Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is an excellent destination for families with kids. The area offers a small-town feel, yet boasts a large variety of experiences that both parents and kids can enjoy.
We wanted to provide you a guide that will help you plan your family’s getaway to Gettysburg. No matter the ages or interests of your kids, we know you’ll find something in the list below that will provide your family with those vacation memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you are a parent or a grandparent, grab a notebook and pen, take a look at the guide below and start planning your Gettysburg getaway!
There are so many museums in Gettysburg that your kids will love! Want to introduce your kids to Gettysburg’s history? The Shriver House Museum will keep their attention – you’ll tour the home and step into the shoes of the family and children who lived there during the Battle of Gettysburg. Or try the Gettysburg Heritage Center Museum, where you’ll find 3-D photography and other interactive displays. Do your kids love cats? Take them to the Civil War Tails Diorama Museum where you’ll witness a historically accurate diorama of the battle with thousands of handmade miniature soldiers who are actually cats in uniform. Take in the 12,000 elephants on display and homemade fudge at Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium. Kick it into high gear at this undiscovered museum just north of Gettysburg checking out the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing‘s museum of automobiles, drivers, racetracks and more.
You will enjoy touring the Gettysburg battlefield, and if you do it in the right way, your kids will, too. There are so many ways to tour the battlefield in Gettysburg – bus tours, auto tours, bicycle tours, horse-drawn carriage tours, hiking tours, and if your kids meet the age requirements – horseback, scooter and Segway tours. Consider the weather while you’re visiting and your kids interests, and then pick the one that will work best for your family and take in the history together.
Burn off some of that child-like energy with a family hike! Try out Strawberry Hill where you’ll find hiking trails for all ages and ability levels. Let the kids explore wildlife as you meander through the gorgeous nature preserve. Or get off the beaten path on the Gettysburg battlefield and enjoy one of the many self-guided battlefield hikes and walks.
Give your kids a glimpse of the great outdoors with a camping weekend in Gettysburg. The area has so many campgrounds to choose from, and some even offer cabins if you’d prefer to reside indoors. While each campground is different, you’ll find different fun features at all – from playgrounds and mini-golf to swimming pools and nightly family-friendly activities to participate in.
Introduce the kids to apple country! Take a short drive to the Adams County countryside and take in the sites of thousands of acres of orchards as you make your way there from Gettysburg. Find goodies to take home at the fun countryside markets and maybe even pick your own fruit while you’re there. In late summer and fall, the entire family can have fun at Fields of Adventure – enjoy pumpkin bowling, a corn maze, a zip line and more.
Are your children animal lovers? Be sure to check out these fun animal-centric experiences in the Gettysburg area! Take them to Land of Little Horses Farm Park, home to miniature horses, performing animal shows, educational displays and events and animal friends of all kinds that you may touch and feed. Take a short drive south of Gettysburg to Catoctin Wildlife Preserve for more animal experiences – enjoy their safari rides, safari cafe and even camel rides!
Explore downtown Gettysburg – we guarantee that not only will the kids love it, but you will, too. You could spend an entire day walking the streets of downtown Gettysburg, popping into all of the amazing shops and boutiques that line the streets. Be sure to stop by Sweeet! The Candy Store for a sweet treat, and Nerd Herd Gifts & Games to check out the coolest board games, geek accessories and fun for all. And plan to fit in a family game of life-sized chess when you visit Nerd Herd! Make your way to The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg where there is a store for everyone in the family. And keep your eye out, as The Outlet Shoppes host many fun and family-friendly events throughout the year.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, Gettysburg’s family-friendly ghost tours can be a fun way to cap off a day in Gettysburg. The kids will have a blast as you take a candlelit tour of the streets and homes of Gettysburg, hearing spooky tales of the paranormal.
What’s better than enjoying a new restaurant on vacation! Gettysburg has so many restaurants, so no matter your interests and tastes, you’ll find something the whole family will love. Try Gettysburg Eddie’s for a fun, baseball-themed atmosphere, grab a couple of pizzas, or give the kids a historic experience at one of the Gettysburg area’s period dining locations.
There are some things that don’t fall into any other category, they are just good old-fashioned fun ways to enjoy your Gettysburg getaway. Take the family mini-golfing at Granite Hill Adventure Golf, take a train ride into history at Northern Central Railway and have a blast with go-karting, play in the arcade or experience virtual reality at Carlisle Sports Emporium.
We’re excited to introduce your newest Gettysburg travel companion, Li’l Lincoln! Visit our website here to download and print your own DIY Li’l Lincoln. Pack him in the suitcase to join you and the kids on your trip to Gettysburg and be sure to snap photos with Li’l Lincoln on all of your Gettysburg adventures. Post your photos to social media using #LilLincoln to join in on the fun!
We hope that you and the kids have an absolute blast on your Gettysburg getaway!