fun things to do with kids in pennsylvania   Travel for Kids
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Pennsylvania is home to two historic "biggies," Philadelphia, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States, and Gettysburg, Civil War battle site. One of thirteen original colonies, Pennsylvania has a long, culturally-diverse history, filled with Native Americans, English, Quakers, Germans, African-Americans, Italians, Irish. On February 2, Groundhog Day, people come to Punxsutawney – will the groundhog see his shadow, foretelling another six weeks of winter?
Valley Forge
    Strasburg Rail Road (Ronks) – Take a ride on this historic railroad, operating since 1832. Ride in authentic Victorian coach, or open air car, have lunch in the dining car on the 45 min. excursion train. Also available, special event trains, e.g. Easter bunny train. Here's the schedule.
    Crayola Experience (Easton) – Crayola crayons have been produced in Easton for over 100 years. At the Crayola Experience, see the world's largest crayon and watch crayons being made, color in 4-D, make a dinosaur shaped crayon, and more.
    Hershey chocolates (Hershey) Pennsylvania is noted for Hershey chocolates, kids will have fun taking a tour to see how chocolates are made, and visiting Hershey Park, historic theme park with roller coaster rides.

Fun food


Lancaster County is famous for Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Try shoofly pie (molasses-brown sugar pie with crumb topping), whoopie pies, sand tarts, red beet eggs (hard boiled eggs colored with beet juice), chicken pot pie (made with homemade egg noodles instead of a crust).


Lancaster Central Market, one of the oldest farmers markets, is open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday year round – try Amish specialties.

kids books pennsylvania
Celebrating Pennsylvania
Jane Kurtz, C.B. Canga

Take a trip through the Keystone State, from Philadelphia and home of the Declaration of Independence and Liberty Bell, to Lancaster County and the Amish, Gettysburg, Pocono Mountains, and Hershey, famous for its chocolate, plus fun facts about sports, wildlife and history. (Easy reader)


Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A - Z Alan Schroeder, John O'Brien

"I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." Amusing, useful, inventive book, just like Ben Franklin – from almanac to bifocals, the Constitution, electricity, his accomplishments from A to Z, plus fun sayings, cartoon style illustrations. (Picture book)



Pictorial history of Ben Franklin, including his own writings, and 21 activities to do: make and fly a kite, play a glass armonica, design a turkey seal for the United States, dip candles, cook a French feast or hasty pudding, and more. Excellent historical illustrations, good for older kids. (Chapter book)


Larry Gets Lost in Philadelphia
John Skewes, Michael Mullin

Go with Larry and his dog Pete on an adventure through Philadelphia. While Larry orders a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, Pete disappears. Larry searches down Elsfreth's Alley, past the Betsy Ross House, into Franklin Court, to Independence Square, City Hall, up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and finds Pete at the Philadelphia Zoo. (Picture book)



Find the animals in Philadelphia – two monkeys, one camel at Independence Hall, peacock and polar bear at Rittenhouse Square, three kangaroos at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and more than a hundred animals in this charming rhyming story. (Picture book)



The taste of Italian pizzelle pastries, and the Bertolizzi family are whisked to Philadelphia. Staying in the historic Liberty Hotel, they explore the city, and sample local foods – soft pretzels and Pennsylvania Dutch apple pie. But can they save the Liberty Hotel with a food fund-raiser? (Chapter book)


recipe for adventure philadelphia

History of the Declaration of Independence, from Thomas Jefferson, sitting in a house in Philadelphia, writing this historic declaration of freedom from Great Britain, debate by the Continental Congress, signers of the document, with historical illustrations. (Chapter book)



The Liberty Bell
Mary Firestone, Matthew Skeens

Illustrated history of the Liberty Bell, symbol of freedom. On July 8, 1776, this bell rang to celebrate the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, and became the symbol of the fight to end slavery. (Picture book)


"Four score and seven years ago, our father brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

A few words spoken by President Lincoln to dedicate a cemetery for the soldiers who died at Gettysburg is now one of the most famous speeches in American history. (Chapter book)


What was the Battle of Gettysburg?
Jim O'connor, John Mantha

Before you visit Gettysburg battlefield, read about the Civil War between Union and Confederate armies. Find out about this turning-point battle - who were the generals, where were Union and Confederate troops situated, Pickett's Charge, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, plus illustrations, maps and historic photos. (Chapter book)


remember valley forge  
Remember Valley Forge
Thomas B. Allen, Thomas Fleming

Overview and first-hand accounts of life at Valley Forge, the winter quarters of George Washington and Continental Army during the American Revolution. Excellent historical illustrations, with maps and sites at Valley Forge. (Chapter book)


The Winter of the Red Snow (Dear America)
Kristiana Gregory

1777, Valley Forge. Fictional diary of Abigail Stewart and her family living at Valley Forge. Set against a backdrop of life in Washington's headquarters, visiting relatives in British-held Philadelphia, sewing for soldiers, the story spans the long winter at Valley Forge, until the army departs to fight the British, and win. (Chapter book)


winter of the red snow
The Egg Tree
Katherine Milhous

Celebrate Pennsylvania Dutch Easter with painted eggs. Children discover beautiful painted eggs in the attic, made by their grandmother when she was a little girl. Soon it's a tradition, the children painting eggs and hanging them on an Easter egg tree. Charming illustrations in a folk art style. (Picture book)


Groundhog Day
Betsy Lewin

It's Feburary 2, and everyone is waiting for Phil. Will Phil see his shadow, or is spring on the way? Everyone in the crowd is excited, one girl wears a groundhog hat ... (Easy reader)


Groundhog Day!
Gail Gibbons

Find out about this yearly holiday on February 2, where Punxsatawney Phil will foretell when spring will arrive, plus origins of the holiday and fun facts about groundhogs. (Picture book)


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