Category Archives: Kids & Family

Indoor Adventures in Lancaster

The holidays have passed, and the weather is frigid- what’s there to do to burn off some pent-up energy? Plenty! Not only does Lancaster have beautiful outdoor resources for hiking, biking, and exploring, we also have loads of indoor adventures as well. Come check out some of the locations below to start off the new year with active, healthy activities that will keep you busy all day long.

Escape. On Queen
escapeonqueen.com
Not all adventures are physical, some challenge your mind as well. See if you and your crew can solve all the clues and get out before your hour is up!

Go ‘N Bananas
gonbananas.com
You name it, and you can probably find it at Go ‘n Bananas. With their Ball-o-city, laser maze, mini-bowling, and indoor ropes course, spin zone, and laser tag, you can spend all day here with the kids.

Indian Echo Caverns & Echo Dell
indianechocaverns.com
So, this isn’t technically indoors, but at least it’s warmer. Down in the cave the temperature remains at 52 degrees Fahrenheit allowing you to engage your inner explorer. Allowing you to check out what’s under the earth for a change of scenery, tours generally last 45 minutes.

Lancaster Ice Rink
lancastericerink.org
What better winter activity is there than ice skating? Head over to Lancaster Ice Rink for public skating sessions, or sign up for one of their learn-to-skate or learn-to-play hockey clinics. Even though its chilly in there, we will bet you will still work up a sweat.

LANCO Fieldhouse
lancofieldhouse.com
If you thought LANCO Fieldhouse was just for indoor soccer practice, you stand corrected. LANCO Fieldhouse also offers bubble-ball, and if that is not challenging enough you can also try zombie ball, kickball, dodgeball, or king/queen of the ring. So, gather your group and head over.

Laserdome
laserdome.com
Laser tag at the Laserdome is like an adventure in another galaxy. You and your crew can battle it out in the giant alien space ship arena all afternoon. Each game session is 40-minutes long.

Rocky Springs Entertainment Center
rockysprings.net
Rocky Springs Entertainment Center has a number of indoor activity options including bowling and laser tag. Plus, there is no need to worry about lunch, stop in their Red Pin Bar & Grill for a delicious meal.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park
skyzone.com/lancaster
Ever wish you could dunk like Mike Jordan or flip like Simone Biles, you can at Sky Zone (or you can at least try)! This indoor trampoline park is fun for little ones and adults alike, you can literally bounce off the walls. Sky Zone offers a number of activity options such as open jump, dodgeball, or fitness classes.

Spooky Nook Sports
spookynooksports.com
You don’t need to be a gym member to check out all the awesome indoor adventures at Spooky Nook. Being the largest indoor sports in America, there is plenty to do. We suggest you take on their 15-foot rock-wall, or try the obstacle-loaded Clip ‘N Climb course.

Tiny Town
tinytownpa.com
Do you have little ones in tow? They need to burn-off energy too! Head over to Tiny Town for an adventure that they can create with their own imaginations. This indoor play-place for children is all hands-on created to inspire curiosity and creativity.

#DiscoverTheHolidays Scavenger Hunt

The holiday season is a joyous time of the year, but we all know it can be stressful. Every year December flies by – we blink and suddenly it’s Christmas. But it’s never too late to delight in the season! Take some time away from the madness to reconnect with your favorite people. Grab your friends or family, hop in the car, and take a break from the stress with this very merry scavenger hunt.

Here are a couple of quick rules before you get started:

1. We need evidence! You must take a photo or video at each stop as proof.
2. Everyone in the car must participate.
3. You don’t have to complete the scavenger hunt in order, but for each item you complete and share with us on Instagram, you will be entered to win.

Five merry winners, chosen at random, will receive a $50 gift card to one of the following:

–  Federal Taphouse
–  Bistro Barbaret
–  Annie Bailey’s
–  Carr’s Restaurant
–  Lancaster Brewing Company

Ready. Set. Go!

1. Go to Penn Square and get a photo with the Christmas Lights while jumping in the air

2. Find a house completely decked out with Christmas lights

3. Find a gallery or shop that has a window decorated for the Holidays

4. Snap a photo with a local gift you bought for someone

5. Catch a picture with Santa in Lancaster County (some places you might find him are Dutch Wonderland, Strasburg Rail Road, and Park City)

6. Hold up your holiday show ticket stubs and snap a shot

Use #discovertheholidays when you post your videos or photos on Instagram and be entered to win a sweet gift card to a local restaurant. Contest runs through December 31, 2017. Winners will be chosen and contacted on or around January 2, 2018.

Happy hunting!

Holiday Light Shows in Lancaster, PA

Holiday Light Displays in Lancaster County

There are so many signs of the holiday season here in Lancaster. Stores put up their holiday displays, the Mayor officially lights the tree downtown, and gingerbread and peppermint flavored goodies start appearing everywhere.

Nothing quite puts me in the mood for the season like the lights displays. Especially when holiday budgets are tight, driving around to see neighborhood lights can be a less costly tradition.

With the help of our friends over at LancasterOnline, and the local community, we’re providing a map below for you – so pile in the car, turn on some holiday tunes (or tune to the station noted for a synchronized performance), and enjoy!

If you’d like to do some activity along with your lights, you may want to check out Dutch Winter Wonderland (for the littles), Hershey Sweet Lights, Kitchen Kettle Village or Longwood Gardens (for all ages).

 

 

Ten Things to Do in Lancaster: November Travel Guide

November offers the best of both seasons in Lancaster – the last of the fall festivities plus the beginning of the winter holiday celebrations. It’s a wonderful month where you can go for a drive to enjoy the final colors of fall at the beginning, and start the holiday preparations toward the end, with a delicious turkey dinner in between.

Whether you’re holding on to the harvest season or are ready for mistletoe and holiday spirit, there’s something for you in Lancaster this November.

Troops & Trains | Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
November 4-5
To honor veterans and current service men and women, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s Troops & Trains features military relics, patriotic music, and displays detailing the significant role railroads played in the defense of our nation.

Eastland Alpacas Open House | Eastland Alpacas
November 4-5 & 11-12
Get up close with the furry friends at Eastland Alpacas during their Fall Open House. After you meet and feed the alpacas, take a wagon ride around the farm or hop aboard the barrel train. The Farm Store will be open to purchase warm alpaca wool gifts.

Thanksgiving Day Tour | Strasburg Scooters
November 23
Gobble gobble! Before turkey time, take a spin around the county on a scooter to experience the Lancaster countryside and covered bridges with Strasburg Scooters. This Thanksgiving Day tour is the perfect adventure before your scrumptious dinner.

Holiday Shopping:

Museum Store Holiday Open House | Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
November 18
It’s never too early to start your Christmas Shopping, and Landis Valley has just the event for you. The Museum Store’s Open House features one-of-a-kind holiday items including ornaments, Pennsylvania German Paper Stars, wooden bowls, beautiful textiles, Belsnickels, and more.

Creatively Lancaster’s Markers Market | Tellus360
November 18
Shopping for someone who loves one-of-a-kind gifts? This is the event for you! Creatively Lancaster’s November Makers Market will feature local artists, hobbyists, crafters, creators, designers and more, selling their uniquely crafted wares. While you browse this pop-up shop, enjoy a pint of beer or cider from Tellus360.

Small Business Saturday | Various Locations
November 25
While we’re fans of shopping local every day of the year, consider kicking off your holiday shopping on the Saturday following Thanksgiving at some of Lancaster’s independently owned shops and boutiques. You’ll find goodies from kitchen wares, spices, tea and olive oil to locally crafted accessories and jewelry.

Holiday Fun:

The 2017 Christmas Show: Home for the Holidays | American Music Theatre
November 1 – December 30
There’s no place like home for the holidays! Get in the holiday spirit with American Music Theatre’s Christmas Show – Home for the Holidays, featuring holiday songs, and outstanding singing and dancing. What better way to get in the holiday spirit!

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas | Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
November 16 – December 31
Get in the holiday spirit with dinner and a show at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, as they bring Irving Berlin’s White Christmas to life. Your toes will be tapping to the Christmas classics as you enjoy this festive favorite.

Dutch Winter Wonderland | Dutch Wonderland
November 18-19, 24-26 & December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23 & 26-30
From twinkling lights to themed rides and entertainment, Dutch Winter Wonderland is holiday fun for the whole family. Grab some hot cocoa and make your way through the beautifully decorated Dutch Wonderland for an evening of wintery excitement.

Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Tuba Christmas | Penn Square
November 24
‘Tis the season for the Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Tuba Christmas in Lancaster City. Santa Claus will make his annual appearance in Penn Square, followed by the official lighting of the tree and beautiful Christmas carols performed by the tuba choir.

Picking Pumpkins in Lancaster County, PA

Can you believe it is prime pumpkin picking season again?! We are loving the cooler temps and boots and scarves weather. As you drive around Lancaster, you’ve probably noticed that the roadside stands have switched over from their summer strawberries and melons to fall’s apples, pumpkins and squash. Whether you’re picking up a pumpkin at a roadside stand or headed out into the field to find the perfect one, we’re here to help.

Below is a roundup of Lancaster-area pumpkin patches, as well as some local choices for roadside stands. Please remember to call ahead if you have concerns about the weather or possible closings. We hope your fall is off to a fantastic start, and happy pumpkin patching!

Pick Your Own Pumpkins

Roadside Stands/Markets [local favs via Instagram]

  • Little produce stand opposite Hayloft Candles in Leola
  • Stoltzfus Gourd and Pumpkin Farm
  • Roadside Stand on Rothsville Road, across from 1509 – perfect pumpkins, perfect price
  • Fisher’s Festivals on Irishtown Road, right off Ronks Road – pumpkins, gourds, and mums

Top 10 Things to Do in Lancaster: September Travel Guide

September brings the beginning of fall, cooler weather, pumpkin flavored goodies, and great events to Lancaster. It’s time for football tailgates and evenings at the farm show, as the days get a little bit shorter and the air gets a little bit crisper. Whether you’re a local discovering what’s in your own backyard or in town to explore during the weekend, you’ll find something that strikes your fancy and gets you in the mood for fall’s exciting offerings.

Check out our list of 10 things to do this month in Lancaster (just to name a few):

Kids will love…

The Corn Maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm | All Month
Find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze, an interactive corn maze filled with twists, turns, and clues along the way. Once you’ve found your way out of the corn, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm has loads of fun farm-themed activities, friendly farm animals, and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch to experience life down on the farm.

Day Out with Thomas™ at Strasburg Rail Road™ | September 16-24
Thomas the Tank Engine is back in town for railroading fun. Join Thomas and his pal Percy for a ride on the historic railroad, activities, and more. This is a “must-do” for families with little train lovers. They’re sure to remember the time they got to meet Thomas the Tank Engine himself.

Foodies will love…


The Whoopie Pie Festival at Hershey Farm | September 9
Celebrate this Lancaster dessert at Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn. Treat yourself to a traditional whoopie pie or try a more adventurous combo while you enjoy games, activities, unique craft vendors, and more. It’s the most delicious day of the month!

Fall Bluegrass Concert at the Vineyard at Grandview | September 9
Sit back and enjoy an afternoon in the vineyard featuring live bluegrass music, locally-crafted wines and brews, and tasty fare from local food trucks. Two great bluegrass acts, Porthouse Yard and Hog Maw, will provide lively entertainment to keep your toes tapping.

Restaurant Week in Lancaster City | September 18-24
Explore the diverse culinary offerings Lancaster City has to offer during Fall Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants offer deals from $10 to $40 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including some offerings created just for this week. Be sure to come hungry, and share your delicious moments using #LCRW2017.

Runners will love…

Run, Ride & Soar Weekend | September 8-10
Lace up your sneakers for the annual Run, Ride, and Soar weekend in Bird-in-Hand. Runners can participate in the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon or 5k, while bikers can take to the backroad for the Amish Country Classic Bike Ride. If you’d rather catch the action from above, the Amish Country Hot Air Balloon Fest features launches in the morning and evening for a birds-eye view of the farmland.

Shoppers will love…

Wool Frolic at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum | September 16
Are you a fan of knitting, crocheting, or other fiber arts? Find yarn of every texture and color, fleece, and more at this artsy event. Crafting demonstrations will be going on throughout the day, along with hands-on activities for kids.


Fall Antiques Extravaganza in Adamstown | September 28 – October 1
Find dozens of antique shops including outdoor markets as you explore the Antiques Capital in Adamstown. Browse the plethora of wares as dealers and shops extend their hours for this weekend. If you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind item, chances are you’ll find it here.

The whole family will love…

Tailgate Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village | September 15-16
Touchdown! Time to get in the spirit of football season at Kitchen Kettle’s sports-themed festival. There will be tons of tasty homemade tailgate foods to sample, activities for kids and adults to enjoy, and lively musical performances along the shop-lined paths of the village. If you’re in the competitive spirit, participate in their Pumpkin Whoopie Pie filling Contest to test your skills.

Fairs & Farm Shows | All Month
September brings fairs and farm shows to the communities throughout the county. Time for funnel cakes, Ferris wheels, farm animals, and fun! Enjoy the brisk evening air as you stroll down the midway at the following fairs this month: York (September 8-17), Denver (September 12-16), Solanco (September 20-22), Ephrata (September 26-30), and West Lampeter (September 27-29).

For a full list of September events, check out our events calendar.

 

Eclipse Activities in Lancaster County

Where will you be for the Great American Eclipse? On August 21, people across America will get the chance to see a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1979. This celestial event takes place when the sun, moon, and earth line up, causing the moon to cast a shadow on Earth. In Lancaster, it is estimated that about 76% of the sun will be covered at the peak of the eclipse.

If you can’t make it to a location on the line of totality, and happen to be in Lancaster, there are a couple of great places to catch eclipse coverage and learn about this rare happening.

Muddy Run Observatory:
From noon to 4:00 PM, observers can view the eclipse through solar telescopes or through a pair of solar eye glasses (limited number available). Presentations, activities for kids, solar system tours, and energy and nature displays will be ongoing throughout the event. There is no fee to attend or park.

North Museum of Nature and Science:
The Solar Eclipse Spectacular at North Museum will be an out-of-this-world way for families to experience this solar event. Throughout the day, there will be themed activities, a sundial display, and a live webcast of the total solar eclipse. Special shows, Eclipse across America and Accidental Astronauts, will be available in the planetarium for an additional fee.

Tom + Chee:
While you’re out and about, stop by Tom + Chee for Buy One, Get One Free grilled cheese sandwiches and melts. The promotion runs from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, making it an ideal lunch stop. Orders can be placed in store or by phone.

Where ever you decide to view this cosmic event, be sure to practice safe viewing habits by wearing solar eclipse shades, and not starting directly at the sun.

Back to School Lunches – Lancaster Style!

Hey Lancaster locals – with the kids going back to school at the end of the month, it’s time to gear up for another year of learning. Once you’ve collected your school supplies, stock up on great lunch ideas to keep your kids full and focused.

If your goal for this school year is to break away from the PB & J, try packing some of these local items in your child’s lunch for an authentic, nutritious, and most importantly, kid-friendly Lancaster County mid-day meal.

1] Rolling up turkey or ham is a great alternative to PB & J, and easy for little ones to eat.
(Stoltzfus Meats & Deli)

2] Cube cheese into bite-sized pieces for extra calcium and protein
(September Cheese Farm)

3] To add a crunch to their day, pack an individual size bag of Herr’s chips.
(Herr’s Snack Factory)

4] Not a chip fan? Pretzels are another salty alternative. After all, they are practically their own food group in Lancaster County with so many varieties to choose from.
(Julius Sturgis or Hammonds)

5] A piece of fresh, locally-grown fruit, or vegetables cut up and served with hummus make a healthy and colorful snack.
(Local farm stands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a special day like a birthday or just a TGIF treat, add in a mini whoopie pie from Shady Maple, some Wilbur Buds, or a treat from Miesse Candies.

Another easy way to brighten their day is to include one of our Lancaster County lunch box notes. Simply print them out at home and slip one in their lunch box.

 

 

Top 25 Things To Do this Summer

Summer fun is plentiful in Lancaster, PA – whether you’re looking for family fun, outdoor adventure or great ways to spend the evening.

Start planning your summer visit with our list of 25 things to do this season:

1] Fly through the trees on the Ziplines at Refreshing Mountain.

2] Discover new music at an outdoor concert.
Nissley Vineyards hosts concerts on Saturday evenings (adults only), and Long’s Park holds family-friendly concerts on Sunday evenings.

3] Explore the county by bike with either a self-guided or guided tour with Intercourse Bike Works.

4] Stroll around Downtown Lancaster during Music Friday with live performances scattered throughout the city.
Held on the third Friday of each month.

5] Relax while floating down the creek with Sickman’s Mill Creek Tubing.

6] Watch Fourth of July Fireworks light up the Lancaster sky.

7] Celebrate trails and the great outdoors.
The National Trails Day Celebration will be held at the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail on June 3.

8] Snap a photo and enter the
#Lancastergram contest.
#Lancastergram is Discover Lancaster’s annual photo contest hosted on Instagram with great prizes for winning photos. The contest begins on June 26 and ends on September 4.

9] Dive into Lancaster’s rich history with a Historic Lancaster Walking Tour.

10] Splash in Duke’s Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland®.
This water playground is great for kids 12 and under especially on a hot day.

11] Take your family out to the ball game to see the
Lancaster Barnstormers.
Fireworks and concerts after select games.

12] Find fresh picked produce at a local roadside stand or market.

13] Meet Thomas the Tank Engine™ when he comes to Strasburg Rail Road.
Day Out with Thomas™ takes place June 17-25.

14] Find your way through the maze and enjoy farm themed fun at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.

15] For a little friendly competition, go for a round of mini golf.

16] Cheers to craft brews at Lancaster Craft Beerfest.
Held on August 26 in Downtown Lancaster.

17] Spend a day at Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach for swimming, picnicking, and fun.
Located 25 miles north of Lancaster County.

18] Camp out and toast a marshmallow or two at a local campground.

19] Sip wine and learn more about libations at local wineries.

20] Zip along the back roads by scooter on a memorable tour.
Strasburg Scooters offers a variety of tours daily.

21] Whether in a cup or in a cone, cool down with tasty ice cream… 

22] Or make ice cream of your own at the Turkey Hill Experience’s Taste Lab.

23] Join in the celebration of culture, diversity, and the City of Lancaster.
Celebrate Lancaster is held on June 30 with music, food vendors, pub areas, and fireworks.

24] Browse fine arts and crafts at an outdoor craft show.
Including Long’s Park Art Festival, Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show, and Lititz Outdoor Art Show.

25] Experience Lancaster in authentic fashion by staying on a farm.

For more exciting happenings, check out our events calendar.

Top 25 Things To Do this Spring

It’s time to shake off cabin fever and explore all that Lancaster, PA has to offer during the spring. Whether you prefer the great outdoors, al fresco dining, or themed festivals, there’s something for everyone this season.

Check out our list of 25 things to create your spring itinerary:

1] Take a hike or go for a bike ride

2] Bid on bargains at a Mud Sale
Mud Sales are annual auctions held by communities featuring antiques quilts, locally-made crafts and more.

3] Celebrate Easter with family over brunch, dinner, Easter egg hunts, and events

4] Bounce out cabin fever at Sky Zone Lancaster

5] Discover the creative energy of the city during First Friday
Art galleries and boutiques extend their hours for browsing during this monthly event.

6] Take in the tranquil countryside from aboard the Strasburg Rail Road

7] Search for unique treasures and bargains at Lancaster’s eclectic antique shops
Spring Antiques Extravaganza is held in the Antiques Capital region, April 27-30.

8] Head to Lititz for the annual Pretzel Fest
Held on Saturday, May 6.

9] Experience the art scene in Downtown Lancaster with Spring ArtWalk
This self-guided tour takes place Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.

10] Get a head start on your spring gardening at the Herb & Garden Faire at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.
Held on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13.

Credit: Dutch Wonderland

11] Fill your day with family fun at Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park.
Open weekends beginning on April 29-30.

12] Enjoy fruity festivities at Kitchen Kettle Village’s Rhubarb Festival.
Tickle your taste buds Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.

13] Celebrate Spring at Rock Ford Plantation’s May Fair Celebration
Takes place on Sunday, May 21.

14] Catch a Broadway-caliber musical, drama, dinner theater performance or jaw-dropping concert.

15] Explore learning with a twist at a kid-friendly museum.

16] Flock to Lancaster for great birding.

17] Relax with a picnic in the park.

18] Find fun for the thrill seekers at Hersheypark’s Springtime in the Park.
Held on April 8-9 and 14-16.

19] Ride as the Amish do with an authentic buggy ride.

20] Grab a paddle for adventures on the river.

21] Stop by Central Market for local goodies.
Open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

22] Tour the back roads and covered bridges.

23] Stop to smell the roses at Hershey Garden.

24] Refresh your wardrobe with a trip to the outlets.

25] Saddle up for a horseback ride along the trails at Ironstone Ranch.

To find even more exciting events and happenings, visit our events calendar.

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