I recently visited Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia with our newly-promoted Marketing Coordinator, Kristen, and her 3–year-old daughter and ice cream connoisseur, Sophia. Turkey Hill Experience is a fun, interactive museum where you can learn about their history and how they make their very popular ice cream and iced tea products.
Throughout the experience, there are numerous interactive exhibits and activities geared to both children and parents alike. Some of the fun things we did on our visit included:
- Checking out the tearoom where we learned all about teas, finding out what teas match our personalities, and drinking as many free samples of tea as we liked. Our favorite for the day was “half and half.” (Half tea, half lemonade)
- Watching Sophia make her own virtual ice cream favor called “Coconut Bears,” which consisted of vanilla ice cream, raspberry flavoring, coconut, and gummy bears. After combing everything via a computer, she was able to design her ice cream package any way she wanted, then make her own TV commercial that Mommy could later access online.
- Milking the mechanical cows, playing with Sophia in the ice cream truck, and keeping busy in the Flavor Frenzy, where you pretend to pour flavorings into empty containers to create ice cream blends.
- There was a “cold room” where Sophia could experience what it would feel like to be stored in a freezer, and a Mix and Match station that allows you to smell various scents used in their products.
- Turkey Hill Experience also has a Make Your Own Ice Cream Lab (which requires reservations and an additional nominal cost), but we were so busy with our other activities we decided to do that another time.
And now for the Inside Scoop – throughout the Experience, you can sample as much ice cream, and as many flavors, as you like. Just like their iced tea. That alone was worth the visit!
On our way out, we visited a whimsical gift shop where Sophia scored a stuffed cow and a very large lollypop (since she apparently didn’t get enough sugar with all of the ice cream she had throughout the day).
All in all, Turkey Hill Experience was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed watching Sophia have a great time, as well as testing out several of the exhibits on my own. For a fun, engaging experience with your children, not to mention lots of free ice cream, plan your visit today. Check out TurkeyHillExperience.com for more information.
Bad weather doesn’t have to stop you from having fun… at least not here in Lancaster. There are plenty of great museums, art galleries, and restaurant that can keep you entertained while you’re visiting.
Learn about the Amish
Lancaster County has a number of Amish Homesteads, and the Amish Experience Theatre, where you can learn about a boy who is faced with the decision to stay in the Amish faith, or become English.
Check out our Trains
The Choo Choo Barn, National Toy Train Museum and Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will all paint a picture of the colorful history of Pennsylvania’s railroad industry, and are all indoor for staying dry! Right next to the Choo Choo Barn, you’ll find Uncle Leroy’s for some sweets and treats, and Isaac’s for a delicious lunch or dinner!
Watch it being made, or make it yourself!
Want to see how things are made in Lancaster County? A rainy day is the perfect time to head indoors to see things being created from start to finish, and even create some things yourself! Head to Intercourse Pretzel Factory or Julius Sturgis Pretzel House and learn to twist your own pretzel! The Wilbur Chocolate Factory is where you can watch the candy makers at work hand-dipping homemade marshmallows into luscious Wilbur Chocolate. If art is more your style, you can head downtown to the Bead & Pottery Works to paint your own piece of pottery or create jewelry.
Museums and Historic Sites
I know what you’re thinking – I don’t want to spend a whole day in museums. You’ve obviously never been to our museums on a rainy day in Lancaster County! If you’ve got little ones with you, head to the Lancaster Science Factory, where they have tons of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. Lancaster has tons of art museums and galleries, both Downtown and around the County. Historic sites include the Demuth Museum, the National Watch & Clock Museum, President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, and Rock Ford Plantation.
What better to do on a rainy evening in Lancaster County than head to the theatre! We have a few dinner theatres including the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre and the Rainbow Dinner Theatre. For Broadway caliber shows, head Downtown to the Fulton Theatre. Sight & Sound Theatre is known around the world for their shows, and American Music Theatre has excellent concerts and shows. So pick a theatre, and be swept away in the show!
There are tons of other things to do on a rainy day, so just check out our website for more things to do!
Country villages, unforgettable landscapes and the simple joys of Amish life are just three of the many reasons to visit Lancaster County by RV. The family-centered attractions of Pennsylvania Dutch Country make it easy to bring the kids along on your journey. Here are five fascinating reasons to start planning a Lancaster County adventure for the whole family.
- Kitchen Kettle Village, a delightful collection of vintage homes filled with goody-filled shops, is located in Intercourse, PA. Take the family on a buggy ride, stop for a memorable lunch at the Kling House Restaurant and purchase local specialties as you stroll through the village shops. Be sure to take the kids to the Bake Shop for freshly-baked cookies and whoopie pies!
- It wouldn’t be a Lancaster County adventure without a side trip or two to photograph the area’s many covered bridges. Enduring structures like the White Rock Forge Covered Bridge near Quarryville and the Forry Mill Bridge over Chickies Creek near Marietta draw photographers from all over the world. CoveredBridgeSite.com contains an excellent guide to Lancaster County’s historic bridges.
- Take the Old Philadelphia Pike to the village of Bird-in-Hand to experience the joys of a farmers’ market. Vendor stalls line the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market every weekend year-round, and their hours are expanded during warmer weather. Comfortable indoor shopping in a quaint setting with something everyone in the family will enjoy — the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. An RV travel tip: just five minutes out of town you’ll find Country Acres Campground, a highly-rated RV paradise waiting to be your home away from home.
- Follow Lincoln Highway over rolling hills dotted with neat and prosperous Amish farms to find Flory’s Cottages and Camping in the borough of Ronks, PA. Not only will your RV camping family enjoy the serenity of this rural campground, they’ll also love such local attractions as Lapp’s Wooden Toys and Furniture on Irishtown Road.
We’ve barely scratched the surface on why RV travelers should be planning a Lancaster County road trip! Whether your family comes for the quaint villages, glorious scenery or exceptional lessons in history, Pennsylvania Dutch Country doesn’t disappoint. There’s a Lancaster County adventure for the whole family waiting for you in South Central Pennsylvania.
Guest post by: Joe Laing, the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals. You can see more great RV vacation ideas in their Monty’s Musings RV Travel Blog and be sure to check out their RV Camping Pictures.
1. A hot air balloon ride
What better way to experience the leaves turning and the fields being harvested than from above? You’ll be able to see for miles from a hot air balloon with Balloon Rides Daily by the United States Hot Air Balloon Team. You’ll be able to see clusters of trees that are turning yellows, oranges, or bright & deep reds, and fields that are perfectly manicured. This is probably the most breathtaking way to create memories of Lancaster County in ANY season!
2. A scooter ride
This is probably one of the most unique ways to tour Amish Country. You can experience the sights and smells of Lancaster County while riding around the back roads on a scooter.
3. Harvest Events
Lancaster County has got lots of great harvest events. The Harvest Festival at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is great – Saturdays through October 30 – you can pick pumpkins, pick a ear of popcorn, and explore the Amazing Maize Maze that has turned from deep green to the warm, harvest shades of tan & brown. Check out our Events Calendar for more!
One of my favorite Lancaster County hiking trails to conquer on a weekend morning is Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve, a nice moderate 2 mile loop in the southern end of the county. The hike is along a tributary in a ravine that ultimately feeds into the Susquehanna River. The Glen itself is part of the Lancaster Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Lancaster County’s open lands.
Walking along the stream, at points both peaceful and rushing depending on the time of year, is a perfect way to relax and unwind. The trail is heavily canopied by a variety of trees and rhododendron thickets. Towards the end of the trail the stream comes to a head and flows past several rock and boulder placements for some runs of spectacular falling water. The water in the tributary is usually very pristine and has been designated a Wild and Scenic Pennsylvania River by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
I like to get out to the Glen in the early spring to check out the various wildflowers in bloom and then again in the fall to see the spectacular foliage. It takes about 2 hours for me to hike the loop, but I usually spend the better part of the morning there, taking in the fresh air and beautiful scenery, not to mention taking a photograph or two.
When you live in Lancaster County, it’s very easy to take for granted you are living amongst a truly uncommon group of people. You glide by horse and buggies on your way to work with hardly a thought. The Amish gentlemen and his family standing in front of you at the supermarket checkout are just another roadblock on your way out the door and back to your home. It takes something extraordinary to help you recall that you’re lucky to be exposed to people with such a different take on the world on a daily basis. At a Lancaster County mud sale, you can’t help but be reminded.
Mud sales are annual auctions/sales held at a number of local fire companies. The sales attract thousands of locals looking for bargains on anything from Amish quilts and antiques to local produce, buggies and lawn equipment.
March is the start of mud sale season in Lancaster County and this past weekend I took my wife and older son to the Penryn Fire Company near Manheim, PA for their annual sale. Never having been to a sale before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I knew there would be thousands of items up for auction and there would likely be a heavy Amish presence there. While there were plenty of we “English” in attendance being bused in, we were outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks from the Amish community.
Roaming around the grounds we found there were several auctions going on at once; one for produce, one for livestock, one for large goods like washing machines, lawnmowers and furniture, and one inside the fire station that covered everything else under the sun. We didn’t end up bidding on anything but it was fascinating to watch.
Plenty of food was available for purchase throughout the sale. From sausage sandwiches to Amish baked pies, you definitely weren’t going to walk away hungry. I bought a couple of homemade hot pretzels and some freshly made donuts and we sat down as a family on the grass field to eat. As we loaded up on carbs, we watched as some Amish men tended to an old-fashioned steam-powered ice cream churner which was producing plenty of the frozen goodness which was selling pretty briskly on an unusually warm March afternoon.
While this was my first mud sale, it definitely won’t be my last. Maybe I’ll even return with an eye on bidding on an item or two. I’ll be back, if for nothing else than to help remind me that I’m lucky to live amongst one of the most unique cultures in our nation.