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  • The Liberty Bell on display in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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    Philadelphia: Attractions in the Birthplace of Modern Democracy

  • Meeting the Crayola mascot at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania
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    Lehigh Valley: Natural Beauty Meets Family Thrills

  • Family enjoying the sunset at Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania
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    Pocono Mountains: Fresh Air and Exciting Attractions

  • Posing with some of the world’s favorite chocolate candies at Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania
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    Hershey: Chocolate Town USA

  • A tour boat on the river in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    Pittsburgh: A Walkable and Kid-Friendly Destination

Taking in views of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from the Mt. Washington Overlook
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Pennsylvania with Kids: 5 Stops for Memorable Family Adventure

By Heather Lalley

  • Route distance:
    718.00
  • Suggested Time:
    1-2 weeks

Take a family-friendly tour of Pennsylvania, a state rich in plentiful fun and diverse destinations.

From its vibrant historical experiences and modern urban hubs to its expansive valleys, tree-covered mountains and charming small towns, Pennsylvania is a possibility-packed destination for a family road trip. It’s easy to find enriching activities for a car full of travelers of all ages. Follow this route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with plenty of adventures in between.

01
The Liberty Bell on display in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Philadelphia: Attractions in the Birthplace of Modern Democracy

History comes to life in Philadelphia, a culture-rich urban center that was a pivotal location during the American Revolution and once served as the temporary capital of the USA. Fly into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to begin this historic and cultural journey. Take the family to The Franklin Institute, named for scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin. It’s packed with hands-on science exhibits such as a walk-through heart, a planetarium, a high-wire bike ride, escape rooms and an IMAX theater. Continue the interactive fun at The Please Touch Museum, where kids of all ages can learn through play by assembling and launching rockets, piloting small boats, building with giant blocks and much more. From there, it’s less than 10 minutes by car to The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, believed to be the oldest natural history museum in the Americas. The museum offers special educational programs for toddlers, kids and teens, but all ages will smile in the hall of dinosaurs and the butterfly room. More thrills await as you travel beyond the city.

102 km
1.5 hours by car
02
Meeting the Crayola mascot at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania
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Lehigh Valley: Natural Beauty Meets Family Thrills

Drive about 90 minutes north into Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, home to modern family-focused attractions set amid a historic backdrop of rolling hills, lush countryside and postcard-ready covered bridges. Thrill-seekers will adore Allentown’s Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, home to the Hydra floorless rollercoaster, the Python Plummet waterslide, and the 1920s classic ride called the Whip. Stay in Allentown, the area’s largest city, and check out the Da Vinci Science Center. While there, grab the controllers to make the giant T-Rexroth robot roar, step into a Category 1 hurricane simulator and experience sightlessness in the 22-meter, maze-like tunnel called Tunnel Vision. Little artists will enjoy the colorful play space of the Crayola ExperienceTM in Easton, with four floors of activities. From there, it’s a short drive to learn about the engineering marvels crucial to the development of the U.S. at the National Canal Museum. Next up: an escape into the mountains.

82 km
1.25 hours by car
03
Family enjoying the sunset at Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania
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Pocono Mountains: Fresh Air and Exciting Attractions

Experience more of Pennsylvania’s scenic beauty about an hour north of the Lehigh Valley with a tour of the Pocono Mountains. The area is known for breathtaking mountains, as well as four-season recreation thanks to a number of lakefront beaches, boat launches, fishing areas, waterfalls and ski runs. Make your home base at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, home to the largest indoor water park in the USA and packed with arcades games, bowling, water slides, restaurants and more. From here, you can set out to explore the area’s mountains, lakes and small towns. Embark on an interpretive hike or hands-on program in the fresh air at Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center. Want to head indoors? Let your crew burn off energy at Pocono Rocks!, an interactive playspace with bounce houses, a boulder-climbing wall, an obstacle course and an on-site café. If all that bouncing has worked up some appetites, take an educational (and tasty) tour of Callie’s Candy Kitchen and its nearby Pretzel Factory. Stock up on treats from this family-run business for the next leg of your drive.

188 km
2 hours by car
04
Posing with some of the world’s favorite chocolate candies at Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania
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Hershey: Chocolate Town USA

Save room for even more culinary delights after a drive about two hours southwest to Hershey, known around the world for its chocolate. The town, with street lights that look like chocolate candies, sits just outside of Pennsylvania’s capital city of Harrisburg and is a prime spot for family fun. Strap into one of the 14 adrenaline-inducing coasters of Hersheypark®, a massive theme park which originally opened in 1906 as an amusement center for Hershey factory workers and their families. Don’t miss the hands-on Hershey’s Chocolate World, where visitors can learn all about world-famous Hershey confections, create their own candy bars and take the free chocolate tour ride. For a touch of luxury before heading on to another big city, indulge in a chocolate facial or cocoa massage, signature treatments at The Spa at the Hotel HersheySM and MeltSpa by HersheySM.

346 km
3.5 hours by car
05
A tour boat on the river in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Pittsburgh: A Walkable and Kid-Friendly Destination

From a chocolate paradise to some of the greatest cities of the USA, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania brims with a diversity of activities. Pittsburgh, the hub of the state’s western region, sits at the confluence of three rivers. It’s an affordable, walkable and vibrant destination for the whole family. Take in the city’s breathtaking skyline from the Mt. Washington overlook, providing an aerial view of Pittsburgh’s rivers as they converge at Point State Park. Bring the family to National Aviary, the only independent indoor zoo in the USA that’s dedicated exclusively to birds. The country’s largest aviary is home to condors, penguins, parrots and so much more, with some 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the globe. Train-loving little ones will be delighted by Kennywood Park, an amusement park that includes Thomas Town, the second-largest permanent Thomas & Friends attraction in North America. Little conductors will go wild for the live shows, an indoor play zone and five Thomas-inspired rides. Pittsburgh is also home to four Carnegie museums, including the interactive Carnegie Science Center with four floors of hands-on science and technology exhibits. You’ll have a camera roll full of memories when it’s time to fly home via Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Added bonus: The airport features Kidsport in Concourse C, a 195-square-meter play area just for kids.