More Great Places for Outings
While most of the following sights are closed now, all plan to re-open soon. Take a look at all our area has to offer, make your plans, and check websites to see what current conditions allow.
See also: Historic Sites
Newlin Mill Park. Restored 18th-century milling community, with an active 1704 water-powered grist mill. Hiking, trout fishing weekends, picnicking and nature walks. Rt. 1 & Cheyney Rd. NewlinGristMill.org.
Springton Manor Farm. The 19th-century manor house was the country estate of a prominent Philadelphia family and is now a demonstration farm where children meet animals in a petting area and learn about farming. Park open year-round. 860 Springton Rd. ChesCo.org/CCParks.
Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. Recreation of a 112-acre working 18th-century farm, with farmers and guides in period garb, Belgian horses, Red Devon milking cows, Dominique chickens and two very large pigs. They usually hold many fun events throughout the season, Apr–Nov. Weekends. 3900 N. Sandy Flash Dr. ColonialPlantation.org.
Herr Foods, Inc. USA Today’s 2016 Readers’ Choice #1 Best Factory Tour—beating Hershey’s Chocolate World, at #4! Factory tours show the real operation, with real workers and include secrets like how tortilla chips get their flavor. Tours end at the Snack Bar and Gift Shop. Reservations required. To schedule: 800-284-7488; or reserve tickets online: Herrs.com.
The Village of Oxford celebrates its 250-plus-year history in a charming historic district. Hosting many events throughout most years, check out their First Fridays and the Downtown Oxford Car Show in September. For tours, coupons, guides and more, visit DowntownOxfordPA.org.
Goschenhoppen. One of the oldest continuously existing Pennsylvania German communities in America preserving the folk culture of this area’s earliest immigrant settlers, known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. Today, the Goschenhoppen Historians maintain museums, a library and offer educational and seasonal events such as the 54th Annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festtival, scheduled for Aug. 7–8, Henry Antes Plantation, 318 Colonial Rd. Goschenhoppen.org.
The town of New Castle, established in 1651 and where William Penn landed in 1682, is a beautifully preserved Colonial town center on the Delaware River. Visit Immanuel Church and its churchyard (dating back to 1703), and the George Read II House, a grand Federal mansion surrounded by a handsome garden. NewCastleCity.Delaware.gov.
Historic Houses of Odessa. An outstanding collection of period household furnishings, fine and decorative arts. Five distinctive properties are unique examples of the architectural heritage of Colonial Delaware and tell of Odessa’s role in the Underground Railroad. Be sure to visit for the 7th Annual Historic Odessa Brewfest in September with craft beer, live music, great food, vendors. OdessaBrewfest.com, HistoricOdessa.org.
Delaware Park Casino. Home to live thoroughbred racing on the track and slot machines and table games, live entertainment and dining choices for all tastes. There’s even a world-class 18-hole championship golf course at the White Clay Creek Country Club. 777 Delaware Park Blvd. DelawarePark.com.
Amusement Parks & Family Fun
US Hot Air Balloon Team. You can schedule a private ride at your favorite location, select an available date and time that works best for you, then enjoy an experience of a lifetime. 2727 Old Philadelphia Pk. USHotAirBalloon.com.
Above & Beyond Ballooning. Take a scenic ride above Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties and celebrate with a post-flight champagne toast. A memorable and unique experience for the whole family. USAHotAir.com.
Boulder Falls Miniature Golf. A 19-hole mini golf course featuring a cascading waterfall with winding streams flowing into fountain ponds. The beautifully landscaped design provides relaxation and lots of fun. 1426 Marshallton Thorndale Rd. BoulderFallsMiniGolf.com.
Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park. From the obstacle course, balance beams, tubes, the runway tumble track and slam dunk zone and on and on. Great place on a rainy day or for a birthday party when conditions allow. 981 E. Lancaster Ave. UrbanAirTrampolinePark.com.
Round 1. There’s fun for the entire family at this state-of-the-art entertainment arena. Mom and Dad can enjoy Happy Hour Specials of draft beers and wine while kids participate in activities like bowling, arcade games and karaoke. Exton Square Mall, 172 Exton Square Pkwy. Round1USA.com.
Oasis Family Fun Center. Safe, clean fun for the entire family including a Ballocity Arena, Soft Playground, Rock Climbing Wall, Laser Maze, Jumpshot Trampoline Basketball and Arcade Games plus a full service snack bar. 35 Lacrue Ave. OasisFamilyFun.com.
Dutch Wonderland. Fun for kids, with over 30 rides—two coasters, Duke’s Lagoon water play area and live entertainment shows. Rt. 30, 4 mi. East of Lancaster. DutchWonderland.com.
Grand Slam USA. Keep the family active with over 30,000 square feet of athletic activities and sports for all ages plus unique attractions like Ninja Obstacle Course, Nerf Blaster Battle, Spaceball Trampoline and Human Foosball. 11 Lancaster Ave. GrandSlamMalvern.com.
Brandywine Outfitters. Enjoy a scenic canoe or kayak trip with the whole family down the Brandywine River. If you’re looking for a whole weekend of fun, grab your sleeping bag and pitch a tent on the 26-acre private park in the heart of Chester County. 2096 Strasburg Rd. CanoePA.net.
Jumpers Family Zone. Indoor playzone with Soft Playground, Safari Slide, Jungle Obstacles and Little Cub Play Area. Enjoy the fun any day of the week or host your next party—you can even create invitations on Jumper’s website. Ridley Creek Plaza, 5117 West Chester Pk. FunAtJumpers.com.
Arnold’s Family Fun Center. An action-packed day riding go-karts and other rides. Try both laser tag attractions, Black Light Mini Golf and bowling. Not only will the kids have fun, but parents can enjoy Arnold’s Bistro & Bar while they play. 2200 West Dr. ArnoldsFFC.com.
Northbrook Canoe Company. Cool off along the beautiful Brandywine River with a peaceful, self-guided canoe, kayak or tubing trip. Continue your fun with your favorite summer foods. Res. encouraged; walk-ins welcomed. Open daily, May through October with the first trip at 9 am, last one at 4 pm. NorthbrookCanoe.com.
Treehouse World. A place to explore the newest and coolest treehouses around, to challenge yourself with their unique high adventure programs and a place to have a ton of fun. You can also take the Aerial Zipline Adventure Course with 3 ziplines and 8 bridge crossings that take you high above the headwaters of the Valley Creek. 1442 Phoenixville Pk. TreehouseWorld.com.
Wilmington & Western Railroad. A premier scenic tourist railroad, where passengers come for romantic evenings, holiday celebrations or a relaxing afternoon train ride with family and friends. Their mission is to inform and educate the public about the rich history of the Red Clay Valley. 2201 Newport Gap Pk., Wilmington. 302-998-1930; WWRR.com.
Selected Nature Centers, Parks and Public Gardens
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. The Center joins Valley Forge National Park and Longwood Gardens as one of the region’s premier cultural destinations. There is a new Birds Gallery, as well as outside attracttions and a Fledgling Trail for the kids. 1201 Pawlings Rd. JohnJames.Audubon.org.
Hibernia County Park. The park consists of over 900 acres of trails, woodlands, meadows, open fields, play areas, pavilions, camping, picnic areas and popular fishing sites. 1 Park Rd. ChesCo.org/1743/Hibernia-Park.
Jenkins Arboretum. A 46-acre arboretum that emphasizes azaleas, rhododendrons and plants of local woodlands, including groundcovers and colorful wildflowers that bloom over a long season. It’s also a vibrant classroom for people of all ages. From seed propagation workshops to story time in the Children’s Garden, yoga practice to beekeeping demonstrations, there is always something birds new to learn, create, or experience at Jenkins! 631 Berwyn Baptist Rd. JenkinsArboretum.org.
Tyler Arboretum. A 650-acre preserve originated with brothers Jacob and Minshall Painter. Mature plant collections are laid out in a natural setting, with 20 miles of marked trails. Education center, museum collections, library. 515 Painter Rd. TylerArboretum.org.
Willistown Conservation Trust/Rushton Conservation Center. The Trust program’s focus encompasses 28,000 acres in Chester County and portions of Delaware County, and its mission is to preserve and manage the open land, rural character, scenic, recreational, historic, agricultural and natural resources of the area.
Rushton Farm is the centerpiece of the community farm, hosting a CSA, school groups, volunteer days and a “Share the Bounty” program that donates fresh food to local food cupboards. 925 Providence Rd. WCTrust.org.
Willistown’s Okehocking Preserve. 180 acres of the 500-acre Okehocking Land Grant Historic District are likely the only known grant to an Indian tribe authorized by William Penn, conveyed in 1703. Includes meadowlands, upland hillsides and old-growth woodlands, with 5 miles of hiking and horse riding trails. 5316 West Chester Pk. Willistown.Pa.us.
Nottingham County Park. The 651-acre park offers nine pavilions, an 18-station fitness trail and three modern, handicapped accessible playgrounds. Dedicated in September 1963, Nottingham Park was the first Chester County park. 150 Park Rd. ChesCo.org/1743/Nottingham-Park.
Black Rock Sanctuary. Consisting of 119 acres of wetlands, woodlands and meadows, Black Rock Sanctuary is dedicated to wildlife habitat and public use. The sky over Black Rock is a flyway, or air highway, for birds that migrate up and down the East Coast. 953 Black Rock Rd. ChesCo.org/1745/Black-Rock-Sanctuary.
Warwick County Park. Hardwood forests, meadows, wetlands and the French Creek are all jewels within Warwick Park’s 535 acres. 191 County Park Rd. ChesCo.org/1743/Warwick-Park.
Welkinweir. This historic country estate is home to Green Valleys Watershed Association, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the natural resources of northern Chester County. Nature walks and talks, summer camps and volunteer opportunities are just part of the fun. 1368 Prizer Rd. Welkinweir.org.
Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College. “A garden of suggestions,” it’s the college campus, covering 110 diverse acres. 500 College Ave. ScottArboretum.org.
Chanticleer. Chanticleer is one of the great gardens of the region. Once the Rosengarten estate, today’s Chanticleer is a colorful, contemporary garden within an historic setting. 786 Church Rd. ChanticleerGarden.org.
E. Myrick Conservation Center. A 300-acre landscape with vegetation and wildlife habitats. Part of the Brandywine Valley Assn., which protects the Brandywine Creek. Two marked self-guided nature trails—Hill and Stream Trail and Farm Path Trail. 1760 Unionville-Wawaset Rd. (Rt. 842). BrandywineRedClay.org.
Ashland Nature Center. Headquarters of the DE Nature Society, 130 acres of meadows, forests, marshes, streams and ponds make an ideal setting for nature programs each year, geared to all ages and all levels of interest. Brackenville & Barley Mill Rds. DelawareNatureSociety.org.
Mt. Cuba Center. A botanical garden that inspires an appreciation for native plants and a commitment to protect the habitats that sustain them. 3120 Barley Mill Rd. MtCubaCenter.org.
Nemours Mansion & Gardens. This is a 300-acre country estate with formal gardens and a classical French mansion with 105 rooms on five floors. 850 Alapocas Dr. NemoursEstate.org.
The 1696 Thomas Massey House. One of the oldest English Quaker homes in PA, built in 1696. Lawrence & Springhouse Rds. ThomasMasseyHouse.org.
Harriton House. Home of Charles Thomson, Continental Congress secretary, furnished with 18th-century antiques. Originally part of a 700-acre, 1700s plantation. 500 Harriton Rd. HarritonHouse.org.
Barns-Brinton House. Blacksmith William Barns foresaw the need for a tavern on “ye Great Road to Nottingham.” So, in 1714 he built the spacious brick building that was to become a tavern. John Chads House. Built around 1725, and owned by John Chads from 1729 until his death in 1760. He operated a ferry across Brandywine Creek. The location became known as Chad’s ford. 1736 Creek Rd. ChaddsFordHistory.org.
The Mill at Anselma. On the Pickering Creek, the Mill is an extraordinary artifact of 250 years of Chester County’s industrial heritage retaining its original Colonial-era power train, and multiple layers of industrial equipment. Demonstrations and hands-on activities. 1730 Conestoga Rd. AnselmaMill.org.
Historic Yellow Springs. Originally named by Native Americans for the iron-rich “yellow” spring water, this scenic village became the principal hospital for the Continental Army during the Valley Forge encampment and an 18th-century mineral water spa. Site of art, crafts and antiques shows. Art School & Pikeland Rds. YellowSprings.org.
Ephrata Cloister. William Penn’s colony was the first to offer freedom from religious persecution and Historic Ephrata Cloister is an example of this religious toleration. Explore Ephrata’s unique architecture, music and artwork. The museum store features specialty crafts by nationally recognized artisans. 632 W. Main St. EphrataCloister.org.
Joanna Furnace. Hay Creek Valley Historical Assn. supports local heritage and provides a living experience of Berks County’s agricultural and technological past. The Hay Creek Festival, Sept. 11–13, features Early American crafts, antique toys, home crafts, children’s hands-on activities, food and olde tyme music. Rt. 10. https://haycreek.org/.
Rock Ford Plantation. The 18th-century Georgian-style home of Revolutionary War hero General Edward Hand. The estate includes the mansion, barn and Kauffman Museum of decorative arts. 881 Rockford Rd. RockFordPlantation.org.
Wheatland, LancasterHistory.org. Formerly known as Lancaster County’s Historical Society, this local history museum invites visitors to take a guided tour of Wheatland, home of 15th U.S. President James Buchanan, walk the grounds of the Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum and Dwarf Conifer Garden and visit the museum store. 230 N. President Ave. LancasterHistory.org.
Historic Sugartown. Historic Sugartown provides a window on rural 19th-century life, with several preserved buildings, including a circa 1880 General Store, a Carriage Museum featuring Chester County carriages and sleighs, Bank Barn and Book Bindery. Visit for Shugart’s Sunday (held in September) with BBQ & Blues and country-style family festivities. Parking at 273 Boot Rd., Malvern. HistoricSugartown.org.
Pennsbury Manor. William Penn’s beautiful country plantation on the Delaware River, rebuilt to look as it did in 1700. Jacobean-style furnishings include 17th-century antiques. 400 Pennsbury Memorial Rd. PennsburyManor.org.
Paoli Battlefield. On the night of September 20, 1777, British Troops attacked Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvanians at this spot. This was the 9th bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War and this battle was also called the Paoli Massacre. Visit this spot where America’s First Battle Cry of “Remember Paoli” was born and see the second oldest revolutionary war monument in the United States. PBPFInc.org.
Pottsgrove Manor. Built in 1752, this is the historic home of John Potts, Colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown. Distinguished for its fine early Georgian architecture. Rt. 100 & W. King St. MontCoPA.org/HistoricSites.
Pennypacker Mills. A Colonial revival mansion, this home of PA Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker was preserved as a country gentleman’s estate. 5 Haldeman Rd. MontCoPA.org/HistoricSites.
St. David’s Episcopal Church. A stone wall encloses St. David’s graveyard, memorialized in Longfellow’s poem: “What an image of peace and rest is this little church among its graves …” This park-like setting is welcoming and serene, with an intimate stone church. 763 S. Valley Forge Rd. StDavidsChurch.org.
Hans Herr House. Oldest house in Lancaster County and oldest Mennonite Meeting House in America, built in 1719. Explore the main floor, the attic and cellar, plus farm museum and Colonial garden. 1849 Hans Herr Dr. HansHerr.org.
Peter Wentz Farmstead. Colonial farmhouse used by George Washington before and after the battle of Germantown, restored to its 1777 state. Schultz Rd., off Rt. 73. MontCoPA.org/HistoricSites.
Brandywine River Museum of Art. See: “Day Trips & Outings.”
Christian Sanderson Museum. A fascinating look at one man’s life and our Nation’s history—200 years of history in 1500 square feet. Enter the museum to uncover artifacts from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, both World Wars and learn about the Battle of Brandywine along with other local lore. 1755 Creek Rd. (Old Rt. 100). SandersonMuseum.org.
Lukens National Historic District Museums. Industrial history and architectural heritage are woven together so you can “Discover the Past, Explore the Future.” Three mansions—Rebecca Lukens House (c. 1739); Terracina (1850-51) and Graystone Mansion (1889)—plus the National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum are the highlights when you visit. 50 S. First Ave. Coatesville. SteelMuseum.org.
DeMuth Museum. Describing itself as “National in scope, while reflecting the distinctive character of the Lancaster region,” the Demuth Museum, located in the artist’s former home, includes workrooms and gardens where artist Charles Demuth lived. 120 E. King St. Demuth.org.
Chester Co. History Center Museum. CCHS is a nonprofit educational organization that connects you through premier collections of decorative arts, manuscripts and photographs to the faces, places and events that have shaped our region. 225 N. High St. ChesterCoHistorical.org.
Delaware Art Museum. See: “Day Trips & Outings.”
The Delaware Contemporary. A non-collecting contemporary art museum and gathering place for exploring new ideas in art, design and technology. 200 S. Madison St. DEContemporary.org.
Delaware Children’s Museum. The big yellow building along the Riverfront focuses on science, math and technology and engages children in playful learning. 550 Justison St. DelawareChildrensMuseum.org.
Delaware History Museum. Originally a Woolworth’s Department Store (1940), the building has been transformed into the Delaware History Museum and the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage. 504 N. Market St. DEHistory.org.
Delaware Museum of Natural History. Investigate nature and science indoors with natural history exhibits and outdoors with trails, a meadow, pollinator garden, and more. Gallery highlights include habitats from around the globe and the only permanent dinosaur collection in Delaware. 4840 Kennett Pk. 302-658-9111; DelMNH.org.
Hagley Museum & Library. The former industrial site of the original black powder works of the DuPont Company, founded in 1802 and powered by the natural resources that surrounded it. Check website for events. 200 Hagley Creek Rd. Hagley.org.
Rockwood Museum. Designed in 1851 by English architect George Williams, an outstanding example of Rural Gothic architecture and gardenesque landscape design. 610 Shipley Rd. Rockwood.org.
Winterthur Museum & Gardens. See: “Day Trips & Outings.”
Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve. Home to the world’s largest collection of operating steam cars and a live steam railroad. Visit their website to find out about their special events. Open to the public for train and antique auto rides and private tours mid-March through December. 3000 Creek Rd. AuburnHeights.org.
Special Interest Museums
The National Watch & Clock Museum. Featuring the treasures of time, from ancient timepieces to modern technologies, the museum captures the evolution of timekeeping over the centuries. 514 Poplar St. NAWCC.com.
The Kennett Underground Railroad Center at the History Station. KURC is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, dedicated to telling the stories of Underground Railroad sites and participants in this area. You can attend their special events or take a guided tour with one of their knowledgeable local guides. 120 N. Union St. KennettUndergroundRR.org.
Landis Valley Museum. Stroll the grounds and get an up-close look at the large collection of Pennsylvania German artifacts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. They also offer a full calendar of events. 2451 Kissel Hill Rd. LandisValleyMuseum.org.
Hands-On House Children’s Museum. Offer-ing interactive activities for kids and families, through self-directed exhibits and programming that stimulate curiosity and invite the joy of discovery for everyone. 721 Landis Valley Rd. Call for dates and hours. HandsOnHouse.org.
The Wharton Esherick Museum. The home and studio of artist and sculptor Wharton Esherick, who inspired the Studio furniture movement. The museum is a National Historic Landmark for Architecture, housing 50 years of work. Tours by reservation only. The campus now includes the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse, a one-room octagonal schoolhouse built in 1818 that served as the first “free” or public school in the area. 1520 Horseshoe Trail. WhartonEsherickMuseum.org.
The National Toy Train Museum. Railroad Museum of PA. Strasburg Rail Road. Strasburg is known as “Train City” as home Strasburg Rail Road, National Toy Train Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. You can spend an entire day here enjoying trains of all kinds. NTTMuseum.org; RRMuseumPa.org; StrasburgRailroad.com.
The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center. The museum has an active schedule of public educational programs, events, air shows, workshops and publications designed to teach the principles of flight, celebrate the pioneers of aviation and encourage and inspire future generations. Helicopter rides are offered through the summer. 1220 American Blvd., AmericanHelicopter.Museum.
The Antique Ice Tool Museum. Follow the “ice man” from the harvest of the first major winter freeze to the storage, transportation, delivery and consumption of the product that shaped the way of life in this country from 1803-1940. 1825 Sconnelltown Rd., AntiqueIceToolMuseum.org.