More Great Places for Outings
More Great Places for Outings
See also: Historic Sites
Penn Woods Winery. Enjoy award-winning PA-grown wine, local beers and cheeses at this family (and dog) friendly vineyard oasis. Live music every weekend, wine tastings and vineyard tours. Offering a wide variety of calsses all year long including, yoga, candle making, painting, vegetable canning and more. Open daily. 124 Beaver Valley Rd. Follow them @pennwoodswine on Instagram and Facebook. PennsWoodsWinery.com.
Newlin Grist 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.
King of Prussia
Nor-View Farm Park. A real working farm with a plant nursery, mini-farm and ice cream shop. Visit the farm and see the animals from spring to fall, shop in the nursery and take advantage of the well water available for purchase. 670 N. Henderson Rd. UMTownship.org/Township-Information/Nor-View-Farm.
Lebanon Valley. Nestled in the hills between Hershey and Lancaster, Lebanon Valley awaits your visit. Where wide open spaces are just a way of life. Where they have a distinctive blend of nature at its finest, art under the trees and history come to life. Lebanon Valley is the road less traveled and sometimes, that’s just what you’re looking for. VisitLebanonValley.com.
Visit Media. Everybody’s Hometown! Here you’ll find a unique blend of independently owned shops along with dozens of restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world. The Delaware County seat, Media is the life and heart of the region. There’s always something to do throughout the year in Media’s historic State Street District, including Dining Under the Stars every Wednesday from May through September. VisitMediaPA.com.
Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. See the 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 large pigs. 3900 N. Sandy Flash Dr., Newtown Square. ColonialPlantation.org.
Herr Foods, Inc. Celebrating 75 years! 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. Celebrate its 250-plusyear history in a charming historic district. Try the Bridge Tour walking tour to enjoy shopping and refreshments in town. The Annual Connective Art & Music Festival is returning in 2022. 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, Inc. maintain museums, a library and offer educational and seasonal events such as the 54th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival, Aug. 12–13, Fri., noon to 8 pm; Sat., 10 am to 6 pm. Henry Antes Plantation, 318 Colonial Rd. Goschenhoppen.org.
The Carousel at Pottstown. The second oldest operating Philadelphia Toboggan Company wooden carousel in the United States. Each custom carved figure took local artists over 250 hours to sand, paint and finish. 30 West King St. CarouselAtPottstown.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 in September for the 8th Annual Historic Odessa Brewfest with craft beer, live music, great food, vendors and more. Date TBD. OdessaBrewfest.com, HistoricOdessa.org.
Delaware Park Casino. Offering live thoroughbred racing through November 5, slot machines, table games, poker, sports betting, free live entertainment and many dining choices, including the new 1937 Brewing Co. with housemade craft beers and gastropub food. 777 Delaware Park Blvd. DelawarePark.com.
Aston Mills Arts. Heron Crest Studios and Heron Studios are now one collection of 30 artist studios as Aston Mills Arts. The studios are work spaces for professional fine artists. However, they have semi-annual open houses and events. Visit Sunday, October 9, noon to 4 pm, or in mid-November for their Annual Art Show and Sale. More info on AstonMillsArts.com and social media.
Amusement Parks, Zoos & Family Fun
US Hot Air Balloon Team. Choose a shared or 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.
Downingtown Rock Gym. This Rock Gym is for people of all ages and abilities. Beginners learn the basics and more experienced climbers test their skills in advanced climbing lessons. 462 Acorn Ln. DowningtownRockGym.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. 981 E. Lancaster Ave. UrbanAir.com.
Round 1. Fun for the entire family at this state-of-the-art entertainment arena. Mom and Dad can enjoy Happy Hour specials while kids try bowling and arcade games. Exton Square Mall, 172 Exton Square Pkwy. Round1USA.com.
Oasis Family Fun Center. Safe, clean fun for the entire family. 35 Lacrue Ave. OasisFamilyFun.com.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Literally bounce off the walls of this indoor trampoline park. 10 Conchester Rd. SkyZone.com/GlenMills.
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.
Arnold’s Family Fun Center. An action-packed day riding go-karts and other rides. Try both laser tag attractions, Blacklight 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 self-guided canoe, kayak or tubing trip. Continue your fun with your favorite summer foods. Reservations required. No walk-ins at this time. Open daily through Oct.; 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. Take the Aerial Zipline Adventure Course. Reservations required. 1442 Phoenixville Pk. TreehouseWorld.com.
West Chester Railroad. Take a relaxing 90-minute ride through the scenic countryside between West Chester and Glen Mills. Pack a lunch or purchase one from their on-board snack bar to enjoy during the stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove. The train can be chartered for special events and catering is available. Reservations required. Market St. Station, 230 E. Market St., 610-430-2233; WestChesterRR.net.
Brandywine Zoo. Located along the Brandywine River in beautiful Brandywine Park, the zoo features animals from the tropical and temperate areas of North and South America, Asia and Africa. The animals range from more common species to the highly endangered, and all enjoy natural settings and welcome your visit to the zoo. 1001 North Park Dr. BrandywineZoo.org.
Plumpton Park Zoo. Home to over 180 animals, some taken in from owners who could no longer keep them. The zoo gives them their forever home, providing expert veterinary care. From an African crested porcupine, to black backed jackals to a white Bengal tiger, zebras, American alligators and so many more. Plan a day at this zoo. 1416 Telegraph Rd. PlumptonParkZoo.org.
Selected Nature Centers, Parks and Public Gardens
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. The fieldstone mansion, now a museum, displays Audubon’s major published works and memorabilia. The 175 acres are a wildlife sanctuary with 175 species of birds and 400 species of plants. 1201 Pawlings Rd. JohnJames.Audubon.org.
Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia
Morris Arboretum. The official arboretum of PA. On its 92 public acres, thousands of rare plants (many of Philadelphia’s oldest, rarest, largest trees) are set in a Victorian garden. Award-winning rose garden, English landscape park, loggia and hidden grotto, Japanese gardens and swan pond. Special events. Advance tickets required. 100 E. Northwestern Ave. MorrisArboretum.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. From seed propagation workshops to story time in the Children’s Garden, yoga practice to beekeeping demonstrations, there’s always something 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. 515 Painter Rd. TylerArboretum.org.
Willistown Conservation Trust/Rushton Conservation Center. The Trust’s programs focus on 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 a Native American 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/4624/Black-Rock-Sanctuary.
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 offered on 219 permanently protected acres of forests, meadows and an arboretum overlooking multiple ponds. 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 Chanticleer is a colorful, contemporary garden within a historic setting. 786 Church Rd. ChanticleerGarden.org.
H. E. Myrick Conservation Center. A 300-acre landscape with vegetation and wildlife habitats. Part of the Brandywine Valley Assn., which has worked for over 50 years to protect 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.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. See “Day Trips & Outings.”
The Marian Coffin Gardens at Gibraltar. The grounds of an 1844 restored estate listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens are “rooms,” each with unique character. 1405 Greenhill Ave. PreservationDE.org.
Daniel Boone Homestead. Daniel Boone was born here in 1734 in a log house built between 1730–1779. Other buildings include a PA bank barn, blacksmith shop, sawmill, log house and visitors center. 400 Daniel Boone Rd. TheDanielBooneHomestead.org.
Thomas Massey House. One of the oldest English Quaker homes in PA, built in 1696. Lawrence & Springhouse Rds. ThomasMasseyHouse.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 antique shows. Art School & Pikeland Rds. YellowSprings.org.
Ephrata Cloister. William Penn’s colony of Pennsylvania was the first to offer freedom from religious persecution, and historic Ephrata Cloister is a wonderful example of this religious toleration. You’ll experience a tranquility missing from today’s hectic lifestyle while you explore Ephrata’s unique architecture, music and artwork. Don’t miss the museum store featuring 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 by demonstrating early American crafts and trades. The Hay Creek Festival, Sept. 10–12, features Early American crafts, antique toys, home crafts, children’s hands-on activities, food and olde tyme music. Rt. 10. HayCreek.org.
Rock Ford Plantation. 18th-century Georgianstyle 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. Wheatland, the James Buchanan House, is a Federal-style house outside Lancaster City. It was formerly owned by the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan. The house was constructed in 1828 by William Jenkins, a local lawyer. 1120 Marietta Ave. LancasterHistory.org.
Historic Sugartown. Historic Sugartown provides a window on rural 19th-century life, with several preserved buildings, including a c. 1880 General Store, Carriage Museum featuring Chester County carriages and sleighs, Bank Barn and Book Bindery. Take a bookbinding or scarf marbling workshop, or come for one of the Weekend Guided Tours. Parking at 273 Boot Rd. HistoricSugartown.org.
Paoli Battlefield. On the night of September 20, 1777, British troops attacked Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvanians at this spot. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War and was also called the Paoli Massacre. Visit the spot where America’s First Battle Cry of “Remember Paoli” was born and see the second-oldest revolutionary war monument in the United States. Monument & Wayne Aves. PBPFInc.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.
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, a fine example of early Colonial architecture. 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. See “Day Trips & Outings.”
Lukens National Historic District Museums. See “Day Trips & Outings.”
Chester County History Center. Their mission is to inspire, inform and build community identity by preserving and sharing the remarkable story of Chester County and its people. 225 N. High St. MyCCHC.org.
Delaware Art Museum. Galleries featuring pre-Raphaelite art, Brandywine school illustrators and nine-acre sculpture garden. 2301 Kentmere Pkwy. DelArt.org.
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. Temporarily closed—check website for reopening. 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 Nature & Science. Just reopened. Travel through Delaware and around the world to discover dynamic and diverse ecosystems. Go back in time to the Cretaceous and meet dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Explore nature and science with hands-on activities and interactive experiences. Visit website for exhibits. DelMNH.org.
Hagley Museum & Library. Outside areas only open. 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 1/8-size live steam railroad on the 250-acre grounds, which are part of the Delaware State Park system. Visit their website to find out about their special events, such as Evenings at the Museum and Steamin’ Days. 3000 Creek Rd. AuburnHeights.org.
Special Interest Museums
Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. Featuring vehicles of all types: gasoline, electric and horse-drawn, including carriages, wagons and sleighs. You’ll see “high wheelers” and “safety bicycles,” vehicle builder’s tools and local historic roadside architecture. 85 S. Walnut St. BoyertownMuseum.org.
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. Reservations only. 514 Poplar St. NAWCC.com.
Landis Valley Museum. Whether you come for the animals, to learn about early Pennsylvania German life, or to stroll the grounds and get an up-close look at the largest collection of Pennsylvania German artifacts in the United States, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 2451 Kissel Hill Rd. LandisValleyMuseum.org.
Hands-On House Children’s Museum. Offering 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. Home and studio of renowned artist and sculptor Wharton Esherick, who inspired the Studio furniture movement. A National Historic Landmark for Architecture, housing 50 years of work. Tours by reservation only. Reservations required. 1520 Horseshoe Trail. WhartonEsherickMuseum.org.
The National Toy Train Museum. Visit NTTMuseum.org.
Railroad Museum of PA. Visit RRMuseumPA.org.
Strasburg Rail Road. Visit StrasburgRailroad.com.
The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center. See “Day Trips & Outings.”
The Antique Ice Tool Museum. See “Day Trips & Outings.”
Our Favorite Resources
- Berkshire Hathaway Holly Gross
- Cecil County Tourism
- Chester County Community Foundation
- Chester County Hospital, Penn Med
- Delaware Museum of Natural History
- Key Financial, Inc.
- King Construction
- Sage Life
- Sugarbridge Kitchen & Bath
- SV Dental
- Thorncroft Equestrian Center
- Tim Vaughan
- Welcome Neighbor
- West Chester BID
- Walter J. Cook