" 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
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
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
'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