13 Things to Do in Lancaster, PA With Kids

Updated On November 7, 2023

Lancaster sits in the center of Pennsylvania‘s Amish countryside.

This is one of the oldest areas of Pennsylvania and a visit will have you and your kids stepping back in time to days when life was slower and people were one with nature.

Interact with animals, ride a steam engine, or navigate corn mazes.

Learn how to churn butter and see how the people of the 1700s and 1800s lived.

Your kids will gain a greater respect for everything around them after this vacation.

13 Things to Do in Lancaster, PA With Kids

Amish Farm and House
Amish Farm and House

1. Amish Farm and House

The Amish Farm experience allows you to take a self-guided tour throughout the farm or to sign up for special tours they offer.

We think the special tours are the most fun.

The Animal Fun Tour is geared especially for kids and allows them to bottle feed a calf, gather eggs, feed other farm animals including alpaca, sheep, and horses, and cuddle baby goats.

The more family-oriented tours include a 90-minute bus ride through the countryside where you have a chance to see the fields and homes, stopping along the way for photo ops.

You stop at a farmhouse for a tour and can tour an old one-room schoolhouse.

Special tours include a dinner with an Amish family.

Corn Cob Acres
Corn Cob Acres

2. Corn Cob Acres

Corn Cob Acres is a great place to spend the entire day, with over fifty activities to hold the kid’s interest.

Some of the activities include a tour of the bat cave, a ride on a train, wandering through the corn maze, or going on a hay ride.

The kids can get their energy out in the bounce house or enjoy pig races and steer roping.

Still want more?

What about milking a cow feeding goats, or exploring a scary house?

There is also a tether ball court, a giant tractor to sit on, a sound wall for budding musicians, and the chance to experience gemstone mining.

Don’t forget to stop by Bunnyville for a cuteness overload as you get the chance to pet the furry inhabitants.

Lancaster Science Factory
Lancaster Science Factory

3. Lancaster Science Factory

Budding scientists will enjoy the over 75 interactive activities at the Lancaster Science Factory.

Take a few minutes to try out the sustainable energy dance floor before wandering into the Water Lab for some water play or trying to build a bridge in the Engineering Room.

Inside, there are rotating activities such as 3-D printing, science-themed art projects, and slime-making.

You can head outdoors next to explore the courtyard, including viewing Lancaster from 30 feet in the air on the Sky Bridge.

Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland

4. Dutch Wonderland

It wouldn’t be a family vacation without a stop at an amusement park. Dutch Wonderland has you covered.

This park offers over thirty attractions and shows, including a puppet show to entertain even the youngest in your family.

Start with a ride above the park on the monorail. Rides include a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, a longboat ride through a dragon’s lair, and water rides.

Fun activities include a walk down Prehistoric Path, which features twenty life-size dinosaurs, exploring an upside-down house, and visiting the archeological dig area.

North Museum of Nature and Science
North Museum of Nature and Science

5. North Museum of Nature and Science

This is a stop that is full of things to keep everyone entranced.

Watch a live honeybee hive or experience the Live Animal Room, where you can meet over 20 species of animals including tarantulas, snakes, lizards, turtles, and a Degus.

The Degus is also called a bush-tailed mouse, but it is related to the chinchilla.

Handle real dinosaur bones in the Dinosaur Room and be awed by the model of a T-Rex. Next, move onto the Bird Room, where you can find stuffed birds of many species, and then go on to see exhibits of preserved flowers, rocks, and animals.

Don’t forget to take in a view of the Universe in the planetarium before you leave for the day.

Lost Treasure Golf
Lost Treasure Golf

6. Lost Treasure Golf

Mini golf is always a fun family time, but Lost Treasure Golf makes it even more entertaining.

They offer two 18-hole golf courses with a twist, you not only get to look for hidden treasure, but you get to find your way out of a maze that is part of the course.

This isn’t a place with a lot of different activities, but it is a great family outing that will have everyone in the family enjoying the day.

Refreshing Mountain
Refreshing Mountain

7. Refreshing Mountain

If you are looking for adventure, you need to look no further than Refreshing Mountain.

You can choose a swim in a pool with a trampoline, navigate the elevated obstacle course, try the climbing tower, or fly through the air on the hipline.

Maybe you’d like to see how good you are at ax throwing or getting out of the escape room.

For the younger members of the family, a stop by the petting zoo will be welcomed, as will the chance to go horseback riding.

If you want, you can book a night’s stay in one of the rustic cabins available for families.

Sky Zone
Sky Zone

8. Sky Zone

Sky Zone is a trampoline park with a variety of different activities you wouldn’t think about doing on a trampoline.

You can try slam dunking a basketball or take part in a basketball or dodgeball game.

Feel like you are flying in the Drop Zone or attempting the Climbing wall.

For the more adventurous, there are the Parkour and Ninja rooms.

For many, the freestyle jumping room is enough fun.

Choo Choo Barn
Choo Choo Barn

9. Choo Choo Barn

This 17,000-square-foot display consists of over 150 hand-built animated figures and vehicles and 22 operating trains.

The display has the trains passing some of the highlights of Lancaster.

These include Dutch Wonderland, a baseball game, the zoo, and an Amish barn raising.

Your kids will love finding the different places you have visited and watching the trains go about their daily activities.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

10. Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

This museum has more than 100 vintage and historic train cars, many of which allow you to go inside and explore.

There is a caboose to explore, an opportunity to sit in the engineer’s seat, and an old train station to explore.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy being able to see the underside workings of a 62-ton locomotive.

There is also a railway education center and a working restoration station to explore.

Kayak Lan Co.
Kayak Lan Co.

11. Kayak Lan Co.

Self-guided kayak tours are fun when you work with experts who give instructions and provide all the necessary equipment.

The staff at Kayak Lan have six different “trails” you can pick from, depending on your skill level.

Their kayaks are designed to make them workable for every age.

Enjoy a day on the water and come away with a sense of accomplishment.

Tiny Town
Tiny Town

12. Tiny Town

This is for the littlest members of your family, and parents who need a few minutes of relaxing.

Tiny Town has eleven different playhouses for your kids to explore.

These include a hair salon, post office, stage, hospital, and supermarket among others.

Each playhouse is stocked with genuine replicas of the tools you need to feel like you are working at each location.

Let your kids enjoy hours of imaginative play.

Tired parents can relax at the café as they keep an eye on the little ones.

Landis Valley Village & Farm
Landis Valley Village & Farm

13. Landis Valley Village & Farm

This museum has the largest collection of PA German artifacts.

The Farm Machinery and Tools area has thousands of tools used for agriculture.

Other buildings that you can explore include Leather Working, a 1700s log farmhouse, a hotel from 1855, a tin shop, and a blacksmith shop.

Each area is authentically designed and outfitted and there are rotating demonstrations going on throughout the day to help you experience what went on in each area.

Lancaster Safety Overview

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lancaster best known for?

Lancaster is home to the oldest, and largest community of Amish people.

Their crafts and food are some of the most popular and their simple way of life makes us all long for less complicated days.

How many covered bridges are there in Lancaster?

Lancaster County has 29 of the remaining covered bridges in Pennsylvania, more than any other county in the state.

What is this Whoopie Pie everyone speaks about in Lancaster, and what is the story behind it.?

The Whoopie Pie has been a local tradition for many years.

It is believed that it was invented by Amish women, who tried not to waste anything.

They would take leftover cake batter and make up little cakes with it and then place two of these together with some leftover frosting.

Nobody is sure exactly how they were named, but the story is that Amish children were so thrilled to get these that they shouted “Whoopie” when they did.

What is the oldest building in Lancaster?

The 1719 Museum, also known as the Hans Herr House, is the oldest structure and Mennonite meeting house.

It is actually the only remaining dwelling of the first group of settlers in the area.

I heard Lancaster was once the capital, is that true?

From 1799 to 1812, Lancaster was the capital of Pennsylvania before the capital was moved to Harrisburg.

On September 27, 1777, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, Lancaster was even the nation’s capital for one day.

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