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Families traveling to Harrisburg with children will be delighted to find the Whitaker Center for Science and Arts. This multi-faceted, non-profit center is the home of several venues that families will enjoy visiting. The Harsco Science Center, one part of the Whitaker, is a favorite with kids and adults alike. The three-story center features over 200 exhibits that explain various aspects of science and technology in fun and interactive ways. The center also hosts several changing exhibits at any given time whose subjects have ranged from wind speed to electricity. Educational programs and science camps are also sponsored by the Science Center. For ticket information and hours, see the Center's website.
The Whitaker Center is also home to the Select Medical IMAX Theatre. The Theatre shows up to five IMAX movies at a time, with show times ranging from 10:00 AM to 10:30 PM. Tickets are $11.75 for adults and $9.25 for children ages 3-12. Students and seniors are eligible for a discount with ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Theatre box office as well as at their website or by calling 717-214-ARTS.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania is an excellent stop for families when in Harrisburg. General admission is free. There is a charge for planetarium shows and Curiosity Connection®, a kids' learning/play center. Exhibits include history, natural history, industry and technology, decorative and fine arts, and changing exhibits. The museum is at Third and North Streets, just north of the State Capitol. Combine a visit to the museum and the Capitol, and you'll have seen a lot. All the information you'll need is there. The State Museum is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Commonwealth's official history agency.
Wildwood Lake Sanctuary is an amazing place. It's great for family fun, for photographers, for nature lovers, for romantic rambles...even for interesting walking opportunities during a long car ride on 81. In the winter, some trails invite cross-country skiing. Check out http://www.wildwoodlake.org. There is a 12,000 sq. ft. Nature Center. There are wood chip, gravel, soil or boardwalk trails throughout and over the wetlands...some trails are wheelchair accessible. Trails run through open meadow, woodland, over ponds, by the lake, to the gorge and bog and over the protected marsh. You might spy fox, ground hogs, birds, dragonflies, lightening bugs and deer. Lots of plant life, including iris and wild flowers. But the big draw, a reason for encouraging excellent funding to develop and maintain all this info and beauty, is the American Lotus, which is an endangered plant species. WLS is accurately described as one of Pa.'s premier centers for environmental and ecological nature studies, educational opportunities throughout the year and outdoor recreation. The Lotus lake is beautiful...with egrets in the summer, another endangered species.