Because there are so many different attractions bewteen Baltimore and Hershey, tourists often overlook many of the most precious gems that the area has to offer. Port Discovery, the Landis Valley Museum, and Indian Echo Caverns all offer a wide array of features for children and families to participate in. With tons of hands-on activities, they even succeed in making learning fun!
Port Discovery: Baltimore, MD
Located at 35 Market Place in Baltimore, Port Discovery was recently voted one of the top five best children’s museums in the United States. All of the museum’s exhibits and events are designed especially for children by experts in the fields of learning, health, and education. There are constantly special events taking place at Port Discovery ranging from a Bob the Builder exhibit and science labs to the 2010 Lego Games Tour and sing-along days. Port Discovery even hosts parties!
Anyone aged two and over is allowed admission for $12.95, while children two and under are granted free admission-and believe me it is worth every penny! Whether you’re looking for sports, crafts, reading activities, science experiments, places to play restaurant or supermarket, or tunnels for children to navigate through, Port Discovery is definitely the whole package. For first-time visitors, I would allow an entire afternoon. If you have extra time, there are plenty of other great activities around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!
Additional information can be found at http://www.portdiscovery.org/#home.
Landis Valley Museum: Lancaster, PA
Located in the beautiful countryside of Lancaster County, the Landis Valley museum is the recreation of an actual historical village. The museum works to preserve the local German heritage by allowing visitors to experience a day in the life of a rural settler. With over 100 acres of land, a real farm, a multitude of historic buildings to explore, and tons of artifacts to examine, visitors will definitely not be at a loss for things to see and do at Landis Valley.
I highly recommend the museum and with admission rates ranging from $8.00 for youth aged 3-11 to $12.00 for adults, a day at Landis Valley is definitely money well spent. The museum is open year-round and welcomes groups and field trips and even hosts parties and weddings. They also offer lots of interesting classes and workshops!
For more information, check out http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/index.php.
Indian Echo Caverns: Hummelstown, PA
On the outskirts of Hershey, away from Hershey Park and Chocolate World, lies a wonderful place to take the family. Indian Echo Caverns is located just off of Route 322, and it allows visitors insight to local geology and history.
For about 45 minutes, a professionally trained guide will take you and your guests through the picturesque rooms and passageways of the 440 million-year-old limestone caverns. Aside from the sparkling lakes, stalagmites, and stalactites, guests may also encounter bats, bears, raccoons, and other mammals that inhabit the caverns. Because the interior of the caverns usually remains at 50 degrees year round, it’s a good idea to bring along a jacket.
In a recreation of the Gold Rush, Indian Echo Caverns also features the Gem Mill Junction where visitors can sift for gems. With a playground, petting zoo, gift shop, and picnic areas, your family can definitely make a day out of visiting Indian Echo Caverns. Admission ranges from $7.00 – $12.00, and that’s cheap for all of the great sights there are to experience!
For more information and coupons on admission, check out Indian Echo Caverns’ website at http://www.indianechocaverns.com/index.htm.