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Planning a Family Vacation?

5 Things to Do in

Lancaster with Kids

5 Things to Do in Lancaster with Kids

Planning a trip to the Lancaster, PA area? Whether you're looking to enjoy a little stay-cation or are stopping here on your way to another destination, there's so much to do and see. And if you're traveling with children, there are plenty of things to do in Lancaster for families of all sizes. From museums and theme parks to theaters and historic train rides, there's a little something for everybody here.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to planning Lancaster County weekend getaways? We've got some ideas that are sure to be fun for the whole family!

Catch a Thrill at Dutch Wonderland or Hersheypark

If you're looking for a day of thrills and smiles, Lancaster is home to the Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park. This park has been thrilling families since its opening in 1963, offering a variety of rides and attractions for people of all ages. This park features more than 35 different attractions, ranging from family-friendly roller coasters to flat rides for the little ones.

In addition to rides, Dutch Wonderland is also known for its shows and experiences. Enjoy a puppet show, a performance from a magician, or even a diving show! Check the park's calendar before your visit to see which shows and experiences will be available. The best part? They're always included with your park admission!

If you're looking for more adrenaline-pumping thrills, Pennsylvania's famous Hersheypark is less than 30 miles from Lancaster in beautiful Hershey, PA. This park boasts some of the nation's wildest roller coasters, including the popular Fahrenheit and Great Bear. However, there are still plenty of smaller rides for the little ones, including the Cocoa Cruiser family coaster, a classic carousel, and much more. Hersheypark also has an attached water park that's open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, which is a great way to cool off on hotter days.

Even without purchasing admission to Hersheypark, families can enjoy a free tour at the adjacent Hershey's Chocolate World. This is an exciting way to see first-hand how chocolate is made while enjoying some free samples at the end! Throughout the year, there are also special appearances by Hershey's characters and other special events to entertain the whole family. Chocolate World even features a large gift shop, where you can shop for everything from Hershey's attire to the world's largest chocolate bar.

Take a Ride on the Strasburg Rail Road

Who doesn't love an old-fashioned train ride through the area's beautiful countryside? The Strasburg Rail Road has a rich history as America's oldest continuously operating railroad, with tracks winding through more than 2,500 acres of Lancaster County.

Throughout the year, there are a number of different train experiences available, including coach and open air rides that are an exciting experience for the entire family. If you're looking for something a little more upscale, book a first-class ticket in the President's Car or Parlor Car. There's even a dining car that offers a rotating menu throughout the year, including a dedicated kids' menu that has something for even the pickiest of eaters.

Special events are held at The Strasburg Rail Road throughout the year, so be sure to check their events calendar before your visit. One popular event with families is the "Train Ride with Thomas the Tank Engine,"which features a full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine™ steam locomotive, a 45-minute excursion through the countryside, a dance party, and other special events for little ones.

Shop 'Til You Drop at Tanger Outlets and Shops at Rockvale

Whether you just want to do a little window shopping or are looking for something specific, there's no shortage of retail shops around Lancaster and the surrounding areas. One popular destination for families is the Tanger Outlet Center, which is conveniently located in the heart of the city and features more than 65 different retail shops from such popular brands as:

  • Calvin Klein

  • Talbots

  • Banana Republic

  • Gap

  • Nike

The Tanger Outlet Center is a great place to spend a rainy day shopping and taking advantage of some steep discounts.

Another great shopping location right within Lancaster city limits is The Shops @ Rockvale, where you can find more than 45 different retailers and factory store outlets. Popular shops to explore here include:

  • QVC Outlet

  • Lane Bryant

  • Carter's

  • Puma

There are also some great places to grab a bite to eat without leaving The Shops @ Rockvale, such as Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel. Looking for a place for the little ones to burn off some energy? Check out the Busy Bodies Play Cafe, a popular stop for families with younger children. This indoor play center features plenty of slides, swings, climbing structures, and other activities that little ones are sure to love.

See a Show at the Fulton Theatre or Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Lancaster is known for its live shows, so if you're up for some classic entertainment, be sure to check out the Fulton Theatre on North Prince Street. This is actually considered by many to be the oldest continuously operating theatre in the United States and is one of just eight theatres across the country to earn the title of "National Historic Landmark."

New shows are being added to the theatre schedule all the time, so be sure to check regularly to find the most updated events. In addition to seeing a show at the theater itself, you can also learn a lot more about the historic roots of the building by taking a tour. This is a great way to discover how the theater and its productions run while getting to see some behind-the-scenes areas of the building (including backstage).

Interested in a show and dinner? Check out the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, located on Centerville Road in the heart of Lancaster. There, you'll find a variety of Broadway show packages with options to keep the whole family entertained. Each performance is also paired with a meal ticket to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Throughout the year, the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre offers some special children's theater shows for little ones. For example, "Legally Blonde: The Musical (Jr.)" will run through the summer of 2023, followed by "Santa Claus: The Musical" in December. These shows are a great option for families with younger children—and all shows include a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities for children after the performance.

Explore a Gallery Exhibit at a Local Museum

Looking for more family fun Lancaster PA? Don't overlook the area's many museums, ranging from art museums to historical museums and just about everything in between. The Lancaster Museum of Art on North Lime Street is a popular destination for families, with a variety of exhibits offered throughout the year. Be sure to check out the museum's list of current and upcoming exhibitions before your visit to learn more about what the museum has to offer.

In addition to special exhibits, the museum hosts plenty of fun events for kids and families throughout the year. This includes guided walking tours, children's art workshops, parties in the community garden, and more. Plus, admission to the Lancaster Museum of Art is free (with a suggested donation of $5 per person), so it's a budget-friendly option for families of all sizes.

The Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum on Kissel Hill Road is another popular option among families, offering some fascinating insight into Pennsylvania's history and what it was like living in Lancaster County in the 18th and 19th centuries. There, you'll find plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits to explore, including historic Pennsylvania German villages, horse-drawn wagon rides, traditional craft demonstrations, and much more.

You'll also find special events held at the museum throughout the year, including the popular Civil War Weekend in July and Harvest Days in October.

Make the Most of Your Lancaster PA Weekend Getaway at the Eden Resort & Suites!

From laid-back tours and train rides to thrills and live shows, there's no shortage of things to do in Lancaster PA with kids Lancaster getaways. And when you're looking for somewhere to kick your feet up and relax after a fun day of exploring the area, the Eden Resort & Suites is a wonderful option for families. With many different room types to choose from, including multi-room suites and villas, you can be sure to find the accommodation that best suits your crew.

Meanwhile, when you stay with us, you'll enjoy such amenities as a heated indoor and outdoor pools, a dedicated Kids Splash Zone, and an outdoor recreation center. When it comes to dining, you don't even need to leave the property to enjoy an excellent meal at Bistro 2two2 or Arthur's Terrace. Don't want to leave your room? Try take-out from our restaurants or order room service seven days a week.

Families can always make the most of their Lancaster County getaways at the Eden Resort & Suites. Contact us at 866.801.6430 to find out more about our accommodations or to make your reservation today!

Book your stay with us.