I visited Amish Country a while back (in my 20s), and while I don't remember specific details, there were few things terribly interesting, despite my more-than-average interest in history.

If visiting the area (Lancaster Cty, PA), what would be the things of interest for 8-12 year old range? Assume normal city kids, so no super special interest in horses/farming. If it matters, the time of visit is late summer.

I checked some guides (such as this) but none are age-bracketed, and didn't see anything especially kid-friendly aside from may be buggy rides.

  • Must be within 30 mins driving radius (so 20-30 miles tops) from Lancaster, PA.

  • Ideally should be somewhat unique to the area; something that you can't get in any other place, likely for cheaper.

    For example I saw a Balloon Ride on one of the sites, which may be fun for kids - but there's nothing special about a balloon ride over Amish Country and it would likely be overpriced being in the middle of tourist trap area.

  • Excludes Charlie's Hershey Chocolate factory(because I already know about it).

  • Would Amish restaurant be a good starting place?
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 5:05
  • I'd point the kids at the guide sites (lancasterpa.com too) and ask them what they'd like to do. Even though you can probably do it at home, the trampoline/indoor playground place would probably be a big hit.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 20:54
  • @mkennedy - you hit the nail on the head. They kids are far more likely to choose familiar stuff as what they want. NOT the goal here.
    – DVK
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 1:36

2 Answers 2



My grandparents lived in Amish country a fair stretch outside Harrisburg when I was young. Except for Hershey, PA, all the activities within a long distance were on the very marginal side of interesting. "Farms for kids" and all don't really excite most kids, one petting zoo is about as much as anyone wants. You're going to have to balance them being really interested with forcing some learning upon them. I went to a variety of those places as a kid, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I still have a hex sign from one of those trips to this day though.

What we mainly found interesting was going out on our grandparents' farm and exploring, watching cats kill mice, riding the 4-wheeler till someone would get a traumatic injury, betting on which cow would get eaten next, that sort of thing. If you're staying in a hotel and touristing it... Sorry man, you're in one of the less kid-interesting parts of the universe.

You could drive through Intercourse, that'll keep them entertained for the better part of a day.

  • Regarding your last paragraph: In my mother's case, it was my grandfather who was entertained while she was mortified. Maybe that's a generation thing, but I suspect that it could still work that way today for some children.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 21:58
  • @phoog Did Grampa point out it is on the way to Paradise? Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 23:08
  • I have an Intercourse cup at home from prior PA trip, the kids are well aware of the town's name. No surprise for them there.
    – DVK
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 23:38

There are a few things to do:

  • "Mountains" is putting it very loosely.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 21:23

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