Summer is time for making memories—and there’s no better place to do that than Bird-in-Hand. With food, lodging, and entertainment in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, you’ll find something here for everyone. Discover all the summer family activities Lancaster, PA has to offer within a short drive through our beautiful countryside.
Experience family fun on the farm
To get a great taste of everything Lancaster County has to offer, consider planning your visit around the Bird-in-Hand Family Fun Fest. This outdoor event will feature live entertainment and lots of laughter with international juggling superstar Niels Duinker as well as Ryan & Friends, who will perform with a new character, along with favorites from his popular Bird-in-Hand Stage show (see below).
The fun isn’t limited to the stage. Starting at 3 p.m., we’ll have tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), a corn maze, a bounce house, and pedal cars, plus cornhole and other outdoor games. Local artisans and vendors will offer wares at a Makers’ Market, too. And when you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a catered picnic, with delicious selections for kids and grown-ups from our Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant. We’ll wrap it up around the bonfire with delicious s’mores.
Family Fun Fest will be held rain or shine at the Smucker Homestead on Route 340/Old Philadelphia Pike. Tickets are $29.95/adults and $16.95/children (3 and under are free). Use promo code EarlyBird by July 17 to save $3 per ticket. For tickets, call (800) 790-4069 or reserve online.
All laughs, no moving lips
If your family enjoyed Ryan & Friends at the Family Fun Fest, or if you missed the event but still want to take in some wholesome, light-hearted entertainment, Ryan and his colorful cast of characters present Ryan & Friends: Comedy Calamity on the Bird-in-Hand Stage through October 9. The combination of ventriloquism, song parodies, and snappy comebacks will have the whole family rolling in the aisles.
Take them out to the ballgame
What’s summer without baseball? A proud member of Major League Baseball’s Partner League, the Lancaster Barnstormers play their home games at fan-friendly Clipper Magazine Stadium on North Prince Street in Lancaster, about 20 minutes from Bird-in-Hand.
They have scheduled games all summer long and into early October against WV Power, York Revolution, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Lexington Legends, Gastonia Honey Hunters, and Long Island Ducks, with special events like $2 Tuesdays ($2 popcorn, fountain sodas, nachos, and Berks hot dogs), Parrothead Night, Farm Show Night, Princess Day, Christmas in July, and many other special events.
Getting back on track
You and your kids can step back in time with a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road, America’s oldest operating railroad. Ride a real steam train from Ronks, about 15 minutes from Bird-in-Hand, to Paradise and back. During the 45-minute round trip, you’ll see acres and acres of Amish farmland and can listen to an audio track with interesting facts and information about the railroad and surrounding area. You might want to pick up box lunches from Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe and take the opportunity to get off the train at one of the picnic groves along the way. You’ll also find a playground and other activities for the kids at the station in Ronks.
An authentic taste of Amish country
All those green fields and pastures are more than just postcard-perfect, and agriculture isn’t just part of our past. It’s integral to how we live here in Lancaster County. To experience it for yourself, bring your family to our Cornfield Banquet on the Smucker Homestead. Enjoy farm-fresh favorites like barbecue chicken and fresh-picked corn on the cob, baked Idaho and sweet potatoes, Grandma Smucker’s baked lima beans, Pennsylvania Dutch favorites like chow chow, coleslaw and applesauce, and all the fixings.
Don’t miss out on our famous whoopie pies from the Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe and angel food cake with seasonal berries—all served under a tent among the rows of corn. It’s an immersive experience, with hayrides, a corn maze, music and more.
This year’s summer dates are August 12 and 19. Our Harvest Cornfield Banquet is on September 9. For reservations, please call (800) 537-2535 or click here.
Kids rule at dutch wonderland
If your family enjoys theme parks, Dutch Wonderland is only 10 minutes away, with more than 35 rides and shows like The Adventures of the Frog Prince, A Dragon’s Tale, and the country music of Bubba Bear. Have a high-flying adventure on Merlin’s Mayhem, a suspended family roller coaster; join Duke the Dragon for a splash in Duke’s Lagoon with slides, spray nozzles and other water attractions, or relax under thatched umbrellas and palm trees; or discover more than 22 life-like dinosaurs on Exploration Island.
A river runs through it
If your family prefers the natural world, the Susquehanna River and its tributaries provide a wide range of opportunities for fishing, tubing, canoeing, boating and kayaking in Lancaster County. The Susquehanna River Water Trail runs for 53 miles from Harrisburg to the Mason-Dixon Line. You can put your boat in at Chickies Rock Park or other ramp access points—just be sure to have the proper launch permit or unpowered registration from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Guided kayak and tubing trips are also available through several outfitters.
GO JUMP IN…
If you prefer water that isn’t moving, check out the 106-acre Speedwell Forge Lake above Lititz. You can fish from the pier, put in an unpowered or electric boat, or enjoy a waterside picnic. Or visit Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach in Lebanon, about 25 miles north of Bird-in-Hand. The family-owned facility has eight acres of sand beach, recreation lawn, and a shaded picnic grove adjacent to Lake Conewago. It offers a guarded swimming area, kids’ dock, diving board, and high dive, and sand volleyball. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and inner tubes, as well as beach chairs. Tickets to Mt. Gretna Lake must be purchased in advance online.
A hole in one at the water’s edge
You can also enjoy cascading waterfalls, quiet streams and serene pools at Water’s Edge Mini Golf, a short walk from your room at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn. Test your skill on the beautiful miniature golf course—and don’t forget to stop at the petting zoo, where the kids can feed goats, chickens and even a llama.
Make your own summer camp
Spread out and enjoy the wide-open spaces at our family-friendly, pet-friendly Country Acres Campground. Bring your tent or pop-up, park your camper or RV, or stay in a cozy log cabin on our clean and quiet 18 acres. Enjoy on-site amenities like an outdoor pool, playground, dog run, and other recreational facilities, or explore nearby attractions like Dutch Wonderland and Sight & Sound Theatres. When the day is over, take in the awesome view of the sky, far from lights of the big city, for a show of stars like you’ve never seen.
Feed the soul with farm-fresh food
Take an opportunity to show your kids where food comes from—and bring some of that freshness home for your table. You’ll find lots of local markets and roadside stands throughout Lancaster County. You can pick up strawberries in season, along with hanging baskets and mums from Ephraim Huyard on Church Road in Bird-in-Hand and the kids can check out the farm.
Stop by Groff’s Vegetables on Stumptown Road for homegrown lettuces, celery, candy onions, beets and cucumbers, or head to Stoltzfus Produce & Market Fare on Groffdale Road for fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and baked goods. And when the weather is hot, cool off with homemade root beer or hand-squeezed lemonade from Olde Heritage Homemade Root Beer & Gift Shop on Old Philadelphia Pike in Ronks.
So if you’re looking for summer family activities, vacation ideas or easy road trips, you’ll find lots of fun things to do with kids in Lancaster County, and Bird-in-Hand gives you easy access to all of them.