39 appearances. Prior to the concert, band members attend a farewell barbecue dinner at 5:30 pm (tickets are $20) at the Mt. Gretna Hall of Philosophy. They also play during a free jazz worship service on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 11 am at the playhouse.

In addition to Gretna Music performances, the Mt. Gretna Playhouse provides the stage for Cicada Festival concerts, which are known to sell out early. This year, the Inn at Westwynd Farm is sponsoring the August 11 vintage rock ’n’ roll show by Phil Dirt and the Dozers.

The Mt. Gretna Cicada Festival also offers a film series and play readings at the Mt. Gretna Hall of Philosophy. This summer’s “Audrey Hepburn: A Retrospective” series wraps up on Wednesday, July 29, at 7:30 pm with “Sabrina” (1951), and staged readings of short plays on the theme of survival take place on Friday, August 21, at 7:30 pm.

In its 21st year, the Cicada Festival is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua Foundation, which hosts numerous summer activities in Mt. Gretna, such as art and craft classes, book reviews, play previews, lectures and presentations on a variety of topics, organ recitals, Sunday worship services, children’s programs, nature walks and more.

A third arts organization that calls the Mt. Gretna Playhouse home is Gretna Theatre, bringing summer stage productions to the community since 1927. The Gretna Theatre season features a mix of musicals, comedies, dramas, musical revues, children’s theater and special events.

The two shows finishing off the 2015 Main Stage calendar are the Agatha Christie drama “Murder on the Nile” on Thursday, July 30, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, Friday, July 31, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, August 1, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and the musical “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” on Thursday, August 20, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, Friday, August 21, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, August 22, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, August 23, at 2 pm. Tickets are $36-$39 for adults, $34-$37 for ages 62 and up, and $10 for students.

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Take a Sip of Summer in Wine Country

Definitely one of our favorite things to do is enjoying the wonderful wine country in our area.

Thanks to its moderate climate, quality soil and rolling hills, Pennsylvania supplies wine lovers with a delicious array of wine varieties to explore at its more than 200 licensed wineries. We’ve put together a list of 10 within a very short drive from the inn.

There are several wine trails and we are always happy to map a personalized route for you.

Pennsylvania vineyards

In addition to the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country, Pennsylvania boasts 11 other wine trails, including the nearby Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, with locations in Dauphin, Lancaster, York and Adams counties as well as Maryland.

 

Signature events on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail schedule are Tour de Tanks in the spring, providing exclusive tank or barrel tastings along with special tours and educational experiences, and Wine Just Off the Vine in the fall, going behind the scenes to learn about the recent harvests while sampling a selection of wines.

 

For more even information on the state’s 12 wine trails, visit the Pennsylvania Winery Association.

To further help your planning, take a look at this list of the 10 closest  wineries. We’ve listed them by driving distance from the Inn.

 

Crosswinds Winery –  (Tasting Room) –  621 Hershey Rd., Hummelstown, PA  -2.39 Miles – 4 minute drive http:// www.crosswindswinery.com

Located on a farm, that’s been their family for generations, the vineyard in Juniata County is very mature with vines planted in the early 1990’s. The winery maybe new , but their grapes have produced some very fine wines for over  20 years

 

Cassel Vineyards of Hershey – 80 Shetland Drive, Hummelstown – 2.9 miles – 5 minute drive http://www.casselvineyards.com

Cassel Vineyards is a family operated winery on a 5th generation farm. Established in 2008 with 1 acre of Cabernet Franc vines and 4 additional acres of Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Concord plus Niagara grapes planted in 2009. The vineyard produces high quality wines in a beautiful tranquil setting. We love sipping wine and watching the foals frolic in adjoining fields.  Brothers Chris and Craig Cassel are committed to sustainable agricultural practices.

And Westwynd Guests are invited for a free tasting

Pennsylvania wines

Cullari Vineyards – (Tasting Room) 1251 East Chocolate Avenue , Hershey  – 5.5 miles -11 minute drive . http://www.cullarivineyards.com

Cullari Vineyards and Winery is a small boutique bottler and producer that specializes in both traditional dry and sweet red, white and pink wines, and also some unusual and uniquely crafted grape and fruit wine varieties that are only available at their tasting room. Because the wines are produced in very small quantities, it allows them to be very creative and very precise

 

West Hanover Winery –  7646 Jonestown Rd, Harrisburg  – 5.64 miles –  9 minute drive

www.westhanoverwineryinc.com

This is the oldest of the vineyards in the area. With 22 years in business and 45 years of experience, the owners take great pride in their smooth and silky wines and many awards. Be sure to check their web site for special events and concerts.

 

Spring Gate Vineyard –  5790 Devonshire Road , Harrisburg –  7.4 miles – 15 minute drive

www.springgatevineyard.com

This  family owned vineyard is  located on 60 acres of lovely farmland. In 2010, the Schoffstall family began growing grapes – Noiret, Merlot, and Vidal Blanc, to name a few.  A warm welcome awaits you at the tasting room on land which dates back prior to the Revolutionary War and overlooks beautiful fields and streams.   Whether you prefer fresh and crisp whites, full-bodied, savory reds, or have a sweeter palate, you’ll find something  to enjoy.

 

The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey   –  598 Schoolhouse Rd.. Middletown, PA 17057 –     11.7 miles  – 20 minute Drive
www.vineyardathershey.com

The winery opened in 2012 and quickly became a popular venue for all types of fun activities. It’s opened 7 days a week and there is live music on weekends. It also has the distinction of being Pennsylvania’s first all in one craft winery and brewery all in the same place. It features twenty wines from reds to whites, dry to sweet, from hand- picked grapes grown next to a pond – a beautiful place for a picnic. The Brewery has its own tasting room with at least 7 beers to try.

The Vineyard at Grandview  – 1489 Grandview Rd, Mount Joy, PA 17552  – 18 miles – 29 minutes http://www.thevineyardatgrandview.com

The Vineyard at Grandview is another family owned vineyard located amid the rolling hills of northwest Lancaster County.  The Kennel family has been growing premium vinifera grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and more, since 2009. The tasting room is lovely and available for special events.

 

Mount Hope Estate & Winery –  2775 Lebanon Rd Manheim, PA 17545  19.7 miles – 32 minutes

http://www.parenfaire.com

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, Mount Hope Estate & Winery is located in Northern Lancaster County. The vineyard has produced award-winning wines of all types, even a line of berry wines, all from Pennsylvania grown fruit. Their knowledgeable staff offers complimentary wine tastings that help you choose the perfect wine – for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family back home. The Estate also hosts several exciting fairs and festivals during the year including the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and Celtic Fling

Pennsylvania wineries

WALTZ VINEYARDS ESTATE WINERY– 1599 Old Line Rd, Manheim, PA 17545  20.5 miles 32 minute drive

www.waltzvineyards.com

Situated on a beautiful hill between Lancaster and Lebanon, the sixth generation family farm boasts a unique micro climate and world class vineyard soils that are ideal for growing vinifera wine grapes

This boutique winery utilizes the most modern vine making technology imported from Italy. A tour of their facility is fascinating and the delightful  tasting room is a little bit of Europe.

Nissley Vineyards -140 Vintage Dr, Bainbridge, PA 17502 21.7 – 37 minutes
(717) 426-3514

http://www.nissleywine.com

Definitely worth the 22 mile scenic drive, fresh grapes from their vineyards and fresh fruits from local orchards are the hallmark of this wine enterprise. The Nissley family, have been making estate-bottled and fruit wines since 1977. To satisfy the wide variety of taste preferences in our region, they produce 30 different wines. They range from dry to very sweet and are made from Vinifera, French-hybrid and Labrusca (Native American) grapes, as well as cherries, apples and raspberries.

Wineries near Hershey, PA

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Stuffed Strawberries – Delicious Dessert Recipe

 

Easy Dessert Recipes

Strawberry season is here. It’s such a treat to go to our nearby farmers market and get locally grown berries for all kinds of treats and several farms offer ‘pick your own patches.’ Here’s a fun Inn at the Westwynd Farm recipe that is not only easy, but looks pretty spectacular too … and it tastes so good!

20 whole large berries, hulled
8 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup confectioners sugar
¼ tsp vanilla or almond extract (I really like the almond)
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions
Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each berry so that they stand upright. Cut berries into 4 wedges, cutting almost but not through the bottoms. Fan wedges slightly taking care not to break them, Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and extract until combined but still stiff. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag with decorative tip, fill berries, sprinkle with pecans. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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