Our prospective students at Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School often ask us, “So, what is there to do for fun around here?” Well, we’re glad you asked – because the answer may surprise you. Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the surrounding counties offer so many amazing opportunities for fun and exploration. Check out some of our favorites below!
1. Hersheypark, Hershey’s Chocolate World, ZooAmerica & Hershey, PA
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Dubbed “the sweetest place on earth,” Hersheypark is a wildly popular amusement park themed around Hershey chocolate. There are tons of out-of-this-world coasters and rides that will leave your head spinning. While you’re there, check out Hershey’s Chocolate World and experience an interactive ride that explains the history of the company and how they make their world-famous cocoa delicacies – and it’s free! It ends at a huge gift shop with plus-sized chocolate bars, treats and other fun themed memorabilia. Also not to be missed is ZooAmerica, Hershey’s incredible zoo that showcases the incredible animals of North America. Plus, Hershey, PA is quaint town worth a visit all of its own – the air smells like chocolate (thanks to its resident chocolate factory) and the streetlamps on Main Street are shaped like the company’s signature chocolate kisses! So sweet.
2. Sight & Sound Theatres
See Bible stories told in a way you’ve never seen before. Featuring a 300 foot long, panoramic stage that immerses the audience in the story – it literally surrounds you on three sides – live animals, digital graphics so believable you’ll feel like you’re really there, incredible original music and marvelous actors, you’ll be amazed. Trust us. Check out the trailer for their current production below.
3. Artisan Coffee Shops on Every Corner
Lancaster city is an up-and-coming hipster haven with lots of old world charm. And, as often happens, tons of artisanal coffee shops have cropped up around town. We recommend Passenger Coffee for its minimalist, perfectly Instagramable space and purist, no frills beverage selection (no unicorn frappes in sight here), Square One Coffee Roasters for its original blends, bottled cold brew and adorable outdoor seating, and the Prince Street Café for its menu variety, long hours, ample seating and decent Wi-Fi connection for studying.
4. Incredible Hiking & Outdoor Spaces
Lancaster County has much more than just cornfields. It also has miles of amazing hiking spots, wildlife centers and more. We love Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve for its many waterfalls and deep pools in the creek of the same name, Mount Gretna’s Governor Dick for its unique observatory tower (be prepared to climb!) and incredible views and the White Cliffs of Conoy for its one-of-a-kind views (the cliffs are made of limestone and appear like chalky white outcroppings) and easy trail access – parking lot included.
5. Fun Festivals & Local Fairs
Who doesn’t love fair season? Deep fried food all around! Lancaster County has some of the best – and there are a lot of them – so when fall hits, you’ll have more petting zoos, cotton candy and carnival games then you’ll know what to do with. We love the Harrisburg Farm Show with its unforgettable milkshakes and the Ephrata Fair where the town closes off its main street to fill it with carnival rides, food stalls and games! If you’re a foodie, check out the Whoopie Pie Festival that features tons of unique spins of the classic Lancaster dessert. If you’re looking for a blast from the past, check out the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair that features knights and ladies, sword fights and more!
6. Check Out Amish Country
Last but not least, there’s the thing that Lancaster is probably most famous for: the Amish. If you want a peak into how they live and want to take a buggy ride, check out the Amish Farm and House. They’ll take you on a guided countryside tour, inside an Amish farmhouse and you even have the option to cap off the day with an authentic Amish meal.
What would you add to our list? Leave us a note in the comments below!