We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Topic
Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

I posted a few months back and got a great suggestions from the forum. Now we are on the eve of departure and I know additional details like weather forecast, dates grandparents joining us, etc. so I'd love help with some last decisions. Thanks in advance.

some details:

- Family of 4: daughter 10 and son 12

- We've rented a house in Hershey for the week (Friday 4/11-Friday 4/18)

- We want to spend 1 day at Hershey Park (could be Saturday or Sunday)

- We want to spend one day in Gettysburg (could be Sunday, Monday or Wednesday)

- Grandparents are coming Monday night until Wednesday morning - unfortunately forecast looks like rain on Tuesday- but this is their only possible day. We plan to do Mennonite Tour (3-pm) and Dutch Apple Dinner Theater with them on Tuesday - Do we have time to go to Amish Experience with them early in the day for movie, tour, school/house, buggy ride? Will that appeal more to the kids? (would have to move Kettle Kitchen, Sturgis pretzel factory, Lancaster Central Market)

- Have tickets to Sight and Sound for Thursday afternoon

- where would Landis County Museum fit best?

Tentative itinerary

Friday 4/11 Drive to Hershey

Dinner: Miss Saigon or Chocolate Avenue Grill (114 West Chocolate Ave.)

Saturday 4/12 Hershey Park 10-9 (could switch this to Sunday? Saturday open later, but likely to get chilly)

Lunch – in the park

Hershey chocolate world - does this make sense for the same day as park?

Dinner near park: Fenicci’s (kids menu)

Sunday 4/13 (Could also potentially do Hershey Park or Gettysburg this day)

- Renningers Adamstown Antique Market – open 4:00am, 7:00 am latest (mom only)

- Wolves Lititz 11:30 for 12:00 tour - (We've been to other wolf preserves - so could skip)

- Lunch – Oregon Dairy (Lititz) open 12-2

- ? The Amish Experience (Bird in Hand, PA) movie, house/schoolhouse, Farmlands Tour, buggy ride (would save this until Tuesday with grandparents if that makes sense)

- Dinner: Lancaster Iron Hill Brewery

Monday 4/14 Gettysburg (could switch this day with Wednesday)

- Visitor’s center/Movie

- Lunch: picnic or Hunt’s

- Battlefield tour (private guide)

- Eisenhower National historic Site

- Schriver House

- National cemetary

- Dinner –Dobbin House Tavern (Spring House)

- ? ghost tour - ? worth it, does not work well Monday night since grandparents arrive that night

Tuesday 4/15 (Lancaster with grandparents)

- Sturgis Pretzel House - should we try to get there?

- Route 772 from Route 30(Gap)to Route 23 (Leola), crossing Route 340 in Intercourse.

- Riehls Quilts and Crafts, on East Eby Road

- Countryside Road Stand on Stumptown Road.

- Kitchen Kettle Village (early lunch) - ? worth a stop?

- Central Market Lancaster

- Mennonite Historical Society guide 3-5pm

- Dinner: Dutch Apple Dinner Theater: 6:00 dinner; 7:30 show

Wednesday 4/16 some down time: hiking, time near Hershey, outlets

- Dinner - Hershey Pantry – kids eat free 4-9pm

Thursday 4/17 Lancaster

- ? Verdant View Farm (1 ½ hours) - farm tour, farm experience

- ? Abe’s Amish buggy ride

- Sight and Sound Theater (get there at 2:00)

- Dinner: Dienner’s

Friday 4/18 breakfast in Hershey

- Ephrata – Cloister (tours 19, 12, 2, 3:30), Green Dragon farmers market; lunch

- drive home

Bangor, Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Lancaster
Level Contributor
2,761 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

Well, you've got an ambitious itinerary, that's for sure.

I won't comment on Hershey or Gettysburg since we rarely go there.

acoulple Lancaster comments.

You are doing the Amish Experience tour on Sunday, when you will not interact with any Amish. This is fine for the Theater and the house tour since there are never any Amish there anyway (unless they have a retired Amish school teacher at their 'school'), but will affect the Farmland tour and buggy ride, since on Sunday you won't stop at any Amish farms or businesses. You also. obviously will not have an Amish buggy driver.

You will see buggys going to or from church but that's it.

However,since you are doing the Mennonite tour on Thursday, you will still visit Amish businesses then. In addition you are going on your own to Countryside Road Stand and Riehl's Quilts, which are two of the Amish Experience busses regular non-Sunday stops.

So I guess I am suggesting you might skip the tour bus Sunday.

Since the buggy ride is more about the experience of riding in a buggy, than the 'tour' (buggys don't go far)

I would decide between Aaron and Jessica's (the buggy ride at Amish Experience ) and Abe's based on whether you think the grandparents will really enjoy a ride and whether its important to you to ride in an authentic Amish buggy (Abe's uses these Aaron and Jessica's does not.).

on Tuesday, you are doing Central Market too late. Many stands-particularly produce stands- close earlier than the 4PM cloing time. I would go to the market first. It is also usually less crowded in the morning(On Tuesdays its most crowded at lunch when Downtown Lancaster office workers are on break).

I think you can skip the Sturgis House unless your kids really want to twist a pretzel (which they don't get to eat)-the pretzels at Countryside Road Stand taste much better


Kitchen Kettle Village is a very attractive shopping Village. The outstanding stores, in my opinion, are the Jam and Jelly Kitchen, The Lapps Ice Cream stand (which may not be open yet) and the Quilt shop (which will be higher priced than Riehl's, but will also have bigger selection of non-traditional innovative patterns).


ON Thursday, you have to be aware that Dienner's closes at 6PM.They take anyone in line by 6.

I am not sure how long Sight and Sounds presentation of Moses runs, but if it lets out much past 5, this could be a challenge as there is normally quite a traffic jam getting out of the parking lot.You might call the Theater about times

Good luck.

Edited: 7:11 am, April 11, 2014
Level Contributor
986 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

I agree with what Brookquaary has said, and defer to him for the Lancaster info. I will only add that Landis Valley is best visited on a day that is not raining, so check the forecast. Cool temps are fine, IMO, but rain would make for a lot of walking through mud.

I would actually not make the trek to Lancaster on Sunday and spend more time in Hershey. The park rides will be limited - even more so than planned if the temps are really low, so doing Chocolate World the same day is not an issue if all you want to do there is ride the "tour" ride and do some shopping. There are lots of other fun things to do there, primarily geared toward the kids. But I would definitely suggest taking the Trolley Tour that leaves from Chocolate World and I think you should also consider going to the Hershey Story Museum. Your kids are a good age for this, and would get more out of the museum if you add on the Apprentice Program and Chocolate Lab.

I would choose my day for Gettysburg also based on weather. The battlefield is incredibly enjoyable when you have a beautiful day. Again, cool and sunny is fine, but try to avoid rain. While your family would still get a lot out of the visitor's center, it is important that you can get out and explore in order to really experience the battlefield. You have a lot scheduled in your Gettysburg day and you may find yourself choosing to skip Eisenhower and Shriver. And you may find yourselves too tired for a ghost tour (although they are quite fun) if you have to meet up with the grandparents anyway.

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

Thanks very much thefourskis - We'll definitely plan to do the Trolley Tour and the Hershey Story Museum sounds great - (especially the Apprentice Program and Chocolate Lab- my kids will love those).

It looks like we will have decent weather (with the exception of that Tuesday - and we have no options for my parents day with us)- So we can have our pick of days for Gettysburg. My husband and son will likely be back there later this year - so if we don't fit everything that's OK. I do want to spend most time on the Battlefield - and plan to get the guide to go with us. We've done a ghost tour in Williamsburg - so that seems optional to me.

Thanks again!

Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
Level Contributor
2,992 posts
161 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

I would highly recommend a return to the Hershey Pantry on Friday for breakfast. They have great breakfast entrees. Also at some point during your visit I would get dessert or a snack at Desserts, Etc. At 840 East Chocolate Avenue and ice cream at Mazzoli Ice Cream at 72 West Governor Road, both in Hershey.

Bangor, Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Lancaster
Level Contributor
2,761 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

Re: Sight and Sound and Dienners.

I found Moses running time at the Sight and Sound website. It's 2 and a half hours.

Since it starts at 2:45 this gets you out of the theater at 5:15. If you are stuck in a considerable traffic jam, you may not get to Dienners by their 6pm closing time.

As a backup consider Oregon Dairy (if you don't go Sunday) or possibly Katies kitchen on 896 about a mile north of the theater. You should check Katies Kitchen's rather limited menu, though, and make sure there are enough choices for you.

Edited: 8:50 am, April 11, 2014
Level Contributor
83 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

The Kling House at Kitchen Kettle Village has great lunches. kitchenkettle.com/members/theklinghouse.asp

Also, on the day you go to Renningers Antique Mkt. you drive right by The German Trading Post on RT 272 which is also an antique market (open 10 to 5). We like it better than Renningers. They are open 7 days a week where Renningers is only open on Sundays. It might be a good for a rain day. You could also stop there after Green Dragon on Friday.

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

FlyEagle- Thanks for the breakfast suggestion - We will try to go to Hershey Pantry Friday morning (or fit in with my parents - my mom loves to go out to breakfast). Also will definitely make room for dessert stops - maybe both of the ones you mention.

Brookquarry - thanks so much for looking into the Sight and Sound times for us, and for the heads up on Dienner's/back up suggestions. We may try to get there a different night and not push it that evening.

KatieDD - I meant to ask for a suggestion for lunh at Kitchen Kettle Village - so thank you for that. And definitely thanks for the antique market suggestion - There is a strong possibility I won't make it out so early on a Sunday morning! Friday afternoon would actually be great timing for us if we don't get there earlier.

Thank you all for the help and suggestions. We got in late last night (already behind schedule! ...oh well) - so happy to see the sun out this am, and looking forward to exploring. This has been a really good forum experience - already makes me like the area, so thank you all!

8. Re: Leaving for Lancaster area tomorrow...family itinerary help

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:16 am, April 14, 2015