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.
The Crayola Experience® - Lehigh Valley
Ever wondered how Crayola® makes their crayons? See it right before your eyes at The Crayola Experience®, a hands-on discovery center for children and adults. Explore the magic of color and experiment with innovative art techniques at this playful museum. With younger visitors in mind, Crayola® added The Color Park, a section of the factory 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
Celebrating 35 Years of Furry Fun in 2015, Sesame Place® provides families with children ages two to 13 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. Another fun attraction is Cookie’s Monster Land™, which features five exciting rides, a three-story net climb, and a soft play area in the colorful and imaginative land.
Hersheypark® - Dutch Country Roads
Since its opening in 1907, Hersheypark® transitioned over the years from a relaxing park with baseball, picnics and canoeing to the thrilling amusement park it is today with 12 roller coasters and over 65 other rides and attractions. From the SooperDooperLooper, the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast, to the Mini Pirate for the kids, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Hersheypark®. Coming in 2015 is a reinvention of the fun house – the Laff Trakk, which will be the first indoor, spinning, glow-coaster in the U.S.
Woodloch Pines Resort - Upstate PA
The Woodloch Pines Resort is a family-oriented, year-round resort that lies in the Pocono Mountains. Parents magazine acclaimed Woodloch as "one of America's favorite vacation resorts." Various family-friendly activities at this resort include a Pre-K activity center, boat rides, bocce ball, bumper boats and cars, canoeing, children's arts/crafts, scavenger hunts, mini-golf, nature trails, Woodloch family olympics, fitness classes and more! After a day of intense family fun, parents can relax in Woodloch’s spa, rated the #4 Destination Spa in the World by Travel + Leisure and the #2 Family Resort in America by TripAdvisor.
Strasburg Rail Road - Dutch Country Roads
Since the 1850s Strasburg Rail Road was used for various purposes including passenger and freight transportation and freight interchange. Now it serves as a tourist attraction where visitors can experience fun attractions while simultaneously learning about steam railroading. Not only can visitors take a trip in the authentically restored coal-burning steam train, but they can also operate the hand-powered Pump Car, as well as take a trip with Thomas the Tank Engine. New in 2015, Strasburg Rail Road presents a special Day Out With Thomas, as friend Percy joins Thomas for a national tour.
The Houdini Tour & Magic Show - Upstate PA
The Houdini Tour & Magic Show is a non-stop spectacle held in the world's only building devoted to Harry Houdini, one of the most famous magicians of all time. Now visitors of all ages can be stunned by the noted professional magician, tour the fascinating world of Houdini with a fun guided tour and witness the rarest film footage of Houdini’s escapes.
Knoebels Amusement Park - Valleys of the Susquehanna
Nestled among the trees of central Pennsylvania, Knoebels was established in 1926 and remains a family favorite amusement park. Enthusiasts have touted the rides at Knoebels 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. Knoebels will add to its repertoire in 2015 with the unveiling of Impulse, the park's fifth roller coaster. To top it off, Knoebels admission is always free!
The Hershey Story® - Dutch Country Roads
The 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
The ideal children's museum in 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 also take pleasure in live theater performances.
Carnegie Science Center - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
The Carnegie Science Center brings the world of science alive for 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.
Elk Country Visitor Center - Pennsylvania Wilds
Situated 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, interactive 4-D theater presentations and exciting tours of the region to catch a glimpse of the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi.
Dutch Wonderland - Dutch Country Roads
Designed for families with young children, Dutch Wonderland hosts an array of attractions including live entertainment, more than 30 rides, and a water play area. Guests can enjoy Exploration Island, a rediscovered island full of lifelike dinosaurs. Young explorers can learn about the history of over 15 dinos while digging up fossils at the interactive Dino Dig, walking along the Prehistoric Path, or embarking on the Gondola Cruise. Dutch Wonderland has consistently been recognized as a premier family amusement park and was voted one of the Top 5 Best Kid’s Parks in the World by Amusement Today magazine.
The Franklin Institue - Philadelphia and the Countryside
With a mission to “inspire a passion for learning about science and technology,” the Franklin Institute designs innovative, interactive exhibits to enlighten and educate each visitor. The dynamic institute is recognized internationally for its educational programs, lectures and exhibits and emphasizes curiosity and enjoyment. Highlights include The Sports Challenge, which uses virtual-reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports, The Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine, Space Command’s simulated earth-orbit research station and exhibits on electricity.
The Turkey Hill® Experience - Dutch Country Roads
The Turkey Hill® Experience allows visitors to learn everything there is to know about dairy culture and the history of Turkey Hill® itself. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can discover the intricate details of creating Turkey Hill® ice cream and tea. Children and adults alike can even take a shot at the process themselves by milking mechanical cows or concocting their own ice cream flavor in Turkey Hill’s® Taste Lab.
Hands-on House, Children’s Museum - Dutch Country Roads
Hands-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.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom® - Lehigh Valley
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom® has myriad possibilities for family fun. Guests can enjoy 10 thrill rides, eight roller coasters and more than three dozen slides, pools, and water play areas in Wildwater Kingdom. Kids can have fun in Planet Snoopy, the PEANUTS themed park just for kids, and new in 2015 is an updated version of the classic thrill ride Cedar Creek Flyers.