6 Best Summer Day Trips for Families in Pennsylvania

6 Best Summer Day Trips for Families in Pennsylvania

When summer’s in full swing, there’s nothing more exciting than going on a day trip with your family. With a little bit of planning, you can organize a local adventure that’s fun, educational, and budget-friendly.

Make some memories while visiting these PA destinations this summer.

1. Hersheypark®, Hershey Gardens, and Chocolate World® in Hershey, PA

From amusement park rides to simulated chocolate factory tours, Hershey offers several free and affordable experiences for your entire family. Hersheypark is home to many rides and attractions, including family favorites like Balloon Flite℠ and Frog Hopper℠. If you’re feeling daring, you can ride roller coasters like the Comet℠, sooperdooperLooper®, and Fahrenheit® before going to cool off at The Boardwalk.

When you’ve had your fill of fun at Hersheypark, you can wind down at the famous Hershey Gardens and Chocolate World. These attractions allow you to make summer fun educational by teaching your family about the beautiful plants and flowers featured in the gardens and Hershey’s world-renowned chocolate-making process.  Hersheypark has also added several new dining options, including Milton’s℠ Ice Cream Parlor, The Sweeterie℠, and The Chocolatier℠, that don’t require a ticket for entry.

2. Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is home to a world-class collection of locomotives, railroad cars, and artifacts that let you explore the history of transportation in America. In addition to trains, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania also has multiple exhibits, including hands-on areas where even young kids can join in on the fun. You can tour everything from refrigerator cars to inspection pits and see real train whistles in the Rolling Stock Hall West.

The newest Railroad Museum exhibit, Trainworks, is a “railroading 101” exhibit where parents and kids can learn about the basics of railroading through a thoughtful series of interactive displays. If you’d like to go on your very own train ride, the Strasburg Rail Road operates directly across the street from the museum.

3. Knoebels® Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA

Knoebels Amusement Resort is America’s largest free-admission amusement park. Though you’ll need to pay for the rides you’d like to experience, with its free parking and free admission, it’s an ideal destination if you’re on a budget. Knoebels is famous for its classic family-friendly rides, including bumper cars, Ferris wheels, carousels, and tilt-a-whirls. Older kids will love thrill rides such as the Cosmotron, Galleon, and the 90-degree free-fall Impulse coaster.

When you’re ready to cool off for the day, the Knoebels Crystal Pool is the perfect place to relax. The Crystal Pool features more than 900,000 gallons of refreshing mountain stream water and four exciting slides, including two slide winders and twin twister slides. Knoebels also offers a variety of dining options from sit-down meals to snacks and tasty treats if you’re on the go.

4. Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA

The Gettysburg National Military Park is the perfect place to experience nature and history without needing to pay for an admission ticket. From Little Round Top to Devil’s Den, there are hundreds of landmarks that are easily traversable by foot. The park is also an excellent area for hiking, biking, running, and taking unforgettable photos of the landscape.

You can learn more about the Battle of Gettysburg at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, which houses war artifacts, several documentary films, and a stunning cyclorama painting. Tour the battlefields with a guide or stop inside to watch the new film, “A New Birth of Freedom.”

5. Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax, PA

With over 500 animals roaming freely throughout the park, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is one of the best places to experience nature in Pennsylvania. You’ll find several unique animal-related attractions, including a farm, a petting zoo, and even safari tours throughout the day. From giraffes and monkeys to alpacas and goats, the whole family can see some of their favorite animals.

In addition to visiting the zoo, you can take your family for catch-and-release fishing. To finish up your day, grab a bite to eat from the Grille & Grub and Chill Zone right next to the gift shop. You can pack picnic lunches if you prefer to save a little extra money, and parking is also free.

6. Longwood Gardens® in Kennett Square, PA

At Longwood Gardens, your family can see 11,000 varieties of plants across more than 1,000 acres of land. Founded in 1906, Longwood Gardens has become renowned for its horticulture, education, design, and art. All throughout Longwood Gardens are beautiful features like the Italian Water Garden, a woodland oasis, and beautiful paths created specifically for flower garden walks. With such a picturesque location, Longwood Gardens is the perfect place for a picnic with your family.

Longwood Gardens is also home to a significant amount of wildlife that roams the grounds. You can find butterflies and other insects, as well as larger species including birds, beavers, red foxes, and deer.

Save on Your Summer Day Trip with the Founder’s Rewards Card

With the Founder’s Rewards Card from PSECU, you’ll earn cash rewards* on every purchase, which means you can get rewarded every time you swipe during your day trip. There are no category restrictions, and your rewards don’t expire, which means you can save up your rewards until you’re ready for another unforgettable trip.


*Some exclusions may apply. See the Visa® Founder’s Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.

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