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Lancaster/Hershey

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Teaneck, NJ
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Lancaster/Hershey

We are frequent travelers to Lancaster. we go about 3 times a year with a 1, 3 and 5 year old. The 5 year old is tired of Dutch Wonderland and might want to go to a different park. We have season passes at Dutch Wonderland and have been there 3 and a half days already this year.

Here are our itinerary options for a 4 or 5 day trip

Day One

Crayola Factory

Day Two

Train Museum

Choo Choo Barn

Cherry Crest

Day Three

Hershey Park/Chocolate World

Day Four

Dutch Wonderland morning

Science Museum afternoon

or

Day One and Two would be the same

then we would have

Day Three

Science Museum

Indian Echo Caverns

Adventure Sports in Hershey (may be moved to Day 5)

Day Four

Hershey Park/Chocolate World

Day Five

Hershey Zoo

Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad

Teaneck, NJ
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1. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

is the Science Museum worth visiting? Would a 3 year old soon to be 4 be too young.

How about Hands On House. We have never been there in large part due to the not so good reviews.

PA
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2. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

In your 5 day schedule - I would suggest on day four doing Hersheypark and Zoo American on the same day as the admission to the zoo is included in your Hersheypark admission. If you return to the zoo on a different day, you will have to pay an admission fee. Then on day five you could do Chocolate World and the M&H Railroad. If you are visiting just Chocolate World there is free short term parking in the Chocolate World parking lot. Don't exceed the short term limit though as the hourly fee is high.

Elizabethtown...
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3. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

Agree with FlyEagle regarding Park/Zoo.

Is the Science Museum you are talking about the Science Factory in Lancaster City? If so, I would say that the almost 4 yr. old may be fine or borderline depending on maturity, and the one yr. old would be better off at Hands-on House. Even the 5 yr. old is a little young for the Science Factory unless he/she is a real science nut. It is geared toward grade school to middle school children. However, that being said, everything is hands-on and kid friendly, they just won't get the intended info out of it. My daughter is doing science camp there right now, she is 7 going into 2nd grade. We are there a lot. ;)

In Harrisburg, the Whittaker Center may be better suited to your kids age range if you are looking for a science museum. It strikes me as being entertaining for a broader age range, and has a toddler/preschool area.

Honestly, I would skip Adventure Sports unless you need to kill an hour playing miniature golf. I have had friends complain of getting injured in the go-carts when it is busy. I would also do Indian Echo Caverns the same day as M&H railroad.

In general, it seems you have a lot packed in for such young kids. But, I don't know your kids. For example, I would do something like:

Day 3 : Whittaker Center in Harrisburg then evening free preview at Hersheypark and Chocolate World

Day 4: Hersheypark and zoo

Day 5: Indian Echo Caverns and M&H Railroad

You didn't say where you plan to stay. With this itinerary it would make the most sense to stay in the Hershey/Harrisburg area.

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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4. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

Some additional information to consider - I'm not sure your intentions at Adventure Sports. If it is just mini golf, the Challenge Family Fun Center is at the entrance to Indian Echo Caverns and has a mini golf course and arcade. They don't have bumper boats and go carts but Adventure Sports does.

http://www.challengefamilyfun.com/

Teaneck, NJ
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5. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

with the first itinerary we would only be in Hershey 1 day so we would stay only in Lancaster. We have been to Lancaster many times but never to Hershey.

with the second itinerary we would stay in both Lancaster and Hershey/Harrisburg area for 2 nights each. I am not really looking forward to staying in 2 different hotels since it is a lot of work but I also want to possibly take the kids to different places if I am pretty sure they will enjoy the places.

hat is the best mini golf place in Lancaster for 3 and 5 year olds. We usually go to the maze place almost across the street from Steamboat hotel but never tried the mini golf as I thought they are too young but since we are doing a longer trip this time we may try it.

The 3 and 5 year old both love science and building.

Any other suggestions appreciated.

Is Chocolate world worth it. is it only a 10 minute tour. I saw the make your own chocolate but it is $15 and the whole group has to do it which would be $60 which is too high.

We are also open to any suggestions driving from Easton, PA to Lancaster or Hershey.

Edited: 13 August 2010, 10:38
Teaneck, NJ
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6. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

have you done the Indian Echo Caverns. did your kids like it. Seems a bit of a tourist trap with the mining which I know my kids will want to do.

How about the train ride

PA
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7. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

I have been to Indian Echo Caverns; however, my kids were a little older than yours at that time. They really enjoyed it. The mining thing isn't worth it - I told the kids in advance that we would not be doing that so there was no disappointment. I have also taken the M&H Railroad train ride. I think your kids would definitely enjoy that.

If you are going to be at Hersheypark, Chocolate World is worth a quick stop for the chocolate making ride.

Between Easton and Hershey, in Shartlesville, is a place called Roadside America. It is kind of "kitchy" but kids seems to really like it. It is a huge indoor miniature village/train platform. Here's the link:

http://www.roadsideamericainc.com/

Elizabethtown...
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8. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

If you are hoping to do some different things this trip, I would stay 2 nights Lanc, 2 nights Hershey - it is more work at the outset, but would save lots of driving time. The mini-golf at Adventure Sports is very easy, so yes, appropriate for 3 and 5 yr. olds. I've never played at Challenge Family Fun, so can't judge that. But if you are looking for some really basic mini-golf with very few barriers, Adventure Sports would be appropriate.

I would still choose Hands-on-House or Whitaker Center over the Science Factory for the ages your kids are. My kids are pretty advanced and into science, but still enjoyed Hands-On-House at 5. There is also the Landis Valley Museum right next door, and my kids love watching the blacksmith there. Also near Hands-On-House is the Oregon Dairy - a good place to eat a meal or get ice cream. They have goats and deer in a pen and a large playground area.

The Whitaker Center is in downtown Harrisburg, but it really isn't that far from the Hershey area and, in fact, many people stay in hotels closer to Harrisburg since the rates are so high in Hershey. For me, driving into the Whitaker Center is not any more difficult than driving through downtown Lancaster to go to the Science Factory.

http://www.whitakercenter.org/home/

Teaneck, NJ
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9. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

Thanks for all the information. Have you been to Lake Tobias safari. Is this worth visiting. It seems a little far driving.

How about the boat ride in Harrisburg is this worth doing.

Teaneck, NJ
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10. Re: Lancaster/Hershey

of the two which would you recommend Whitaker House or Hands On House/Landis Valley. I do not think we will have time for both.