Friday, November 19, 2010

On the Road: PA Outlets

Crafty Cat is on the road again, this time to the state of Pennsylvania!!
I took an overnight bus trip to Lancaster a week ago and spent too much money at "outlet" malls.  Growing up, my dad spent a lot of time in November at hunting camp with his buddies.  The wives got bored and decided to organize their own retreat...a shopping trip.  A yearly ritual was born.  When I was young, the ladies did a lot of shopping for their kids.  In recent years, their trips involve lots of eating and pedicures.  Here's the recap of the latest trip:

First stop:  Rockvale Outlets.  This is average to large in size.  There are several stores that cater to kids, from Disney to Carter's, etc.  The young mothers in our group spent the most, combing through the racks in the kiddie wing of the mall.  There are also several restaurants here, making it easy to go out to dinner without a vehicle.  My favorite perk is the hotel right on the grounds of the mall.  It was very convenient for dropping off packages throughout the day...and it is literally right smack in the middle of the layout.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see a scrapbooking store at this mall!!!  My jaw dropped when I saw the letters on the sign, spelling out the words of my favorite hobby.  I ran there, frenzied.  An outlet scrapbooking store?  Holy mother of...get me there!  Hold on.  Back up.  No big deals here.  This was your typical shop.  Prices aren't any cheaper than normal.  But, they did have all the usual trimmings of a shop that specializes in scrapbooking...lots of specialty papers and totes.  I found many items that I bought cheaper in big box craft stores.  Sorry.  But, a cat can still dream about the existence of an outlet scrapbooking store.

The next day I headed to The Tanger Outlets.  This is much smaller.  Lots of brand name stores like Coach and Tommy Hilfiger.  But not many places to've got a Subway, an Arby's, and a hot dog stand to choose from here.  The two malls are conveniently close.  So, you can take an overnight trip to Lancaster and plan stops at both.  There are some Amish goods around town too.  Bottom line:  like any outlet mall, you can definitely find some deals and the coupon books helped me a lot.  But, you'll also run into your fair share of full-priced merchandise.  If you consider going, you have to be an "outlet" person.  Also, don't go relying on the idea that you'll save lots of money, go with a bunch of girlfriends as a getaway.


  1. You're making me want to shop right now. That can't be healthy!

  2. So sorry you missed the outlets at Hershey. I love the Xmas Shop. I haven't been to Lanc outlets in years. Is there still a Susquehanna Glass store there? I love that store. The main factory is a little south of me in Columbia, PA, but I love their outlet, too.

    What you'd really like are the central pa Amish general stores. The fabrics are a quilters heaven, of course. But if you're looking for tin to paint or dozens of other handmade items.. they are the spots to go to.


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