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4 Overnight Adventures

Adina Markowitz

Four complete itineraries for overnight trips that may be short, but pack a whole lot of fun

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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Trip One

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a popular vacation destination for frum families with young kids — and for good reason. There are lots of fantastic, kid-friendly attractions, and the atmosphere is generally refined and respectful. It’s cool to watch the Amish riding horses and buggies around the main roads. (My family had such a good time, we did the trip two years in a row!)



Day 1:

If you’re making the trip from the Tristate area and the drive all the way down to Lancaster sounds daunting, you can stop off midway at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania. They have lots of fun activities for kids, including interactive art, a crayon dancing exhibit, a playground, and more. Your kids will love the hands-on activities, and they’ll be so proud of the personalized crayons they can mold themselves. (Those might come in handy as a pre-bedtime activity in your hotel room later on). (Cost: $18.99 per person online, $20.99 at the door. Kids under 3 are free.)

TIP: Bring a picnic lunch and eat it on the picnic benches conveniently located right outside the museum.

Next, make a stop at Dutch Wonderland. This amusement park is a dream come true for the younger crew, with all rides and activities geared to kids 11 and under. Older kids (and adults!) will enjoy the cable car ride, with a scenic view overlooking the beautiful countryside. The park and the bathrooms are kept clean, and since the area is shady, adults won’t get too cranky walking around the park. (Cost: $39.99 per person; kids 2 and under are free.)

TIP: To buy some extra time, take advantage of Dutch Wonderland’s “Preview” offer. If you come to the park less than three hours before closing, Dutch Wonderland will stamp your ticket and allow you to return the next day for free.


Day 2:

Start your day at the Amish Village, where you can explore an authentic Amish property, including a one-room schoolhouse, barn with farm animals, blacksmith shop, and smokehouse market. There’s also a playground, a small petting zoo, and buggy rides (for an additional fee) on premises. (Cost: adults $10, kids $6.50, children 4 and under free.)


TIP: Let the little ones skip the buggy ride — the horses can be wild, and they may be scared. But if you have a crew of energetic boys, this will be just up their alley.

After a couple hours of fun at the Amish Village, you can head to Cherry Crest Farms, a farm-themed outdoor play park that both kids and adults will enjoy. You can churn your own butter, jump on giant pillows, race down hay chutes, jump on trampolines, ride a tractor train, and try to find your way out of a corn maze. Your kids will also enjoy building a little cabin they can actually walk into, using the park’s life-sized Lincoln logs. (Pricing ranges from $17 to 30 a person, depending on which attractions are included in the admission; kids 2 and under are free. Free parking.)

There’s a large gazebo with lots of picnic tables. The oversized handmade wooden games, such as chess, checkers, and shuffleboard, can keep the kids happy while the adults eat at leisure. And again, this is such a popular frum destination that when we went, the woman collecting payment let us know what time our “prayer meeting time” would be for Minchah at the farm!

TIP: The bathrooms are nice and clean, and they have a separate nursing station cabin stocked with diapers and wipes. You can also buy fountain sodas from a stand on the farm.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 597)

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