If you're looking to get away for a few days, Pennsylvania offers some great places to take a summer or fall weekend getaway. We've got six great ideas for places to visit in Pennsylvania over a holiday weekend, or any time! From the Poconos to Amish Country, Hershey Park to Philadelphia and even a fun-filled factory tour, there's lots to do with the kids.
The exhibits at The Lancaster Science Factory are completely interactive and incredibly educational. Photo courtesy of the author
Lancaster has so much to offer including Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park reputed to be among the best for kids under age 8. If you are looking for a weekend of train rides, bumper cars, log rides, mini roller coasters, and "Frog Prince" diving shows, this is the place to go! When you've had your fill of rides, check out the Lancaster Science Factory, the Strasburg Railroad, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and more.
No excuses needed to visit chocolate land! First visit The Hershey Story Museum where you can book a class in the chocolate lab for hands-on chocolate making. Then head to Hershey Park, an amusement park sure to entertain kids of all ages with roller coasters, characters, shows, games, and everything else you can imagine. Hershey is a great place to celebrate the holidays, as well. Visit during Christmastime to meet Santa's reindeer, see the park all lit up, and ride some holiday coasters.
From ketchup to sports and cartoons, Pittsburgh offers a wide variety of activities for families. Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as well as the National Aviary. Budding artists will love visiting the Toonseum and The Warhol Museum. If you're in the market for an amusement park check out Kennywood Park or Idlewild & Soak Zone. Don't miss a ride on the Duquesne Incline, and make sure you try some Poutine (gravy fries)!
The Lehigh Valley is home to Easton's Crayola Experience. See a live demonstration of how crayons are made and get your craft on at this fun factory. Visit the National Canal Museum where you can ride a real canal boat and find out more about the history of these mule-pulled boats. The Da Vinci Science Center features lots of interactive and hands-on exhibits for kids. Looking for amusement rides? Check out Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom.
Stay at Great Wolf Lodge for water park fun all year long, regardless of the weather outside. The resort's main feature is its huge indoor water park and tree house water fort with water slides, lazy rivers, and raft rides. Hike BushKill Falls for some nature fun, visit the Snake and Animal Farm to feed pigs, monkeys, and bears, or try to find your way out of Mazezilla at Klingel's Farms.
See the inner workings of the brain at The Franklin Institute. Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Looking for a more urban vacation? Philadelphia is a perfect place to visit for a weekend of history, culture, and fun. Take the kids to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall for a dose of American History. To balance history with fun, go to Smith Playground and Playhouse, a seasonal 6-acre outdoor playground. Then check out the Franklin Institute for science exhibits including the giant heart and the train factory. Philadelphia is also home to America's first zoo. Don't leave without the obligatory Philly cheese steak!
Photo courtesy of VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org