Things to Do in Lancaster PA This Spring

March 9, 2022

37 Enchanting Things to do in Lancaster PA This Spring

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Lancaster County, PA!  Amish Country is bustling with things to do outdoors when the weather is seeing warmer, longer days. Or if the sky is threatening spring showers, there are plenty of indoor options for you too.

This list is all about Enchanting Things to do In Lancaster PA This Spring!

1- Experience a MUD SALE!

AuctionThese annual fire company fundraisers are great for bargain hunters and people watchers alike!  Locals & tourists, Amish & English, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at a Mud Sale!  In addition to all the handcrafted items being auctioned off, the food is definitely a treat!  There are plenty of stands & food trucks selling funnel cakes, shoofly pie, chicken bbq and smoked meat on a stick.  Click Here for a link to the full calendar of 2022 Lancaster PA Mud Sales.

2- Take in the Grandeur of the Annual Snow Geese Migration

Snow Geese
Photo: Nancy Reber

The annual snow geese migration in Lancaster PA is nothing short of epic!  From early February to Mid-March, thousands upon thousands of snow geese and tundra swans pass through Lancaster County on their way back north for the summer.  Bring your camera & maybe an umbrella… just sayin’!

Click here for tips for seeing the Snow Geese Migration

3- Try These Uniquely-Lancaster Restaurants

restaurant
Source: Bube’s Facebook Page

Lancaster PA is “all about the food”, and these restaurants have a unique vibe or cuisine that’s uniquely Lancaster!

  •  Smorgasbord:
    • Shady Maple | 129 Toddy Dr, East Earl | Website
    • Oregon Dairy | 2900 Oregon Pike, Lititz | Website
  • Amish / Mennonite owned:
    • Katie’s Kitchen | 200 Hartman Bridge Rd, Ronks | Website
    • Hometown Kitchen | 18 Furnace Rd, Quarryville | Website
    • Agape Cafe | 366 Hartman Bridge Rd, Ronks | Website
  • Themed:
    • Bube’s Catecombs | 102 N Market St, Mount Joy | Website
    • Loxley’s | 500 Centerville Rd, Lancaster | Website
    • Casey Jones’ Restaurant (Red Caboose) | 312 Paradise Ln, Ronks | Website

4- Check out a Local Dive Bar

front porch
Source: The Penguin Hotel’s Facebook Page

From storied pasts as brothels to gathering spots only the locals find, Dive Bars are often the best hidden gems in town.  Soak in the atmosphere & really get a sense of life in Lancaster County at these four local hangouts!

  • The Penguin Hotel | 55 E Church Rd, Stevens | Website
  • Hildy’s | 448 West Frederick St., Lancaster |Website
  • Cocalico Tavern | 1015 North Reading Road, Stevens |Website
  • Helen’s Corner Bar & Restaurant | 131 W Main St, Leola | Website

5- Enjoy local Art Galleries and Art Museums

Angel Oak
Source: Liz Hess Gallery Website

Lancaster County has some terrific art galleries and art museums in the downtown district (Gallery Row) and throughout the county.  Here’s a website you can use to plan your art tour of Lancaster!  Lancaster Art Galleries and Museums

6- Kick Back at Penn Cinema

Stadium Seats
Source – Yelp

And when we say “kick back” we mean it!  This wonderful LOCALLY OWNED movie theater has the most comfortable stadium seating you’ve ever experienced!  Pre-order your tickets online and enjoy the show in blissful comfort!

7- Prep for St. Patrick’s Day at these Irish Bars & Traditional Pubs

Irish Pub
Source: TFB Hospitality Website

Irish / British Pubs are a great choice at ANY time of year, but March makes them extra-appealing with St. Patrick’s Day on the calendar.  Many of these venues will have special menus full of authentic Irish fare & live concerts with Celtic performers.

  • Annie Bailey’s | 28-30 E King St, Lancaster | Website
  • The Bull’s Head Pub | 14 E Main St, Lititz | Website
  • Tellus360 | 24 E King St, Lancaster | Website
  • Quips Pub | 457 New Holland Ave, Lancaster | Website

8- Perk Up at these wonderful Coffee Shops

Barista
Source: Passenger Coffee Facebook Page

Sometimes a day of touring, shopping, hiking and eating can take its toll.  If you need to put a little pep back into your step, here are a few of our favorite coffee venues:

  • Prince Street Café | 15 N Prince St, Lancaster | Website
  • Passenger Coffee & Tea Showroom | 7 W King St, Lancaster, | Website
  • Javateas Gourmet Coffee Cafe | 1 Dutchland Ave, Ephrata | Website
  • Mill 72 Bake Shop & Cafe | 45 N Main St, Manheim | Website

9- Have “Hoppy Day” at these Craft Breweries

Beer Taps
Source: St. Boniface Facebook Page

Lancaster’s craft brewing history has some people referring to the region as “Little Bavaria”!  While there are over 40 craft breweries in the county, here are a handful of our favorites for you to visit this Spring:

  • St Boniface Craft Brewing Co. | 1701 W Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Pour Man’s Brewing Company | 284 S Reading Rd, Ephrata | Website
  • Black Forest Brewery | 301 W Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Big Dog Brewing Company | 1559 Manheim Pike, Lancaster | Website
  • Mad Chef Craft Brewing | 2023 Miller Rd, East Petersburg | Website

10- Try the BEST Ice Cream in the state of Pennsylvania at Fox Meadow Creamery

 

ice cream scoop
Source: Fox Meadow’s Facebook Page

Fox Meadow Creamery is simply fantastic!  Their slogan is “Cow to Cone”, and since the dairy farm supplying the milk for their ice cream is their own property, immediately behind the ice cream shop, they truly LIVE their slogan!  In addition to delicious ice cream, Fox Meadow Creamery also serves an assortment of soups, salads and sandwiches.  Our recommendation:  Don’t leave without trying the “Baked Fox”!

11- Savor Fancy Cocktails at the Horse Inn

cocktail
Source: Horse Inn Facebook Page

The bartenders / mixologists at the Horse Inn are known for whipping up amazing concoctions.  Combine that with cozy atmosphere and delicious food and you’ll see why locals flock to the place!

12- Life is Short, Eat Dessert first!

cookies
Source: Scratch Bakes Facebook Page

Lancaster PA is full of “makers” including some of the best dessert makers around!  Laura the Cookie Lady in Ephrata even won a national cookie baking contest!!

  • Laura the Cookie Lady | 30 E Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Scratch Bakes | 3 W Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Achenbach’s Pastries | 375 E Main St, Leola | Website
  • La Dolce Vita Courthouse Bakery |  9 N Duke St, Lancaster | Website

13- Catch a Concert

Lancaster PA theater
Source: Historic Smithton Inn

These two Lancaster concert venues manage to book fantastic acts which visitors can enjoy in a relatively small setting.  Check their websites for upcoming shows and to purchase tickets.

  • American Music Theater | 2425 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster | Website
  • The Arts at Millersville, The Ware Center | 42 N Prince St, Lancaster | Website

14- Check Out These Local Hikes with Views:

River hike
Source: Historic Smithton Inn

Lancaster is a great place for hiking and these three hikes will provide you with fresh air AND a rewarding view!

  • Eagle Rock & Horeshoe Trail Loop (3.1 miles)  | Website
  • Governor Dick Observation Trail Loop (5.7 miles)|  Website
  • Chickies Overlook Trail Loop (1 mile)  | Website

15- Tour one of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”, the Historic Ephrata Cloister

historic buildings
Source: Ephrata Cloister Facebook Page

Dating back to the early 1700s, the Ephrata Cloister is a special historic site in Lancaster County.  Learn about early American religious life while strolling the lovely grounds.  Definitely don’t miss the gift shop where you can purchase lots of locally made crafts with historic ties.

16- Stroll through Conestoga House & Gardens

garden
Source: Conestoga House Facebook Page

The historical Conestoga House and Gardens has been one of the most beloved gems of the Lancaster area since the early 1800s.  The gardens are gorgeous & a wonderful tour idea in spring!  Tours are $10 per person on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays beginning late Spring 2022.

17- Search for Antique Treasures at Extravaganza Weekend

Old antiques sign

Antique collectors know, Extravaganza Weekend is the place to be!  These events happen 3x a year and it’s when the antique vendors pull out the stops!  They’re open for extra hours, additional inventory and discounts you’re going to love.  Click here to read all about the Antique Shops in Adamstown.

18- Take a Day Trip to Longwood Gardens to see their new Orchid Exhibit!

The first realization of Longwood Reimagined is finally here! The Orchid House serves as a new garden experience and we are thrilled to send our guests there check it out. Now, visitors can see hundreds orchids up close in custom frame trellises that were handcrafted by artisans from across the country—all while enjoying stunning views through restored bronze cases showcasing their beauty like never before (and if it rains-no problem really!  One of the transformations in this exhibit is a newly refurbished glass roof).

19- Enjoy Local Live Music at Weathered Vineyards Ephrata

Live music in Courtyard
Source – Weathered Vineyards Ephrata

Weathered Vineyards Ephrata hosts live music, year-round, EVERY Friday & Saturday from 5 – 8 pm.  Until the weather turns warm enough, musicians play indoors in the wine bar.  When the warm weather arrives in late spring, musicians move outside to the spacious outdoor courtyard area.

20 – Groove Out at the Berks Jazz Fest

Jazz fest 2022
Source: Berks Jazz Fest

The Berks Jazz Fest dates back to 1991 and is a premier event for seeing top jazz performances in the Northeast.  Wynton Marsalis, Shirley Horn, Count Basie Orchestra, Everette Harp, David Sanborn, Clarence Spady, Chick Corea & Bela Fleck are just a few of the famous performers who have graced the many stages at Berks Jazz Fest.  Tickets are on sale now.

21 – Catch a Comedy Show!!

comedy club sign
Source: Stitches Facebook Page

Sometimes you just want to LAUGH, and Lancaster PA has some options for you!

  • Stitches Comedy Club | 2300 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster | Website
  • Lancaster Improv Players | 16 S Prince St, Lancaster | Website
  • Mount Hope Estate – Full Moon Comedy Nights | 2775 Lebanon Rd, Manheim | Website

22 – Take a Popular Day Trip from Lancaster PA:

Fonthill Castle
Source: Rebecca Gallagher

Lancaster’s central PA location makes it the perfect home base for day trips, and here are a few springtime suggestions for you:

  • Doylestown:  County seat of Bucks County.  Known for Fonthill Castel, the Mercer Museum and Michener Art Museum.  Add to that a downtown district filled with cute shops, bars & restaurants and you’ve got everything you need for a fun day trip.  VISIT DOYLESTOWN
  • Hershey:  Hershey is known as the Sweetest Place on Earth.  But there is so much more to see and do in Hershey than Chocolate World & we recommend you check it out.  VISIT HERSHEY
  • Gettysburg:  No matter what time of year, Gettysburg is a wonderful place to visit.  Try the hop-on-hop-off bus tour to learn about the battle of Gettysburg and all the monuments throughout the national park.  VISIT GETTYSBURG

23 – See Sight & Sound’s Newest Production – David

Everyone’s excited to see Sight & Sound’s latest production, David!  Tickets are on sale now, and with demand higher than ever before, we highly recommend you buy your tickets early to ensure you can see the show when it works for you.

24- Ta-da!  for Magic at Magic & Wonder Theater

performers
Source: Discover Lancaster

The Magic and Wonder Theater is appropriately named because their shows are just that, WONDERFUL!

25- Enjoy a Uniquely Lancaster Tour

Scooter Tour Lancaster County
Source: Historic Smithton Inn
  • Bird-in-Hand Scooter Tour | 2705 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand | Website
  • Amish Buggy Rides | Multiple locations | Website

26- Ride the Rails at the Strasburg Railroad

Train
Source: Strasburg Railroad

There are several options for experiencing the Strasburg Railroad.  You can enjoy a simple scenic tour or book a special tour such as a Wine & Cheese Tour (our favorite!) or premium car tour.

27- Enjoy the View at the Exchange Rooftop Bar

Lancaster rooftop view
Photo: The Exchange Lancaster

Check out these stunning views of downtown Lancaster!!  Enjoy a cocktail & appetizers while sitting by a charming fire pit and just soak it all in!

28- Take a Wine Tasting Tour throughout Scenic Lancaster County

pouring wine
Source: Weathered Vineyards Ephrata

Lancaster County may not be as well known for wines as Napa Valley, but we are home to some really terrific local wineries & wine tasting rooms.  A tour of these four venues may just change the way you think about Pennsylvania wines!

  • Weathered Vineyards Ephrata | 900-A W. Main Street, Ephrata | Website
  • Waltz Vineyards Estate Winery | 1599 Old Line Rd, Manheim | Website
  • Grandview Vineyard | 1489 Grandview Rd, Mount Joy | Website
  • Nissley Vineyard | 140 Vintage Drive Bainbridge | Website

29- Shop ‘Til you Drop!

shopping
Source: Prussian Street Arcade Facebook Page

For anyone in the mood for a little “Retail Therapy” during your visit to Lancaster, we highly recommend this collection of shops!

  • Lancaster Central Market | 23 N Market St, Lancaster | Website
  • Building Character | 342 N Queen St, Lancaster | Website
  • Prussian Street Arcade | 49 N Main St, Manheim | Website
  • Amish Shops | Multiple Locations! | Website
  • Tanger Outlets |  311 Stanley K Tanger Dr, Lancaster | Website

30- Check out the Iconic Pagoda In Reading

pagoda
Source: Reading Pagoda Facebook Page

The Reading Pagoda has been the “Symbol” of Reading for over a century.  Recently they’ve undertaken a number of improvements to the incoming roads and surrounding trails, making a visit to the Reading Pagoda even better than ever.  You’ll see sweeping views and soaring birds as you stroll the grounds.

31- Rent or bring a bike & ride the rail trails

bike rider near bridge
Source: Historic Smithton Inn

Rail Trails are a terrific way for armature cyclists & biking enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors without having to worry about road traffic (mostly) or massive hills (yes, Lancaster has lots of them).  These three rides will give you as short or long a biking experience as you’re ready to tackle.

  • Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail (7.1 miles) | Website
  • Lancaster County Northwest River Trail (14.1 miles) | Website
  • Conewago Recreation Trail + Lebanon Valley Rail Trail (23 miles) |  Website

32- Dine with a White House Chef at the Greenfield Restaurant

Chef
Source: The Greenfield Restaurant

Chef John Moeller, a former White House Chef, is a gracious host & chef at his Lancaster PA Fine Dining Restaurant, the Greenfield Restaurant.  Enjoy wonderful farm-to-table meal like the dignitary you are!

33- Do Some Ax Throwing at Artifice Mead & Ales

Axe Throwing
Source: Lancaster County Magazine

So Meads, Ales & Axe throwing… what could possibly go wrong?  NOTHING actually!!!  They’ve got pros on site who will teach you everything you need to know to successfully throw an axe into a target.  Let loose your inner-Viking & return home with bragging rights!!

34- Learn about Amish Culture

white barn
Source: Historic Smithton Inn

Lancaster County is probably best known for being home to one of the largest populations of Amish in the country.  If you’d like to learn more about Amish culture, traditions and history, here are some venues to check out:

  • Amish Farm & House | 2395 Covered Bridge Dr, Lancaster | Website
  • Amish Village | 199 Hartman Bridge Rd, Ronks | Website
  • Mennonite Life Visitor’s Center | 2215 Millstream Rd, Lancaster | Website

35- Go Ziplining

zip lining
Source: Refreshing Mountain Facebook Page

If you’re looking for an exhilarating outdoor activity during your visit to Lancaster PA, then Refreshing Mountain Zip Lines is is the place for you!

36- Cheers for a Local Sports Bar, Stubby’s Bar & Grill

pub door
Source: Rebecca Gallagher

If you’re visiting Lancaster PA and your favorite team is playing, you NEED to find a great sports bar, right?!  We’ve got just the place where you can catch the game in a cozy, locally owned sports bar that has all the TVs, wings, burgers & beers you’re craving!  This is a locals hang-out so root against the Eagles, Flyers or Phillies at your own peril!

37- Spend the night at a Historic Bed and Breakfast!

king bed
Historic Smithton Inn:  Smithton Gables Suite

We hope you’ll choose to stay at the Historic Smithton Inn as you tour your way through all the wonderful things there are to see and do in Lancaster PA this Spring!!  We have 9 fantastic guest rooms & suites to choose from, all with ensuite bathrooms, charming décor and luxury amenities!  If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, you’re in luck, its ours too!!  We’ll treat you to a delicious, homemade farm-to-table breakfast every morning that will have you snapping photos to make your friends envious!

Book Now!  We hope to see you soon!

This blog is all about Things to do in Lancaster PA this Spring

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