Experiential Tours in Lancaster County

Your groups can experience Lancaster County like never before with a new series of Experiential Tours that encourage visitors to roll up their sleeves and be a part of the action! Get immersed and experience the essence of life in PA Dutch Country. The tours target active travelers that want something out of the ordinary, an experience with "bragging rights" that sets a visit to Lancaster apart from other destinations. A farmer's apprentice, an expert in chocolate - you get the idea!


Across the Fence:

Farmland Fun at Verdant View - Stroll through the beautiful countryside and chat with Amish neighbors "across the fence." Experience everyday conversation with the locals for a thought provoking Q&A session. Available year round.


Amish Camp:

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn - Camp includes an Amish-style overnight stay, Amish fashion show, culinary experience, ice cream social, activities on an Amish farm, lesson in Amish school, buggy ride and more. Available March through December.


Gaming with the Amish:

All-In-One Tours - Spend up to three hours with an Amish family on their farm and in their home, including dinner and learning what they do for play during their down time.


All About Amish Student Tour:

All-In-One Tours - Your students will enjoy a morning tour with one of our expert guides to give them the Amish experience of a lifetime. After a boxed lunch on the farm, students will learn about Amish schools and farm chores, and even play games with Amish children.


Lancaster County’s Faith, Plain & Simple:

Bob Neff Tours - Visit a full-scale production of the Biblical Tabernacle, then drive through the countryside as your Amish guide gives personal insights into being raised Old Order Amish. After lunch, immerse yourself in a Sight & Sound production. Add-ons may include a fellowship dinner and hymn sing.


Amish Church Picnic & Hymn Sing:

All-In-One Tours - This 2 to 3 hour experience on an Amish farm with an Amish family has become our most popular program especially for our church friends. This very relaxed atmosphere is conducive to the ultimate interaction. This evening (no lunchtime available) church picnic with the family and sometimes neighbors is just plain fun. The evening ends with a good old fashion Hymn Sing. Music is provided.


Amish Experience Theatre Behind the Scenes:

The Amish Experience - Student groups in particular will enjoy this explanation & demonstration of effects used in the Amish Experience's popular show, "Jacob's Choice." Learn the secret behind the unique Pepper's Ghost effect, originated in the 1800's, and learn how to recreate it at home! Discover more, too, like how the amazing cannon machine works!


Amish Foods & Celebrations:

Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord - Enjoy a meal with our Amish friend, Sarah. Hear stories, taste the foods and make the crafts that are a part of our Amish Wedding and Christmas gathering traditions. Available year round.


Amish VIP (Visit in Person) Tour:

The Amish Experience  - A unique opportunity for your group to personally interact with our Amish neighbors! Be welcomed into an Amish home to hear from your host what it's like to be Amish, visit an Amish working Farm for a tour with the farmer himself, and discuss daily life with an Amish schoolteacher. Welcome to authentic Lancaster County!


An Evening on an Amish Farm:

All-In-One Tours - Give your groups the rare opportunity for true interaction with an Amish family! Sit down to an authentic Pennsylvania Dutch meal with the family as they dine right along with your group at tables that are set up throughout the first floor of the large home which sits on a pristine dairy farm. Watch as mules and cows graze in the fields, or you can play with the grandchildren, wander about the farm, enjoy the sunset from a rocking chair on the porch, and listen to the neighbor's buggies clip-clopping down the road while delighting in an unbelievably peaceful experience! This meal is a legal meal in an Amish home.


Amish Wedding Celebration:

The Amish Experience - Participate in the Amish Experience's original Amish Wedding Tour, designed to give you insights into the fascinating wedding traditions of the Amish! Be a part of the Amish Wedding Vows reenactment, then enjoy a specially-prepared all-you-can-eat family-style dinner at Plain & Fancy Farm.


A World of Choices:

Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant - The Smucker family brings Choices to life through the personal story of one of their Amish-Mennonite neighbors, who tells about a family tragedy and the ultimate impact of their choice to forgive. Not just a family style meal but a lesson in non-violent conflict resolution. They'll never look at silly putty in the same way again! Did your choice make the conflict bigger or smaller?


Behind the Scenes Tour:

Sight & Sound Theatres® - Our professional cast members are your guides for this interactive, close up experience. Learn about the history of Sight & Sound, the process of set construction, lighting design and more. Stand center stage, walk through our cast dressing rooms and even get a special visit from our "animal" actors. Don't let the curtain drop on this exclusive opportunity. Last chance to see in 2013.


Bizarre Foods of Lancaster County:

Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant - Join us in the Demonstration Kitchen for an interactive demonstration, lecture and tasting of the Bizarre Foods of Lancaster County.  Among other things guests will learn what’s really in scrapple, how (and why) chow-chow is prepared and canned, and enjoy the simple goodness of shoo-fly pie while learning it’s origin and much more!  Groups of 20+ (not more than 110), approx. 45-50 mins. in length.  $5 per person (must be booked with a group meal at Plain & Fancy).


Chalk Talk with Elva Hurst:

Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant - Engage your senses through music, storytelling, and the amazing chalk artistry of a former Old Order Mennonite woman who offers insights into Amish culture with a story that comes to life, and lights up before your eyes!  Groups of 25+ (not more than 110), approx. 45-50 mins. in length.  $10 per person (must be booked with a group meal at Plain & Fancy).


Chef's Cooking Demo:

Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant - This fun and fast-paced demonstration by a Plain & Fancy Farm chef will allow guests to experience (some firsthand!) the preparation of our famous shoofly pie and homemade chicken pot pie noodles.Groups of 20+ (not more than 110), approx. 40 min. in length. $5 per person (must be booked with a group meal at Plain & Fancy).


Clip Clop & Shop:

Kitchen Kettle Village - A Lancaster County sensory experience. Take a horse-drawn ride through picturesque Amish farmland, shop the Village for hundreds of locally-made foods and gifts, and finish with a home-cooked meal in our restaurant. You'll complete your experience by making your own delicious, regional dessert! Available May through October.


Come Quilt With Me:

Mennonite Information Center - Hear about the history and origins of quilting in Amish and Mennonite communities as you put your own stitches in a keepsake patch. Each person can choose their own fabric, trace a pattern and practice the art of hand quilting. Then add your group's stitches to a quilted wall hanging to be sold at the PA Mennonite Central Committee Relief sale held each spring. Your quilting will be part of a demonstration of love and giving to all humankind. Available all year.


Food Fight!:

Kitchen Kettle Village - It's a battle of flavors – Sweet clashing with sour, Salty fighting Sweet, Sweet vs. Savory – as you eat your way through our Village, experiencing locally-made regional treats of opposing flavors. You are always the winner in this battle! Available March through December 15.


Fractur: The Craft of the Pennsylvania Dutch:

Landis Valley Museum - Roll up your sleeves to learn one of the most unique and elaborate crafts of the Pennsylvania Deutsch (Dutch), Fraktur. Learn the history of this craft, and try your hand at creating this beautiful art form. Make your own sampler of Fraktur to take home with you. Your Visitor Experience includes: *Tour specific building where children would have learned Fraktur *See examples of this art form and create your own message in Fraktur. Available year-round.


Fresh from the Garden:

Inn at Leola Village - Select your herbs and get ready to cook! Enjoy a cooking class in the region's state-of-the-art Tuscan style kitchen for a culinary class with our Executive Chef! Available year round.


Gingerbread Decorating:

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn - Everyone receives a gingerbread man, unlimited icing, and unusual decorating items. Decorate like you were 10-years-old, but remember each will be judged by our head chef for the most creative. The winner will receive a prize and everyone gets to take home their gingerbread. Available March through December.


Haunted Lancaster

All-In-One Tours - Meet Augusta Bitner, a woman who died on the eve of her wedding and continues to haunt Lancaster today. Discover the haunted tunnels under our local Franklin & Marshall College. Join a paranormal team and “hear” their findings. This six-hour experience includes a tour of the city, graveyards, and Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Believe? You will!


Heirloom Gardens of Landis Generations:

Landis Valley Museum - Take a stroll through our 1700s and 1800s herb, vegetable, and flower gardens, interlaced with tales of early garden folklore. Learn about our nationally recognized Heirloom Seed Project, including a tour and packaging demonstration. Learn how heirloom vegetables are making a big comeback in culinary and gardening circles. Take a backstage tour into our Seed Building and watch how they package seeds. Your Visitor Experience includes: *Tour the gardens and greenhouses *Learn the history and folklore about gardens and why they were so important to the lifestyle and health of early communities. *Learn about the vegetables, how they are grown, and the food process from beginning to end. *Identify and pick mint (for our tea) out of the garden and prepare your own meadow tea. * Watch a demonstration about another farm tradition, the essential "tussie mussie" and receive definition and instructions on how to make your own! April-October.


Herr's Snack Factory Tour:

Herr's Snack Factory - See Herr's potato chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, cheese curls and popcorn being made right before your eyes on this free tour. Sample our tasty potato chips, fresh and warm from the cookers. Late afternoon or evening tours are available to groups. These tours must be scheduled in advance. Reservations required for all large groups. Available year round.


HERSHEY'S Chocolate Tasting Adventure:

HERSHEY'S Chocolate World Visitor's Center - Join our chocolate expert for a guided, interactive, multimedia discussion of chocolate lore. You'll taste HERSHEY'S creamy milk chocolate and our robust dark chocolates. After completing your Chocolate Tasting Adventure, you'll receive an official Masters Degree in Chocolate Tasting from HERSHEY'S University! Admission can be purchased at the ticketing area inside HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD. Embark on an entertaining and educational journey into chocolate that is sure to please guests of all ages. Available year-round.


Hershey Farm Cooking Class:

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn - Let one of Hershey Farm's trained cooks guide your group step by step to create two of Hershey Farm's signature bakery items, Shoo-fly pie and whoopie pies. Volunteers will receive hands-on experience and everyone will receive complimentary whoopie pies to cap off the demonstration. Available March through December.


Interactive Cooking Tour: Sticky Buns in the Tavern Culinary and Food Craft:

Landis Valley Museum - You will experience the traditional way of baking over an open hearth in our historic tavern. This includes instruction and hands-on baking of our famous sticky buns. Assist the tavern keeper in the making of the buns, roll the dough, and sample the goods! Experience another Pennsylvania German craft in our Visitor Center. Your Visitor Experience includes: *Your will learn how to make our famous sticky buns, and sample them, of course! *Learn the history of taverns and the role they played in transportation, socialization, and stagecoaches. *Learn preservation and storage of food for the winter. *Watch a demonstration of another Penn Dutch Craft. Available year-round.


Interactive Tour with the Amish:

All-In-One Tours - Imagine a day with true interaction with the Amish in Lancaster County. Meet a dairy farmer and his family, a wood shop owner and interact with Amish who have jobs just like the English. Shop at an Amish bakery, roadside stands and have an experience beyond the ordinary. A typical PA Dutch meal is planned before heading to The Amish Village for dessert with the Amish. Have a lighter lunch and plan to end the day with an evening on an Amish farm. Great care has been given to make sure you and your group step into the world of the Amish for a day.


Noon Mechanic Shop Tour:

Strasburg Railroad - Get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the railroad's mechanical shop, where trains are built and refurbished. Due to safety regulations, children under age 5 are not permitted on the tour. Ticket availability is limited for the tour, and we strongly recommend you purchase tickets in advance, as the tour often sells out for the day. Available year round.


The Old & the MOO Tour:

The Amish Experience - Visit two dairies to discover how milk reaches your table from an Amish vs non-Amish farmland explore a working farm aboard the Farmland Fun Wagon Tour OR learn fun farm facts first-hand at Kreider's Dairy Farm as you drive right through the dairy barn!


Shoo-Fly Pie Workshop:

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn - Start with a 9 inch pie shell, fill it with the ingredients to make Hershey Farm's delicious shoo-fly pie. While you enjoy shopping in our large gift shop and have a delicious PA Dutch lunch or dinner, our bakery staff will bake and package the pies for you to take home. Available March through December.


Whoopie Pie Checkers:

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn - Play checkers Lancaster County style. The checkers are made of our mini chocolate or red velvet whoopie pies. When a checker is jumped, you eat the jumped checker. To king a checker, another whoopie pie shell is added! Afterwards, each person in the group gets a whoopie pie. Available March through December.


Yesterday and Today: The Evolution of Farming in Lancaster County:

Landis Valley Museum - Step back in time and explore the everyday early farming of the Pennsylvania Dutch. You will visit the state-of -the-art Landis Valley Farm Machinery and Tool Exhibit. Get an insider's look at the technology of agriculture, and how it has evolved since the simple shovel! You'll work shoulder-to-shoulder with one of our farmers to learn about our historic breeds of animals here at Landis Valley. You'll receive hands-on experience by hitching up a couple of Clydesdales for a day in the fields. Your Visitor Experience includes: *Tour the farm and learn about the daily life of a farmer *Learn the role of animals on a farm and meet the array of animals at Landis Valley, including Percherons, Belgian Draft and Clydesdale horses, Tunis sheep, Dornick pigs, Lineback cattle, oxen, geese, and chickens. Available year round.