If you’re looking for a great weekend road trip in the Northeast this spring, consider Lancaster, PA. From the Amish country, to the railroads and museums, to the amusement parks, this itinerary is great family fun – especially if you have young, train-crazy boys!
The Amish Village: Twelve beautiful acres of authentic Amish property. I absolutely adore anything that combines learning and fun (that’s how life should be!), and at The Amish Village you can learn all about the culture and history of the Pennsylvania Dutch. You can tour a farmhouse, a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, and the smokehouse market, where you can try some incredible Amish edibles.
Strasburg Railroad: Enjoy a 45-minute ride on America’s oldest short-line railroad, then explore the station, ride the mini-train version, visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and even the National Toy Train Museum if you have time. It’s a train-lovers dream come true.
Choo Choo Barn: This indoor 17,000-square-foot train layout is so much fun to see. It’s got 22 operating trains, animations, and even a fire scene! This is a quick, inexpensive stop that probably won’t take more than an hour, depending on how crowded it is. My model-train-building son loves this place.
Bird-In-Hand Family Inn: While there are lots of options for dinner and accommodations, the Bird-In-Hand Family Inn is a mini resort your family will love. With two indoor and one outdoor pool, a hot tub, tennis courts, a playground, mini golf, a game room and paths to explore the 10-acre property, it’s much more than a place to sleep. Eat at the Family Restaurant and Smorgasboard for a true, traditional Lancaster food experience.
Dutch Wonderland: This amusement park is targeted to younger children, but there are rides, attractions, and a water park that the whole family can enjoy.
Intercourse Pretzel Factory: Make your own pretzels!
Turkey Hill Experience: Learn about Turkey Hill Farm’s history and its ice-cream and iced-tea making processes.
Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides: A real Amish buggy ride with stops in a non-commercial Amish farm. Try their homemade cookies, pretzels and lemonade.
If you have a little more time in the Lancaster area, I highly recommend Hershey Park. It’s chocolate, it’s an awesome amusement park… what more do I need to say? I would allow two days there to take full advantage of all Hershey has to offer.
There’s lots more to do in Lancaster. Visit their web site for more ideas.