Posted: 05/20/2024 | by Olivia

20 Things To Do this Summer in Lancaster, PA

For the fast-paced or relaxed; there’s something for everyone.

Summer fun is plentiful in Lancaster, PA—whether you’re looking for family fun, outdoor adventure, or great ways to spend the evening.

Start planning your summer visit with our list of top things to do this season in Lancaster County:

1. Outdoor Adventures

Channel your inner adventurer and soar through the trees on Ziplines at Refreshing Mountain, spend the weekend at the Cabins at Refreshing Mountain, and beat the summer heat in their community pool. You can also participate in an elevated obstacle course, an interactive equine and farm animal program, and a rock-climbing wall, amongst other exciting activities.

2. Visit Downtown

Stroll around vibrant Downtown Lancaster during Music Friday with live performances scattered throughout the city. These are held on the third Friday of each month, but you can also experience live music at First Friday, a similar event that takes place at the start of each month. Take advantage of this opportunity to immerse yourself in the arts and culture of our beautiful city.

3. Eat Outdoors

Relax and grab a bite to eat while still enjoying the outdoors. Check out these outdoor dining restaurants, and catch the sunset over Lancaster while enjoying a delicious dinner.

For a unique outdoor dining experience, make a reservation at Loxley's Treehouse Restaurant and Patio Bar to dine in an elevated treehouse. For views of downtown Lancaster's skyline check out The Exchange or Altana! The culinary scene in Lancaster is plentiful, so spend this summer indulging your inner foodie!

4. Go Hiking

Get in touch with your adventurous side on these fantastic trails, and soak up the Great Outdoors. Lancaster is home to some of Pennsylvania's best spots to hike, so tie up your sneakers and get exploring!

5. Outdoor Shopping Spots

Tanger Outlet Center and the Shops @ Rockvale are the perfect places to pick up your favorite brands while still enjoying the fresh air in their walkable outdoor complexes.

Lititz also offers a plethora of unique shops for clothing, home décor, jewelry, and so much more. While you're out and about, stop at some of our local shops that range from boutiques to antiques, each with a unique Lancaster flair.

6. Learn Lancaster's Rich History

Dive into Lancaster’s rich history with a Historic Lancaster Walking Tour to learn more about the area in a fun and interactive way. Better yet—all the proceeds go toward Lancaster City-based charities and non-profits. What a great way to get involved in the community!

Unique Lancaster Experiences is a great way for the family to explore Downtown Lancaster with an expert guide. Offerings include international food tours, family food tours, scavenger hunts, electric bike tours, photo shoots, and more!

7. Enjoy Local Markets

Browse around for fresh-picked produce, local meats and cheeses, and the most scrumptious desserts you’ve ever tasted at a local roadside stand or market. You might even run into some Amish folk while you’re there.

If you're not sure how roadside stands work or where to find one, check out this round-up of locations with some tips!

8. Strasburg Rail Road

Kids and train lovers alike will love the Strasburg Rail Road! The Rail Road offers excursions to Paradise, PA onboard the oldest operating railroad in America as well as a variety of fun year-round events. Events at the Rail Road this summer include Murder Mystery on the train, Day Out with Thomas, and more.

9. Adventures by the River

Explore the waters of Lancaster County on a kayak. Take a family-friendly trip with kayakLanCo or learn new skills with Adventure Explorations. North Fork Adventures offers guided rock climbing to thrill seekers of all skill levels. You can also go climbing, kayaking, cycling, and more with Chiques Rock Outfitters!

There are tons of things to do by the river and fun water activities to partake in this summer!

10. Go Golfing

For those with a little competitive streak, or those looking for relaxed family fun, head out for a round of golf. From mini-golf to a full 18 holes, there are gorgeous courses all around the county. Tee it up!

11. Grab a Craft Beer

Check out some local breweries, such as Lancaster Brewing Company, St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company, Bube’s Brewery, and more.

Take a tour of Lancaster City's famous History and Beer Walk with LoKal Experiences. As you walk the streets, the expert guide shares stories and facts about the buildings, businesses, and more.

12. Spend the Day at the Lake

Take a dip at Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach, located 25 miles north of Lancaster County. Whether you enjoy swimming, laying out a beach towel on the sand and tanning, or picnicking somewhere with a view, this secluded location is perfect.

For more ways to beat the heat in Lancaster, click here.

13. Camp Under the Stars

Slow things down a bit and pitch a tent or park a camper at a Lancaster County campground. The remote areas in Lancaster County make it the perfect place to stargaze, not to mention catch fireflies and toast marshmallows around a campfire.

14. Sip on Local Wine

Stop by one of our local wineries to sit and sip while enjoying the warm ambiance and variety of locally-made wine.

Many of our wineries offer live music during the summer months—check out the lineups at Nissley Vineyards, Grandview Vineyard and Weathered Vineyards Wine Tasting Room.

15. Go for a Ride

Zip along the back roads by scooter on a memorable tour past lush Amish farmland. Strasburg Scooters Tours offers a variety of tours daily.

Experience the Amish with a horse and buggy ride. Abe's Buggy Rides, Aaron & Jessica's Buggy Rides, and AAA Buggy Rides offer short rides through the countryside with an Amish or Mennonite driver at the reigns or longer rides that allow you to get off the buggy and tour an Amish farm. This unique opportunity is a must-do when visiting Lancaster.

16. Ice Cream, of course!

Whether in a cup or a cone, cool down with a helping of creamy ice cream sprinkled with flavorful toppings. Some ice cream spots get their ingredients from local dairy farms—you'll have to taste the difference for yourself!

Join the Lancaster County Ice Cream Trail!

17. Stay on a Farm

Experience Lancaster County in an authentic fashion by staying on a farm and enjoying the rural charm country life offers without worrying about doing chores. Some of these overnight destinations even allow guests to milk a cow, play with goats, and pet the farm animals!

18. Hot Air Balloon

Discover Lancaster’s quilt-like patchwork of green fields from a birds-eye view. Take a hot air balloon ride with the Lancaster Balloon Rides. Soar high amongst the clouds and relish the beautiful scenery below.

19. Explore Amish Country

Immerse yourself in the simplicity of Amish culture at one of these authentically Amish destinations:

  • Amish Village, where you can take a guided tour of an authentic 1840s Amish farmhouse
  • Amish Farm & House for a farm and home tour or one of their family-fun events, like petting zoo days
  • The Amish Experience provides a Visit in Person Tour that offers participants meaningful connections and stories as they move from an Amish farm to an Amish-owned business
  • Old Order Amish Tours offers a personalized look into a working Amish farm for both families and groups

20. Summer Events

The next few months are filled with all types of great events! From foodie to family fun, there are so many reasons to discover Lancaster this summer!

21. Find Summer Camps For The Kiddos

With school closed and the kids eager to have fun, enrolling them in a summer camp can be a great option. With a variety of summer camps offered in Lancaster, kids are able to continue their education through STEM-related activities at Lancaster Science Factory. Older kids that are interested in STEM can check out Lancaster Technology Camps.

If you want your kid(s) to learn about something they never have before, Corn Cob Acres or Black Rock Retreat offer a variety of engaging programs.

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