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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 both have kayaks and canoes for rent, and will help you enjoy your time on the river. Both also have other outdoor items for rent – like bikes, camping and climbing gear.

[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.

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