Posted: 09/08/2023

Things to do with Grandchildren in Lancaster, PA

Lancaster is a great place to visit for all, so why not experience this cross-generational destination together!

Cow-to-cone ice cream in Lancaster! Photo Credit: Discover Lancaster / Gabe McMullen

Here is a list of activities to do with the grandkids on your next day out. Whether you are looking for something to do all day or for just a few hours there is certainly something to keep you busy while you create special memories.

Take A Tour:

There are plenty of different types of tours you can take around Lancaster County. Here are three different options - one rural, one urban, and one for those with an adventurous spirit.

Amish Farm & House Countryside Tour- This bus tour takes riders through the picturesque Lancaster County Farmland, through covered bridges, and right into the heart of Amish country. Along the way you will pass Amish buggies, one-room schoolhouses, farms, and animals as you learn about the Amish culture.

Historic Lancaster Walking Tour- Knowledgeable guides will take you back in time as you walk around Downtown Lancaster. Once the tour is over you will have learned all about the architecture, culture, people, and stories that make up what we know of our present day city.

Indian Echo Caverns & Echo Dell- For a tour with a different perspective why not head underground? This 45-minute guide tour of the caverns shares with you the stunning natural beauty that is right under our feet.

Kreider Farms Farm Tour- Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a real, working dairy farm on the Kreider Farms farm tour. On the 90-minute tour, you will see our Cow Pantry, Perfume Factory and Moo Lagoon and take a drive through out Moo-ternity Barn and Calfing Corner! Then grab a chocolate milk and get an aerial viewing of our milking ‘Cow’ rousel.

Strasburg Scooter Tours- Hop onto a 50cc scooter for a visit to a 19th century covered bridge with an experienced guide. The tours offer exceptional views of the countryside, including Amish farms and schoolhouses, as well as an insightful look at one of Lancaster County's oldest covered bridges.

Learn about the Amish Culture:

There is so much to learn about the Amish culture in Lancaster. Luckily there are a number of hands-on experiences that you and your grandchild can do together.

Take a buggy Ride-
Want to travel like the Amish do? Take a horse and buggy ride through the countryside. Companies like Abe’s Buggy Rides, Aaron and Jessica’s, and AAA buggy rides offer rides with an Amish or Mennonite driver that can provide history, facts, and answer your questions along the way. Some tours even stop for riders to purchase treats like whoopie pies or cookies at Amish farms or stands.

Explore the Amish Village- This 12-acre village includes an authentic 1840s Amish farmhouse, barn, one-room schoolhouse, animals, and blacksmith shop. Visitors can take an Amish school lesson and see how the Amish have lived and for more than 300 years.

Old Windmill Farm- For a look at Amish family life, visitors at Old Windmill Farm can participate in the daily chores like milking the cows, feeding a calf, gathering eggs, and more while you learn and ask questions as you go.

Amish Experience- Take a guided tour of an Amish homestead and one-room school at the Amish Experience. Guests can also learn about the Amish through the immersive story of "Jacob's Choice" in the Amish Experience Theater.

Have a tasty treat:

Turkey Hill Experience- We all scream for ice cream! The interactive exhibit at the Turkey Hill Experience will teach you all about Turkey Hill Dairy and the history of their ice cream and iced teas. In the taste lab you can even develop and taste your own ice cream flavor- yum!

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery- Venture into Lititz and explore the first commercial pretzel bakery in the country! You can learn the history of pretzel baking as well as try your hand at pretzel twisting.

Vintage Candy Shop- Take a stroll down memory lane in downtown Lancaster's newest old-time candy shop. Choose from individual novelty candies like wax bottles, candy balls, licorice wheels, and more.

Find more great places to get desserts and sweet treats.

a child pets a baby alpaca in Lancaster, PA

Activities for Animal Lovers:

You are sure to see plenty of farm animals while you are driving around the county, these attractions provide opportunities to see and learn about animals up close.

Wolf Sanctuary of PA- The Wolf Sanctuary is refuge for rescued wolfs and wolf-dogs where you can view and learn about wolves in their natural habitat. Tours of the sanctuary teach visitors about several of the packs, wolf facts, and wolf conservation. If your grandchildren are over sixteen try attending one of their full moon events offered each month on the Saturday nearest to the full moon!

Eastland Alpacas- Pet, feed, and take pictures with the alpacas at Eastland Alpacas! These special animals are gentle, trained, easy to care for, and very lovable. The farm is open by appointment from 10 AM to 4 PM so be sure to call and schedule a tour in advance.

Farm Stay
- Experience Lancaster County in authentic fashion with a stay on a farm. Enjoy all the rustic charm without the chores. If you want your children to experience milking cows, collecting eggs, chasing baby chicks, and learning about life on the farm!

Fresh Air Fun

When the weather is nice there is plenty to do outside in Lancaster. These outdoor activities are great for people of all energy levels.

Mini Golf-
A little family competition can be fun, why not play a round of mini golf together? Boulders Mini Golf (Mountville), Water’s Edge Mini Golf (Bird-In-Hand), Lost Treasure Golf and Maze (Lancaster), and Village Greens Mini Golf (Strasburg) all offer great courses with beautiful landscaping.

Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach- Looking for a great spot to relax in the sun? Mt. Gretna Lake offers a beach, picnic areas, swimming, and other water recreation activities like canoeing. Plus, they have lifeguards on duty so you can feel safe there is an extra person watching over your grandchildren while they swim.

Columbia Crossings River Trails Center- On the banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River, the Columbia Crossings River Trails Center is a great starting place for a walk or bike ride on the scenic Northwest River Trail. It offers a river education center, as well as a deck with plenty of picnic tables, rocking chairs, and a large grassy lawn. Be sure to check their calendar for special kids’ programs and events.

Activities for Train Enthusiasts

As an early-day stagecoach stop and train depot, it’s no wonder Strasburg is a popular location for locomotive lovers to visit. With many train-themed attractions, there are a number of activities you can do to fill your day here.

Strasburg Rail Road- Ride on America’s oldest operating railroad. This relaxing 45-minute train ride offers beautiful views as you slip through the peaceful countryside. When you arrive back at the station there will also be more train-themed activities to do like riding on the pint-size puffer belly or cranky cars. Be sure to check their calendar for special-themed train rides throughout the year.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania- PA’s premier museum of railroading offers a world-class collection of historic locomotives and vintage railroad cards. As well as, an interactive education center, a working restoration shop, and more! There is plenty to keep you busy here through many hands-on locomotive exhibits.

Choo Choo Barn- Traintown USA- Home to one of America’s largest custom model train displays, kids of all ages will love visiting the Choo Choo Barn. Their display features more than 150 hand-built figures and vehicles, and 22 operating trains. Make your way around their model of Lancaster County and see many places you can see in person- like Sight & Sound Theatres, Dutch Wonderland, and the Strasburg Rail Road.

For more activity ideas and to stay up to date on special events and happenings be sure to sign up for our E-Newsletter or request a FREE copy of our Getaway Guide.

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