Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of the oldest towns in the United States. It is known as the “Red Rose City” and is renowned for its rich history, beautiful scenery, and amazing inhabitants. Most generally recognized for its very large Amish culture, thousands flock here year after year to experience the many splendid attractions Lancaster has to offer. This list of things to do in Lancaster PA can help you experience everything this city has to offer. From food, homemade goods, socializing with good people, historical landmarks, family entertainment, and educational opportunities, this list has something to offer any and everyone in your group.
1. Shop at the Lancaster Central Market
Certainly one of the best things to do in Lancaster PA, the Central Market is the country’s oldest farmers’ market. It lies in the heart of Amish country, just north of Central Park. The market is free to enjoy and features regional food specialties, product, and souvenirs from some of the finest farmers and craftsmen in the area. For close to 300 years, this free Central Market has been the city’s ideal spot for socializing, gathering, shopping, and dining.
This farmers’ market is perfect for any member of the group. Adults can enjoy craft beers and unique food, while children will enjoy walking around and sampling treats or checking out homemade crafts. The Lancaster Central Market is one of the few markets around the country that stays open regardless of season. The best time to shop however would be during the warmer months when seasonal farm food is at its freshest.
- Best for: Adults, couples, families, children.
- Season: The market is open year-round, but only 3 days a week. On Tuesdays and Sundays, the market is open from 6 am until 4 pm and on Saturdays, it is open from 6 am until 2 pm.
- Address: 23 N Market Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603.
2. Explore the Lancaster Science Factory
Located in the heart of the city, just a short drive east of the Susquehanna River, the Science Factory is one of the perfect things to do in Lancaster PA for kids and families. Visitors can pay a flat rate of $9 per person to enjoy more than 60 exhibits that are interactive and hands-on. Children and families can participate in a wide variety of educational programs and shows; aimed at helping children understand the world of science.
The Science Factory is meant to be enjoyed by children, but adults can also enjoy the educational experience. Each exhibit is handicapped accessible and catered towards all children, even those with disabilities. Almost every day of the year, visitors can come to the Science Factory and experience each one of their amazing exhibits. They even host a slew of educational programs for children during the summer months.
- Best for: Families, children.
- Season: They are open year-round, except for all major federal holidays. Their hours vary by season; open every day of the week during spring and summer months and open every day of the week (except for Mondays) during the winter months.
- Address: 454 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602.
3. Take in a Show at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre has been known throughout the state for their quality shows for more than 30 years. Located in the heart of Amish country, visitors can enjoy an amazing show while eating some delicious food. They feature musicals, plays, children’s shows, and even concerts. Ticket prices range depending on which show you choose, which seat you choose, and which time of the year you choose to attend.
This dinner theater is a must on the list of things to do in Lancaster PA. There are shows that are more adult-friendly but also shows that are catered towards family audiences, making it a perfect option for any member of the group. The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre even prides itself on the care they take with visitors who have special needs.
- Best for: Adults, couples, families, children.
- Season: They are open year-round, every day of the week. Hours for shows vary by specific show and season. Check out their website for more accurate show information.
- Address: 510 Centerville Road, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601.
4. Drink a Cold One at the Lancaster Brewing Company
If you’re looking for some adult things to do in Lancaster PA, look no further. Located in the heart of the city, the Lancaster Brewing Company has been brewing delicious craft beers since 1995; developing recipes using local farm ingredients. Visitors can enjoy a drink in their renowned taproom and even take a tour of their incredible facility, taking in the many aromas and flavors of their unique brewing process. After the tour, you can go home with some fancy souvenirs to remember your adventure.
Tours take place year-round, every day of the week. These tours require a reservation, however, as they only take place at one specific time each day. The taproom and restaurant have more extensive hours, every day of the week. While anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the food, the Lancaster Brewing Company is better enjoyed as an adults-only experience.
- Best for: Adults, couples.
- Season: Tours start at 1 pm Monday through Friday and at 3 pm on the weekends. Bar hours are from 11:30 am until 12 am Friday through Sunday and from 11:30 am until 9:30 pm Monday through Thursday. The restaurant opens at 11:30 am every day and closes at 9:30 pm during weekdays and at 10 pm on the weekends.
- Address: 302 North Plum Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602.
5. Enjoy a Family Day at Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland is one of the most fun things to do in Lancaster PA for families and children. Located just off of the Lincoln Highway, this amazing attraction features over 30 family-friendly rides, a water play area, and shows. Kids can even explore the world of dinosaurs at Exploration Island. One-day admission begins at $41.99, but they offer a wide variety of options, discounts, and season passes. Visitors can even combine admissions with Dutch Wonderland and other parks in the area for added discounts.
This is an ideal attraction for families with children of all ages. They are handicapped accessible and can help make arrangements for those with disabilities. They are open year-round. But you’ll want to check out their website for more accurate seasonal and daily hours, as they can vary greatly (especially in the cooler months).
- Best for: Families, children.
- Season: They are open from the months of April through December. During the spring and summer months, their hours are much more varied. During the winter months, they are only open a few days a week, when their water park and certain rides are unavailable.
- Address: 2249 Lincoln Highway E, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602.
6. Experience Amish Culture at The Amish Farm and House
Located in the heart of beautiful Amish country, this farm has become one of the most appreciated things to do in Lancaster PA. The Amish Farm and House has been open for more than 60 years and offers fun for the whole family. Visitors can enjoy a 90-minute bus tour that takes them through the Amish countryside or take a tour of the Amish farmhouse built in 1805. After these tours, visitors are welcome to roam the 15-acre farm. Admission for every tour available begins at $21.95 per adult, $14.95 per child (ages 5-11), and $4.95 per toddler (ages 0-4).
This attraction is not meant to be enjoyed by those who have difficulties getting around, as the entire area is not handicapped accessible. Both younger and older members of the family can enjoy the rich history, beautiful scenery, and educational experience found at The Amish Farm and House. Visitors can come here year-round and enjoy the beautiful nature each season has to offer.
- Best for: Adults, couples, families.
- Season: This farm is open year-round, 7 days a week from 9 am until 6 pm. These are their basic hours, and they may change during the off-season. You’ll want to contact them directly to verify daily hours.
- Address: 2395 Covered Bridge Drive, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602.
If you’re looking for a place to spend some quality time soaking in beauty, history, and culture, Lancaster is the place for you. This list of things to do in Lancaster PA can help you experience everything the “Red Rose City” has to offer. And will keep you wanting to come back year after year to experience it again and again. While you’re in the state, also visit and discover the attractions of Pittsburgh.