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, like Broadway: Now & Forever or maybe you have Sight & Sound tickets for Noah, 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, and we’ve got a few select 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 their schedule for available home games from now through the beginning of September.
2. Lancaster Science Factory – Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean the kids can’t be learning something. And 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 and vision, fluid dynamics, and more. Did we mention it’s fun?
3. Miniature Golf – Our region boasts some great miniature golf course with a variety of challenge levels. One of our favorites is Village Greens Miniature Golf in Strasburg. Two courses (41 holes) in a lush setting, plus some pretty tasty milkshakes and hand-dipped ice cream. Other great course can be found at Lost Treasure Golf, just up the road from AMT, and Water’s Edge in Bird-in-Hand. Fore!
4. Adventure Sports – If you want mini-golf and more, just a half hour up the road near Hershey is Adventure Sports. From go-karts and bumper boats to batting cages and laser tag, there’s something for everyone for a full-day of fun. Plus an indoor arcade and ice cream parlor for when you need to cool off.
5. The Bead and Pottery Works – For the more artistic 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. Plus you can make your own beaded jewelry and create something wonderful to wear to your chosen show at the American Music Theater!
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 standholders converge on the Market offering fresh produce, amazing baked goods, and the finest meats and cheeses. Plus a wide variety of ethnic foods and local favorites. We recommend a whoopie pie or a jar or 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. 300 Block of North Queen Street – Just a few blocks north of Market is one of the coolest and most unique blocks of shopping you’ll ever see. From 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 some incredible baked goods and coffee.
4. The Lancaster Summer Arts Festival – If there’s one thing we’ve got here in Lancaster, it’s an amazing arts community. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer Arts Festival. The festival features music, film, photography, and a variety of art exhibits and events throughout the city all summer long. Check their calendar for a list of events.
5. Keys for the City – Lancaster is filled with lots of public art, and this summer that includes 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. Use their map to locate them, and 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 favorites:
1. Caribbean Chez Nous – Nestled in the Ross neighborhood of Lancaster, this relatively new restaurant features authentic Haitian food. From pork or beef to more traditional foods like goat, oxtail, and conch, Junior Justin and his staff will treat you like family.
2. Jennie’s Diner – If you like comfort food, we’ve got diners galore. One of the highlights of our area is Jennie’s Diner, less than a mile east of the American Music Theater. Open 24 hours, Jennie’s is the perfect place to fill your tummy before or after the show!
3. 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 hand-crafted artisan flatbread pizzas made from locally sourced ingredients.
4. Rachel’s Creperie – Smack dab in the middle of Lancaster’s 300 block of N. Queen Street (see above), Rachel’s 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. 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 from the American Music Theater, The Brasserie offers a broad selection of menu items in a casual fine dining atmosphere, and is family friendly. Oh, and make sure you try the tomato bisque!
These are just a few of our favorites, and we’ll be updating this page from time to time. Also, remember that 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.