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Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

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Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Hi All,

We're visiting Lancaster County mid-Jun and would like to see 1 of these markets: Green Dragon, Bird-In-Hand or Central Market. Can anyone advise which of these markets are the most interesting/have the most local colour? We'll be heading to Reading Terminal Market in Philly after Lancaster and so want to avoid duplicating experiences.

Is it possible to arrange a home visit with an Amish family and perhaps have a meal with them?

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

The only way I am aware of to do an 'Amish Home visit' is the "dinner with an Amish Family' option some Becd and Breakfast owners offer to their overnight guests. Because the Amish homes are not licensedas restaurants, these arrangements are'informaL'

As to the markets I would rate them sas follows

Central Market Most historic and upscale. Most like Reading Terminal, although there is a higher proportion of produce,bakery and butcher vendors at Central, compared to restaurants and take out food places, which is the main focuss of RTM. Ironically you will probably see more Amish vendors at RTM than at Central if you visit RTM when the Amish section is open(Wed-Sat.) The great majority of shoppers at Central will be local.

Bird in Hand will be the most touristy, with a large majority of shoppers being tourists and with a large proportion of craft/souvanier stands. There are some good food vendors at Bird In hand(Michaels breads, the two butchers).It is the smallest, probaly less than half thesize of Central. Some Amish Merchants

Green Dragon is a mixed bag. The first thing you willsee are the Junky flea market stands and tables surrounding the market building get past these. Inside the builings is an excellant farmers/flea market with many produce, butcher bakery and food vendors (try Lapp Valley farms icecream.) As well as stands like a discount shoe and used book stand. There are also auctions.

ITis the most downscale, There are many Amish and (especially) Mennonite vendors. The largest by far at least

Edited: 16 May 2013, 12:17
Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Hmm, this will be a hard choice. Seems like every market has a little something different to offer.

"ITis the most downscale". What's ITis?

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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3. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Sorry, Green Dragon is the most downscale . It has a kitschy kind of charm and there are very good and reasonably priced produce/bakery stands. Probably at least three times the size of Central Market.

Mostly locals although it seems more tourists find it every year. Although its open Fridays to 9 PM many of the Amish and farm vendors close early so I would go no later than early afternoon. It will for sure be the biggest contrast with Reading Terminal

My own personal favorite is Lancaster Central with Green Dragon second and Bird in Hand a distant third

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4. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Thanks! You've helped me decide.

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

By the way, just to be sure you know, Green Dragon is ONLY open Friday. Central is Open Tues, Friday Saturday, Bird in Hand(in June) is open Wed. Friday , Saturday

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6. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

I've a few more questions that perhaps you can help me with.

Is there anything interesting to see in downtown Lancaster?

To get the best Amish experience, should we visit an Amish museum (If yes, which 1) or are we better off just exploring the Amish countryside?

On a food topic, would you happen to know if Greco’s Italian ICEs has closed down?

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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7. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Its been decades since I visited any of the re-created Amish Farms, so I can't tell you which is best (they are The Amish Farm, Amish Homestead and Amish Village).

We enjoy driving through the countryside stopping at farmstands and Amish businesses, but we know the area.

If you don't have a lot of time a more focussed way to do this would be through the Mennonite Information Centers tour where a Mennonite guide rides in your car for a couple hours. explaining the area and guiding you to Amish businresses www.mennoniteinfoctr.com Closed Sunday.

If you want to drive yourself, the visitors center has a good map of local roads in the Amish Heartland A good route would be to drive Route 772 from Route 23(Leola) to Route 30(Gap), crossing Route 340 at Intercourse. Except for the intersections with the main roads mentioned this area is almost entirely Amish farms, with many farmstands, quilt and craft and furniture shops.

Downtown Lancaster is completely differant from the rural parts of the County. Many attractive 18th and 19th Century builings, Art Gallerys on North Prince and North Queen Streets. Many good(non-Pennsylvania Dutch restaurants)

If you are looking for evening activities see if there is a play at the Fulton theater (americas oldest theater)

or a minor league baseball game at Clipper Stadium www.downtownlancaster.com

Don't know anything about Greco's.

Edited: 16 May 2013, 19:09
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8. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

I would recommend a visit to the Landis Valley Museum. While it is not an Amish history museum, it is a living history village/farm that shows the history/culture of the Germans that settled in this area of Pennsylvania.

http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/index.php

A good Amish owned roadside stand to visit is Countryside Road Stand in Ronks.

padutchcountry.com/members/countryside_road-…

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9. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Can someone enlighten me? Are the early German settlers in Lancaster County considered PA Dutch? And is the Amish heritage closely interlinked with the PA Dutch?

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10. Re: Questions on Markets and Amish Family Home Visit

Yes to both questions

The Pennsylvania Dutch are Pennsylvania Germans. The early English colonists mistranslated 'deutsch' (the German word for 'german'") Iinto 'DUTCH'

Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn as a refuge for Persecuted English Quakers. However. Penn welcomed all religious groups including persecuted German Anabaptist groups such as the Amish, Mennonites and Brethern, as well as other German protestants such as Lutherans and German Reformed(Including my ancestors). Jews and Catholics were also permitted to worship freely

Even today, a large majority of Lancaster Countys half million people are of PennsylvaniaDutch descent. Of these about 25,000 to 30,000 are Amish.

Landis Valley shows how these Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers would have lived in the 1800's it is not limited to or even focused on the Amish. It is definately worth seeing, as long as you are not expecting it will show you how the Amish live today.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 11:59