Affordable Summer Day Trips With Kids in Lancaster, PA

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If you’re looking for an affordable summer day trip to take your kids on near Philadelphia, Baltimore, or New York City… Lancaster County, PA is one of the top family destinations you should consider.

Why? There’s a reason more than 8 million people visit Lancaster County, PA each year, and summertime is fast approaching. That means the kids will be out of school, and you’ll need some inexpensive things to do to keep them busy. Thankfully, Lancaster County offers tons of ideas for affordable summer day trips so families can enjoy some quality time together. From magic shows to outdoor adventures, you’ll find plenty of ideas for the whole family and activities to keep kids busy on those long summer days.


Perfect Outdoor Day Trip Activities for Kids

Petting Zoos

Make your travel plans complete by visiting the many farm animals who call Lancaster County home. At Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant and Petting Zoo, your children can pet and feed dairy cows, goats, and horses and then enjoy a homemade ice cream or a takeout meal. If you want an educational farm experience, check out Amish Farm and House. Not only can you feed and visit various farm animals, but you can explore their Amish schoolhouse and learn more about the Amish lifestyle and culture.

Refreshing Mountain

For family-friendly fun and refreshment, head to Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center. Refreshing Mountain offers zipline courses, ropes courses, and other outdoor adventures for all ages. Situated on 80 acres of Pennsylvania woodlands, there couldn’t be a better place to enjoy the outdoors and challenge your kids to try new things.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Have you heard of the Amazing Maize Maze? With up to 60 different attractions, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is more than just its 5-acre corn maze, voted number one corn maze in America. There’s something everyone can enjoy: hay chutes, singing chicken shows, pedal karts, pumpkin slinger, guided wagon farm tours, paintball range, and more.


Kid-Friendly Tours to Add to your Day

Factory Tours

Want to learn what happens behind closed doors at local factories? Visit the mechanical shop at Strasburg Rail Road for a peek behind the curtain. The exclusive tour allows you and your family to explore where their steam trains are built and refurbished. If fresh, warm chips are more your speed, spend the day learning what goes into snack making at

Hans Herr House

Spend part of your day trip with your kids seeing what everyday life in Pennsylvania was like 300 years ago at Hans Herr House. Hans Herr House is the oldest homestead in Lancaster County and the only still standing original Mennonite meeting house in the western hemisphere. Tours take you inside a Native American longhouse and the Herr House and describe the stories, experiences, architecture, and artifacts conveyed in the buildings.

Amish Experience Tour

The Amish Experience has taken visitors on its informative Farmlands Tours around the Amish countryside’s back roads for over 60 years. From group bus tours, contactless tours in your car, and in-person tours where you can speak with Amish folks, there’s something for every family. Tour guides highlight fascinating roadside stands, quilt shops, and businesses while explaining the Amish way of life, their strong work ethic, and their commitment to family.


Day Trip Experiences for the Entire Family

Turkey Hill Experience

It wouldn’t be a true day trip with kids if you didn’t have some ice cream. Let your kids become ice cream makers for the day and design their ice cream flavor at the Turkey Hill Experience. Walk through the hands-on, interactive exhibits and uncover how ice cream gets made. The best part? You can taste free samples of ice cream and iced tea.

Magic & Wonder Theater

Want to be wowed and inspired? Head to the Magic & Wonder Theater for an experience folks on TripAdvisor calls “great wholesome family entertainment” and “a must-see for families and children of all ages.” The theater presents magic variety shows full of illusions, comedy, costumes, and music, reminding you of the magic all around us.

Old Windmill Farm

From milking cows and bottle-feeding baby calves to gathering eggs and feeding chickens, pygmy goats, and pot-bellied pigs, the adventures and hard work never end at Old Windmill Farm. Tour the working dairy farm operated by an Amish family, help with their chores, tour their extensive gardens, and learn more about Amish life while you’re at it.

What are You Waiting For?

This list only scratches the surface of what to do on your day trip to Lancaster County, PA. If you’re still looking for more affordable things to do in Lancaster County, PA, check out our expanding list of fun things to do with kids for some great ideas for family fun. If you plan on staying overnight, you’ll find a variety of quality lodging and accommodations. What are you waiting for? Start planning your day trip to Lancaster with your kids today!

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