Kid Friendly Activities in Cumberland Valley
All kids under 12 will love jumping, sliding and bouncing at Monkey Joe’s year-round indoor inflatable park! With wall-to-wall colorful inflatable slides, jumps, games, puzzles and obstacles your little one (LO) will have the time of their life. There are two designated play areas, one for 3 and under and one for up to 12 years old. So you can feel safe about letting your “baby” play without being trampled by the bigger kids. TIP: Make sure you get there right when they open. They fill up quickly and you don’t want to see their sad faces if you can’t get in.
A fun alternative to Monkey Joe's is the nearby SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park with jumping options for all age levels. If your children are looking for a little bit more of a challenge, head to The Cave, an indoor rock climbing facility with a designated children's climbing area for your little ones.
If it’s a beautiful, sunny day and you would rather stay outside to play, your children can feed friendly barnyard animals at Paulus Farm Market. In the warmer months, there is a fun play area for kids ages 1-10. They can climb around in the hay, take a hayride, get lost and found in a corn maze or a mini straw maze, pick pumpkins, sift through a soybean box and more. Parents, you can grab healthy snacks or lunch, do a little shopping at the farm market.
By the afternoon, the kids are either going to be full of pent-up energy or in need of a snooze. Sneak in a little history and head to the outside Army Heritage Trail at U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, where there is plenty of room to let the energized bunch run around, and play hide and seek in the full-scale exhibits, or to take a leisurely stroller ride while staring in awe at the tanks and helicopters. Admission is free!
If they still can’t sit still take them to Carlisle Sports Emporium where they can play mini golf, ride on the go-karts if they are at least 36” tall with an adult, play arcade games, or immerse themselves in the excitement of the action-packed multi-level laser tag arena (ages 7 and up). After a long day, you and your kids deserve a special treat. Georgie Lou’s Retro Candy makes you feel like a kid again and has just about every retro candy you can think of. Reminisce and share your childhood stories of saving your pennies to get Swedish Fish and Turkish Taffy.
In the summer months, end your full day of fun (and take advantage of discounted evening rates) with a trip to the Boiling Springs Pool where family members of all ages can splash away in four different pools.
Make it a Weekend
In the warmer months, splish ‘n splash in Laurel or Fuller Lake at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Make sure you bring beach pails and shovels so the kids can build sandcastles. On Saturday afternoons, explore a little piece of the Savannah Desert in Cumberland Valley at the Oakes Museum of Natural History. Your little one will be fascinated with the towering Smithsonian-quality African and North American mammals collection.
While you are staying in Cumberland Valley you should definitely take a few day trips to locations that are less than 30 minutes away. For an engaging, irresistible invitation to explore and discover, visit Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. The special KidsPlace for kids 5 and under is a kids-sized cityscape full of hands-on activities awaiting creative imaginations, crawling and climbing explorers and curious little minds. This is only one of many interactive exhibits. All ages will find excitement and be fascinated with what they learn.
If your child isn't afraid of the dark, explore the caves at Indian Echo Caverns. For a more lively experience Zoo America will heighten all of your senses. No matter what age you’re traveling with, the fluffy, scaly and feathery friends at the zoo will brighten your day. While in Hershey, be sure to check out the AACA Museum, which offers hands-on activities for kids including an assembly line experience, an interactive model train room, and the opportunity to get behind the wheel and "drive" some of the cars. And, don't miss your chance to the 12-foot tall, 26-foot long custom-made Hershey's Kissmobile cruiser, which is on long-term loan to the AACA Museum from The Hershey Company.
If you've never been on a river cruise, now is the time. The Pride of the Susquehanna, an authentic stern-driven paddle wheeler, offers 45-minute rides on the Susquehanna River. Your family will enjoy the best view of the Harrisburg skyline on one side and the beautiful Cumberland Valley on the other. Kids 3 and under are free. They also have a snack bar on board.