Ask folks what comes to mind when you think about places to visit in Pennsylvania and you’re likely to hear some things like the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg, the Washington Monument and all sorts of other national treasures linked to Pennsylvania’s rich history.
But our nation’s second state also has a rich present. And particularly if you’re traveling with preschoolers, you’ll find some great ways to keep their attention and engage their imaginations while giving the whole family a visit to remember. Here are a few of our favorite places to visit in PA with kids.
Generations of kids – yourself included, we’d bet – grew up learning how to add, spell and sing along to our favorite characters on Sesame Street®. The Emmy award-winning show debuted in 1969 and went on to become one of the longest-running programs in television history.
Here in Langhorne, PA, about a half hour outside of Philadelphia, kids can meet Elmo, Big Bird and all their friends at Sesame Place, one of the best places to visit in Pennsylvania with preschoolers.
Here you’ll find fun family rides, laugh-out-loud shows and water play all designed with our youngest guests and their families in mind. The park’s newest area, Cookie’s Monster Land™, opened in 2014 and features a three-story net climb, five rides and a special soft-play area for toddlers.
A few tips for travelers: be sure to catch one of the parades, especially the night one if the kids aren’t played out. Also, don’t be shy about asking for photos with the characters, they’ll likely become some of your favorite photos. Finally, don’t let the size of the park fool you. Most families find two days are better than one, and kids still can’t seem to get enough.
A little more than an hour from Sesame Place you’ll find Strasburg. Known for its Amish culture, it’s also a favorite stop for railroad fans. In fact, a fun way to see some of the Pennsylvania Amish country is on board one of the oldest turn-of-the-century steam trains on the Strasburg Rail Road. Strasburg is also home to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
It goes without saying that Philadelphia is one of the best places to visit in Pennsylvania, but if you’re traveling with kids, here are a few spots not to miss.
The Philadelphia Zoo was our country’s very first zoo, and it’s not done being first. In fact, it’s the first zoo in the world to have what they called Zoo360, an innovative system that lets their big cats and primates move over and across main guest paths.
The Please Touch Museum® at Fairmont Park’s Memorial Hall is full of hands-on fun, and another of our favorite places to visit with kids in Pennsylvania. Its two floors include a beautifully restored 100-year-old carousel.
Do not, we repeat do NOT, come to Philly without tasting one of the city’s signature sandwiches. Named America’s Best Sandwich City in 2011 by SAVEUR Magazine, be sure to sample its namesake, the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The magazine’s picks include Chink’s Steaks and Jim’s Steaks. But ask a local, you can bet he or she will have no shortage of opinions on where to sink your teeth into this mouthwatering treat.