Category Archives: Things to Do

Guide to Hotel Pools in Lancaster

Where to splash and swim indoors and out, and then spend the night.

Many of our hotels in Lancaster, PA offer visitors (and staycationers!) a chance to hang out poolside, and the opportunity for your little ones to play in a zero depth a splash zone. After a long day exploring Lancaster, hotel guests can lounge outside (or indoors), or take a lap or two in the pool.

Below is a look at some of Lancaster’s best hotel pools for beating the summer heat or to get your energy out during the winter blues.

Note: The below list is in alphabetical order.

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[1]  AmishView Inn & Suites
Enjoy your stay in an upscale hotel where you can draw back your curtains and see the lush Amish farmland, and to top it off, you’ll love their indoor pool, fitness center and whirlpools

[2]  Best Western Plus Intercourse Village Inn
With some much to do in Lancaster, save some time to take a dip in the indoor pool and hot tub. Located in the heart of Intercourse, you can conveniently stay within walking distance of many of the local attractions and shops.

[3]  Bird-in-Hand Family Inn
With both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Family Inn is the perfect place for an active family, no matter the season of travel. In addition, your family will love the tennis and basketball courts, and more.

[4]  Circle M RV and Camping Resort
If you’re truly up for an adventure, enjoy 104 acres of land surrounded by the Conestoga River, mini-golf, pitch and putt golf, and an indoor water park.

[5]  Clarion Inn at Historic Strasburg
Take a dip in the outdoor heated pool at the Clarion Inn, right in the heart of Lancaster County. If you are looking to visit Sight & Sound Theatres, the Strasburg Rail Road, or Lancaster’s Outlets, this is an ideal location.

[6]  Comfort Suites Manheim/Lancaster
Centrally located between Hershey & Lancaster’s attractions, and right up the road from the largest indoor sports complex in the U.S., the indoor salt-water pool will be the perfect addition to your stay.

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[7]  DoubleTree Resort by Hilton – Lancaster
Your kids will love the indoor water playground – complete with slides, dump buckets, and water sprayers – also featuring a shallow wading area with a frog slide and rainbow sprinkler. And don’t forget to grab a warm and gooey DoubleTree Cookie when you check in!

[8]  Eden Resort & Suites
If you’re looking for a little luxury with your family fun, the Eden Resort is the hotel for you. Enjoy both a heated indoor and outdoor pool and Kidz Water Zone spray park. In addition, the lighted outdoor ping pong, billiard, and shuffle board tables, basketball court, Boccee, and putting green will add even more chances for fun.

[9]  Fulton Steamboat Inn
Savor the full service accommodations in addition to a heated indoor pool & whirlpool. And if it’s nice outside, head out to feed the ducks and koi in the pond, or spend the evening by the fire-pit on the patio, overlooking beautiful Lancaster County farmland.

[10]  Greystone Manor Victorian Inn
Enjoy a stay in a beautiful Victorian Mansion, built in 1883 on 2 park-like acres including beautiful gardens and a pool and hot tub. Greystone Manor truly offers a unique stay in a serene setting in Lancaster County.

[11]  Hampton Inn Lancaster
You’re sure to enjoy the seasonal heated outdoor pool and patio area, and less than a block away, you can relax on a paved walking trail with ponds, water fixtures, a playground, unique sculptures, and more.

[12]  The Hotel Hershey
For year-round fun, relax by the indoor pool, and don’t miss the spa, located in the hotel. Whether you want a couples retreat or a family fun vacation with Hersheypark as part of your trip, this is the hotel for you.

[13]  Lake-in-Wood Camping Resort
From an indoor heated pool and spa to a larger outdoor pool complex, your family is sure to remember your stay at Lake-in-Wood – featuring two fun playgrounds, a total fitness hiking trail, rec room, and paddle boats.

[14]  Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
Located in the center of Downtown Lancaster, the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square is perfectly situated for a night on the town. After exploring the city that was recently named one of Forbes Top Ten Cities to Visit in 2018, relax in their indoor pool.

[15]  Tru by Hilton Lancaster East
Featuring an indoor heated pool, the new Tru by Hilton Lancaster East is perfect for the traveler who’s looking for affordable travel with upscale amenities. This hotel features a lobby with areas to let you work, play, lounge and eat, and a fully equipped fitness center.

Fun Family Weekend in Lancaster

A Fun Family Weekend in Lancaster, PA

Do you feel the need to escape the cabin fever of late winter and create memories with the ones you love? Looking for something close by? Easy to plan? We have just the thing for you! Conveniently located within a couple of hours from most cities in the Mid-Atlantic region, Lancaster, PA offers a combination of small-town charm, historical appeal, and vibrant city amenities that your whole family will enjoy.

We rounded up a list of recommendations for a 3-day weekend trip, removing the stress of planning from the equation. With a focus on quality family time together, hands-on learning, and partaking in the unique foods Lancaster offers, we hope that you find this weekend one to remember. If you’re more of a planner, and want to add your own twist on what’s recommended below, we’ve got the perfect Lancaster County Destination Guide for you – and it’s free!

Day 1: Friday Night in Lancaster

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We know you’ll appreciate staying in Marriott in Downtown Lancaster, as its location provides the perfect backdrop for the start of your weekend. There are over 60 delicious dining options and 80 shops all within walking distance. If you don’t want to spend too much time on your phone, scrolling through the whole list of restaurant options, we recommend Isaac’s Downtown Bar and Grill. It’s an award-winning, bird-themed restaurant featuring grilled sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh salads, and a fun, interactive Kid’s Menu. After dinner, take some time to unwind. There’s nothing quite like sinking into a comfy hotel bed at the end of a long week. Plus, you’re going to want to be well rested for your Saturday adventures.

Day 2: Saturday in Lancaster

Morning: For a great start to your day, grab a hearty breakfast at the Baker’s Table, which offers coffee, tea, pastries, and their spin on old-fashioned treats like whoopie pies. They also offer a crowd-pleasing breakfast buffet featuring homemade waffles, made-to-order omelets, and all-you-can-eat bacon. After breakfast, head to the Lancaster Science Factory, which is located in the same historic complex as the Baker’s Table cafe. The Science Factory features 65 interactive exhibits, workstations, and mini-labs, offering engaging, open-ended learning experiences for kids ages Pre-K through 8th grade.

Afternoon: The best part about the Science Factory is that your pass is good all day, so you can come and go as needed. When everyone is tired and hungry, you can fuel up at Cork and Cap, also located in the same complex as the Science Factory. They’re known for their Pennsylvania Dutch fare, which they offer up with a contemporary, cosmopolitan twist. There’s no need to pack up the car and drive to multiple locations!

Night: After a long day of discovery, you can always head back to your hotel for a break and take a dip in the pool. If you ended up craving a late night snack, the Lancaster Sweet Shop has a selection of Stroopies and a large variety of ice cream flavors. Take our word for it: mixing ice cream with a local favorite like Stroopies, is a perfectly delicious way to cap off your busy day.

Day 3: Sunday in Lancaster

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Morning: Why not start off your morning at the Prince Street Cafe? Just a block and a half walk from your hotel, they serve a satisfying selection of egg sandwiches, breakfast wraps, smoothie bowls, coffees, and teas. After breakfast, we recommend taking a trip back in time to experience the historic Strasburg Rail Road. Only a 20-minute car ride away from Downtown Lancaster, you won’t regret climbing aboard an antique train car from the 1800’s as you witness the beautiful countryside pass outside your window. Be sure to get your tickets in advance to guarantee you get the seats that work best for you!

Afternoon: If you’re hungry before you hit the road toward home, The Fireside Tavern is a cozy spot located in Strasburg just minutes away from the railroad. The restaurant offers a great selection of casual dining fare for both kids and adults, and in the winter, you can enjoy the warmth of three working fireplaces.

We hope our ideas provide you with some inspiration for creating new memories with the ones you love, all while helping you beat those winter blues.

Forbes names Lancaster, PA as one of the “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018”

Looking for a hip city to explore this summer or even for a weekend during the spring or fall? Why not pick Lancaster – who was just named as one of Forbes’ “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018.”

What makes Lancaster so cool?

Tucked amongst the beautiful, iconic Amish farmland, Downtown Lancaster has a food scene that’s on the rise. Venture beyond the PA Dutch food for out-of-this-world Italian cuisine and wood-fire pizza at Luca – where Chef Taylor Mason combines the old-world charm and flavors of distant Italy with the ultra-local ingredients grown right here in Lancaster.

Be sure to make reservations ahead of time – the more popular dining times go fast!

Lancaster’s architecture is a big part of the charm. Passionate Lancastrians are transforming old warehouses and buildings to create new spaces for eating, drinking and entertainment. Thistle Finch Distillery and The Fridge are doing just that. Located in the former Walter Schnader Tobacco Warehouse, Thistle Finch is bringing of distilling to Downtown Lancaster, creating rye whiskey, white rye, gin, and vodka – then serving the spirits up in artfully crafted cocktails.

More of a craft beer enthusiast? The Fridge is a cozy bottle shop with an impressive selection of hard-to-find craft, micro, imported and local beer, located right behind the Lancaster Arts Hotel. Pair your beer with a slice of their flatbread pizza (because few things go better together), and cozy up by their fire or enjoy their outdoor space – depending on the weather.

Our vibrant art and theatre scene also adds to the coolness of Lancaster – with a plethora of live performances and galleries to tap into your artsy side. If you find yourself in Lancaster on the first Friday of the month, enjoy the extended gallery and boutique hours, and special performances and exhibits as you get swept up Gallery Row’s creative energy on First Friday.

Live theatre lovers will adore the historic, stunning Fulton Theatre – not just for its broadway-calibur shows, but also for its ornate architecture and rich history. The theater is full of character and stories, much like the shows that take place on its stage.

Outside the wide-array of offerings in Downtown Lancaster, families can experience life on the farm, breathing in the fresh air and even petting lovable animals. Find your way through the corn maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm and watch the Strasburg Rail Road train chug by. You’ll love the fresh air and relaxing pace, while your kids will love all the hands-on, farm-centric activities – win win!

And that’s just the beginning – get info on Lancaster’s latest and coolest by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter, and stay in the know.

Resource: Abel, Ann, “The 10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018,” Forbes

Things to Do in March in Lancaster, PA

March is in like a lion, out like a lamb, and filled with great events in Lancaster, PA! With indoor events and shows for those blustery days and outdoor Easter events for when the sun comes out, this month has things to do for all weather conditions and occasions.

Start the month with a tasty meal. Lancaster City Restaurant Week kicks off the month, running through March 4, with delicious meals at various restaurants throughout Downtown Lancaster. For every time of day and budget, you’re in for a memorable meal.

In the mood for tons of great live music? Mosey down to Lancaster for the weekend (March 9-11) for Lancaster Roots & Blues. This festival is back for its fifth year, returning with a line-up packed with stellar soul, blues, funk, roots, and folk performances at nine different venues in Downtown Lancaster. While you’re venue-hopping, pick your poison – caffeine or cocktails – at one of our coffee shops or fine dining restaurants to keep you going through the late night hours.

For the history and museum buffs, March 11 marks Charter Day – the day that William Penn received the royal charter for what we now call Pennsylvania. To commemorate the occasion, three of Lancaster County’s museums and historical attractions are open, free of charge.

– Dive into the past at Ephrata Cloister, for a look at life in a religious community from the 1700s.

– Landis Valley Village Farm & Museum brings the 1800s PA German world to life.

– The Railroad Museum of PA offers locomotive fanatics the chance to explore the history of the railroad, trains and more.

Break out your boots – its Mud Sale season! These annual auctions are one of the best ways to experience Lancaster County life, as many auction-goers and auctioneers are Amish. Wander the aisles of goods up for grabs, including lawn equipment, shrubbery, housewares, hand-stitched quilts, crafts, and even the kitchen sink. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or maybe just good PA Dutch eats and to experience a slice of Amish culture, you’ll find it on Saturday at a Mud Sale.

March is the perfect time for quilters and quilt admirers to visit Lancaster, PA. This month brings AQS QuiltWeek to Downtown Lancaster for four days (March 21-24) of workshops, exhibits, vendors and contests, all focused around the art of quilting. In need of sewing supplies, inspiration or instruction? This event has everything a quilter could ask for! Plus, many of the fabric stores around the area have sales and extended hours for even more shopping.

Speaking of shopping, Tanger Outlet’s Mommy and Me event, to be held on March 28 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, offers up an afternoon of kid-friendly fun. Kids will love the games, craft activity, and guest appearances from Cylo from the Lancaster Barnstormers, Duke from Dutch Wonderland and Nano from Go ‘N Bananas. Moms will love the tasty bites from Saladworks and Chick-fil-a, and the chance to win a $100 Tanger Gift Card (especially if she wins!).

Hop on over to Lancaster for family-friendly Easter events. The Easter Bunny is in town for breakfast at Kitchen Kettle Village and a train ride on the Strasburg Rail Road – two wonderful ways to celebrate Easter as a family. Kick off the weekend with a local egg hunt, then relax with the family over brunch or Easter dinner.

For even more events throughout the year, let our Events Calendars be your guide!

A Guide to Quilting in Lancaster, PA

Whether you’re new to quilting, an expert quilter or purely an admirer, Lancaster County is a hub for the craft with a wealth of fabric stores and places to buy handmade quilts for your home.

Quilts can be passed down from generation-to-generation, reminding us of the past. They can keep us warm when winter’s chill rolls in, and add a pop of color to a wall as a decorative item. No matter what you use it for, these works of art are meant to be seen.

Whether you create your own quilts or are shopping for a handmade gem made by a local crafter, Lancaster’s quilt scene can be explored and experienced in many ways.

Just For Fabric:

Browse the aisles of expertly organized fabric to find inspiration for your next project. Fabric stores are plentiful in Lancaster County, full of classic and modern prints along with basic solids of every color. Don’t forget your thread and notions!

Fisher’s Houseware and Fabric (Paradise, PA)

Mook’s Fabric Outlet (Leola, PA)

The Quilt Ledger (Christiana, PA)

For Both:

Looking for a one-stop shop? For those who sew, find fabric, notions, thread and patterns. If you’d rather purchase a fully made, ready to cuddle quilt – they have those too. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse. There’s lots to look at!

The Old Country Store (Intercourse, PA)

Log Cabin Quilt Shop & Fabric (Bird-in-Hand, PA)

Family Farm Quilts & Fabric (Intercourse, PA)

Just For Quilts:

Handmade and stitched with care, you’ll find beautifully made quilts as you wander the shops below. They can range from simple colors and classic shapes to vibrant and abstract patterns. Amish, Mennonite, and local artisans create these masterpieces – some even still sew them by hand. Smaller goods like quillows (quilted pillows that fold out to a blanket), wall hangings, bags, and table runners are great for those who may not have space for a large quilt.

The Quilt Shop at Miller’s (Ronks, PA)

Country Lane Farm Amish Quilt Shop (Leola, PA)

Village Quilts (Intercourse, PA)

Riehl’s Quilts (Leola, PA)

Tip: Don’t hide your beautiful quilts away. They can be displayed on a rack or hung on the wall, and even used as a warm bed spread or a cozy cover when cuddling up on the couch.  Many are machine washable, using a mild detergent and possibly a color catcher if the quilt features white and rich reds. Some actually get better with use.

Quilting Events:

To get a taste of local life, swing by a Mud Sale in the spring or early summer. Many of these annual auctions feature handmade quilts, made by Amish and Mennonite crafters. Bid on your favorites or just check out the offerings while enjoying some tasty PA Dutch classics, like freshly made donuts and chicken corn soup.

Quilters will gather at Lancaster County Convention Center in March for AQS QuiltWeek® – the annual convention featuring workshops, exhibits, contest, vendors and more. In need of sewing supplies, inspiration or instruction? This event has everything you will need when it comes to quilts. Many of the quilt and fabric stores offer sales and extended hours during the convention.

Want to Learn How to Quilt?

Get your feet wet and learn to basics or perfect your sewing skills. The Old Country Store in Intercourse offers a variety of learn to sew and quilting classes, where their skilled instructors walk you through a project you can be proud of. Who knows – you may even find your new favorite hobby!

Resource: photos taken at the Old Country Store, tip courtesy of Jan Mast

The Wacky Town Names of Lancaster County

As you drive through Lancaster County, you may come across some towns with tongue-and-cheek and just plain wacky names. Or maybe you saw the video of the Chicago news anchor fumbling over the pronunciation of “Lititz”.

How did these names come to be? We’re digging through the history books to find where these unique names originated, giving a rhyme and reason to the names that make us giggle.


The town of Lititz traces its name back to Germany, where the founder – Count Nicholas Ludwig – hailed from. The Count left Saxony, Germany, and settled in this area of the state in 1741 with Moravians who were seeking religious freedom. The name “Lititz” was inspired by a Bohemian Castle near Kunvald that held the name “Litice.”

Resource: Venture Lititz

Blue Ball

While this name may make us chuckle, its origins are pretty straight-forward. The town is named after an 18th century inn, located in the town. The owner hung a blue ball on the building, referring to the inn as “The Sign of the Blue Ball.” The name stuck – and the rest is history.

Resource: WGAL


Welcome to Paradise – Paradise, PA that is! Two people, Joshua Scott and Mary Ferree, are commonly credited with the naming of this town. While standing in the middle of the road, Joshua Scott stated that the town should be called Paradise because of the beauty he saw around him.

Mary Ferree’s story, on the other hand, has a little more legend involved. After fleeing France, Ferree and her family received a land grant for the acreage in PA. Her family arrived and lived peacefully among the Native Americans who called this area home. Legend has it that upon arrival, Mary said “this is truly a paradise,” giving the town its name.

Resource: Amish Country News & Lancaster Online


There are a couple theories behind this cheeky town name. The first theory comes from an old race track located on Old Philadelphia Pike, called “Entercourse.” Some think that the name “Entercourse” evolved to “Intercourse” and became the town name in 1814.

The second theory stems from the two famous roads that intersected in the town, one running east and west from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and one running from Erie to Wilmington. Because of this, the town was called “Cross Keys” which may have eventually became “Intercourse.”

The third theory concerns the language used during the town’s early days, when the word “intercourse” described fellowship and social support in the community. The town name of Intercourse would have described the comradery of the town.

Resource: Intercourse Heritage Days


Have you heard the saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” Legend has it that the saying played into this unique town name. Two men were surveying the highway between Philadelphia and Lancaster. Needing a place to stay, they found an inn (a simple log hut), quoted that saying, and stayed for the night. The inn became known as “The Bird-in-Hand,” giving the town its name.  The sign outside the inn depicted a man holding a bird, which made it easy for travelers to find.

Resource: Bird-in-Hand

Roots & Blues Festival Round-Up

When you think Blues or Jazz music you think of somewhere like Memphis or Louisiana, right? Did you know that Lancaster has its own Roots & Blues Festival? And it is kickin’…

Held in March, this annual festival is back for the 5th year in a row to grace the city with its musical presence. Roots and Blues features over 50 artists from around the world at eight different venues throughout downtown Lancaster. Whether you are an avid Blues fan, or just a casual listener all are welcome to attend!

You can purchase tickets for the whole weekend, one- or two-days, or even one-venue. (If you would like to see any performances on the mainstage you must have a general admission ticket). Tickets are available in advance and it is recommended to purchase them ahead of time… this event is pretty popular among locals and visitors alike.

Ridiculous. #vonsmith #lancaster #rootsandbluesfestival

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The festival showcases all different types of musical genres from Blues, Jazz, and Rock ‘n Roll, to Reggae, Bluegrass, Ska, and even Celtic! Needless to say, there is just about something for everyone to enjoy.

Be sure to take a look at the artists performing a head of time so you can plan a schedule of what to see where. Downtown Lancaster is very walkable, so you should have no trouble getting from one venue to the next to see a performance.

We do recommend you dress in layers; it can be cold here in Lancaster in early March, but the venues can get crowded so you will want to be able to shed your jacket. Also, don’t be afraid to don your fringy boots, embroidered peasant top, or your favorite leather jacket- this is a music festival after all and the City of Lancaster is brimming with creative energy. Feel free to flaunt your personal style.

If listening to all that music makes you hungry, there are plenty of places to grab a bite Downtown. Lancaster has loads of ethnic eats, pub fare, and good ol’ American favorites. Some of the venues, like Tellus360 also serve food so you can dine while you listen. We recommend you try the pizza at the Federal Taphouse, and grab a beer while you are there – the Taphouse features 100 beers on tap. If you are in the mood for something cultural try Sa la Thai Restaurant on North Queen Street. For more upscale dining visit Carr’s or The Pressroom– both are delicious. (All are within walking distance of the festival venues).

The Roots and Blues Festival is a great way to experience live music and break out of the winter doldrums. Come for a day, or for the weekend and celebrate the roots of American music and explore all that Lancaster City has to offer.

Locations to purchase tickets in person:

Stan’s Record Bar – 48 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-397-5200 | *Cash Only

CI Records – 226 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-391-7865

The Record Connection – 555 N. Reading Rd., Ephrata, PA 17522 | 717-733-1641

Iko’s Music Trade – 2300 E. Market St., York, PA 17402 | 717-755-2752

20 Things to do in Lancaster in February

From Valentine’s Day to Black History Month and even Fasnacht Day, there’s plenty to do in Lancaster this February for both locals and visitors alike. Turn up the romance with a date night at one of our theatres or special events, or skip the chilly weather and spend some time being active with one of our many indoor adventures. With events for the whole family, this is your guide to some of the best happenings in town.

Enjoy the Arts & Culture

Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible with the largest magical touring show in the world. Witness grand illusions, levitating women, appearances and vanishes, escapes, comedy magic, and slight-of-hand, all LIVE, and amazing.

Bernstein Meets Rachmaninoff – Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story will get your fingers snapping and toes tapping as you relive the music of this romantic musical drama.

Peter Kenote and The Trust Collective – Join New York Philharmonic violist, Peter Kenote, and The Trust Collective as they present favorite selections from Baroque to Broadway.

Don’t miss out on our amazing shows in February:

The Mousetrap – A riveting whodunit that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

Cash – Ring of Fire – From the opening chords of vintage country to rockabilly, rock ‘n roll, searing ballads, and gentle songs of love and deep faith, you’re sure to love this classic.

Death at the Garage Sale – It’s hard to imagine that an older couple could get in trouble organizing their ‘downsizing’ garage sale, but find out how at this hilarious comedy.

First Date – imagine you’re on a blind date with your opinionated best friend, your therapist and a bevy of broken-hearted exes show up. Throw in a soundtrack to rival the Top 40 and you’ve got First Date, a non-stop laughter-inducing Broadway musical.

Celebrate Black History Month
Enjoy the smooth voice of jazz vocalist and composer Milton Suggs – dubbed “Chicago’s next rising star.” Suggs’ approach to music is a reflection of the many great voices in Black music and culture from the past century and beyond. On February 3, enjoy his lush baritone on original compositions, vocalese tunes and time-honored standards.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Throughout the month, visitors to the AACA Museum can enjoy Chocolate Covered February and participate in a Hershey’s Kisses Scavenger Hunt throughout the Museum – how many Hershey’s Kisses can you find?

The Ultimate Date Night with Jay & Laura Laffoon – The Ultimate Date Night is an evening of non-stop music, comedy, and laughter!

Book a B&B with a loved one! Curl up by the fire with a loved one, cozy up in a blanket, and read a good book, enjoy slow and simple conversations, or just listen to the silence. Book one of these great Bed & Breakfasts to rent this winter in Lancaster.

For more winter date night ideas, click here.

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Spend some time indoors
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.


Winter Date Ideas for Every Kind of Couple

We all enjoy a little time with the one we love, but—it’s winter, it’s cold, and it can feel like it takes a herculean effort just to get out of the house. We’ve all been there. Day-to-day activities take over, and it’s easy to feel stuck in a slump.

But, you don’t have to wait until spring to have a new experience and snap a photo that might make your friends a little jealous. Ask yourself: what type of couple are you? Intellectuals or adventurers? Are you foodies? Extroverts? Or perhaps coffee connoisseurs? Scroll through the list below to get inspiration for your next winter date!


You hear the call of the daring spirit even during the coldest months. Go climbing at Spooky Nook Sports Complex. You can buy day passes and climb until your heart’s content. And, even better, you can end your night with dinner or a late night snack at Forklift and Palate (which is right on the premises) offering American-style fare, cocktails, beer, and wine to refresh weary climbers after a night of scaling and bouldering.


Even the most accomplished home chef needs some inspiration from time to time. Don’t just go to the same place that you always gravitate toward for a night out. Why not grab dinner and cocktails at Aussie and the Fox? Then walk a few feet and get a delicious dessert and after-dinner cocktail from The Press Room Restaurant. Going to two different restaurants will amp up your night and create a memorable dining experience.

Coffee Connoisseurs

If cold nights are keeping you in, why not take a quiet morning and enjoy coffee and a breakfast treat? Lancaster County offers a wide variety of coffee shops, each one with their twist on a freshly roasted cup. From Passenger Coffee to Prince Street Cafe, to the Speckled Hen, Square One, and Mean Cup, it’s worth taking a quiet morning to be with your favorite person. Maybe even go to work late and take advantage of a weekday morning. (Just don’t tell your boss you got the idea from us!)


While a cozy night at home with your favorite person and book sounds like a dream come true during the colder months, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find your next favorite book. With local bookstores like DogStar Books, Aaron’s Books, and The Rabbit & The Dragonfly, it’s easy to get lost in the rows of shelves showcasing books just waiting for their stories to be told. Each of these bookstores hosts occasional events if you want to extend your night to meet like-minded individuals in the community.

Beer Enthusiasts

The call of the couch is strong while sipping on your favorite bottled beer on an average Tuesday night. But why not experience the growing craft culture of Lancaster County? With a history of unique beers, Lancaster has a few for you to choose from regardless of your favorite varietal; Lancaster Brewing Company, Iron Hill Brewery, Appalachian Brewing Company, Wacker Brewing Company, and Spring House Brewing Company. All these breweries offer craft beer and delicious food, so it might be a good night to hit up more than one of these Lancaster staples.


Take a step beyond experiencing art in a gallery. See art come to life at the Fulton Theater. With exciting shows all winter long, it’s an easy way to get out of the cold and discover your new favorite story. Or how about dinner and a show? Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre pairs a buffet full of delectable offerings with live musicals and concerts, perfect for a romantic evening out.


Instead of just hosting a dinner party or a game night, what if you experienced a couples group activity that will test the mental limits of each team member?  Lancaster has a few Escape Rooms, Escape on Queen and Escape Room Lancaster that offers a variety of themed rooms ready to test your intellect. These Escape Rooms build camaraderie, team bonding, and the satisfaction of beating the record.


Your introverted hearts are the happiest at home during a cozy night together.  But if you and your significant other are looking for an activity that will add a bit of spice to your daily routine, try a local cooking class. Most cooking classes are small (only 10-12 people per class), so it would be a fun way to learn a new type of cooking that you can enjoy at home time and time again. Zest offers a variety of classes, everything from cooking with an iron skillet to learning how to cook a Mexican feast. The Culinary Classroom provides a plethora of options from cooking techniques to making ravioli.

Whoever you are—artists or adventurers, introverts or extroverts—Lancaster County offers excellent date possibilities for every kind of couple. Make the most of winter and try something new.

Lititz Fire and Ice Festival Round Up

After New Year’s resolutions have started to fade and weeks of bitter cold have set in, we enter a state of hibernation with a touch of cabin fever. What better way to break the habit of weekend Netflix binging than attending Lititz’s Fire and Ice Festival?

Back for its 13th year in a row, visitors and locals alike love this winter event. You can expect awesome ice carvings, taste bud-tickling chili, and loads of local love bustling about this quaint, walkable town. The event begins on Friday, February 16 and continues through Monday, February 19, 2018.

The Fire and Ice Festival is estimated to bring in 40,000 people to the little town of Lititz over the course of the weekend. Put on by Venture Lititz and the Lititz Lions Club, the event is a fundraiser for the community programming of both organizations.

Part 1 – The Ice:
Channel your inner Elsa for Friday night’s spectacular kick off of the Fire and Ice Festival in the Lititz Springs park and around town. With so much to do and see, the cold won’t bother. Fairy lights strung amongst the trees, live music drifting through the air, and ice sculptures transform the park into a winter wonderland.

You will feel as if you are transported into Narnia as you walk around the park and watch the live carving of over 50 ice sculptures. Seeing large blocks of ice transformed before your eyes into detailed works of art will freeze you in your tracks. This mesmerizing show of craftsmanship is what the night is all about.

Stroll through the park while you sip on something hot, and munch on snacks from the food trucks located around town. If you need to warm up there are fire pits near the outdoor amphitheater in the back of the park. Live music is performed throughout the evening and marshmallows are distributed for s’mores.

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Sculptures are also carved at various locations around town, all of the ice sculptures are placed around Broad Street and Main Street for the remainder of the weekend for visitors to admire before they melt away. For Friday night, the streets are closed to vehicular traffic turning the main square into a big, town block party. This part of the event runs from 5-9 PM.

Part 2- The Fire:

Save your appetite for Saturday. The chili cook-off showcases the skills of 20 chefs, each representing 20 different local non-profits.

The cook-off is held at the Warwick High School (301 W. Orange St.) from 11 AM to 3 PM. Upon paying admission you are free to sample as many types of chili as you wish. From hot and spicy, to vegetarian, to different meat and bean combinations the varieties and flavors are vast. Once you have eaten your fill, cast your votes.

Votes raise money for the various charity organizations- the yummier the chili, the more votes they get, and the more money goes to the chef’s charity of choice. Win- win- win!

Along with chili there is also a Kid’s Carnival. Young chili enthusiasts (10 and under) can play games, color or visit craft stations, and partake in a variety contests throughout the day. If you do not have any young ones in tow to take to the carnival, you can check out the vendor fair which features local’s vendors and businesses.

Locals tips to Lititz:
• For Friday, be sure to dress in warm layers and wear boots. The park is often snowy or muddy at this time of year, so it is best not to wear your favorite shoes.

• Sections of Main Street and Broad Street are closed to vehicle traffic on Friday night from 4- 9 PM for the event, so plan your travel route accordingly. Broad Street will be closed from Orange Street to Front Street and Main Street will be close from Broad Street to Cedar Street.

• Because this event is very popular, the restaurants are usually pretty busy. Plan to accommodate a wait time in your schedule if you are grabbing dinner in town… rather than waiting to choose a place to eat while you are on the verge of being hangry.

• Buy your admission to the chili cook-off in advance, because it can sell out. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under (if they plan on having chili). Buttons can be purchased in advance at Stauffers of Kissel Hill (Lititz Location), Bombergers, Dosie Dough, or Aaron’s Books.

• The event continues through Monday, February 19, so you can walk around downtown Lititz and enjoy the sculptures all weekend, as well as check out local shops and restaurants.

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