I love exploring new places as much as anyone else, but hitting the road often means overlooking amazing experiences in our own backyards. My daughters have yet to visit the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, even though we live a short 20-minute drive from New York City and regularly take them to the Big Apple for other adventures. It wasn’t even until I was assigned a story on Niagara Falls for Family Vacation Critic that I finally took the amazing Maid of the Mist boat tour, even though I grew up right near the natural wonder.
With this in mind, my daughters and I are taking a girls’ weekend trip to Lancaster, Pa. to enjoy the delights of Amish country. Even though my in-laws live less than an hour from there, we’ve never visited!
We’ll be touring Amish Village, where we’ll get a sense of what it’s like to live the simple life today—no iPads and Internet! Next, we’re heading to the Strasburg Railroad, where we’ll be taking in a vintage baseball game (no gloves!) and heading out on a 45-minute train ride through the countryside on a real steam engine train (my six-year-old can’t wait). We’re staying at the Bird-in-Hand Hotel, which features everything from mini golf to a petting zoo on the grounds. I still think my girls will be most excited about the S’mores and the pools! But we’ll finish off our trip with a visit to the Choo-Choo Barn, which has a massive model train setup showcasing the entire area.