What To Do in Lancaster, PA
Whether you were born and raised in Lancaster County, or you’re visiting here for the first time, you might be surprised at how much there is to do and how much is going on in our area. If you’re in town to see one of our great shows, you might also be looking for other ways to spend your time and entertain yourselves. Below are a few of our favorites:
5 Things to Do with the Family
If you’re in town with your family, rather than split up and go in different directions, why not find something fun to do with everyone? There’s plenty to do around the area. Here are a few select family-friendly choices for you:
1. Lancaster Barnstormers
The Barnstormers are Lancaster’s own minor league baseball team, part of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Games at Clipper Magazine Stadium are exciting, with between-inning events to delight the entire family. Plus, there isn’t a bad seat in the house, all at an affordable price, with great food options. Check the Barnstormers schedule for available home games from April through the beginning of September.
2. Lancaster Science Factory
Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean the kids can’t be learning something. It’s even better when that learning is fun. Tucked away in the northeast corner of the city, the Lancaster Science Factory offers hands-on exhibits for kids relating to areas of science like electricity & magnetism, light & vision, fluid dynamics, and more. Did we mention it’s fun?
3. Miniature Golf
Our region boasts some great miniature golf courses with a variety of challenge levels. One of our favorites is Village Greens Miniature Golf in Strasburg. This mini golf course features two courses (41 holes) in a lush setting, plus some pretty tasty milkshakes and hand-dipped ice cream. Other great courses can be found at Lost Treasure Golf, just up the road from AMT, and Water’s Edge in Bird-in-Hand. Get ready to tee up with the family for a fun competition. Fore!
4. Adventure Sports
If you want mini-golf and more, just a half hour up the road near Hershey, PA is Adventure Sports. From go-karts and bumper boats to batting cages, laser tag, and an escape room, there’s something for everyone for a full-day of fun. Plus, there’s an indoor arcade and ice cream parlor for when you need to cool off.
5. The Bead and Pottery Works
A perfect fit for the more artistically-minded, The Bead and Pottery Works is located in the heart of historic downtown Lancaster. With a wide variety of options for any age, you can make your own pottery. You can also make your own beaded jewelry and create something wonderful to wear to your chosen show at the American Music Theatre!
5 Destinations for Shopping and Other Fun
If you prefer shopping, with a mix of art and culture thrown in, here are a few of the best places to go in the area:
1. Lancaster Central Market
Did you know the country’s oldest farmer’s market is located in the center of Lancaster? Three days a week vendors converge at Lancaster Central Market offering fresh produce, amazing baked goods, and the finest meats and cheeses. Plus, you can find a wide variety of ethnic foods and local favorites. We recommend a whoopie pie or a jar of chow chow. A great place to grab some breakfast or lunch or just browse for gifts, Central Market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
2. Uptown Lancaster
Just a few blocks north of Central Market is one of the coolest and most unique blocks of shopping you’ll ever see. Uptown Lancaster covers the 300 block of North Queen Street. Between vintage shops, collectibles & antiques, restaurants, and other unique specialty shops, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. Two of our favorites stops are Building Character and Mommalicious.
3. Plum Salon & Spa
Looking for a little bit of pampering while in town? Plum Salon & Spa on the northwest edge of the city offers a variety of services from hair cutting and styling to a nice mani/pedi. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more indulgent, try one of their facials, or even a couple’s massage! Did we mention the complimentary drinks? Plus, when you’re done, you can hop over next door to The Bakers Table and indulge some more with incredible baked goods and coffee.
4. The Lancaster Summer Arts Festival
If there’s one thing we have here in Lancaster, it’s an amazing arts community. 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of The Lancaster Summer Arts Festival. The festival features music, film, photography, and a variety of art exhibits and events throughout the city all summer long. Check out their calendar for a list of events available when you’re in the area.
5. Keys for the City
Lancaster is filled with lots of public art, and some lucky summers include the return of the Keys for the City exhibition. Hosted by the local nonprofit, Music for Everyone, the exhibit includes twelve pianos, all painted and designed by local artists, and placed throughout the city. Locate them on the map and then take your turn at tickling the ivories and singing your favorite show tunes!
5 Places to Fill Your Belly
A day of family fun and shopping also requires the right kind of sustenance. In Lancaster, we have no shortage of restaurants. From great independent restaurants of all sorts and a variety of ethnic eateries to some of the more popular and familiar chains, Lancaster has it all. Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
1. Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen
Over on N. Mulberry Street, about four to five blocks from Lancaster Central Market, is Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen. This is a great place to get a taste of the Caribbean. It’s a small place with delicious food and a family atmosphere. It’s a popular spot and can get busy, so reservations are recommended just to be safe.
2. Route 30 Diner
If you like comfort food, Lancaster County has diners galore. One of the highlights of our area is the Route 30 Diner, less than a mile east of the American Music Theatre. It’s open 7 days a week, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., which makes it the perfect place to fill your tummy before or sometimes after the show!
3. The Fridge
Heading back into Lancaster City, and also located on N. Mulberry Street, is The Fridge. If craft beer is your thing, The Fridge has over 400 varieties of bottled craft beer at any time and ten on tap. Plus, they offer hand-crafted artisan flatbread pizzas made from locally-sourced ingredients.
4. Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie
Smack dab in the middle of Lancaster’s 300 block of N. Queen Street, Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie has become one of the go-to places for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a meal or just dessert, Rachel’s has a crepe stuffed with goodness just for you. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You won’t leave hungry!
5. The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar
Built in what used to be a traditional home, this eatery is just a ten-minute drive west of the American Music Theatre. The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar offers a broad selection of menu items in a casual fine dining atmosphere and is family friendly. Make sure you try the tomato bisque!
These are just a few of our favorites, but, rest assured, there are tons of options to choose from wherever in Lancaster County you happen to be. Also, all of our employees live in the area, and each has their favorite go-to destinations throughout Lancaster County. Feel free to ask any of us for suggestions, and you can always find more information through the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.