From crayons to canoes, bumper boats to Big Bird, Pennsylvania offers a bounty of fun, educational activities for children young and old. Whether families prefer the energy of the city or the peace of the country, or both, Pennsylvania is the place for family-friendly fun.
Hands-on House, Children’s Museum - Dutch Country Roads
Lancasterwww.handsonhouse.orgHands-on House is designed for children ages two to 10 to learn, explore, and play. The exhibits, classes and programs are short on lectures and long on interactive and participatory activities. While the exhibits change regularly, the experiences are always hands-on and self-guided.
Woodloch Pines Resort - Upstate PA
Hawleywww.woodloch.comA family-oriented, year-round resort lies in the Pocono Mountains: the Woodloch Pines Resort. Parents magazine acclaimed Woodloch as "one of America's favorite vacation resorts." Various activities include a pre-k activity center, boat rides, bocce ball, bumper boats and cars, canoeing, children's arts/crafts, sailboats, sauna, scavenger hunts, kiddie cars, mini-golf, nature trails, Woodloch family olympics, fitness classes, game show contests and hayrides.
Knoebel’s Amusement Park - Valleys of the Susquehanna
Elysburgwww.knoebels.comNestled among the trees of central Pennsylvania, Knoebel’s was established in 1926 and remains a family favorite. Enthusiasts have touted the rides at Knoebel’s including The Haunted Mansion, named in several publications as one of the best dark rides anywhere; The Grand Carousel; and The Phoenix, which has been ranked among the top ten wooden roller coasters by the Los Angeles Times. To top it off, Knoebel’s admission is always free!
The Crayola FACTORY® - Lehigh Valley
Eastonwww.crayola.com/FactoryEver wondered how Crayola® makes their crayons? See it right before your eyes at The Crayola Factory, a hands-on discovery center for children and adults. Explore the magic of light and color and experiment with innovative art techniques at this playful museum. With young visitors in mind, The Color Park was added to the Factory with a section for preschoolers which includes a ball play area and a soft play area for children ages two and under.
Sesame Place® - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Langhornewww.sesameplace.comFor families with children ages two to 13, Sesame Place® provides an interactive experience with all of your favorite Sesame Street characters. Children can enjoy more than three dozen stimulating play activities, including exhilarating water attractions such as Sky Splash, live stage shows, the thrilling Vapor Trail roller coaster, and memorable Sesame Street character greetings throughout the day. The Count’s Splash Castle is a multi-level waterplay attraction featuring more than 90 play elements. New for 2015, Sesame Place® is celebrating its 35th Birthday. Join the party all season long with whirling rides, splashy water slides, and the new Neighborhood Birthday Party Parade. The fun never stops at Sesame Place® — go before they grow!
The Hershey Story - Dutch Country Roads
Hersheywww.hersheystory.orgThe Hershey Story allows visitors to take a journey through the legacy of Milton S. Hershey, as well as the town, school, and history he created. Highlighting this American entrepreneur’s rags to riches story, the museum tells the tale of how he revolutionized the process of chocolate making and allows visitors to explore the unique qualities of chocolate through playful, hands-on experiences and interactive demonstrations. Guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone, the museum’s Chocolate Lab offers participatory classes such as tempering, molding, dipping and even making chocolate from scratch.
Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Philadelphiawww.pleasetouchmuseum.orgThe ideal children's museum of Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum is the perfect venue for families with young children. Exhibits are all interactive and encourage learning through play, so children can feel free to touch, explore and lead their parents through the process. In addition to enjoying the nine exhibits offered, including The SuperMarket, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Fairytale Garden (an exhibit for the youngest visitors), families can take pleasure in live theater performances daily.
Carnegie Science Center - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Pittsburghwww.carnegiesciencecenter.org/Bringing the world of science alive, the Carnegie Science Center appeals to visitors of all ages. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center features more than 400 hands-on exhibits, three live demonstration theaters, a four-story IMAX Dome theater, an interactive planetarium, a science-of sport exhibition, an authentic Cold War submarine moored on Pittsburgh’s Ohio River and a world-renowned model railroad display.
The Houdini Tour & Magic Show - Upstate PA
Scrantonhttp://houdini.org/The Houdini Tour & Magic Show is a non-stop spectacle, held in the world's only building devoted to one of the most famous magicians of all time: Harry Houdini. Before the construction of the museum, the magician himself performed many special challenges in this very spot; now visitors of all ages can be stunned by noted professional magicians and live animals, as well as a fun guided tour of the fabulous collection in the 100-year-old historic building and the rarest film footage of Houdini’s escapes.
Elk Country Visitor Center - Pennsylvania Wilds
Benezette www.elkcountryvisitorcenter.comSituated on 245 acres within the heart of Pennsylvania's elk range and within the Elk State Forest, the Elk Country Visitor Center is the premier conservation education facility in the entire Eastern United States. Families visiting the center can learn about Pennsylvania’s elk population through interpretive exhibits, by sitting around a campfire in the center’s theater and even catching a glimpse of the majestic creatures native to the region.