10 Great Places to Take Your Grandkids in Lancaster County

Looking for a fun way to engage your grandchildren?

One of the perks of retiring to Lancaster County is that it offers an abundance of family-friendly activities that will delight children of all ages.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 10 family-friendly destinations for grandparents and grandkids to make you look like a hero.

1. Get outside!

Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center, located in Stevens, PA, offers outdoor adventure year-round.

This attraction offers ziplines and adventure courses, escape rooms, a wildlife center, an elevated obstacle course, pony rides and horseback riding as well as a seasonal community pool.

Also, Lancaster County is home to a myriad of parks, campgrounds, hiking trails, bike trails and more.

2. Take in a show.

Magic & Wonder Theater: Magic Show is top-rated on TripAdvisor for things to do in Lancaster, PA. The show is fun and interactive for all ages! Experience true wonder as you unleash your imagination.

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The 90-minute theatrical production combines audience favorites as well as brand new experiences that will create memories to treasure for a lifetime.

The theatrical entertainment doesn’t stop there. If your grandkids are fond of the performing arts, we recommend considering the Fulton Theater, Sight and Sound and the many other options for theater and musical entertainment in Lancaster County.

3. Who says learning can’t be fun?

Lancaster Science Factory is a hands-on, interactive science center for kids in Pre-K to 8th grade and their families.

Children can explore and interact with exhibits, learning the ways that science intersects our world.

In addition, Lancaster Science Factory offers interactive classes including 3D Printing and Toy Sewing Workshops.

The Hands-On-House Museum is another fun and educational destination that’s perfect for taking the grandkids.

This venue offers hands-on, experiential learning to engage and enlighten both you and your grandchildren.

4. Have a comic lover in your family?

The Comic Store first opened in 1977 (the same year Star Wars was released).

From the beginning, the store’s owners have been proud to bring all the new comic books to the readers in Lancaster County and the surrounding regions.

Over the years the store has grown from a small 2 day-a-week operation to the large 7 days-a-week business and is now one of the oldest comic specialty stores in America.

The Comic Store

The Comic Store

5. Trains, trains and more trains!

If your grandkids are enamored by trains, Strasburg is a must-see destination for you during their visit.

Strasburg Railroad is home to the oldest continuously operating railroad in North America. An incredibly popular stop for tourists, Strasburg Railroad is also the most visited heritage railroad in the continental United States.

The Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster, PA

The Strasburg Railroad

The Strasburg Railroad began serving the community of Strasburg with both freight and passenger service in 1862. With themed rides throughout the year, Strasburg Railroad offers reasons to keep returning in every season.

Garden Spot Village Train Room offers free Open Houses on Saturday afternoons, quarterly and through the Christmas season. The HO- and O-gauge tracks include elevated tracks to look like commuter lines.

The HO-gauge train layout also includes Thomasville and the ever-popular “Talk with Thomas” event. The O-gauge train layout includes features such as waterfalls, a monorail, a Ford dealership showroom and more.

Both layouts provide plenty of train action complemented with heavily detailed scenery. Check out even more train related activities here.

6. Discover the Amish

At the Miniature Horses & Country Store, Henry and Linda Stoltzfus open their working Amish farm to visitors interested in learning more about miniature horses.

Guests enjoy petting, feeding and grooming the horses for a fee. Saddle and cart rides are also available. A free petting zoo includes miniature horses, pygmy goats, and alpacas. An adjacent country store offers handmade Amish crafts.

If you are looking for a unique, educational Lancaster County experience, consider a buggy ride with AAA (Amish All Around) Buggy Rides.  For more than 20 years, AAA Buggy Rides has been offering relaxing and informative buggy rides.

If you want to learn about Amish clothing, quilts, homes or the differences between Amish and Mennonite, you can do so at AAA buggy rides. Their friendly and knowledgeable drivers engage guests as they take one of three picturesque buggy rides.

7. Try some pretzels at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory.

Founded 1861 in historic LItitz, The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, was the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. Sturgis has been a favorite on the list of things to do for many grandparents and grandchildren for decades.

A tour of the original pretzel factory includes information about the company’s history, an opportunity to try your hand at pretzel making and a demonstration by on-site pretzel bakers.

The factory is a historic site. The family-owned company, Tom Sturgis Pretzels, is located in Shillington, Pa. Souvenirs and pretzels can be purchased at the historic location.

8. Take a Lancaster County ice cream tour.

Strasburg Creamery makes creamy ice cream from fresh ingredients onsite, the Strasburg Creamery has been a favorite of guests of all ages since 1985. Freshly made waffle cones as well as unique sundaes and milkshakes offer a sweet option for everyone.

Fox Meadows is a farm-to-table, hand-crafted ice cream which is all made on-site with milk from the family’s dairy farm. Don’t forget to try a Baked Fox.

Turkey Hill Experience will show you how their ice cream is made. Then you will venture into the taste lab where you can create your own flavors. For more ice cream spots, see a larger list here.

9. Check out farm life.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm features over 50 fun activities, including adorable baby animals and an epic corn maze.

Eastland Alpacas offers the ability to feed and pet Alpacas, but appointments are necessary.

See the cows at Krieder’s Farm Tour on their 90-minute tour where you will see the Cow Pantry, Perfume Factory and Moo Lagoon as well as take a drive through the Moo-ternity Barn and Calfing Corner! Did we mention chocolate milk?

10. For animals lovers.

ZooAmerica is home to more than 200 animals, all native to North America. You’ll find everything from reptiles to porcupines to otters and mountain lions.

The Wolf Sanctuary of PA offers a natural habitat and a lifetime of quality care and enrichment for displaced wolves and wolf-dogs. Educational tours give you a chance to view the wolves in their natural habitat and to learn about their behavior and biology.

Regardless of the places you choose to explore with the kids in your life, Lancaster County will not disappoint!

Where will you start?

To discover more things to do and to find a seasonal calendar of Lancaster County events, visit discoverlancaster.com.

For more advice on enjoying retirement life in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, visit our blog to keep up with our latest posts.

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