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Pennsylvania is a fascinating state known for its rich history, family-friendly attractions, charming cities, and stunning countryside. The state earned the nickname “the Keystone State” for its important historical role in the founding of the United States, and was one of the 13 original colonies. It was also the location where the Declaration of Independence was formed and also where the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
When people think of what to do in Pennsylvania, visiting historic attractions, local farming communities, and family-friendly amusement parks are often what first come to mind. There are countless fun things to do in Pennsylvania for families of all ages, and one visit to the state simply isn’t enough to experience all it has to offer!
The iconic and historic state is an excellent destination for a family vacation, particularly for families with young children. With so many fascinating things to do, see, and experience in the state, it can be a bit overwhelming to narrow down the top things to do when planning your trip.
We’ve created this mini-guide to help make your family vacation stress-free and purely filled with fun! These are our top tips for fun places in Pennsylvania that simply can’t be missed.
Learn all about the fascinating origins of our country
There’s not a more fascinating or engaging place to learn all about the history of the United States than at Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia. It’s an absolute must-visit, particularly for families with young children who can learn some important historical information while having fun exploring the impressive surroundings.
The park is one of the most famous and most significant historic landmarks in the country, and is home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier.
Here you can learn the entire story of how the United States gained its freedom and independence. To make the most out of your visit here, it’s best to do a tour, which lasts around 20 minutes and includes a knowledgeable guide who will offer detailed information along the way. Otherwise, you can still explore the sights, various buildings, and park grounds even without a tour.
At Independence Hall, you can sit at the same table where the founding fathers (including George Washington himself!) sat as they signed the Declaration of Independence. Next, visit the iconic Liberty Bell (the same one which appeared in the National Treasure movie with Nicholas Cage!) with its famous crack and engraving of “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Last but not least, visit the emblematic Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, which serves to honor all soldiers who died during the American Revolutionary War.
Be inspired by the colors and creativity at the Andy Warhol Museum
While the state is most known for its historic attractions, there are plenty of fun things to do in Pennsylvania outside the historic realm! For all the art, culture, and color lovers out there, a visit to The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is a must-visit. The famous pop art icon, Andy Warhol, was born in Pittsburgh– making him a true Pennsylvania native, and is the reason why the museum is located here.
The museum offers something fun and interesting for family members of all ages to enjoy! Learn about the fascinating life of one of the most influential figures in the pop art world, including his rise to fame in the 1960s. Here you can browse several of his most famous original pieces, including the iconic Campbell soup can paintings, Coca-cola art, Marilyn Monroe masterpieces, and more!
Did you know that his most expensive painting sold in 2013 for a whopping $105 million!? The Pittsburgh Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum in the world dedicated to the legendary artist, and pays tribute to his entire life and career. Learn some fascinating and surprising facts about his personal life, as well as some top secret techniques he used to create his works of art. Children will enjoy the technicolor art pieces and the spacious layout of the museum.
Enjoy endless family-friendly fun in Dutch Wonderland
If you’re looking for a hearty dose of family-friendly fun during your Pennsylvania vacation, look no further. Dutch Wonderland has been voted as the World’s Best Family Park by Amusement Today for three consecutive years, and the park is consistently rated among the top things to do in Pennsylvania with kids! There’s truly not a better way to spend your child’s summer break than with a park visit, where smiles and fun are guaranteed!
This whimsical-themed amusement park is a real-life fantasy land featuring over 30 attractions, rides, live shows, events, excellent dining options, gift shops, and so much more! The park is a true “kingdom for kids,” and all rides are designed with children’s safety and enjoyment in mind. It is the perfect place for parents to smile and have fun alongside their children while creating lifelong memories together. Children of all ages will find something to enjoy here, and the park brings fantastical characters, castle-laden lands, and dragon tales to life!
Discovering the many rides and attractions is the perfect way to enjoy a day at the park. There’s a little something for everyone. Kids can go on a magical, thrilling journey on the high-flying Merlin’s Mayhem coaster. Or test your bravery on the Kingdom Coaster, which takes you to new and daring heights of fun! Chug along on the vintage steam train, Wonderland Special. Let your imagination run wild at the Wonder House. Kids will love the elevated Monorail, where they can see a fascinating bird's-eye view of the park! Drive around and bump into each other on the Bumper Cars, or swing high in the air on the Flying Trapeze Swings! These are just a few of many top-rated park rides and attractions.
Tiny tots can enjoy a realm of rides specially designed for younger children. Meet over 20 lifelike dinosaurs on the Prehistoric Path, and dig for fossils at Dino Dig! Go for a magical mini hot air balloon ride on the Bon Voyage Balloon Chase, or a serene canal cruise on the Gondola. Little ones will controlling their own mini bulldozers at Duke’s Dozers, and you can let your kid experience the thrill of being a mini astronaut on the Sky Fighter!
Will you be visiting the park during the summer months? Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits, sunscreen, and pool towels because you won’t want to miss out on all the splashin’ fun at Duke’s Lagoon. Ride a speedy raft down the Pipeline Plunge water slide. Get splashed by spilling buckets, and wade around in the colorful pool areas. There’s no shortage of kid-friendly water fun at Duke’s Lagoon.
Rides aren’t the only way to enjoy your day at Dutch Wonderland. Check out the live shows and events during your park visit, too! All live entertainment and shows are included with your admission. Watch real-life princesses and princes tell a story in a castle. Watch a Dragon’s Tale Unfold at the Dive Stadium. Learn all about the Adventures of the Frog Prince, and read a story with the kind and magical Princess Brooke. The live shows at the park open up a whole new kingdom of fun!
If you’ll be visiting the park during the fall or winter, be sure to check the events schedule beforehand, so you don’t miss out on the seasonal events. Get spooked at Happy Hauntings, a fall event where the park transforms into a spooky, Halloween-themed kingdom. Or, come experience the Christmas magic at Dutch Winter Wonderland, where the park becomes a dazzling light show filled with beautiful holiday themed decorations.
You won’t go hungry during your visit with all the top-rated restaurants, eateries, and snack shacks found throughout the park! There’s a yummy dining option for whatever you’re craving. Fuel up with fresh panini sandwiches, pizza, pasta, fresh pretzels, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and more! You’ll find plenty of ice cream and sweet treat options to satisfy your sweet tooth as well. Numerous eateries offer kid-friendly menus, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Dutch Wonderland offers a wide array of ticket options, with something for every type of visitor. Decide whether you’ll be a single admission visitor or an-all-season-long VIP member. Discounted deals and admission rates are available for large group visits and advance purchases. To get the best bang for your buck, check out our season pass options, where you can enjoy unlimited park visits all season long!
Stop looking for fun things to do in Pennsylvania, and start planning your family park visit now! Remember, planning your visit in advance can help you save big on ticket prices. Come discover all the magic, wonders, and unforgettable memories only found at Dutch Wonderland. We’re true experts in family fun, that’s why they call us a “kingdom for kids!”