Category Archives: Seasonal

Summer Live Music in Lancaster, PA

Summer is practically synonymous with exciting concerts, so if you’re wondering where you can go to listen to some live music this summer in Lancaster, PA, we’ve got you covered! From large-scale amphitheaters to smaller-scale live entertainment at some of our favorite restaurants, you’ll be sure to get your music fix for this summer in Lancaster County.

Lancaster Summer Arts Festival

Lasting from June 1-July 24, this festival is a must! All entertainment is free, including shows for children and locally made films. You’ll be able to find something for everyone at the Lancaster Summer Arts Festival, and it’s a great way to support local artists. Check out their brochure online to see which artists will be performing at the festival.

Friday Events

Fridays signify more than just the end of a work week—they’re all about fun and entertainment! Did you know that there are events going on for every Friday evening of the month in at least one of the towns in Lancaster? If it’s the first or third Friday of the month, be sure to go make an appearance in Downtown Lancaster for some live music. You can also catch live music in Mount Gretna on the first Friday of the month. If it’s the second Friday of the month, try heading over to either Elizabethtown or Lititz for a fun-filled evening including live music. Finally, on the fourth Friday of the month, check out Mount Joy or any of the River Towns (Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville) for their Friday night events.

Music in the Vineyards

Grab a lawn chair and a wineglass for this fun outdoor concert venue! Located at Nissley Winery, this is the perfect date night spot that would make any wine and music lover swoon. Check out their website for more details on upcoming Saturday night band performances.

Additionally, you can check out The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey for a similar experience. They have their Decked Out Live event every Friday evening, which features live bands and serves wine and beer. We also recommend checking out their Straws and Stripes event July 14th, at which big names like Uncle Kracker and Puddle of Mudd will be performing, in addition to local bands. Don’t forget to add Merlot Day to your calendar for August 18th, especially if you’re a fan of O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson, as they’ll be performing while food trucks and beverage stations will be readily available. Minors are not permitted.

If you have little ones but still want to enjoy this sort of experience, you’re in luck! The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey is hosting their second annual Summer Splash event, which is family friendly. Another compelling reason to attend: all of the adult ticket proceeds support the Children’s Miracle Network. A great cause and a fun time; be sure to mark August 4th in your calendar.

Summer Music Series

If you want to check out one of the top musical entertainment destinations in Central Pennsylvania, now celebrating its 56th season, Long’s Park Amphitheater is for you. The shows are performed here by upcoming artists and long-time performers from an assortment of genres. With a unique outdoor venue carved into a hillside, the free Sunday night shows, starting at 7:30 PM, are great for any music lovers. We recommend bringing some lawn chairs or blankets to get comfy while listening!

Restaurants

Believe it or not, some of our favorite places to listen to live music double up as our favorite places to eat! Some good places to check out include Marion Court, which has live music Fridays evenings, Annie Bailey’s, and Tellus360, which has live music nearly every night of the week.

American Music Theatre

Not just for plays and musicals—this theatre also houses talented bands and singers. Check out their brand new all age Rock at the Park music festival located at Clipper Magazine Stadium on July 21st for great music, delicious food, and other fun activities including a mechanical bull, dunk tank, and carousel. Fuel, Eve 6, Sister Hazel, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Fastball will be performing at this “must-see” concert. What better way to get in the summer spirit?

Hersheypark Stadium

Though not part of Lancaster County, neighboring town Hershey will be hosting concerts from many big names this summer, which we thought were worth mentioning. Artists including Harry Styles, Imagine Dragons, Zac Brown Band, and Kesha, to name a few, will all be performing there this summer.

Roadside Stand Round-Up in Lancaster, PA

From farm-fresh fruits and veggies, bountiful blooms, and even made-from-scratch baked-goods and dairy products- roadside stands in Lancaster County just can’t be beat. Where else can you pick up a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, vine ripened tomatoes, a baked-this morning shoofly pie, and an ice-cold glass of root beer all for under $20? Nowhere that we know of! Lancaster prides itself on being a locavore community- “farm-fresh” and “farm-to-table” aren’t trends here, they are a way of life and always have been. From spring to late fall you are sure to find something worth stopping for at one of our road side stands.

Since they are often hidden gems on the backroads rather than on the main drags of Route 30 or 340 we have compiled a list of some of our favorite places to stop. As well as some “how-to” tips to help you act like a local. So come on, take the long way home and savor the simple pleasure you will find in a quart of freshly picked strawberries.

Where to Stop:

Sheep Lane Produce Stand:
100 Sheep Lane, Washington Boro
Located just 10 minutes from Millersville University’s Campus is the Sheep Lane Produce Stand. Here you will find fruits and veggies from May-October/November. From strawberries and apple to pumpkins, gourds, and green & purple cabbage, you’ll find the price is always right at this local farm stand.

Funks Roadside Stand & Riverview Greenhouse:
2277 River Road, Washington Boro
Located just 300-feet from the Susquehanna River, the Funk’s invite you to come enjoy this farm’s amazing produce, flowers, and view! Stop by the greenhouse in May for a free scoop of ice cream for everyone with your purchase!

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Riverside Blooms:
363 Penn Street, Washington Boro
This micro flower farm sells seasonal bouquets and loose stem flowers weekly from April to October. All flowers are gown on the farm and the bouquets change throughout the season based on what is blooming. The stand is open Friday & Saturday in April and May 9 AM to dusk, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday June through October 8 AM to dusk.

Fisher’s Festivals:
2816-B Irishtown Road, Ronks
Fisher’s Festivals farm stand is open during the fall and specializes in a variety of pumpkins, gourds, and mums.

Busy Bee’s Farm Market:
3378 Old Philadelphia Pike, Ronks
This Amish roadside stand just west of the village of Intercourse offers delicious fresh fruits and vegetables in season, as well as homemade potato chips and crafted items. On Saturdays they have homemade soft pretzels.

Olde Heritage Rootbeer:
3217 Old Philadelphia Pike, Ronks
Famous for their homemade root beer this  stand also offers many Lancaster County favorites such as homemade potato chips, fudge, noodles, chow-chow, pickled beets, whoopie pies, and shoo-fly pies.

Pop’s Produce Stand:
265 Paradise Lane, Ronks
Located just outside of Strasburg Pop’s offers fresh fruits and vegetables and are open seasonally from April through November.

Fisher’s Bakery & Roadside Stand:
328 North Belmont Road, Gordonville
This stand offers a wide array of homemade baked goods such as pies, breads, sweet breads, cookies and whoopie pies. As well as homemade canned goods, jams, jellies and pickles. In fruit season they homemade root beer and lemonade.

The Corn Wagon:
2100 Block of Millersville Road, Lancaster
This is exactly what it sounds like- multiple wagons filled with corn fresh for the taking. They also have other produce such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants etc., but corn is their specialty. If you haven’t had Lancaster County sweet corn you highly recommend you try some!

Schopf Brothers Farm:
3493 Marietta Ave., Lancaster | 1900 State Road, East Petersburg

Owned by the brothers who run Field of Screams, both stand locations offer seasonal produce, such as corn and tomatoes, as well as seasonal flowers. In the fall they offer a variety of pumpkins, gourds and mums. In the winter they have pre-cut Christmas trees and wreaths.

Lapp’s Farm Market:
1406 Lampeter Road, Lancaster
Located before the traffic light where Pioneer Road crosses Lampeter road. This stand will be on the right when you are heading south and it sits back off the road. They have jams, jellies, produce, baked goods, and flowers. There is also chicken barbecue from time to time.

King’s Organic Produce:
197 W. Millport Road, Lititz

This Amish run stand has both fruits and vegetables seasonally as well as canned goods, jams, and jellies. They also have nightcrawlers  and worms for fishing- so if you are a fisherman this is your place to stop on the way to the river.

Creekside Farm Market:
1436 Mount Joy Road, Manheim

Though this stand may look small they have a great variety of produce- peppers, candy onions, beans, peaches, zucchinis, tomatoes, bicolor corn, and fabulous garlic.

Do’s and Don’ts of Roadside Stands:

 Do: Be sure to pull fully off the road and park in the parking area. If no parking area is available be sure to park on the shoulder of the road as to not impede traffic.

Don’t: Leave your vehicle running, it’s best to turn it off while you are browsing.

Do: Total up all of the items you plan on buy, most stands will have a sign stating how much each item costs.

Don’t: Leave without paying, even if no one is at the stand. The honor system is still in full force here in Lancaster and stand owners trust that you will pay them for their goods even if they aren’t there.

Do: Leave your money in the appropriate collection spot- whether it’s a jar, a tin, a cashbox, or even a rain barrel just drop your amount in before you leave. If you do not have the exact change just round up to the next closest whole dollar.

Don’t: Take photos of the Amish if they are at the roadside stand, this is disrespectful to their culture.

Do: Carefully load your purchases into your car and secure them before driving off. There is nothing worse than getting home and finding the peaches you just purchased are bruised from rolling all over the trunk. Often stands may have plastic bags or boxes for you to use for packaging up your purchases.

Don’t: Get upset if you stop and they aren’t open or are out of your favorite tomatoes. Being that these stands are privately owned and operate seasonally we cannot guarantee that they will be open when you drive by or that they will have exactly what you are looking for. Also, many are closed on Sunday so plan your visits accordingly.

Do: Be sure to savor every bite full of Lancaster County flavor!

 

Ten Things to Do in Lancaster County in June

Signs of summer are popping up across Lancaster County. From fun with the kids now that school is out to spending time outdoors in the warm sunshine, here are ten exciting events and things to do in Lancaster this month.

Live Music Galore

Outdoor music performances are plentiful in June, and what better time to enjoy the warm summer air and toe-tapping tunes.

Looking for something to do on Sunday nights this month? Grab a picnic dinner and lawn chairs and head over to Long’s Park for their Summer Music Series. Beginning on June 3, live music will be performed at the Long’s Park Amphitheater that will have you dancing along. Admission to these family-friendly, outdoor concerts is free.

Music Friday brings the energy and live music to Downtown Lancaster’s sidewalks on June 15. Find performers throughout the city plus food trucks serving up tasty bites.

A Day at the Railroad

Thomas is coming back to town – Thomas the Tank Engine™ that is! June 16 through June 24, Strasburg Rail Road® will host their Day Out with Thomas™ event, featuring a train ride with Thomas, storytelling and more. Thomas won’t be traveling alone, as his friend Percy will be joining in the festivities too. Tickets can be purchased for the June, September, and November Day Out with Thomas™ events online.

Celebrate the City and Towns

Join in the festivities as Intercourse and Lancaster City are celebrated with fun and even fireworks!

Intercourse Heritage Days will be held June 15 through 16 to celebrate the history and heritage of the town. Hosted at Intercourse Community Park, this festival includes activities for kids, a pie baking contest, musical entertainment, and more. The Taste of Lancaster Food Showcase will feature local restaurants and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine that plays a role in the area’s heritage. A fireworks display will wrap up Saturday’s festivities.

As a celebration of culture and diversity in the growing City of LancasterCelebrate Lancaster will take place on Friday, June 29. Enjoy more than 20 food vendors, live music on two stages and beer & wine, with festivities wrapping up in the evening with a fireworks display.

Ales, Porter, Saisons… Oh my!

Tapping for the third year is the Ephrata Brewfest, to be held on Saturday June 23 at the Whistle Stop Plaza in Ephrata. Ales, IPAs, stouts and more will be available for sampling from local breweries including Lancaster Brewing Company, St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company, Mad Chef Craft Brewing, and more. Live music and food vendors round out this event which is sure to be a good time.

Relax on the River

With the cold weather behind us, the outdoors are just waiting to be explored. Take some time this month to experience water sports on the Susquehanna River.

Combine biking and paddling for a day of adventure along the river. Chiques Rock Outfitters, conveniently located at various points along the river, offers kayak, canoe and bike rentals. To ultimately cure your lingering cabin fever, opt for an hour long bike ride on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail then trade your bikes in for a kayak for a three hour ride on the river back to where you started. The trail is fairly flat and winds through wooded areas for a shady, leisurely ride.

With a variety of events in June, Shank’s Mare Outfitters offers a few different ways to experience the river. Whether you’re a novice or a paddling pro, Shank’s Mare offers stand-up paddle boarding classes, some even incorporating yoga in to the mix, and kayaking classes and tours. Follow an evening of paddling with a dinner along the river with one of their evening kayaking tour events.

Events with a Foodie Twist

Juicy, red strawberries are the harvest of the month in June, and what better way to celebrate than with a festival. Haldeman Mansion in Bainbridge hosts the annual Strawberry Festival, highlighting this sweet berry on June 3. Fill up on treats staring the strawberry, and other savory goodies.

Experience the farms while biking through Lancaster County during the Farm-to-Fork Fondo, June 29-30. You’ll get a look at farms growing and harvesting local produce. As your after-ride reward, enjoy a delicious barbeque inspired by local fruits, vegetables and beer.

 

That’s just the short list of happenings in Lancaster County in June. For the full list of events and even more trip inspiration, visit our events calendar.

Top Family Attractions in Lancaster, PA

Memories are just waiting to be made at Lancaster, PA’s many family-friendly attractions. You’ll find amusement park thrills, hands-on learning, fun on the farm, and activities for the active families to fill your next trip to Lancaster.

Once the date has been set for your next family vacation, begin your brainstorming with these ideas, sure to please the entire family:

Lancaster County Classics

Dutch Wonderland
For the perfect first amusement park experience for your little one, head over the Dutch Wonderland – a safe, clean park featuring rides and attractions that are both kid and family-friendly, including two roller coasters for that extra special “first coaster ride.”

Tip for your Trip: Purchase tickets online before your visit. Their website offers discounts on select days and discounts for buying tickets online, rather than at the gate.

Turkey Hill Experience
Get the scoop on the art of ice cream making at Turkey Hill Experience where your family can learn more about Lancaster’s tasty Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea. Bring your ice cream dreams to life in their Taste Lab where you can make (and eat) your own ice cream flavor.

Tip for your Trip: Be sure to bring your sweet tooth! Ice cream and tea are available for your sampling pleasure.

Choo Choo Barn
Locomotives galore can be found at Choo Choo Barn, where the sights and sounds of Lancaster are combined into a huge model train display. Follow the trains as they chug past a miniature barn raising, local attractions, and hand-built animated figures.

Tip for your Trip: Make a day of the Strasburg train attractions. All are just a short drive from each other and your little train lovers will dig the locomotive filled day.

Strasburg Rail Road
All aboard the Strasburg Rail Road – America’s oldest operating railroad. Train lovers will enjoy the ride on the steam locomotives as it chugs through the Amish countryside. Back at the station, kids can hop aboard the Cranky Cars, Pint-sized Pufferbelly and the Pump Car for extra train-themed fun.

Tip for your Trip: Keep an eye out for their special events like Day Out with Thomastm or their Christmas Train events. These special train rides add even more excitement to your visit.

Farmland Fun

Amish Farm and House
Heritage and history are brought to life at the Amish Farm and House, where your family can learn more about the Old Order Amish community here in Lancaster, PA. Kids can try out a real Amish scooter during the farm tour or take in the sights during the Amish Countryside bus tour.

Tip for your Trip: People typically spend about an hour and a half touring the farm, so plan naps and lunch accordingly to make the most of the experience.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
Find 50 farm fun activities, including adorable baby animals and a “can’t-miss” corn maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. Admission includes a plethora of activities that provide a family-friendly farm experience.

Tip for your Trip: How about a picnic on the farm? Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during their visit.

A is for Amish Buggy Rides
Try a new form of transportation with an Amish buggy ride with A is for Amish Buggy Rides for an unforgettable experience. Memories are waiting to be made as you trot down the backroads.

Tips for your Trip: Check out the petting zoo, playground and silo tower while you wait for your ride or for more to do afterwards.

Amish Village
An Amish adventure awaits at Amish Village, where your family can experience an authentic farmhouse tour and learn about Amish life today. After the tour, wander the 12-acre village grounds for more discovery.

Tip for your Trip: Ask plenty of questions! There’s a lot to learn and stories to be told on this tour.

Hands-on Discovery

Lancaster Science Factory
How do you make science fun? That’s just what they’re doing at Lancaster Science Factory, where kids can experience how science works with hands-on exhibits, experiments, and mini-labs.

Tip for your Trip: Participation is key to learning here! All exhibits are meant to be touched and tried to encourage discovery.

Hands-on House, Children’s Museum
Playing and learning go hand-in-hand at Hands-on House, an interactive museum created with children ages 2-10 in mind. Perfect for the rainy day, your kids can explore the grocery store, discover life on the farm, and even build a “whatcha-ma-giggle” in the machine shop. If the sun is shining, enjoy their outdoor playground.

Tip for your Trip: Museum admission is valid for the day, so if fatigue or hunger sets in, you can leave and come back as you please.

North Museum of Nature & Science
Where can you tour the night sky after learning about dinosaurs and fossils? North Museum of Nature & Science! This awesome, kid-friendly science museum features a live animal room, dinosaur exhibit, STEAM art gallery, collections of preserved animals, flowers and rocks, and a planetarium.

Tip for your Trip: For those looking to check out the stars, the Planetarium shows run 7 days a week during the summer, but are only open Saturdays and Sundays during the fall, winter and spring.

Tiny Town
Discover this indoor, interactive play center made up of tiny houses where children can let their imaginations soar. This town is built for children 7 and under to play as firefighters, doctors, hairstylist and more.

Tip for your Trip: Tiny Town was also created with parents in mind, complete with a coffee bar and free wifi.

Active Attractions

Sky Zone Trampoline Park
When your family is full of energy, jump on over to Sky Zone for some high-flying, flipping fun. Beyond their free jump trampolines, their dodgeball court, foam zone, basketball hoops for dunking, and Sky Climb will keep you kids active for hours.

Tip for your Trip: If you have toddlers in tow, consider stopping by for Toddler Time (Tuesday – Saturday mornings) where kids five and under can bounce and jump – no big kids allowed!

Spooky Nook Sports
For the sports-loving family, head over to America’s largest sports complex for the ultimate active experience. Your kids will love the challenge of the Clip ‘N Climb, arcade, and rock climbing area, while mom and dad will love the fitness center.

Tip for your Trip: When hunger takes hold, stop by food court, smoothie bar, or in-house restaurant, Forklift & Palate. No need to leave for a great meal.

Go ‘N Bananas
Your kids will go bananas for this indoor, family entertainment center filled with fun for the family. Go ‘N Bananas features laser tag, mini bowling, ropes course, spinning bumper cars and so much more.

Tip for your Trip: For families with little ones and older kids, Go ‘N Bananas has activities for all ages.

Village Greens Mini Golf
Craving a round of mini-golf? Take the course at Village Greens Mini Golf with two spacious beautifully landscaped courses. After your game, stop by for a tasty treat at the snack shop.

Tip for your Trip: Extend your stay in Strasburg with the Strasburg Passport. Village Greens and other popular attractions on this list (Strasburg Rail Road, Amish Village and Choo Choo Barn) all participate in this money saving option.

In Nearby Hershey/Harrisburg

Hersheypark
Sweet chocolate and amusement park thrills make for an exciting day at Hersheypark, about 40 minutes away from Lancaster County. Teens will love the 13 thrilling roller coaster while little ones can take a ride on the many kid-friendly attractions. The whole family will love the tasty candy-themed treats.

Tip for your Trip: Don’t forget your swimsuits. Hersheypark’s Boardwalk area features waterslides, a wave pool, water playground and lazy river for the sunny summer days.

Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue
Dive into the chocolaty history of Hershey, PA at the Hershey Story Museum. With exhibits and activities just for kids, plus their tasty Chocolate Lab, your family will love learning about this sweet treat.

Tip for your Trip: This attraction is great for history buffs, and is close by to other great Hershey attractions if you want to experience a few in one day.

Adventure Sports in Hershey
Go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats and more! Adventure Sports in Hershey offers active family-fun in nearby Hershey, PA. Be prepared for a little friendly competition and LOTS of happy memories.

Tip for your Trip: You only pay for the activities you would like to do, as they don’t have an admission fee. So your family can play as many or as few rounds at you would like!

Whitaker Center in Harrisburg
Learning is made fun at Whitaker Center in nearby Harrisburg. Hands-on exhibits on the human body, weather, and more plus a Digital Cinema makes for a day of fun, especially for your little scientists.

Tip for your Trip: The Whitaker Center offers a variety of 3D science movies to enjoy. Before you visit, check out the showtimes to ensure you catch the one that matches your interests.

 

Looking for even more activities for the family? Our list of Outdoor Adventures with Kids is your go-to-guide to ways to experience the great outdoors in Lancaster, PA.

Top Outdoor Things to Do with Kids in Lancaster, PA

The best spots for kids and families to play, learn, and discover

Lancaster, PA is full of great opportunities to head outside with your kids. So slather on the sunscreen and scoot outside for some good old-fashioned family fun. The destinations below are designed to offer great experiences and new discoveries for the entire family.

Top things to do with kids in Lancaster County, PA

[1] Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
With more than 50 farm fun activities for the whole family included in your admission, and lunch and dinner options on site, Cherry Crest is the perfect destination for a day out with the family. From the famous Amazing Maize Maze and wagon rides to pedal karts and baby chicks, there is something for every age in your family.

[2] Eastland Alpacas
Take some time to tour the 30 acre farm at Eastland Alpacas, and enjoy petting and feeding these gentle, adorable alpacas. The farm is typically open from 10 AM to 4 PM, but feel free to call ahead to ensure that you will get the full experience. In addition to visiting with the alpacas, check out the on-site store stocked with various items that are all made from alpaca fiber.

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[3] Indian Echo Caverns
No matter the season, did you know that caves stay an average temperature year round? Indian Echo Cavern is 52 degrees inside, rain or shine. Year round, 7 days a week, you can explore the cavern, and enjoy a petting zoo and playground. Plan about 45 minutes for the full tour, and pack your lunch as not to interrupt the little explorers!

[4] Wolf Sanctuary of PA
In a natural woodland in northern Lancaster County, you will find the home of the Speedwell Wolves. Your kids will love the guided tour where they’ll get to view wolves in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior.

[5] Amish Attractions
Experience Lancaster’s heritage at one of our three indoor/outdoor Amish attractions! From exploring the farm and interacting with the animals at the Amish Farm & House, to having the unique experience of “learning a lesson” in an Amish one-room school house at the Amish Experience, or climbing aboard a buggy and running through a covered bridge at the Amish Village, you’re sure to enjoy learning and fun at one of these great attractions.

[6] Nookside Stables / Ironstone Ranch
What better way to experience Lancaster County’s farmland than horseback riding! At Nookside Stables, you’ll learn about the horse and enjoy navigating an obstacle course on your house as you enjoy the picturesque views of surrounding Amish farms. Beginners are welcome, ages 10+ for the horseback adventure; Children 10 and under can enjoy pony rides, playground and wagon rides. For a trail ride experience, head to Ironstone Ranch, where you’ll find gentle, well-mannered horses and experienced guides who will navigate you through 275 acres of trails. Please make advance reservations.

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[7] ZooAmerica & Hershey Gardens
Hershey’s ZooAmerica is home to more than 200 animals, all native to North America. You’ll find everything from reptiles to porcupines to otters and mountain lions. Admission is free with your ticket to Hersheypark, or there is also a separate, year-round entrance specific to the zoo. You’ll also want to stop at beautiful Hershey Gardens, featuring 23-acres of breathtaking flowers, shurbs, and trees in addition to a butterfly atrium and hands-on children’s garden.

[8] Gretna Lake & Beach
Looking to spend the whole day outdoors while vacationing in Lancaster? Look no further than Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach, where you’ll find eight-acres including a beach, recreation lawn and picnic grove, in addition to the Jigger Shop, serving delicious ice-cream and treats and an open-air theatre.

[9] Intercourse Bike Works / Strasburg Scooters
For older children, you may want to tour Lancaster County on two wheels rather than four! Stop by one of Intercourse Bike Works locations to pick up your bike, and find the tour that’s right for you – from and Amish Dinner Tour to Covered Bridges on Electric Bikes, (or if you’re taking an excursion sans kiddos, the Bikes, Barns and Beers tour), there’s sure to be something for you. If you’re brave, and would rather try a scooter ride, or scoot coupe, head over to Strasburg Scooters, where you’ll enjoy a guided scooter tour on the back roads of Amish Country. You’ll pass exceptional views of the countryside, including Amish farms and schoolhouses, in addition to covered bridges and incredible backroads. You’ll truly be enjoy the fresh air with either of these options! NOTE: Please see websites for age guidelines.

[10] Chiques Rock Outfitters / Shanks Mare
If you’re looking to just take a hike, or kayak along the river, you’ll want to check out this list of Lancaster County Parks & Preserves. Didn’t pack your kayak? That’s okay, we’ve got you covered. Chiques Rock Outfitters and Shanks Mare have kayaks, paddleboards or canoes for rent, and will help you enjoy your time on the river.

[11] Zip Line at Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center
You won’t want to miss the chance to zip line through the canopy at Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center – you’ll have your options from the Flying V Ziplines (2 ziplines, great test run for those who aren’t sure they want to do the whole course), the Challenge Adventure Tour (5 zip lines, 9 challenge elements) or the Aerial Excursion Tour (7 zip lines, 3 sky bridges, 40’ rappel ending). You’ll also find horse rides, farm animal experience, and NEW for 2018, a Challenge of 22 obstacles, suspended 6-25 feet in the air.

[12] AvalancheXpress Snow Tubing
Traveling in the winter? You won’t want to miss a trip to AvalanchXpress at Heritage Hills Resort. There’s plenty to do, including 10 lanes of snow tubing, fire pits that are perfect for warming up and roasting marshmallows, an ice skating rink that’s open through the evening, and great food to warm your belly after a day of outdoor adventuring!

For even more fun, check out the Top Family Attractions in Lancaster, PA.

10 Reasons to Visit Downtown Lancaster, PA

When you think of Lancaster County, you may picture lush, green farmland with horse and buggies trotting by, fresh produce, and a relaxing pace of life. While those things can be found here, there’s so much more to Lancaster. In the middle of the farmland sits Lancaster City, which some would describe as hip, cool, and up-and-coming. But don’t just take our word for it – Forbes named Lancaster as one of the 10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018.”

Here’s just ten of the many reasons to visit Downtown Lancaster while your here, whether with the family or on a romantic weekend getaway:

1] Arts & Theatre
Lancaster City is full of passionate makers and musicians, just waiting to share their craft. For fine arts, head to Gallery Row where artisans are displaying and selling their works. If you happen to be in town on the First Friday of the month, galleries and shops are open extra late for art lovers to browse and experience Lancaster’s art scene.

Want to catch a show or some awesome live music? Theaters and performance venues, both big and small, can be found throughout the city, putting on live music, Broadway-caliber musicals, play, and classical performances.

2] Awesome Activities
Whether you’re traveling with the family or as a couple, Downtown Lancaster is filled with spots to fill your day with fun. For the couple, challenge yourself to an Escape Room or experience the city and its history through an interactive (and tasty) food tour.

For the family, head over to the baseball field where the Lancaster’s minor league baseball team, the Barnstormers, play for an evening game with fireworks, or spend the day at the North Museum of Nature & Science or Lancaster Science Factory. Both are great museums geared towards hands-on learning for kids. If your family prefers arts and crafts, Pottery Works and Beadworks & Gem Dem offer a creative outlet with pottery painting and jewelry making.

3] The Food
Breakfast, lunch or dinner – Downtown Lancaster’s dining scene has never been better! Start your morning off with a cup of coffee at Passenger Coffee – named the best coffee in Pennsylvania by Food & Wine – or grab a tasty brunch to kick start your day of exploring.

When lunch and dinner roll around, there is no shortage of options – from unique international spots to phenomenal fine dining. On those sunny days, many spots offer outdoor dining options where diners can enjoy delicious bites and the beautiful weather.

4] The History
As one of the oldest inland cities in America and serving as the U.S. Capital for a day, Lancaster is filled with stories of events and people from the past. Dive into these stories as you view Lancaster’s architecture, featuring buildings with various styles – from Georgian and Federal to Modern. History is just waiting to be shared at historic locations throughout the city with a walking tour or a visit to President James Buchanan’s home and Lancaster’s historic society museum.

5] Lancaster Central Market
Featuring history, community vibes, fresh produce, and popular local goodies, Lancaster Central Market, America’s oldest continuously operating farmers market, is a Downtown “must-visit.” Be sure to visit on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday when market is open to wander the aisles for locally sourced fruits and vegetables, baked goods, freshly cut flowers, and something tasty for breakfast or lunch. Some stands have been passed down generation-to-generation, while others are bringing new, unique offerings to the historic market.

While you’re there, don’t forget to look up – the market building dates back to 1889 and features stunning architectural details.

6] Events Galore
In addition to daily happenings, Lancaster’s special events add an extra element of excitement to the city. From the monthly First and Third Friday events featuring art and live music, to the annual Lancaster Craft Beerfest in late August and Roots & Blues in February, consider planning your trip around these festive occasions. Be sure to check out our events calendar while planning to learn more.

7] Ales, Spirits and Even Mead
Some of Lancaster’s best beer can be found Downtown from brewers like Lancaster Brewing Company (known for their Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat and Hop Hog IPA), Spring House Brewing Company (specializing in flavorful concoctions like the Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout), and Wacker Brewing Company (brewing German-style beers with roots from the 1800s) – each with their own unique story and brews.

If spirits and cocktails are more your style, Downtown Lancaster has plenty of those too. From Thistle Finch Distillery who is distilling their own rye whiskey, vodka and gin, to a number of restaurants creating artisan cocktails with locally sourced ingredients and house made infusions.

May we interest you in a little mead? This traditional alcoholic beverage is being brewed by Meduseld Meadery here in Lancaster, using honey, water, and yeast. While you’re there, try your hand at ax throwing in their indoor throwing range.

8] Walkability
What fun is driving when you’re on vacation? In Lancaster City, walkability is key with many of the popular stops within walking distance of each other. Whether you’re wandering down Gallery Row or shopping on the 300 Block of Queen Street, good eats and even more to see and do are just a few blocks away. Parking options are plentiful with reasonably priced lots and garages located in the popular areas of the city.

9] Boutiques & Shopping
How about a little shopping? Lancaster City is home to cute boutiques and shops, whether you’re searching for a special gift or something to remember your trip by. The 300 Block of North Queen Street is a shopping hot spot Downtown, with shops featuring unique gifts, antiques, clothes and jewelry, home décor, and specialty items. Shop local as you’ll find wares made here in Lancaster County by passionate makers.

10] Great Lodging Options
After all this exploring, you’ll need a place to rest up for another day of fun. Downtown Lancaster has great lodging options for this very thing. Boutique hotels like Lancaster Arts Hotel and Cork Factory Hotel provide a restful night’s sleep in uniquely decorated and beautifully renovated rooms.

If you prefer to stay in a bed & breakfast, King’s Cottage and the Lancaster Bed & Breakfast are located just a short drive from the main Downtown area, and provide cozy accommodations for your stay.

And that’s just the beginning! Discover even more about Downtown Lancaster and the county that surrounds it by ordering our Getaway Guide or signing up for our e-newsletter.

Lancaster, PA’s Ultimate Donut Guide

Breakfast, lunch or even dinner – donuts are a delicious treat for any time of day. Lancaster County is home to classic donut creations, like the Long John and Fasnacht, along with bakeries putting a spin on the traditional with made-to-order pastries and even one topped with salty bacon.

Whether you’re pairing it with your morning coffee or snacking later in the day when your sweet tooth calls, stop by for one of the fantastic fried treats below. Grab one (or even a dozen) and experience Lancaster’s donut scene for yourself:

The Classic

No, it’s not an éclair, although it may look a lot like one. The Long John is a bar-shaped, yeast donut covered in a variety of icing flavors. We opted for chocolate, but other tasty flavors include peanut butter and vanilla.

If you’re in search of an authentic long john, head over to Achenbach’s in Leola. They’re been serving up scratch-made baked goods for 60 years.

The Fruity Find

An apple fritter a day may not keep the doctor away, but they do make a nice treat every once in a while. This donut is swirled with cinnamon and apples, and topped with sugary sweet glaze.

Shady Maple is serving up this fruity fritter in the smorgasbord alongside a wide variety of house-made pastries. If you’re just in the mood for an apple fritter, stop by their Farm Market where you can buy donuts individually or by the dozen.

The MTO

Get them while they’re warm! Duck Donuts specializes in made-to-order donuts with a variety of glazes, toppings, and drizzles, allowing eaters to design their own sweet treat. Donuts are fried and decorated while customers are invited to watch the process.

Our fruity creation features lemon glaze, rainbow sprinkles, and raspberry drizzle on a warm vanilla donut. They offer suggestions in their menu, but feel free dream up a unique creation.

The Sweet and Savory

Picture this – a fresh vanilla donuts blanketed in sweet maple icing then topped with salt bacon bits. You heard that correctly; Duck Donuts is also serving up a donut with bunches of real bacon bits on top… and it’s delicious!

The Dinner Donut

What’s golden brown and cheesy in the middle? A grilled cheese donut from Tom + Chee! The folks at Tom + Chee put cheese between a sliced donut and grilled it to perfection.

And that’s just the classic version. Sweeter versions of this treat feature chocolate, marshmallows, bananas, peanut butter mascarpone, and strawberries.

The Donut worth Celebrating

Fasnachts are donuts with their own day. This delightful donut is traditionally consumed on Fat Tuesday, when households would use up their lard, sugar, butter and eggs prior to the beginning of Lent. Often times, they’re made with mashed potatoes and fried in lard – not your average donut!

On Fasnacht Day, glazed and powered varieties can be found at market stands and bakeries across the county.

The Donut of Brotherly Love

Over 30 years ago, Beiler’s Doughnuts started serving up treats at Reading Terminal Market in nearby Philadelphia. They’ve expanded west to open a shop in Lancaster where hungry donut-lovers can find flavors like triple chocolate cake, fruity pebbles, and key lime.

For the hot summer days, Beiler’s created a donut ice cream sandwich for one-heck-of-a dessert.

Upcoming Shows in Lancaster, PA

Lights, curtain, action! Did you know that Lancaster is home to the oldest working theatre in the United States, The Fulton Theatre, and the largest faith-based theatre in the United States, Sight & Sound Theatres, as well as dinner theatres, comedy shows, and family productions? If you like theatre then you are in the right place. Lancaster hosts a number of Broadway caliber productions and high-profile performers throughout the year. If you are looking for an activity the whole family will love, or a special date night we suggest you take a look. This summer’s bill has a number of hot-ticket shows that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Plus, attending a show is a great way to keep cool when the temperature rises! Below is the list of shows coming to Lancaster this summer.

JESUS- Sight & Sound Theatres™ | March 10- January 5

JESUS is the musical stage adventure about the most famous person ever to walk the earth and the everyday people whose lives he changed forever. This action-packed experience will captivate your imagination as you take in the stories, scenery & sets, and elaborate costumes of this timeless production.

The Home Game- Bird-in-Hand Stage | March 27-October 27

The Home Game follows the story of Levi and his father. Levi must choose between his father’s expectation of an Amish life and his own deepest dreams of playing baseball in the major leagues. Filled with laughter and drama, this new musical is sure to hit it out of the park!

Magic & Wonder: Dream- Bird-in-Hand Stage | April 18- October 27

Inspired by the idea that magic can move outside the limits of reality, Brett creates a whimsical world where you can experience whatever you can dream. Whether your dream is to fly, join the circus, go back in time or venture into the future, you’ll discover that nothing is truly impossible when you unleash your imagination. This show is great for families!

Fun Home- Ephrata Performing Arts Center | April 26- May 12

Fun Home is a tragicomedy musical about growing up and coming out. The book and lyrics are written by Lisa Kron with Music by Jeanin Tesori. This show is a five time Tony Award Winner in 2015, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical. It is recommended for teen and adult audiences.

Songs of the Silver Screen – American Music Theatre | May 1- October 5

Movie buffs of all ages will delight in this new original production at American Music Theatre. The cast and band will perform the biggest hits from movies past and present spanning decades of film making. Grab your popcorn and get ready for a harmonious, cinematic show!

Grease– Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | May 3- June 17

Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks, and take a trip back in time with Danny, Sandy, the Pink Ladies, and the T-Birds to the 1950s. This show features great dance numbers and popular songs such as You’re the One That I Want, Summer Nights, Greased Lightin’ and more from the hit movie. Race on over, you won’t want to miss this show. After all Grease is the word.

American String Quartet with Christopher Shih- Trust Performing Arts Center | May 3

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, the American String Quartet will make their debut at The Trust Performing Arts Center this May. The Quartet is known for its performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartok, Mendelssohn, and Mozart. For this performance they will be joined by award-winning pianist Christopher Shih.

Songs For a New World- Prima Theatre | May 4-6, 11-13

Triple-Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s song-cycle musical offers a vibrant, thrilling and moving journey through the life-changing moments that define us. These unforgettable songs weave individual stories into an electrifying evening, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery. Brown is a past PRiMA guest artist, whose Songs For A New World was PRiMA’s first staged production. This show features some of the most memorable songs from the early works of this celebrated composer-lyricist, known also for his work with The Last Five Years, Parade, Bridges of Madison County, 13 and Honeymoon in Vegas.

Joy Ike Trio at the Trust Trust Performing Arts Center | May 5

Polished and precise yet buoyed with an airy grace, Joy Ike will be performing with upright bassist, Jason Rafalak, and percussionist, Ryan Socrates to perform songs off of her new album Bigger Than Your Box.

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour- Pullo Center | May 26

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. Re-imagining La Bohème, and enjoy this inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

Getting Momma Married– Rainbow Comedy Playhouse | June 2 – August 11

A young woman and her husband live under Mom’s roof. When the stork is due to make an arrival, the kids must find their own nest. And what about poor Momma, all alone? Enjoy an evening of laughs and help make plans to get Momma married ASAP!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame– The Fulton Theatre | June 5- July 22

This Pennsylvania Premiere is based on the beloved Disney movie. Set in 15th century Paris The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the life of Quasimodo, a deformed bellringer who is held captive by his caretaker at Notre Dame cathedral. That is, until he escapes has his own adventures and saves the day. See for yourself how magical and unforgettable this musical truly is.

Hank Williams: Lost Highway- Gretna Theatre | June 21-24

A spectacular musical biography of the legendary singer-songwriter and innovator of American music. The play follows Hand William’s rise from his beginnings to his triumphs at the Grand Ole Opry, to his eventual self-destruction. Throughout the show you are treated to favorites like I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry, Move It on Over, and Hey, Good Lookin’. If you are country music fan, this is the show for you.

The Wizard of Oz– Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | June 21- August 4

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! See it all at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre this summer. From the yellow brick road to the Emerald City you can follow Dorothy, Toto, and their new friends on their magnificent adventures in Oz to learn there is no place like home. This 1939 classic is one of the greatest family musicals of all time, don’t miss the chance to travel Over the Rainbow.

Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike- Gretna Theatre | June 28- July 1

A 2013 Tony award winner for Best Play, this show is set in Bucks County, Pa. Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up. Their peace is disturbed when their movie star sister Masha returns with her twenty-something boyfriend. This hilarious story will have you laughing from beginning to end.

She Loves Me- Gretna Theatre | July 12-21

Amalia and Georg are co-workers, who don’t see eye to eye and constantly bump heads on the job. Little do they know the anonymous pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! With a moving score, join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves. Nominated for Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award in 2016, She Loves Me features songs like Tonight At Eight and the favorite Vanilla Ice Cream.

West Side Story- Ephrata Performing Arts Center | July 19- August 4

West Side Story is an epic fan-favorite musical following the story of two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks as they face more than turf wars in 1950s New York. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a forbidden romance buds between a boy and girl from different gangs. The groups must confront and overcome their racial tensions. This show will keep the you on the edge of your seat with intense choreographed fight scenes and have you singing into the night.

The 39 Steps- Gretna Theatre | August 2-5

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python, and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters, an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!

Swing! – Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | August 9 – September 15

Jump and jive with over 30 fabulous songs from the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 40s and the dances that went with went with them. Classics such as It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Cry Me a River, and many more will be performed. Whether you are nostalgic about the past or new to swing, you’re sure to be swaying in your seat. This is the show for you if you love to watch Dancing  with the Stars.

Love, Lies and the Lottery– Rainbow Comedy Playhouse | August 18- October 27

Picture this, one winning lottery ticket, five people who think they own it, and one of the tickets has gone missing! Or has it… when there is $510 million dollars at stake sometimes the people you love may tell lies. Help the cast figure out who is the rightful winner of the money.

An Evening with Groucho- Gretna Theatre | August 23-26

Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity. An Evening With Groucho consists of the best one-liners, anecdotes and songs including “Hooray For Captain Spalding,” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.”  The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.

For specific show dates, times, ticket information, and additional performances, be sure to visit each theatre’s website. You can also sign up for our e-news to stay in the know on what’s happening when around Lancaster County.

Lancaster County, PA- Visitors Scavenger Hunt

Lancaster County is full of hidden gems and quite peaceful spots which are fun to stumble upon on your own. We have created a scavenger hunt for you while you explore. If you are ready to take on the challenge we invite you to follow along.

Our list is broken down into three sections: one for Downtown Lancaster, another for Lititz, and a third for Strasburg. Complete all three, or mark where you left off and come back another day! We suggest you try taking a photo with each item and sharing them with us by tagging #DiscoverLancaster. Or splitting your group into teams and seeing who can check everything off first, the fastest group gets whoopie pies (count us in!). Learn interesting facts and take in the sites as you discover what is hidden around Lancaster County. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask a local for a hint or directions some of these items can be tricky to find.

10 Things to Find in Lititz:

  • A giant pretzel
  • The oldest house on Main Street
  • A British flag
  • A chocolate mold shaped like a rabbit
  • Three mallard ducks
  • A Rolex clock
  • A Moravian star
  • A train station and caboose
  • An authentic heritage garden
  • The start of the Lititz spring
  • Bonus: A giant egg

10 Things to Find in Downtown Lancaster

  • A mural or piece of public art
  • An ice cream shop
  • A historic theater
  • The oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S.
  • Live music or street musician
  • A historic landmark
  • A roof top bar
  • A place to play a sport
  • A fountain
  • A man reading a newspaper
  • Bonus: Three outdoor pianos (May-September)

10 Things to Find in Strasburg

  • A train with a caboose
  • A theater up on a hill
  • Farm animals
  • A horse and buggy
  • A place to stop for a sundae
  • A giant statue of an Amish man (hint: it’s close to a restaurant)
  • A historic place to stay
  • Corn fields – Bonus point if you find a corn maze
  • Antiques and items from the past
  • A pink flamingo

Lancaster, PA’s Best Burger Spots

Fewer things are better than a burger fresh off the grill. From the classic cheeseburger to one piled high with tasty toppings, this nostalgic sandwich conjures up memories of backyard barbeques and days at the diner. Here in Lancaster County, you can find restaurants inspired by the past, along with spots focused on today’s trending flavors– who are all flipping delicious burgers for you to try.

We reached out to local eaters on Facebook to get the scoop on where their go-to burger is served up. Next time you’re in town, swing by one of the places below to satisfy your burger craving.

Local Favorites:

A Blast from the Past: DJ’s Taste of the 50s

A trip to DJ’s Taste of the 50s will have you feeling like you stepped back in time – from the décor and vintage lunch counter to the all-American menu featuring burgers, fries, milkshakes and floats. Locals raved about their burgers that range from the classic (lettuce, tomato, onion & mayo) to the spunky Caribbean Burger (crushed pineapple, spicy jerk sauce & pepper jack cheese combined with crispy bacon). For the complete experience, be sure to pair your burger of choice with a creamy, dreamy shake or soda float.

Best Paired with a Craft Brew: Iron Hill Brewery

Another stellar recommendation is Iron Hill Brewery and their beer-inspired burgers. Pop in to this sleek-yet-casual brewery and restaurant for one of their signature beers and scratch-made eats. Two of their burger offerings will have your mouth watering as you read the menu, both inspired by the beer they brew – the Pimento Cheeseburger (Vienna Red Lager and Ore House IPA-pickled pimento cheese, bacon, bread and butter pickles, pickled jalapenos, crispy fried onion rings, served on potato roll) and the Drunk Monk Burger (Wee Heavy Ale-caramelized onions, mushrooms, arugula, rosemary truffle aioli, brie cheese, served on potato roll).

The One and Only: Horse Inn

At the Horse Inn, there’s only one burger on the menu – but trust us, it’s the only one you need. Locals love this burger and rightfully so. It’s custom blend of short rib, brisket, chuck & 10% dry aged beef makes for a tender, juicy and most importantly, flavorful burger that they top simply with lettuce, red onion, tomato, white American cheese and special sauce. The bun is made locally by Alfred & Sam’s and toasted to perfection. While you’re enjoying the burger paired with an artfully crafted cocktail, take in the speak-easy vibes of this restaurant that dates back to the 1920s.

From the Neighborhood Sports Bar: Station House Tavern

Cozy up with the locals at Station House Tavern for a tasty burger Lancastrians love. A true sports bar, they’ve dubbed their burgers to be “Hall of Fame Burgers” and that they are. Station House pays homage to the local minor league baseball team, the Lancaster Barnstormers, with the Cylo Burger (8 oz. burger topped with bacon, onion rings, American cheese & an over-light egg). If you’re feeling creative, their create-your-own option features a plethora of toppings to mix and match.

All-American Vibes: Route 66 Restaurant

Locals can’t get enough of Route 66 and their out-of-this-world burgers. Their burgers are more of the flat, crispy on the edges type that are ideal for stacking and layering with melted American cheese. They make a mean special sauce, then top the burger with the classics (lettuce, tomato and onion). You’ll dig this uncomplicated, classic burger while visiting Downtown Lancaster.

A New Must Try: Smokestack BBQ

New to the dining scene in Strasburg, Smokestack BBQ is a cozy spot to grab a bite with house-smoked meats and delectable mac & cheese. Also on their menu is a fantastic selection of cheeseburgers – from the simple cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion to something they’ve dubbed “the MOAB (mother of all burgers)” – featuring four cheeses, bacon, pulled pork AND brisket. For those seeking a happy medium, ask for “The Pig’s Caboose” – a cheddar topped burger with pulled pork, cole slaw and their original house made BBQ.

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