Just two hours from New York City or Philadelphia, the Pocono Mountains offer pristine natural beauty mixed with enough family-friendly activities to fill a long weekend getaway or an entire summer vacation. Truly a four-season resort area, during the winter people flock to the region for skiing and other winter sports, and the cool lake-dotted mountains draw families for swimming, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and more in the summer. It's also loaded with great water parks, both indoor and outdoor.
We've rounded up dozens of the top family attractions in the Poconos into one mega list. Given that it's a fairly large region, we've separated the list by area or town to make it easier to find what's closest to where you and your family plan to visit. Staying longer? Hit all the regions!
1. Swim and picnic at well-maintained Ricketts Glenn, Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro, or Promised Land state park beaches.
2. Go horseback riding at Malibu Dude Ranch, Triple W Riding Stables, Pocono Manor Stable, or Fernwood Resort.
3. Bowl away a rainy day at Summit Lanes or Wallenpaupack Bowling Center.
4. Enjoy rides, shows, and agricultural expos at the Wayne County Fair or Carbon County Fair.
5. Add some extra fun to your hike with geocaching at Hickory Run State Park, Big Pocono State Park, or Promised Land State Park.
6. Ski Shawnee Mountain or attend one of their popular summer or fall festivals.
7. Check the nonstop local event calendar for fun runs, sock hops, theater, music, and more.
Find your way out at Mazezilla at Klingel's Farm's. Photo courtesy of the farm
8. Poconos Go Karts and Play Park has a kiddie cart track where younger drivers can drive on their own.
9. Make your own souvenir at Poke a Nose Pottery.
10. Learn about local natives at the Pocono Indian Museum.
11. Visit the main Delaware Water Gap attractions and learn about the history aboard a trolley.
12. Canoe, kayak, or raft the Delaware River with Adventure Sports.
13. See a kid show at the Shawnee Playhouse.
14. Enjoy unlimited samples of 60 flavors of popcorn and fudge at Popcorn Buddha.
15. Treat yourselves to the $2.50 pie and a hot dog deal at Village Farmer and Bakery.
16. Pet the animals, participate in family programs and learn how people lived 150 years ago at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm.
17. Browse for used childrens and adult books at Carroll & Carroll Booksellers.
18. See the animals and the stars at Schisler Museum of Wildlife & Natural History and McMunn Planetarium.
19. See if you can escape the room at Klues Escape Room.
20. Get lost in Mazezilla at Klingel's Farm's.
21. Feed a bear, pigs, and monkeys at Pocono Snake & Animal Farm.
22. Zip between the trees, challenge yourself to an aerial tightrope, and climb the rope ladders at Pocono TreeVentures.
Hit the outdoor (or indoor) waterslides at Camelback. Photo courtesy of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
Tannersville and Mt. Pocono
23. Go snow tubing at Camelback, Jack Frost Big Boulder, or Fernwood Winter Fun Center.
24. Pick your own apples, pumpkins, or Christmas Tree at Heckman Orchards.
25. Challenge yourselves with the Treetop Adventure, Alpine Coaster, Pipeline Mountain Slide, or zip lines at Camelback Mountain Adventures.
26. Get wet and wild at Camelback Beach Waterpark.
27. Teenagers can take aim at Sunset Hill Shooting Range.
28. Spend a rainy day on the tiny carousel, playing mini-golf, arcade games, or in the old fashioned movie theater and ice cream shop at Casino Theater Entertainment Center.
29. Try pretzels in every imaginable variety and watch them being made at Callie’s Pretzel Factory.
30. Then drive five minutes away to Callie's Candy Kitchen for delicious homemade chocolates and candies of all kinds. Arrive on Saturday afternoons for free demos.
31. Stop at the Poconos' favorite breakfast spot, Piggy's in Lake Harmony, for massive plates of chocolate-chip pancakes and cinnamon swirl French toast.
32. Find year-round water park fun at the Split Rock Indoor Water Park.
33. Make it a weekend getaway and swim at the water park, get spa treatment, and even go on a magical quest at Great Wolf Lodge.
34. Splash at America's largest indoor water park, Kalahari, which happens to have opened in the Poconos.
A kiddie wading pool is just part of the fun at the Carousel Water and Fun Park. Photo courtesy of the park
35. Feed the giraffes at Claws 'N' Paws Animal Park.
36. There's endless fun, including water slides, laser tag, mini-golf, go-karts, bumper boats, and more at Costas Family Fun Park.
37. Pick your own blueberries at Paupack Blueberry Farm.
38. Little kids will appreciate the kiddie-kart track and wading pool while older kids will love the water slides, bumper boats, mini-golf, and go-karts at Carousel Water and Fun Park.
39. Rent a boat from Rubber Duckie Boat Rentals on Lake Wallenpaupack for a day of fun on the lake.
40. Pull your boat in for lunch at Ehrhardt's Restaurant using the dock-n-dine service, a drive-in for boats.
41. Chug along on a scenic railroad ride at Stourbridge Line.
42. Enjoy fresh cider and donuts as well as corn mazes and hayrides at Ritter's Cider Mill.
43. Watch the cars speed by at Hamlin Speedway.
Enjoy s'mores by the fire at your resort or campsite. Photo courtesy of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
Milford and the Delaware Water Gap
44. Visit Dingmans Falls part of Delaware Water Gap National Historic Park.
45. Hike the beautiful Bushkill Falls and then enjoy a round of mini golf or a ride in one of the paddle boats.
46. Hike to one of five other waterfalls in the Delaware Water Gap.
47. Swim in the cool Delaware River at one of three lifeguarded beaches.
48. The Poconos Environmental Education Center in Dingmans Ferry offers trails and public nature programs, including weekend family visits where you stay in their cabins and enjoy nature programs.
49. Ride the 3,000-foot zip line or play paintball at Kittattiny Canoes.
50. Tour the castle-like Grey Towers National Historic Site.
51. Raft the gentle white waters, appropriate for all ages, with Landers River Trips.
Explore a 20,000-year-old boulder field at Hickory Run State Park. Photo courtesy of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
52. Learn how the massive, striking Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park was created 20,000 years ago by permafrost (or just go swimming and hiking).
53. See how the miners lived and worked at Eckley Miners Village Museum.
54. Travel 1,600 feet underground to experience what miners did 200 years ago at No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum.
55. Bike the flat Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail and cool off in the small trailside waterfall.
56. Pick up some inexpensive toys at the old-fashioned Five & Dime.
57. Tour the Old Jail Museum for added leverage to keep your kids in line.
58. See how the other half lived during Victorian times a the Asa Packer Mansion.
59. Get hands on with butterflies at the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary.
60. Ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway or one of the themed rides.
61. Buy old-fashioned candies or ice cream at Rainbow's End.
Top photo: Go white water rafting with Landers River Trips. Photo courtesy of Landers River Trips.