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Old 06-11-2014, 11:37 AM
80 posts, read 129,898 times
Reputation: 39


Hi, folks.

We are a family of four. Our kids are 8 and 9 years old. We will be taking our first trip to Lancaster and Hershey, PA towards the end of June. I think we'll be spending most of our time in Lancaster. We booked a four night stay at the Fulton Steamboat Inn in Lancaster. I'd love to hear from anyone here on places to go and things to see in Lancaster and/or Hershey. Also, if you have any input, good OR bad, about places/attractions/activities, please share.
(Btw, it will take us about 4 1/2 hours to drive to Lancaster. We do not want to do a lot of long-distance driving to get to attractions while we're away. So, we'd like to find things to do/see fairly close by.)

We've gotten some itinerary ideas from a family member who has children:
Choo choo barn
National toy train museum
Railroad museum
Strasburg railroad is worth looking at, you can ride the train, it's about 45 minutes round trip. There are a few railroad themed kiddie rides as well.
Mini golfing across from steamboat inn
Outlet shopping nearby
Fulton steamboat inn has a cool children's playground and duck pond which you can visit even if you don't stay there.
For first timers to the area there are educational tours or films about how the Amish live. (The Amish Farm and House is one place that offers a tour of an Amish House and has a small farm as well)
It's nice also just to ride around looking at the scenery and spotting the occasional Amish buggy.
In the little strip where choo choo barn is located is Isaacs deli, has good sandwiches
Waffle house they love hash browns
Miller's buffet is huge and good food
Good and plenty is good food served family style and there will be other people seated at same table. (In the back is a play area and animals to pet/feed)

Here are some of the ideas I've got floating around in my head: (Please give me your feedback on any of these.. As well as other ideas you have.)

Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park

Lancaster PA Dutch Country

RE: Amish Village

The Amish Village

RE: Kitchen Kettle Village

RE: Choo Choo Barn - Traintown USA

Choo Choo Barn - Traintown USA

Lancaster Science Factory

RE: Family Fun in Lancaster, PA (Scout.me)

RE: Hershey Gardens

HersheyPark HOURS

http://www.padutchcountry.com/members/hershey_s_chocolate_world_visitors_center.asp?Cate goryID=3
RE: Hershey's Chocolate World Visitor's Center

Hershey's Chocolate World

Thank you to any and all who respond!

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Old 06-11-2014, 04:33 PM
Location: Philly
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my daughter loves the science factory. had a very lod friendly meal at the lancaster brewing co on their beautiful patio afterwards. heard great things about dutch wonderland
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:23 AM
Location: Midwest transplant
2,050 posts, read 5,704,602 times
Reputation: 1620
Your children might be too old for Dutch Wonderland and would probably enjoy Hersheypark better. DW seems to fill the bill for those under 5...

Drive Route 340, the Old Philadelphia Pike. Stop at Intercourse Pretzel and take the tour. You can drive the back roads and see the wireless valley of Amish farms and stop at their roadside stands for fresh produce and homemade jams/jellies. There is a good presentation of Amish life at a place near Kitchen Kettle Village. Bird in Hand Bakery has great home baked goods, Kauffmans and Kitchen Kettle Village offer wonderful locally made products as well. The places recommended in the string of "Amish Experience" offer the best glimpse into the life of the settlements of people in the area.

Amish Experience Theater at Plain & Fancy Farm | Pennsylvania Dutch Country | Lancaster, PA
Intercourse Pretzel Factory - Lancaster County, PA - Soft, Hard Pretzles - Sprinkles

Landis Valley Museum is a good overview of the settlement of Pennsylvania Dutch (not the same as Amish). President Buchanan's home (Wheatland) is also in Lancaster, I'm not sure what condition it's now in, as it's been many years since I visited that attraction.

Your children might enjoy the Turkey Hill Experience (east of Lancaster near the Susquehanna River, fairly new attraction). They get to make their own ice cream concoction at the end of the tour.

The chocolate factory tour (next to Hershey Park) is free and provides a Disney type ride to learn about how chocolate is made. Also a cute side trip is the town of Lititz, where Wilbur chocolate is made and the Sturgis Pretzel House offers tours and samples!

Isaacs is one of my favorite restaurants, they're all over so it's easy to find one. Millers and Good n Plenty are food smorgasbords~portions are huge and wait times are usually long, so you may want to try and go at an off time. Unless you are coming from a state where there is no tax on clothing, the outlets are the same as everywhere else..there is no tax on clothing or shoes in PA (except for athletic wear and non essential accessories). Sometimes you can catch a deal...depends on what you're looking for.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:20 AM
Location: Philly
10,148 posts, read 16,042,796 times
Reputation: 2883
wilbur chocolate is tasty
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:27 AM
23,420 posts, read 21,576,979 times
Reputation: 14106
Its just a little north in Berks but Roadside America near Shartlesville is about the largest indoor miniature village and train display on the East Coast. If you like trains, its a must see. Its not just trains, its an entire indoor world of yesteryear with working street scenes, businesses, farms, rivers and waterfalls and planes. If you're up that way and close to Hamburg along Route 61 and like the outdoors, Cabela's would appeal to you. They have extensive wildlife exhibits including aquariums.
Drag the kids to the Vanity Fair clothing outlets in West Reading/Wyomissing for early back to school shopping. They'll hate you for it but their prices in Big Red and Big Blue are cheaper than any other outlet.
And for food, Shady Maple along route 23 just east of Blue Ball is a glutton's mecca. One massive all you can eat but its usually packed so come early. Plus they have a big grocery store in front that has many hard to find amish groceries.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:35 PM
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It's a bit over an hour drive, but Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom should work for kids that age.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:21 AM
1,323 posts, read 1,857,313 times
Reputation: 2469
Smile kk

Dont forget the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA.

Sample a wide variety of jams, salsas, relishes, etc..

Kitchen Kettle Village | Pennsylvania Dutch Country Shopping & Homemade Food
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