0

Hands-On Fun at the Lancaster Science Factory

 

 

(Thank you to Discover Lancaster for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As usual, all opinions are our own.)

If you are looking for some indoor family fun in Lancaster, make a visit to the Lancaster Science Factory.  This hands-on science museum is geared towards children in 3rd through 8th grade.  However, children of all ages will have fun interacting with the exhibits.

There are over 60 different exhibits that cover topics of electricity and magnetism, mechanics and motion, light and vision, fluid dynamics, puzzles and brain teasers and more.  Kids are encouraged to build, touch and explore.

My husband and I even got in on the fun and made K’NEX Mini-Racers so we could race them against each other!

We tried our best to get the Giant Arch to stay but, even after several attempts, we were unsuccessful.

My ten and twelve-year-old kids enjoyed all of the exhibits.  We discovered that our daughter is an expert paper airplane maker at the Flight Deck exhibit.

I had fun playing around at the Minimal Surfaces exhibit!  You’re never too old for bubbles!

The museum is one level with an open floor plan.  I liked that we didn’t have to all be interacting with the same exhibit, but I could see where the kids were.

The museum isn’t large and can be visited in about an hour.  Since we had the afternoon free, we spent about 2 1/2 hours visiting.  During this time we saw many different families come and go.  Our kids were so involved interacting with the exhibits that we hated to disturb them.

This museum is perfect when visiting Lancaster, when you want to cool off,  warm up or stay dry (depending on the weather when you visit!).  Kids will have so much fun “playing” and learning at the Lancaster Science Factory.

The Details:
Lancaster Science Factory
454 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602
(717) 509-6363

Hours:  Monday – Saturday:  10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays 12 PM – 5 PM

Admission: $9.50/ages 3+, Free/2 and under

Parking:  Free parking is available in the lot across the street from the museum

Tips:

*There is no food available for purchase at the Science Factory and no eating or drinking is allowed in the museum.

*There is a small gift shop – The Science to Go Store.

 

 

0

Where to Stay in Lancaster: Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn

(Thank you to the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

When visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania there are many choices on where to stay.  From campgrounds to bed and breakfast inns, there are accommodations for every budget. On our recent visit to Lancaster, we enjoyed a stay at the the Hershey Farm Inn.  This is a great family-friendly lodging choice with lots of amenities.

The Hershey Farm Inn is not a chain hotel.  They have 60 rooms, located in three different sections of the property. The two-story Main Inn has the feel of a traditional hotel, with a central lobby and interior rooms.

The Carriage House is the Inn’s more budget-friendly lodging option.  These rooms are more motel-like with private outdoor entrances.

Our family stayed in the Amish Farm House.  This 2-story house has traditional standard rooms as well as couples suites and 2-room family suites, which we stayed in.

In our suite, the exterior door enters the master bedroom.  This room has a king size bed, a chair, dresser, television, refrigerator and coffee maker.

The kids shared the second bedroom, which has a double bed, desk and chair.  It was nice for them to have a separate space to themselves.  After putting the kids to bed, my  husband and I could stay up with the lights on and  not disturb them. 

There is one bathroom in this suite.  I really loved the decor of the bathroom.  However, I wish that the sink area was a little larger.  Due to lack of space, it was hard for everyone to keep their toiletries around the sink.

The Hershey Farm Inn & Restaurant offers more than just a place to sleep.  There is plenty to see and do on the 23 acres of property.  For kids, there are two different playground areas for them to climb and explore.

At the back of the property, there is a large fishing pond.  Many swans and geese were inhabiting the area when we visited.  If we had more time, I would have liked to sit in one of the Adirondack chairs with a book.  It was so quiet and peaceful here.

The Inn has farm animals including goats and a barn with chickens and a rooster that wander freely.  Feed is available for purchase in the main lobby.

My kids loved swimming in the pool the most.  My husband and I enjoyed sitting under the cabanas to keep out of the sun.  There is no lifeguard on duty, though, so parental supervision is a must.  The pool is open until 10 PM though so the kids even got in some night swimming!

The Inn is located right next to the Sight & Sound Theatre.  For guests that have tickets, there is a convenient walking path connecting the two properties.

The Hershey Farm Restaurant is located on the property and overnight guests receive complimentary breakfast at the Grand Smorgasbord.  The breakfast buffet has an omelet station and made-to-order eggs.  They also have french toast, pancakes, make-your-own waffles, bacon, sausage, cereal, baked goods and more.  You will leave stuffed!

There is also a large gift shop and outdoor market onsite.  The gift shop sells everything from souvenirs and toys to clothing and sports merchandise.  Before we left, I purchased several plants and flowers from the outdoor market.   Guests who would like to have lunch or dinner at the onsite restaurant can get discount coupons at the front desk in the main lobby.

When planning a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn is a great lodging choice for your family!

The Details:
The Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn
240 Hartman Bridge Road
Ronks, PA 17572
(717) 687-8635

Rates:  Vary depending on dates – please check the website for availability and prices

Location:  The Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn is conveniently located near the Sight & Sound Theatre, American Music Theatre, Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland, the Rockvale and Tanger Outlets, and more.

0

A Foodie Tour of Kitchen Kettle Village

 

A foodie tour of Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

(Thank you to Kitchen Kettle Village for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As usual, all opinions are our own.)

Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster, PA started as a backyard jelly business over 60 years ago. Today, it’s a bustling village with over 40 different shops.  It’s also a haven of deliciousness for food lovers!  NY Foodie Family experienced quite the foodie tour of Kitchen Kettle Village. There’s a reason why nearly a million people visit each year!

Our tour started with lunch at Kling House Restaurant.   Before being turned into a restaurant, this was the house of several generations of Klings and Burnleys, co-founders of Kitchen Kettle Village.  The restaurant consists of many small rooms and has a very homey feel. Breakfast and lunch is served here and, in nice weather, you can enjoy your meal outside on the Terrace.

Once seated, guests are served a dish of Pepper Jam and cream cheese spread with crackers (I had to find out what that bowl of deliciousness was!).

During our lunch, my daughter and I shared the soup of the day (a salmon and corn chowder) and the Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich.  I cannot gush enough about the cajun ranch dressing that came with this sandwich.  We were even dipping the kettle chips in it!

My son opted for the Nuts and Berry Salad and my husband had this Lancaster County Reuben.  Everything was delicious and I highly recommend dining here if you are looking for a sit-down restaurant for lunch.

After our delicious meal, we continued our foodie tour with a stop at Aged and Cured.  This shop sells locally smoked meats and cheese.  The store sells over 50 different types of cheese.  And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill cheeses; Aged and Cured sells cheeses like Smoked Swiss, Strawberry Chardonnay and Steakhouse Onion cheese, the majority of which are made locally.  Even better, you can sample almost every cheese they sell!

The only cheese made on-site is the fresh mozzarella, which is made every Friday and Saturday.  You can see the cheese stretching demonstration both days at 11 AM and 2 PM.  It was fun watching a bowl of cheese curds transform into a delicious ball of mozzarella!  I didn’t realize so many variables like the pH of the water used, the humidity and even the temperature of the room all affect how the mozzarella will turn out.

If cheese isn’t your thing, Aged and Cured sells plenty of cured meats.  There is a selection of jerky, beef sticks and more.  Once again, there are plenty of samples of each to try.

Our next stop on our food tour was Pepper Lane Fudge and Sweets.  This shop sells all different kinds of fudge, including chocolate, cookies and cream, chocolate marshmallow and peanut butter.  All of the fudge is made on site at the shop and sold in slices that weigh just under 1/2 pound each.  On our visit, we were able to sample the regular chocolate fudge.

We watched the beginning stages of a batch of fudge being made.  The chocolate first has to be heated to 234 degrees F.  Once the chocolate reaches temp, it is poured on a chilled marble slab to cool. Eventually, the fudge will be paddled to aerate it, which gives it its creamy texture. It’s then rolled into a five foot loaf, which they slice and sell.  Fudge tip:  Do not refrigerate your fudge!  It will keep in an airtight container for two to three weeks.

Next we enjoyed ice cream cones from Lapp Valley Farms Ice Cream. The ice cream is made at the Lapp Valley Farms dairy, located only a couple of miles down the street from Kitchen Kettle Village.  Jersey cows produce the milk that is used to make the sixteen flavors of ice cream served here.

We enjoyed the strawberry, butter brickle, chocolate chip cookie dough, and (not pictured) mint chocolate chip.  The ice cream was super creamy and delicious!

A visit to Kitchen Kettle Village is not complete without a stop at the Jam & Relish Kitchen.  This is how Kitchen Kettle originated and is the “heart” of the Village.  Over 90 different products are made onsite here and Monday through Saturday visitors can watch some of them being made in the open kitchen.  Unfortunately, we missed seeing the vidalia onion relish being made the day of our visit.

The Kitchen sells everything from jams and relishes to salsa, pasta sauce, dips and more.  The number of jams and jellies they make is astounding, taking up a whole wall of the store. And, of course, there are samples of all to try.  The only question is, what items won’t you want to take home with you?!

You must try some of the classic Chow Chow.  Consisting of sweet and sour garden vegetables, this is one of Kitchen Kettle’s top selling relishes.

The Bake Shop is connected to the Jam & Relish Kitchen and sells many different pies, cookies and other delicious baked goods.  You can even purchase a gingerbread cookie for 99 cents and then use the icings they have set out to decorate it.

We made a stop at The Olive Basin, to do some olive oil and balsamic vinegar sampling as well.  This is one of the newest shops to Kitchen Kettle Village.  The taproom  has over 40 different olive oils and balsamic vinegars that are bottled on-site.

While I highly recommend the Kling House Restaurant for lunch, if you are looking for a quick-service meal, the Harvest Cafe menu includes burgers, wraps, soups and salads.  Still hungry for more?! You can get all kinds of different popcorn from Pappy’s Kettle Korn.  If you need a caffeine boost, The Roasted Rooster sells a variety of coffee roasted in Lancaster County.  They also sell smoothies, iced coffees and other beverages.  If we weren’t already stuffed I would have tried a pretzel from The Pretzel Haus.  I can only imagine how good their hand-crafted soft pretzel rods but taste!

 

A buggy ride in Lancaster County.

After our foodie tour we were stuffed!  We stopped by AAA Buggy Rides for a horse and buggy tour before we left.  We enjoyed a 55-minute ride through the Amish Country and even passed through a covered bridge.  Our driver Susanna was a great tour guide.  She was very informative and even let the kids, who were sitting up front with her, each take a turn driving the horses!

If you need a place to stay, The Inn at Kitchen Kettle Village has 17 lodging rooms available including deluxe guestrooms and suites.  We didn’t stay overnight at the Village, but the Inn has received great reviews on both TripAdvisor and Yelp.

As you can see, Kitchen Kettle Village offers lots of tasty options for foodies.  It’s a very family-friendly attraction for kids of all ages.

 

 

4

A Visit to The Amish Farm and House (Lancaster, PA)

(Thank you to the Amish Farm and House for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Lancaster County in Pennsylvania  is hard not to associate with the Amish.  And rightly so.  The Amish have had a presence in Lancaster since the 1720’s.  The Amish Farm and House offers great ways to give kids an up close look at Amish culture in a relaxed and fun setting. In fact, this unique attraction was the first to offer an inside look at Amish life and essentially created the Lancaster tour industry in 1955.

The Amish Farm and House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, commercialization has infringed on the farm since that time, which now sits feet away from a Target store.  You enter the Amish Farm through the main entrance at the House.  Tours of the house are given every hour.  Although the tour guides are not Amish, many are Lancaster natives and are very knowledgeable on Amish culture. Our tour guide Susan was fantastic. She was so informative and I learned so much in the 40-minute tour.  The Amish live a very simple life, focused on family and community.  These values are reflected in the sights on the house tour as you visit the kitchen, bedrooms and a room set up to show what an Amish funeral might look like.

Both men and women wear solid-colored simple garments. Typically, the older you get, the less vibrant your clothes are.

When we finished the House tour, we exited onto the farm. The farm is 15-acres and tours are self-guided.  A numbered map identifies all of the attractions on the farm.  There is so much to see and do, including milking a “cow” (see photo).  I have to be honest, the kids were not as interested in the House tour as me and my husband.  However, they loved the farm!  During the summer months, there are several resident artists including a blacksmith, woodcarver and farrier onsite who practice their craft and answer any questions visitors may have.

There are several goats, two of which are pregnant as of this writing. The farm recently welcomed two sets of goat triplets (somewhat unusual) and one set of quadruplets (very unusual). And, yes, goat kids are adorable. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep pet goats inside our house! You can buy a handful of goat food from the dispenser for 25 cents. However Chris, the resident wood carver, shared that the goats really like the dried leaves on the ground. We spent a good amount of time feeding the goats dried leaves galore.

The kids loved Scooter Run where they got to ride scooters similar to the ones that the Amish ride.  Since Amish cannot own or drive cars, they use a horse and buggy, scooters, or even roller blades to get around. Surprisingly, they are allowed to hire cars to drive them around!

The farm has many different animals located throughout the farm including goats, chickens, horses, pigs, donkeys, mules, a steer and peafowl (peacocks and peahens). Unfortunately, we didn’t see the sheep or alpacas, which also live on the farm.  This steer was one of our favorites to watch.

There are a couple of play areas for younger kids to climb and slide with benches for adults to sit and supervise.

It started to rain quite a bit toward the end of our visit.  This didn’t stop my kids from riding the Farm’s newest attraction, Tractor Trails.  They pedaled around the track so many times I lost count. There are two tracks, one for children ages 2-7 and the other for children ages 8+, with appropriately sized pedal tractors.

We visited the Willow Lane One-Room School House, Lancaster’s only school house designed for public viewing.  Most Amish one-room school houses have 25+ students in grades 1 through 8. It was interesting to see the inside of the school and discover that it looks very similar to my own kids’ classrooms, minus all the technology.

We already had lunch plans elsewhere the day of our visit, but Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Farm has a chicken BBQ. They also have a food stand that sells ribs, chicken, pulled pork sandwiches and more during normal operating hours.

Before you leave, you’ll want to stop by the gift shop.  They have a large selection of Amish-made items for sale including soaps, baskets, wooden toys and more.  My kids purchases almost every flavor of stick candy that was avaialble!

Goat Yoga is the newest addition to the farm.  I wish that I lived closer because I would be at every session!  Imagine doing yoga with baby goats running and jumping around:  cuteness overload!

We spent three hours at the farm, but we would have stayed longer if we had more time.  There’s lots to see and do and you really do get an idea of what Amish life is like.  If you have the time, The Amish Farm and House also offers bus tours into the neighboring areas.

The Details:
The Amish Farm and House
2395 Covered Bridge Drive
Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 394-6185

Hours:  Open seven days a week 9 AM – 6 PM

Tips:
*The Amish Farm and House offers many different tour options. Check out the different tour packages that they offer.

*The house tour is approximately 40 minutes.

*Many attractions in Lancaster are closed on Sundays.  The Amish Farm and House is open seven days a week and  makes a great attraction to visit on a Sunday.

*Make sure your kids wear sneakers or close-toed shoes, especially if you think they will want to scooter or pedal on the tractor bikes.