40 Inexpensive Places To Visit In South Central Pennsylvania

40InexpensiveSCentralPAWhat is there to do in South Central PA?  At first I thought, oh there won’t be much, but the more I thought about it, the more places I remembered…. and these are all on the east side of the Susquehanna River







1.  Clipper Magazine Stadium….home of the Lancaster Barnstormers Minor League Baseball Team




KreidersFarmTours2.  Kreiders Dairy Farm and Tour : Ride the trolley to several of Kreider’s working farms.  Experience Lancaster County Farming first hand.

Conestoga Trail

 3.  This trail system starts in Lebanon County near Route 322 and ends in Southern Lancaster County at Holtwood.

ZooAmerica4.  Zoo America  is open year around and hosts more than 200 animals from five regions of North America.

WhitakerCenter5.  Whitaker Center: Experience the intimacy and impact of a live concert, theater or dance performance. Take in a Hollywood blockbuster on a larger-than-life digital cinema screen. Dive into science with three floors of interactive, hands-on exhibits. There is always something exciting going on at Whitaker Center, Central PA’s most engaging entertainment venue for visitors of all ages.

Wheatland6.  Wheatland: Step inside the stately mansion of President James Buchanan and explore the rooms and stairwells where the secrets and stories of his political and personal life intersect.

Valley Forge 7.  Valley Forge: Valley Forge is name that every child learns in elementary school, but most people still don’t know the story of what happened. Valley Forge National Historical Park was created to preserve our nation’s history and tell the story of the Continental Army during the winter of 1777-78.

UnionCanal8. Union Canal Tunnel Park: The Lebanon County Historical Society owns and maintains the Union Canal Tunnel, the oldest existing transportation tunnel in the United States. The Union Canal once linked the commercial centers of Harrisburg and Reading and, by extension, the port of Philadelphia.

9. That Bounce Place: a family owned, small chain of the largest inflatable bounce parks in the states of Pa. and Md. featuring the most affordable birthday parties and everyday bouncing

Strasburg Railroad10. Strasburg RailroadClimb aboard our larger-than-life steam train and enjoy a 45-minute, round-trip ride through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise, PA and back. Marvel at more than 1,000 acres of farm fields as they pass by your window. Disembark and enjoy old-fashioned fun at Groff’s Grove or Leaman Place Grove, convenient recreation areas along the train’s route for mid-way boarding or unloading.  Don’t forget to pack a lunch!


11.  The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the official museum of the commonwealth, is a great place for exploration, fun, and discovery.

Sky Zone12.  Sky Zone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park. We’re the inventors of “fun fitness” and the makers of trampolines as far as the eye can see. We give you one of the greatest workouts ever combined with awesome, healthy fun. We’ve been voted the number one “out of the box” workout and the “best party ever.” Experience WOW – the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping and landing in a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes.

SightNSoundTheatre13.  Sight & Sound Theatres is the nation’s largest Christian theatre and one of the highest attended live theatres on the East Coast and in the Midwest. This inspiring family experience includes a majestic 2000- seat theatre, a massive 300-foot wrap-around stage, a professional cast, spectacular sets up to 40 feet high and an adorable variety of live animals. Go back in time and witness the greatest stories of the Bible as they come to life right before your eyes! 

Philadelphia Zoo 14. The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. Cheetahs, hippos, giraffes and much more make the Zoo Philadelphia’s leading family attraction with over 1.35 million visitors last year.

Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first. The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved and signed on March 21, 1859. Due to the Civil War, however, it was another 15 years before America’s first zoo was ready to open.

PARenFaire 15.  Join us for the 35th Season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate!  With over 90 stage shows daily, 22 Royal Kitchens and scores of artisan merchants with handcrafted wares, the Renaissance Faire invites guests to immerse themselves in our 35-acre village and experience the fantasy!

PANatFireMuseum 16. The sights, sounds and history of firefighting come to life at the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Housed in the 1899 Victorian firehouse Reily Hose Company No. 10, the museum features an outstanding collection of artifacts from the hand-drawn equipment of yesterday to the modern tools of today.

OzzysFamilyFunCenter 17.  Ozzy’s Family Fun Center boasts Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, 30 Hole Miniature Golf, Roller Skating, Laser Tag, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course, Adventure Challenge, Sports Arena and Indoor Batting Cages.


18. The North Museum of Nature and Science inspires curiosity, discovery, and a lifelong appreciation of nature, science, and cultures through educational exhibits, collections, and programs.

NationalCivilWarMuseum 19. The National Civil War Museum is the only museum in The United States that portrays the entire story of the American Civil War. History is preserved in equally balanced presentations that are humanistic in nature without bias to Union or Confederate causes.

Muddy RunPark 20.  Muddy Run ParkCamp with the whole family, explore miles of scenic trails or just relax and enjoy a lazy canoe ride around our beautiful lake. Nestled within the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch farmlands in Southern Lancaster County our 700 acres of woodland and rolling fields offer a variety of outdoor adventures for your family and friends.

MiddleCreekWildlifeManagementArea 21.  Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area: Hosts to several species of migratory birds.  I speak from experience when I say that when the Snow Geese are passing through, the whole lake looks like a sea of white!

LandisValleyMuseum 22. Landis Valley Museum: We are a living history village and farm, that collects, preserves and interprets the history and material culture of the Pennsylvania German rural community from 1740 to 1940. Landis Valley Museum’s richly layered story is the history of an early Pennsylvania German settlement, an unusual farm family and the ongoing creation and exploration of a wonderfully diverse collection of artifacts.

LakeTobias 23.Nestled in the quiet country-side, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park and Safari resounds with the sights and sounds of the jungles and grasslands of six continents. Mammals, reptiles and birds from around the world can be found here. Since 1965 Lake Tobias  has been fascinating patrons with its wild, exotic animals and adventure-seeking safari tours.


24.  Knoebels is a free-admission amusement park for families, with rollercoasters, classic rides, award-winning food, campgrounds, a golf course & a pool!.

KitchenKettleVillage 25.  Kitchen Kettle Village showcases all that Lancaster County has to offer — homemade baked goods, jams and relishes, good food with unexpected touches and charming one-of-a-kind overnight lodging in a picturesque countryside.

JuliSturgPretzelBakery 26.  Founded in 1861, the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. Help us celebrate our 150th anniversary this year! Tour the original bakery, get a hands-on lesson in pretzel twisting, and taste the results of 150 years of pretzel baking heritage.

Historicbethlehem 27.  Historic Bethlehem Partnership will establish itself as the premier historical organization in our region by presenting, powerfully and credibly, three centuries of Bethlehem’s unique history. Well maintained buildings and sites, collections that are accessible through exhibits and for research, and educational programs designed to engage diverse members of the community will engender a sense of place that connects one generation to another, showing the zeal and commitment of Bethlehem’s Moravian founders and the strength and foresight of our industrial community in forging our American nation.

HersheyChocolateWorld 28.  Get ready for a fun-filled day of HERSHEY’S Happiness! Explore our assortment of sweet chocolate attractions and treat your senses to the many wonders of chocolate. You’ll create warm memories to last a lifetime at HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction! And hey, at the end of the free ride, you get treated to CHOCOLATE! Yum!

HayloftCandlesPettingZoo 29.  Hayloft Candles and Petting Zoo:  Enjoy the wonderful fragrances of our 4,000 square foot candle shop.  While you are here, enjoy real home made ice cream.. Visit our clean and beautifully landscaped petting zoo, next to the candle shop. See a variety of exotic and farm animals. The kids will love to feed the donkeys, goats, talking parrot and many more cute and interesting animals. Bring a picnic lunch and relax in the gazebo along side the pond.

HandsOnHouse 30.  Hands-On House: Imagine, have fun, learn, and discover together. Explore interactive exhibits, experience a unique educational program, or visit the Play Garden.  Plan your visit today and find out how playing and learning go hand-in-hand.

EphrataCloisters 31.  One of America’s earliest religious communities, the Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers seeking spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards. Gathered in unique European style buildings, the community consisted of celibate Brothers and Sisters, and a married congregation of families.

CrystalCave 32.  Pennsylvania’s Greatest Natural Wonder Crystal Cave Park. Visit Famous Crystal CavePark, the most popular natural attraction in Pennsylvania.

Crayola Experience 33.  Crayola Experience, located in the heart of downtown Easton, Pennsylvania, is the only place in the world where the magic of Crayola comes to life. Here, you’re always encouraged to let your creativity run free, to color outside the lines and to play, explore, and learn. This one-of-a-kind attraction is where color, chemistry, and technology magically combine to create a colorful adventure for a child’s imagination.

CornwallIronFurnace 34.  Welcome to the website of Cornwall Iron Furnace, part of a National Historic Landmark District, America’s most complete charcoal fueled iron-making complex

ChooChooBarn 35.  Since 1961, people across the country and around the world have come to visit a truly unique attraction…the Choo Choo Barn — Traintown U.S.A.®! Our 1,700 square foot train layout features over 150 hand-built animated figures and vehicles and 22 operating trains…we guarantee the Choo Choo Barn is like nothing you’ve ever seen!

CherryCrestCornMaze 36.  Cherry Crest Corn Maze:  Spend about an hour in the world’s most dynamic and interactive 5-acre corn maze with over 2.5 miles of paths, scenic bridges, and clues. Don’t worry if you take the wrong path—our Maze Masters are always on hand to get you back on track!

Cabelas37. Hunting, Fishing, & Outdoor Gear Cabela’s: Is It In Your Nature?

AmishFarmHouse38.  The Amish Farm and House Amish Countryside Bus Tours are available daily. Join us for an authentic sightseeing of the Amish way of life in Lancaster County …

LittlleLeague39.  Little League Museum: Showcases development from inception in 1939 as a three-team league to membership in over ninety countries. Features photos, displays, films and exhibits

butterfly-house-HI240.  Hershey Gardens opened in 1937 with Milton Hershey’s request to “create a nice garden of roses.” More than 75 years later, the 3 1/2 acre rose garden has blossomed into 23 acres of botanical beauty providing visitors with unique experiences and enriching opportunities.

These are just a few things Central Pennsylvania has to offer.  Plan a visit today!


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