Straightforward day journeys for households in north central Pennsylvania | Recreation


Now that things are opening up, many people are ready to take to the streets and travel. Fortunately, there are many places here in northern central Pennsylvania, or within a reasonable driving distance, that are good for families.

Below are some destinations within three hours or less of our region:

Knoebel’s leisure resort Most people who grew up in north-central Pennsylvania already make this old-fashioned Elysburg amusement park an annual day trip. But if you are new to the area or grew up here and haven’t visited this park before, this is a must do.

The park, which is celebrating its 95th anniversary, has the wooden roller coaster The Phoenix. This roller coaster has won numerous national awards for the best wooden roller coaster.

Knoebels also offers more modern rides such as the Impulse, the Flying Turns roller coaster with wooden bobsleigh and the Haunted Mansion. Classic rides are also offered, including a carousel, a Ferris wheel, and the Pioneer train. Also part of the park is the Crystal Pool, which has multiple water slides and is a great place for families to cool off on hot summer days.

The park has numerous food stalls selling ice cream, funnel cakes, cotton candy, sandwiches, and more. This park is unique in that it is in the forests of Northumberland and part of Columbia County, which means there are plenty of shady spots to stay. Entry to the park is free. Additional information is available on the website.

T & D’s cats of the world – You don’t want to drive three hours to the largest zoo in the metropolitan region? No problem. You can still see exotic animals here in northern central Pennsylvania.

T & D’s Cats of the World is a wildlife sanctuary in Penns Creek, Snyder County that is home to several species of big cats, primates, bears, wolves, and more. There is also an aviary that visitors can tour.

This family-run sanctuary is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer. In June, July and August, the sanctuary is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (no entry is possible after 5 p.m.). On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, T & D’s offers two tours per day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Entry is $ 10 per person ages 3+ and only cash is accepted. Entry to the aviary is $ 5 for ages 3 and up and the opening depends on the number of volunteers available. Additional information is available on the website.

Corning Museum of Glass – Located just over an hour north of Williamsport, this unique museum is home to hundreds of glass works of art as well as historical artifacts.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are several temporary exhibits that can be seen through early 2022, including Dish It! Corelle at 50, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the dishes they use every day.

Another exhibition runs until January in Sparkling Company: Glass and the Costs of Social Life in Britain In the 1700s.

The museum also has hot glass blowing demonstrations and a glass-making activity that kids can take part in. Admission for children under 17 is free. Tickets for museum admission and the do-it-yourself glass activity must be booked in advance on the website.

Tobiassee Wildlife Park – This wildlife park is just outside the greater Harrisburg area and offers an open-air wildlife safari. Safari tours run every 10 to 15 minutes on 150 acres of hills, pastures and forests. Some of the exotic animals you can spot include moose, watusi, bison, and more, including up to 500 mammals and flightless birds that roam free.

There is also a reptile and exotic enclosure on the grounds, where visitors can see alligators, pythons, tropical birds, two-toed sloths, and more. 20-minute reptile shows take place at regular intervals.

Children also love the petting zoo and the opportunity to feed goats.

Safari bus tours run from June to October. Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last safari tours start one hour before closing. Additional information is available on the website.

The Turkey Hill Experience – Do you love ice cream? Then a stop at the Turkey Hill Experience in Lancaster County might be the perfect destination for you. Visitors will tour the exhibits to see how Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea are made.

A highlight of the experience is making your own ice experience. Through interactive exhibits, visitors learn everything about the ice-cream production process, from delivering milk and cream to freezing the mixture and filling the cartons. Visitors research, develop and create their own ice cream creations and design their own packaging. In the taste laboratory, visitors develop and taste their own flavors.

Another interactive exhibit features Star in a Turkey Hill TV commercial where visitors can either record from a script or create their own.

The Turkey Hill Experience is open all year round and tickets can be purchased in advance on the website.

Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park – On the super hot and humid days, it seems like outdoor recreation is too much. However, if you want to get out of the house for some activity and stay cool, you can visit Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in Center County. Tours of the cave are done by boat and it is a good idea to have a sweatshirt on hand as the cave is usually 52 degrees. The tours last 45 to 60 minutes. Visitors will see stalagmites and stalactites, some of which resemble familiar shapes such as the Statue of Liberty and the Garden of the Gods.

There is also a farm nature wildlife tour on the premises. Visitors will see native North American animals such as wolves, bison, foxes, elk, Texas longhorn cattle, and more.

There is also a miner’s maze and gem washing activity on the premises. There are separate fees for these areas.

Penn’s Cave is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June through August. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the website.

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