What to Do on a Weekend in Pennsylvania with Kids?

Aerial view over the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania

Enjoying a weekend in Pennsylvania with your kids gives a large number of activities and attractions that are family-friendly.

The state of Pennsylvania has something special whether you are keen on open-air adventures, educational experiences, or historical sites.

This comprehensive guide will help you plan a noteworthy weekend getaway with your children in the Keystone State.

This post is part of our series Discover the USA

The Incredible Geography of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, located in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, boasts a diverse geography. It ranges from rolling hills and fertile valleys to rugged mountains and scenic coastlines along Lake Erie. Here are some key geographical features and regions of Pennsylvania:

Appalachian Mountains

The eastern part of the state is dominated by the Appalachian Mountains, which include the Allegheny, Pocono, and Blue Ridge Mountains.

These ranges offer outdoor enthusiasts opportunities for hiking, skiing, and exploring lush forests.

Valleys and Rivers

Pennsylvania is intersected by several significant rivers, such as the Susquehanna, Delaware, and Ohio Waterways. These fertile river valleys have historically been crucial to the state’s agriculture and transportation.

Lake Erie Shoreline

The northwest corner of Pennsylvania borders Lake Erie, providing a beautiful shoreline and access to the Great Lakes. Presque Isle State Park, near Erie, offers sandy beaches and outdoor recreation.

Piedmont Region

Rolling hills and valleys characterize the state’s southeastern part of the Piedmont Plateau. This region is home to cities like Philadelphia and offers rich farmland.


Pennsylvania features several plateaus. This includes the Allegheny Plateau in the western part of the state and the Pocono Plateau in the northeast.

The state’s diverse geography has contributed to its rich history, vibrant culture, and various outdoor activities for residents and visitors.

Whether exploring the urban landscapes of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania’s geography offers something for everyone.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Fun Weekend in Pennsylvania

You can enjoy several fun activities with your kids on a weekend tour of Pennsylvania. Some of them are discussed below:

Explore the Great Outdoors

Try any of these activities:

  • Hike in Ricketts Glen State Park: Start your weekend with a family-friendly hike in Ricketts Glen State Park. The Falls Trail is a must-visit, featuring 21 stunning waterfalls along a 7.2-mile loop.
  • Picnic at Lake Jean: Enjoy a picnic lunch by the picturesque Lake Jean after your hike. The park provides picnic tables and a serene atmosphere.
  • Kayaking or canoeing: Rent kayaks or canoes at Lake Jean and explore the crystal-clear waters while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
  • Visit Knoebels Amusement Resort: Head to Knoebels Amusement Resort, a charming family-owned amusement park with free admission and pay-as-you-go rides. Enjoy classic attractions, kiddie rides, and a delightful atmosphere. Visit the Dutch Wonderland and experience family fun.
  • Campfire and stargazing: If you’re camping at Ricketts Glen or nearby, have a campfire and introduce your kids to stargazing. The park’s remote location provides an excellent view of the night sky.
Rickets Glenn State Park

History and Culture

Explore the following:

  • Breakfast in Bloomsburg: Start your day with a hearty breakfast in Bloomsburg, known for its charming downtown and dining options.
  • The Children’s Museum: Visit The Children’s Museum in Bloomsburg, where interactive exhibits and educational activities cater to kids of all ages.
  • Knoebels Crystal Pool: Cool off in the afternoon at Knoebels Crystal Pool. This large swimming pool features water slides, diving boards, and a relaxing space.
  • Explore Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine: Take a short drive to Ashland and explore the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine. The guided tour offers a glimpse into Pennsylvania’s coal mining history.
  • Dinner and ice cream: Enjoy a family dinner at a local restaurant in Bloomsburg or nearby. Afterward, treat your kids to some delicious ice cream at a local parlor.
abandoned coal mine tunnel in carbon County pennsylvania

History and Learning

You can also look into any of these:

  • Gettysburg National Military Park: Head to Gettysburg and spend the morning at Gettysburg National Military Park. Explore the Visitor Center, watch the film, and take a guided tour to learn about the Civil War’s pivotal battle.
  • Gettysburg Heritage Center: Visit the Gettysburg Heritage Center, a family-friendly museum that provides an immersive look into the Battle of Gettysburg and its impact on American history.
  • Eisenhower National Historic Site: Tour the Eisenhower National Historic Site, the former farm and home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It offers insights into the life of the 34th President of the United States.
  • Dinner in Gettysburg: Have dinner at one of the family-friendly restaurants in Gettysburg, offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy everyone’s taste.
the pennsylvania monument in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Amusement and Adventure

Explore these adventures:

  • Breakfast in Hershey: Start your day with breakfast in Hershey, known for its chocolate heritage.
  • Hersheypark: Spend the day at Hersheypark, a world-class amusement park with thrilling rides, family attractions, and plenty of chocolate-themed experiences.
  • Chocolate World: After Hersheypark, visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can take a chocolate factory tour, create chocolate bars, and indulge in sweet treats.
  • Hershey Gardens: Explore Hershey Gardens in the late afternoon. This botanical garden offers beautiful displays of flowers and themed gardens.
  • Supper in Hershey: Have an amazing dinner in Hershey before going to your accommodation for a relaxing night.
Hershey Pak in Pennsylvania with fall colors

Educational Adventures

You may also enjoy these educational adventures:

  • Lancaster County, Dutch Country: Begin your day by heading to Lancaster County, known for its Amish culture and scenic countryside.
  • Amish Farm and House: Visit the Amish Farm and House for an educational experience. Tour an authentic Amish farmhouse, learn about Amish culture, and take a buggy ride.
  • Lunch in Intercourse: Lunch in the charming village of Intercourse, known for its Amish crafts and shops.
  • The North Museum of Nature and Science: Head to Lancaster and explore The North Museum of Nature and Science. It offers interactive exhibits and a planetarium, making science fun for kids.
  • Dinner in Lancaster: Conclude your weekend with a family dinner at a restaurant in downtown Lancaster.
Amish farming in Lancaster County PA

Final Thoughts on Pennsylvania With Kids

Pennsylvania provides many family-friendly activities, making it an amazing destination to enjoy a weekend getaway with your children. From outdoor adventures and historical sites to educational museums and amusement parks, you’ll find diverse experiences to create lasting memories with your family.

Whether exploring nature, delving into history, or indulging in sweet treats, Pennsylvania has something special for every family member.

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Mohican Waterfall, Ricketts Glen State Park in pennsylvania with text overlay a Family Weekend in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia - Pennsylvania With Kids

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