Duration: Three days and two nights
Who says learning can’t be fun? From zoos and chocolate to science and amusement parks, Central Pennsylvania offers a wealth of educational and entertaining activities the whole family will enjoy! Explore historic Lancaster County and the abundance of adventure in the Hershey-Harrisburg region for a kid-friendly road trip.
Start your journey on a high note at Dutch Wonderland, "A Kingdom for Kids!" This famous family amusement park offers more than 30 kid-friendly rides, a water play area, games and live entertainment. Since opening in 1963, Dutch Wonderland has been voted one of the Top 5 Best Kids Parks in the World by Amusement Today magazine. After spending the morning at this iconic amusement park, head just two... Read More >
In the heart of Lancaster County lies a 12-acre village offering an authentic look at Amish life that will fascinate visitors young and old. Experienced tour guides provide accurate information about the Lancaster County Amish lifestyle, and visitors will see everything from barn animals to Amish-made crafts and goodies. Families may choose to experience The Amish Village through an escorted... Read More >
Once you’ve arrived at the Lancaster Science Factory, prepare to explore hands-on, interactive technology and science with the kids. The factory boasts more than 60 exciting exhibits that teach children the principles of the physical sciences, engineering and technology–and even make math fun! Kids are invited to touch, try out and experiment with anything in sight, including a gravity well and air... Read More >
Cap off your day with dessert at the Turkey Hill Experience–you’ve never seen ice cream quite like this! Take the kids on an interactive tour to learn about the story of Turkey Hill Dairy and what it's like to be a Turkey Hill Dairy ice cream maker for a day. Create your own virtual ice cream flavor, take photos in a vintage milk truck, try your hand at milking a mechanical cow, star in your very... Read More >
Good 'N Plenty Restaurant has offered quality family-style dining, an award-winning bake shop and an extensive gift shop since 1969. Families will love to experience the traditional home cooking that Lancaster County is known for at one of AAA's Top Ten Best "Down Home Dining" Restaurants in America.Read More >
Treat your family to an authentic Italian dining experience that has remained unchanged for more than half a century at this family-owned restaurant established in 1946. Each dish is prepared and served individually from the finest and freshest foods. An extensive menu of Italian and American cuisine promises to keep the entire family satisfied.Read More >
This 1950s-inspired restaurant is tons of fun for the family. Rev your engines with an appetizer, then enjoy a Rock 'n' Roll Sandwich or Jitterbug Wrap and top off your order with a Sweet Sensation or a Super Sundae. The music and dÃ©cor take this dining experience to the next level, a place where kids can kick back and have fun.Read More >
The Hotel Lancaster has strong ties to Lancaster history, renaissance revival and vibrant culture–and is just minutes from great outlet shopping, Amish experiences, unique dining options and the Sight & Sound Theater. With a hotel stay, guests are privy to free Wi-Fi, a complimentary Lancaster breakfast and are within walking distance of the Lancaster Convention Center, Fulton Theater and Central Market.
Nestled on 10 acres in the quiet village of Bird-in-Hand and within walking distance to shops and eateries, this family inn comes with a complimentary two-hour farmland tour. The inn features a playground, miniature golf, a walking trail and a special petting zoo with the kids in mind.Read More >
Day two of your journey begins at the world-famous Hersheypark®, home to more than 65 rides and attractions including 12 roller coasters that will thrill your little daredevil. New for 2014 is the “Cocoa Cruiser,” a medium speed ride that will allow younger guests to experience the thrill of a coaster for the first time. The Boardwalk at Hersheypark® offers nine water attractions and waterfront cabanas with spectacular views. Enjoy live song and dance, marine mammal shows and much more.<... Read More >
At the entrance of Hersheypark, a world of cocoa goodness awaits. Take a free Hershey's® Great American Chocolate Tour with the kids to learn all about how Hershey’s® famous chocolate bars are made. Next, go wild creating your own candy bar concoction. Kids will be amazed at “Hershey's® Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D,” the Chocolate Tasting Adventure, Hershey's® Dessert Creation Studio and Hershey’s® Bake Shoppe for goodies to take home.Read More >
Just a quick drive away in the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” this interactive museum guides visitors on an inspirational journey through Milton S. Hershey's lifetime and beyond–a tale spanning more than 150 years of trials and triumphs, philanthropic endeavors and one man's unwavering confidence. Experience a unique, hands-on class in the Chocolate Lab and sample warm melted chocolate at the Countries of Origin Chocolate Tasting. Then, hop in the car for one last adventure before the day is... Read More >
Head 10 minutes south to Adventure Sports in Hershey and release all that pent-up energy with go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats, a batting range and a golf driving range to enhance your family outing. This award-winning family entertainment center is perfect for large groups as well. Then it’s time to pack it in for the night before more educational exploring tomorrow.Read More >
CafÃ© Zooka is the perfect spot for a quick bite while visiting The Hershey Story. In addition to delicious soups, personal pizzas, salads and sandwiches, you’ll find an array of delectable chocolate desserts and coffee beverages. Located within CafÃ© Zooka, Countries of Origin Chocolate Tasting at The Hershey Story offers you a taste of exotic chocolate flavors from around the world.Read More >
Located just outside of Hershey, The Hershey Pantry is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, combining the cuisine and atmosphere of a trendy urban eatery with the cozy warmth of a small-town diner. The Pantry has earned a reputation for having the best breakfast in Central Pennsylvania, and has won awards for its lunch menu and homemade baked goods as well.Read More >
And you can’t pass through Chocolatetown, USA without sampling something sweet! Drop by the Pantry-run Desserts, Etc., a bakery and coffee shop down the street featuring a plethora of mouth-watering treats–including sugar free, gluten free and health conscious options–that are sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.Read More >
An official resort of Hersheypark®, The Hershey Lodge is a full-service resort offering 665 guest rooms to enjoy. At Hershey Lodge, kids are welcomed with amenities including Hershey’s® character appearances, mini-golf, family bingo and even a special kids’ check-in desk.Read More >
The Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel is just minutes from Harrisburg and Hershey–perfectly situated and offering familiar comfort. Spacious rooms, free high-speed Internet, a fully equipped fitness center with indoor and outdoor pools and the new SheratonLink cyber cafÃ© are among the amenities to enjoy.Read More >
On the final day of your trip, start off with a visit to ZooAmerica®, a year-round, 11-acre walk-through zoo adjacent to Hersheypark®. The kids will see and learn about more than 200 animals from five regions of North America, including black bear, bison and mountain lions. Then hop in the car for a 20-minute ride west to nearby Harrisburg for more exploring.Read More >
It’s time to satisfy your intellectual side with a stop at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. With three floors of imaginative, engaging exhibits to explore, the center is an irresistible invitation to explore the sciences, perform experiments, and discover more about the world. From KidsPlace, a kid-sized cityscape just for children ages five and under to Forces of Nature, a fascinating demonstration of how weather affects planet earth, there is something for any curious mind. This... Read More >
The State Museum of Pennsylvania in the state capital of Harrisburg offers historical fun for the whole family. From its outstanding Civil War exhibits to notable artifacts representing the foundations of American industry, the State Museum is the only museum in the commonwealth where the public can experience the full expanse of the state's heritage and its connections to the national experience. Finally, hop in the car for a quick one-mile trip offshore.Read More >
A 63-acre jewel on the Susquehanna River, City Island is a fantastic recreational destination to conclude your journey. Now home to Metro Bank Park Stadium and the Harrisburg Senators, City Island is a perfect reprieve from city life for an afternoon of sunshine, hot dogs and peanuts. Children might also enjoy stops at the Harrisburg Paddlewheel Riverboat–the “Pride of the Susquehanna”–three boat marinas and the City Island Railroad.Read More >
Dockside Willies is a local family-friendly restaurant that offers a spectacular waterfront view of downtown Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River. The diverse menu has something for everyone, whether the family is looking for a sit-down meal or just grabbing a snack.Read More >
Dodge City provides five-star dining in a casual environment friendly for kids, and has recently undergone extensive upgrading through the popular Food Network series “Restaurant Impossible” and star Chef Robert Irvine. The remodeling put a refined gloss on the restaurant’s Western theme, and new menu items include bison tacos and a hanger steak with smoked tomato and blue cheese orzo.Read More >
While in the heart of Lancaster, drive just minutes away to enjoy the Lancaster Central Market, America's oldest public market. Since the 1730s, farmers have been bringing meats and produce to the site for sale to local residents. Enjoy top quality, locally grown foods, fresh baked desserts, breads, cheeses, meats, flowers and crafts.
About 10 minutes outside of downtown Lancaster, this not-for-profit museum is designed for children ages 10 and under. Youngsters will love exhibits offering learning through play, including “Mostly Make Believe,” “Right In Your Own Backyard,” and “E-I-E-I-KNOW,” among many others.
Climb aboard the larger-than-life steam train at the Strasburg Rail Road and enjoy a 45-minute ride through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise, Pa., and back, with a view of more than 1,000 acres of farm fields. Along the way, enjoy old-fashioned fun at Groff’s Grove or Leaman Place Grove.
Haven’t had enough of Amish country? Travel about 25 minutes outside of Lancaster to tour picturesque Dutch Country the authentic way with a traditional horse and buggy ride complete with stories and narration about the area throughout the journey.
Just a few miles west in nearby Hummelstown, explore the stunning natural underground beauty that is Indian Echo Caverns. Pan for “gold” and gemstones at Gem Mill Junction. On the way out, stop at the spacious gift shop, which offers an array of local souvenirs.
Children will get lost playing in Toys on the Square, a unique toy store that specializes in toys for all ages and interests located just one mile west of Hershey. Games, arts and crafts, puzzles, dolls, building toys, books and stuffed animals abound in this special place for kids. Toys on the Square also features a Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studio, a great creative exercise for the family.
About forty-five minutes outside of Harrisburg, history buffs will love a visit to the historical Gettysburg National Military Park, the largest battlefield shrine in America. Each year, more than two million people visit Gettysburg National Military Park, which incorporates nearly 6,000 acres and more than 1,400 monuments and memorials. Visitors can stand where history was made at the Museum and Visitor Center, the battlefields, Soldier’s National Cemetery and the David Wills House, where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address.
See and smell the making of the famous Utz© Potato Chips and Snacks at its more than 600,000-square-foot facility in Hanover, Pa., about an hour outside of Harrisburg. A special glass-enclosed observation gallery looks down on the real production process from beginning to end. The Utz© Potato Chip Trip is fun for the whole family, a learning experience for young and old and a snack lover’s delight.