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Top Things to Do in Lancaster this January

It’s always good to try something new, and embrace new challenges each year. It helps us to continue to grow and learn new skills. To ring in the new year, why not learn some new things, try some activities you haven’t done before, or perhaps, take your family to try an experience you did as a child. There are so many things to do in Lancaster this winter, you’ll fill up every weekend. Below we have complied a list of are our top things to try in January.

Take on an Indoor Adventure
We have put together a list of some awesome indoor adventures you can partake in. Stay nice and warm while you tackle new challenges.

Go Snow Tubing
If you are a snow-bunny at heart, one of the most popular winter attractions in Central PA is AvalancheXpress Snow Tubing. Bundle up and beat your family’s cabin fever by heading over to the hills for some great outdoor fun.

Take in a New Cultural Experience
Think you aren’t cut out for arts and culture? Lancaster offers a number of high caliber theatre performance from Broadway-quality musicals, comedies, dramas, orchestra performances, and nationally renowned musicians. You can certainly find a show you will enjoy. Check out the schedules at the American Music Theatre, The Fulton Theatre, The Ware Center, and The Trust Performing Arts Center to see what fits your calendar. You may find you love the symphony after all, if you give it a try!

Embrace Your Inner Artist
Everyone can be an artist, some just need some coaxing to let their creativity flow. Head to Zole Art Factory to paint pottery or canvas and get your inner Van Gough on. Group classes for children and adults are also offered. Where professional instructors guide you through easy step-by-step instructions to create your personal masterpiece.

Savor Seasonal Flavors
Many of the restaurants in Lancaster change their food and drink menus seasonally to feature local ingredients that are currently being harvested. You might wonder, what can be harvested in January – actually a lot! Root vegetables such as beets, potatoes, and carrots are all in season and make for delicious, hearty dishes to share.

Test Your Baking Skills
Learn how to twist and bake your own pretzels at the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. At Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, you can get a hands-on lesson in pretzel twisting and learn the history of pretzel baking in the United States.

Experience Something First Hand
Lancaster has a number of great places for children to learn in a truly hands-on, interactive way. Depending on your child’s age and interest, try heading to Tiny Town, The Lancaster Science Factory, or The North Museum of Nature and Science for a day full of learning and fun.

Try a New Look
New year, new you! Spend the day shopping at Tanger and Rockvale Outlets to add some new pieces to your closet and shake up your wardrobe.

Discover a New Perspective
It’s always important to learn about new cultures that are different from our own. Whether you are a “from here” or a “come here” there is a lot we can all learn from and about the Amish community. Try one of our many Amish and Farmland tours that are available around Lancaster County to learn about a new way of life

Eclipse Activities in Lancaster County

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

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

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

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

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

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

10+ Things to Do in Lancaster County in August

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the splendors of summer in Lancaster County. Plan some last minute fun with the kids before school starts or enjoy a weekend girlfriend’s getaway.

Kid-Friendly Festivities:

Happy Birthday to Kitchen Kettle Village’s beloved gingerbread man mascot, Yummie! Join Yummie and his friends for a family fun birthday party, featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, pedal cart rides and samplings of Kitchen Kettle’s tasty jams, pickles and more. This event is best suited for children 10 and under. Before the festivities begin, party-goers can enjoy a breakfast buffet filled with Lancaster County favorites. Tickets are required for the pre-party breakfast, and can be purchased online.

Thomas is coming back to town – Thomas the Tank Engine™ that is! August 27th through September 4th, 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 August and November Day Out with Thomas™ events online.

For the Art-lovers:

If you’re a fan of arts and crafts, you’ll love the art show line up this month in Lancaster County.

Shank’s Mare Outfitters hosts their annual Art & Outdoor show on August 6, featuring local artists who will be displaying and selling their works along the Susquehanna River. Local non-profit outdoor, historic, and cultural organizations will also be displaying information on their activities and programs. Show-goers can enjoy activities throughout the day.

Drawing 700 crafters from throughout the United States and Canada, the Rotary Club of Lititz Craft Show will be held along East Main Street, Broad Street and in Lititz Springs Park on August 13.

A weekend of art comes to Mt. Gretna, August 20 and 21, and features a plethora of artists, exhibitors, live music and delicious food options. Stroll the show grounds as you take in art of all kinds and activities for all ages.

Educational Family Fun:

From history to the arts and science, there are plenty of fun ways to learn in Lancaster County.

Little history buffs will love the Stories-on-the-Porch series at Rock Ford Plantation, August 3, 10 and 17. Geared towards children 3 to 7, this free program features a Rock Ford volunteer in 18th century period dress reading a story on the porch of the mansion. Following the story, children will enjoy a game or craft and light snack.

The First Friday in August brings art to the North Museum of Nature & Science with their new exhibition. The STEAM Art Gallery features creations by local artists whose work is inspired science and nature. Kids can connect with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and the exhibition with a scavenger hunt activity. On August 5, guests can experience the museum after hours, interact with the artists and enjoy light refreshments during the First Friday Exhibition Opening.

Brews Galore:

Beer lovers will love the ale-centric festivals scheduled in Lancaster this month.

Columbia celebrates brews with Rivertown Hops on August 6 along Locust Street. With over 40 brewers, live music and food vendors, Rivertown Hops promises an afternoon of beer sampling and tasty food.

Lancaster City celebrates ales, ciders, stouts and more during the annual Lancaster Craft Beer Fest on August 27 in Binn’s Park. Last year’s festival featured 64 breweries (both local and natioanlly know), food vendors and live music, combining for an afternoon of fun in Downtown Lancaster.

Going Once, Going Twice:

Mud Sales and auctions are back with three consignment sales in August.

To benefit the work of the Mennonite Central Committee, the Gap Relief Sale will be held on August 13 at the Solanco Fairgrounds. This annual community auction features quilts and a variety of items, plus delicious food available for purchase.

On August 20, the Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction will be held at the Intercourse Fire Company. The following weekend, the Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction will be held in Leola at the Bareville Fire Company.

And that’s just the short list! For a complete list of the events happening in Lancaster County in August and beyond, visit our online events calendar. Happy travels!

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