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Discover Family Fun in Pennsylvania’s Popular Americana Region

If you only have one day to spend in Pennsylvania, you want to make it as fun as possible. 

Planning an exciting trip that everyone in your tribe will remember can be challenging. Luckily, the Keystone State has something for everyone to enjoy.

Today, we’re looking at how you and your family can enjoy a day of retro fun in Pennsylvania. 

Let’s dive in!

Drive in movie goers have fun watching a movie at the local drive-in in Pennsylvania
Take the family to Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre for a unique treat

About Pennsylvania’s Americana Region

Pennsylvania’s Americana Region is home to breathtaking scenery, one-of-a-kind festivals, and historically significant sites. You’ll find a diverse range of experiences to enjoy in this part of the state.

The region centers on Reading, Pennsylvania, and includes Berks, Lancaster, and Chester counties. With a blend of history, culture, and small-town charm, you’re likely to have an unforgettable trip.

Because the Americana Region is different things to different people, it can be challenging to explain in a few words. But when The PEOPLE Chronicles asked locals what the area meant to them, it painted a good picture.

One resident described it as “fairs, festivals, and All-American cherry pie.” Another person stated that it represents the “best that America has to offer.”

Where Is the Americana Region of Pennsylvania?

The Americana Region of Pennsylvania sits in the state’s southeastern area, west of Philadelphia. As a result, it combines urban life with rolling hills and the slower pace of rural living.

Reading is by far the largest city in the region. You’ll find museums, theaters, and a thriving downtown area to explore. It’s within Berks County, also home to popular locations like the Daniel Boone Homestead and the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.

Lancaster County offers some beautiful landscapes. In addition, it’s home to large Amish and Mennonite communities. As a result, the county has a reputation for its farmlands, horse-drawn buggies, and covered bridges. This is the place to visit if you want to enjoy some traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine.

Lastly, don’t overlook Chester County. Some popular attractions include Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum of Art. It’s also home to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where General George Washington camped with his troops during the Revolutionary War.

Learn more about the Amish and Mennonite communities: Where Do The Amish Live in the USA?

Is the Oley Valley Community Fair in Pennsylvania Fun for Families?

The Oley Valley Community Fair is a family-friendly event suitable for all ages. Hundreds of volunteers work tirelessly every September to ensure everyone has a memorable experience. In 2022, more than 6,300 participants took part in the friendly competition.

The fair is most known for its french fries, hamburgers, and the smells of Dutch delicacies. However, you won’t find restaurant vendors at this event. Instead, over 20 churches prepare and serve the food. The result is a top-notch experience for your taste buds.

Throughout the weekend, you’ll see a variety of live entertainment and performances, including high school marching bands and ventriloquists. The fair offers a lot of fun and entertaining activities the whole family will enjoy.

Fun Things To Do Near Pennsylvania’s Americana Region

Beyond the fair, the Americana Region has no shortage of fun things to do while visiting the area. Here are a few ideas to help you start filling your schedule.

Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre

The Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre is a blast from the past. Built in 1934, it’s the country’s oldest drive-in and one of about 300 remaining in the USA. Enjoy a fun night out in classic Pennsylvania style with the whole family. 

As with other outdoor movie theaters, Shankweiler’s offers a double feature. But plan on a long night because flicks start roughly 20 minutes after sundown. Check the schedule on their website for current movies and showtimes.

Head into the city to tour some movie sites: Can I Visit Famous Filming Locations in Philadelphia?

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is in downtown Reading. It’s a 145,000-square-foot facility that offers the opportunity to enjoy a variety of types of art. You’ll find everything from ceramics to woodworking and everything in between. They also offer regular classes and workshops to help you discover new creative outlets.

The center began operating in 1871. Each year, they welcome more than 250,000 visitors, and it’s slowly grown to become one of the largest interactive art centers in the country. You and your family can sign up for a class and test your creative skills. If you come in early December, you’ll experience their winter holiday market. 

Schell’s Restaurant, Dairy Swirl, and Miniature Golf

This family-owned establishment began serving the area in 1952. With 27 unique holes of miniature golf, it’s the perfect opportunity for your family to have fun in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region. The landscaping is pristine, and the greens are well-manicured. It can be an entertaining way to enjoy healthy competition amongst your group.

You’re likely to work up an appetite after a day of golfing. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to quench your cravings. Schell’s Restaurant serves favorites, including hamburgers and hot dogs. And for dessert, enjoy an ice cream cone or a handspun milkshake from the Dairy Swirl. We certainly won’t judge if you jump straight to the sweet stuff!

Shot of a happy young boy getting an ice-cream cone, possibly while having fun in the Pennsylvania Americana Region
Take the family to the Dairy Swirl for a fun game of mini-golf and top it off with an ice cream treat

Best Places to Stay Near Pennsylvania’s Americana Region

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay close to the action. Thankfully, several excellent options are available for you to consider in the Americana Region.

Pine Hill RV Park

Pine Hill RV Park offers 125 large sites suitable for any size rig. Unfortunately, they don’t allow tent camping. It’s a seasonal campground and typically opens at the beginning of April each year and closes at the end of November. 

You’ll love the immaculate, well-kept grounds and peaceful environment. In addition, they offer just about anything you could need while camping. And while you may need to drive to some area attractions, an incredible winery, Folino Estate, is next to the park. 

Hope Pryde Farm Bed and Breakfast

If you want a more luxurious experience, staying at a bed and breakfast is one way to achieve it. Hope Pryde Farm welcomes guests to their 200-year-old farmstead. While it may be old, it’s undergone several modern renovations to maximize comfort.

Each morning, you’ll enjoy a delicious Pennsylvania Dutch country breakfast. Many of the ingredients for the meal are fresh from the farm. However, with only two rooms available, you’ll want to plan early to snag a reservation. For a weekend or overnight stay, this can be the perfect place to rest before your next adventure.

Hampton Inn and Suites Kutztown

The Hampton Inn and Suites in Kutztown offers standard hotel-style accommodations. You’ll enjoy amenities such as free WiFi and a complimentary hot breakfast each morning.

They offer a variety of guest accommodations, including suites and ADA-accessible rooms. Additionally, they’re pet-friendly. You can bring your fur babies with you for a small fee. This is the best choice for anyone wanting to stay close to the action without sacrificing comfort.

Bring a little Americana into your home with this 500-Piece EZ-Grip Fourth of July Puzzle.

Is a Road Trip to Pennsylvania’s Americana Region Worth It?

As you can see, you don’t have to try too hard to find fun things to do in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region. When we say there’s something for everybody, we mean it. Between outdoor adventures and exciting festivals and events, you won’t run out of activities to enjoy.

So plan an unforgettable and fun road trip experience to Pennsylvania. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time to a slightly slower pace of life.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: