By: Mary Fran Bontempo

It’s not exactly Sleepy Hollow, but it’s pretty close.

Bucks County, PA is a natural delight during any season, but come fall, the area’s gently rolling hills and glorious fall foliage are truly a feast for the eyes. Come Halloween and pumpkin time, there’s no shortage of places to visit to take in the scenery—whether your tastes trend towards the serene or the spooky.

One must-see destination that satisfies both lies just north of the intersection of Routes 202 and 263 in Lahaska, PA. For almost 50 years, Peddler’s Village has enchanted visitors with seasonal festivals, shopping and dining, all nestled amid a charming colonial-styled village. Over 70 specialty shops and six restaurants, plus a lovely full service inn, are surrounded by award winning gardens.

But come Halloween, a host of new creatures take up residence in the tiny town. From early September through the end of October, the brick walkways of this delightful location are lined with dozens of scarecrows for the village’s annual Scarecrow Competition.

Participants compete in six different categories, ranging from the traditional to the contemporary to television character interpretation. There’s a kid’s category for the youngsters and one for groups as well. Prizes range from $50 for Honorable Mention to $400 for First Place.

This year, creativity reigns supreme as a giant spider scarecrow gives a fright while a racecar driving “Mario Crow-Eddie” elicits a grin from passers-by meandering along the winding paths. Storefronts boast their own displays which coax strollers inside, as the season comes to life before visitors’ eyes with not only the scarecrows, but gardens filled with fall flowers in full bloom.

If you find yourself in need of a nibble after all that sightseeing and shopping, you’ll find a range of options from light snacks and sweets to delicious full meals at a range of restaurants, including the village’s mainstay, The Cock ‘n Bull Restaurant, featuring traditional fare. The newly revamped Sweet Lorraine’s and Earl’s offer additional options, as do Hart’s Tavern and the Peddler’s Pub.

Peddler’s Village in bucolic Bucks County offers something for young and old alike, whether you’re stuffed with straw or just regular folk. Be sure to visit before All Hallow’s Eve—a few new friends are just hanging around waiting to say, “Hello!”

(Special thanks to Megan Bontempo for all of today’s photos!)