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Things to do in Amish Country, Pennsylvania

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Bird In Hand Family Inn

There are several hotel options in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; one popular one is the Bird In Hand Family Inn. This hotel also has a restaurant on the same property. Bird In Hand is owned by the Smucker family, and has been since around 1911.

The hotel has multiple features, aside from the great quality rooms and service. There are two indoor pools, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. There is a game room near one of the indoor pools. Outside, there is also a basketball court, tennis court, and playground. There is also a koi pond, which also has ducks. Families can feed the koi and ducks with a quarter for food pellets. Across from the pond is a miniature farm. There is a llama, goats, chickens, and sometimes sheep. However, which animals are currently there changes from time to time.

Indoors, there is a lobby that one could say resembles a living room. There is a large couch with a glass table, and two small chairs with foot rests. In Christmastime, there is a large decorated tree in the lobby. And, on the night of New Years' Eve- there is an event in the lobby for guests to count down to midnight and ring in the new year. They offer sparkling cider, snacks, and seating for people to enjoy whilst watching the countdown and performances on television.

The Bird In Hand Family Inn is a very cozy and enjoyable hotel, and is well worth the stay.

Restaurants

There are multiple great restaurant options in Lancaster. Most are of the smorgasbord variety, with hearty food that is sure to call one back up to the buffet for seconds... or even thirds.

Shady Maple

Shady Maple is a large smorgasbord with a large downstairs gift shop. There is a large lobby, and eating area as well. Once one is ready to obtain their drink and meal, they can leave their table and walk through a small aisle. After doing so, there is a large smorgasbord to the left and right. Each side typically has the same foods. However, sometimes there are minor differences. There is a drink dispenser on each side, along with main course foods, desserts, and even a flavored ice cream machine. The ice cream machine has more than just the typical chocolate, vanilla, and twist flavors. After one has finished their meal, they can wander out of the dining area to the stair set, or elevator. This will take them into the gift shop. There is a large array of items available to purchase.

Bird In Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord

Bird In Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord is a quaint, peaceful restaurant. One can order from a menu, or go and get their food from the smorgasbord. There is a separate smorgasbord for salads and bread, entrees, and dessert. There's even a children's smorgasbord themed after Noah's Ark.

Dienner's Country Restaurant

Dienner's is an Amish-owned is a restaurant and a buffet owned and operated by a couple of the same name. One can order off of the menu, or obtain their food from the buffet. It is a small, but peaceful and enjoyable place to eat. The food is great, and is bound to fill one up after one or two trips to the buffet. There is also a great selection of pies in a refrigerator, and ice cream and toppings next to it.

Dutch Apple Dinner Theater

The Dutch Apple Dinner Theater is a unique and enjoyable experience - different than other restaurants on this list. Ordering and enjoying a meal is not the only thing that guests can do here. It is also a dinner theater, which means there are musicals and plays put on by actors and actresses for the guests to enjoy.

Miller's Restaurant & Smorgasbord

Miller's is also of the larger smorgasbord group. There is a large selection of soup, entrees, and desserts. There is a slightly more busy atmosphere than other restaurants on this list. The lights are slightly more dim, as well. However, the restaurant is still enjoyable to eat and spend time with others in- as are all restaurants on this list.

Hershey Farm Restaurant

Hershey Farm Restaurant is a peaceful restaurant which is designed to look like horse stables on the interior. There is a buffet, or one can order off of a menu. There are multiple options of hearty, filling and delicious foods. There is also a bread bar, and a dessert bar. The dessert bar features delicious-looking, decorative jellos, puddings, cookies, and the like. There is even a chocolate fountain to hold treats under and enjoy. Connected to the restaurant is a gift shop. There is a section for children's toys, and then if one travels down the ramp- there are more collectible items, and clothing items. Throughout the gift shop, one can find everything from candles to elegant dresses.

Things To Do

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

Cherry Crest is great fun for the whole family. They have animals, games, and a multitude of outdoor activities to enjoy. Families can hold baby chicks in the barn, or play various fun sports outside. There is a small volleyball course with a net made of hay, and a few places where you can try your hand at throwing baseballs, basketballs, footballs, and kicking soccer balls. There are also a few bounce areas- like a bouncy house, but much larger. Pedal carts, paintball target shooting, and seeing how heavy of a haybale one can lift are a few other activities at Cherry Crest. Aside from the hands-on things, there are multiple farm animals to visit and learn about. Cherry Crest has pigs, ducks, a chicken coop, and goats. There is a structure built so food can be lifted on a conveyor belt to goats so they can eat. Goats can also be hand-fed in their pen. Alpacas and sheep also reside at Cherry Crest. However, the number one activity at Cherry Crest is the corn maze. Every year, the corn maze has a different theme and design. Families can work in teams of two to make it through the tasks, and fill in the blanks on their map to complete a story. The corn maze is 5-acres. There are many family-fun activities to do at Cherry Crest Farm.

Dutch Wonderland

Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park with multiple kid (and adult)-friendly rides and activities. The theme is "Kingdom For Kids" - and there are multiple characters that can occasionally be seen at the park. Duke The Dragon, Merlin the Wizard, and the prince and princess are a few. There are a few roller coasters, a train that goes through the park, and several other amusement rides. There are also activities to do- such as pony rides. There are also games where one can win plushies as prizes, a carousel, antique cars to "drive", and bumper cars. A new addition to the park was a dinosaur attraction- families can view dinosaurs as if they were alive, and children can even go digging for bones- or break open their own geode. Overall, this amusement park is a good spot with families with children on the younger side.

Turkey Hill Experience

For the tea and ice cream lovers out there, there's the Turkey Hill Experience. There's tea tasting, ice cream tasting, and one can even make their own pint of ice cream to eat while exploring the rest of the building. The experience is great for the whole family, with an educational and enjoyable side to it. Adults and children alike - especially those who love tea and ice cream - will enjoy this attraction.

Strasburg Railroad

A great way to see around Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a ride on the Strasburg railroad. Rides are 45 minutes long. Aside from general rides where guests can see and learn about Lancaster and Amish Country on the ride, there are multiple different events and opportunities as well. For example, Santa comes on board the train for Christmastime. Or, if there's a train lover in the family- they can experience riding in the cab of the locomotive. They could take the role of engineer, fireman, or relax in the jumps seat and watch the action. All in all, a peaceful ride on the Strasburg railroad is great for the whole family.

Horse and Buggy Rides

AAA Buggy Rides, Abe's Buggy Rides, and Aaron and Jessica's Buggy Rides are three popular options. Going on a horse and buggy ride is perfect for those who love horses. It is also a great opportunity to learn about Amish transportation. Horse and buggy rides are also a unique way to learn about, and view Amish Country, Pennsylvania.

Kitchen Kettle Village

Kitchen Kettle Village is an outdoor shopping area. There are multiple stores and vendors, as well as places to get food or just sit and relax. One will find stores that fit the interests of any person that can be thought of. This is a pleasant shopping experience for those visiting Lancaster. Don't forget to stop by the main Kitchen Kettle Village shop to test-taste and pick up a wide variety of jellies, sauces, condiments, jams, salsas, pickles, and more!

Sight and Sound

Sight and Sound is a theater where stories from the bible are showcased. They put on musicals, with a different one each year. All musicals are taken from stories in the bible. With talented actors, actresses, and live animals- regardless of whether one is religious or not, it is an astounding and enjoyable experience. There are also two gift shops - one on either side of the building- to take home a souvenir from one's visit to Sight and Sound.

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Travel back in time to England in the 1500s. Walk down concrete paths towards various shops and vendors, or enjoy performances of bagpipes, acrobats, acting skits, or belly dancing. Start the day with the arrival of the Queen and her entourage, and spend the rest enjoying the shows, music, food, and shopping opportunities.

Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania

The Wolf Sanctuary in Lititz has seven packs, and thirteen pairs of wolves and wolf-dogs. The nonprofit organization has rescued and taken in wolves, giving them the best quality of life possible- and showing and teaching about them to visitors. Different packs and pairs of wolves are shown on different tours, but guests are bound to learn about and see these beautiful animals when visiting. In the gift shop, guests can even symbolically adopt a wolf that lives at the sanctuary. A famous wolf used to reside at the sanctuary - the son of one of the wolves that played Two Socks in Dances With Wolves. A special experience at the wolf sanctuary is the full moon tour- this includes a bonfire, entertainment, and a guided tour. Only those ages 16 or older are able to participate in full moon tours, and they take place at night. They happen on Saturdays closest to the nearest full moon. Another great time to visit the wolf sanctuary is after it snows. The wolves look amazing against the white backdrop. This is a great opportunity to learn about these wolves and their conservation.

Bird In Hand Farmer's Market

Test taste cheeses, meats, and find souvenirs at the Bird In Hand Farmer's Market. There are handmade items from the Amish, cheeses from their farms, meats from local small companies- and a variety of other foods and items. There is also a miniature Kitchen Kettle Village stand to taste and sample jellies, jams, and salsas. Whilst food is the main draw-in, it is a good place to find souvenirs as well.

Hershey's Chocolate World & Hershey Park

For the chocolate lovers out there- this is the perfect spot. Chocolate world is an indoor attraction connected to Hershey Park- an amusement park themed around the chocolate company. Inside chocolate world, there is a ride that shows how chocolate is made, and a few different activities. One can make their own chocolate bar, watch a 4D movie, participate in chocolate tasting, ride a trolley and learn about Milton Hershey's life, and obtain a personalized chocolate bar wrapper for a special occasion. Hershey Park has 71 rides for all ages and families. There is everything from the classics, to Hershey-themed attractions. There are also shows, entertainment, and places to meet the characters of Hershey.

Is it your first time visiting Lancaster? Check out this guide before your trip!

© 2021 Kat May

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