14 Fun Things To Do In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

things to do in harrisburg pennsylvania
| 5 min read

When it comes to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, people don’t realize how much fun the city can actually be. From parks to theme parks and museums, there is a little something for everyone to do. The city also boasts a number of amazing Airbnb vacation rentals as well as hotels with smoking rooms to accommodate visitors. Whoever travels here will surely have a sweet time!

Read on to find out about the fun things to do in Harrisburg, PA:

1. The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Museum and Archives
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ruhrfisch used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are on the lookout for a place to immerse your kids in an excellent mix of exploration, fun, and discovery, The State Museum of Pennsylvania is undoubtedly a must-visit. This attraction in downtown Harrisburg aims to preserve and exhibit the rich culture, history, and heritage of the state and introduce it to all ages. In fact, there is a special section called Curiosity Connection in the museum where imaginative children ages one to five years old can enjoy a hands-on environment.

While admission tickets are pre-purchased, walk-ins are also accepted. Meanwhile, active-duty military personnel and their immediate family, retired military personnel, and state museum affiliate members can enter for free.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Address: 300 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Website: The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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2. Broad Street Market

Broad Street Market - Stone Market House
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Meredith used under CC BY-SA 4.0

It would be rude not to indulge in the fine cuisine of Pennsylvania as you’re visiting a state with a good reputation for specialty foods. Nothing can be as authentic and local as the freshly prepared meals and baked goods offered by the vendors in Broad Street Market. It is also a superb source of organic and locally-grown produce. So if you’re dropping by, make sure to ready your shopping bags because you’ll be spoiled for choice as there are nearly 40 vendors here.

Established in 1860, this market is recognized as the oldest continuously operated market house in the US. You’ll be able to locate it particularly on the streets of North Third and Verbeke. Feel free to arrive by car as there is ample parking in the area.

Broad Street Market

Address: Broad Street Market, 1233 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17102

Website: Broad Street Market

Opening hours: Thu - Fri: 7am - 5pm; Sat: 7am - 4pm (closed on Sun - Wed)

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3. Appalachian Brewing Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

You might have seen Appalachian Brewing Company stores in other parts of Pennsylvania but its outlet in this part of the state is interestingly a must-visit. Its original brewpub is located in Harrisburg, no less, and housed in a charming three-story brick and timber structure. It takes pride in being the first brewery in the Pennsylvania State Capital.

An extensive selection of drinks awaits you here, be it on tap or served in a fancy glass. Apart from spirits, cocktails, and wines, the brewery also dishes out fresh innovative cuisine that goes well with its handcrafted ales and lagers. The impressive building was built in 1915 but its lagering room goes way back to 1890.

Appalachian Brewing Company

Address: 50 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Website: Appalachian Brewing Company

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 12nn - 10pm; Sun: 12nn - 7pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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4. Hershey Park

Hershey Park - The Boardwalk
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rj1020

Hershey Park is probably the biggest attraction in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It’s a huge theme park that can make any kid pretty happy. They have roller coasters, water rides, and a lot of yummy food for visitors to try. People tend to spend a whole day here, so be sure to pack the sunscreen if it is a sunny day and drink plenty of water so everyone in the group stays hydrated. It does cost money to get in and get ride tickets or wristbands, but after the lines at the beginning, the lines for the rides don’t normally take too long to get through. And for those that choose to ride the water rides, bring an extra pair of clothes just in case.

Hershey Park

Address: 100 W Hershey Park Dr, 17033 Hershey, PA

Website: Hershey Park

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5. National Civil War Museum

Day 4: Harrisburg, PA (National Civil War Museum)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Todd Van Hoosear used under CC BY-SA 2.0

For anyone who has an interest in the American Civil War, this is a great place to visit any time of the year. And since it is inside, it could be a perfect solution for a rainy day in Harrisburg PA. They share a little bit of everything about the American Civil War, from what they wore, what they ate, where they went, and even the uncomfortable situations of sleeping in the trenches and other such areas. The museum does cost a little money to get in, but it’s worth the price for the amount of information everyone will learn while visiting the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg PA.

National Civil War Museum

Address: 1 Lincoln Cir, 17103 Harrisburg, PA

Website: National Civil War Museum

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6. Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Expo weekend is not complete without a stop at the Reily, the 1899 firehouse that is home to our museum. Enjoy our free off-street parking, air conditioning, and amazing exhibits. See you soon!

Posted by Pennsylvania National Fire Museum on Saturday, May 21, 2022

Learning the histories of all the fire companies and what they do makes for a fascinating trip with kids or adults alike. It may take a couple hours to get through everything, but it really is a cool experience and a lot of information to absorb.

Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Address: 1820 N 4th St, 17102 Harrisburg, PA

Website: Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

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7. Adams Ricci Park

This is a community park that is located near the city of Harrisburg, They keep it extra clean so there is no worry about finding litter or any type of garbage on the grounds. It’s a perfect place to take a short walk with a partner or maybe a picnic on the grass with the kids. They also have a huge area for kids to play in, like a wooden castle for them to explore and take down the dragons at. It’s a super cute idea and they will love it all.

Adams Ricci Park

Address: 100 E Penn Dr, 17025 Enola, PA

Website: Adams Ricci Park

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8. Museum Shop

The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Source: Photo by Flickr user Governor Tom Wolf used under CC BY 2.0

A little different from usual shopping malls, the Museum Shop is for the shoppers that are traveling to Harrisburg. This is a shop that has a little bit of everything from Pennsylvania on it. Hats, pens, notebooks, toy trains and planes, and stuff animals, all with the PA flag on it or a symbol of PA. It’s a pretty cool shop to take a look at and if anything, customers can get something for their loved ones back home if they are picky people to shop for.

Museum Shop

Address: 300 N St, 17120 Harrisburg, PA

Website: Museum Shop

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9. Adventure Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Adventure Park on Monday, February 18, 2013

Just a few miles outside of Harrisburg is the biggest playground that kids can imagine, so of course, this is for the travelers that have children with them. There are huge fields for them to play soccer or football in for hours and a playground that shaped like a castle with a firetruck, swings, and slides to pull it all together. This is a free park to get into, as it’s like a community area, so for those on a budget, this is a great place to take the kids. Take a picnic basket full of goodies and enjoy the day at Adventure Park.

Adventure Park

Address: 1775 Lambs Gap Rd, 17050 Mechanicsburg, PA

Website: Adventure Park

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10. Archibald McAllister House

McAllister Mansion Ft Hunter PA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Smallbones used under CC0

Another historical place in Harrisburg, this is definitely one to check out. The Archibald McAllister House is also known as Fort Hunter Mansion in Harrisburg. It was built in 1814 and is now open as a 19th century home for people view and learn about. It sits on a 16-hectare (40-acre) farm, with different barns and machinery on it to enjoy. The house is really quite a sight to see so visitors of Harrisburg should definitely make a point of seeing this old house.

Archibald McAllister House

Address: 5300 N Front St, 17110 Harrisburg, PA

Website: Archibald McAllister House

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11. City Island

Harrisburg as seen from City Island
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JohnDziak used under CC0

City Island is a mile-long island in the Susquehanna River between Harrisburg and Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania with a lot of land to do whatever people like on it. There are a lot of people that like to play sports on the fields that run through the island. There are baseball games that go on, small train rides for smaller children, and water mini golf that people can have fun with. There is also a playground for younger children with all kinds of things to climb on, including a big wooden train. it may not be the most exciting thing in Harrisburg, but it is a nice way to spend a few hours with kids.

City Island

Address: Off Market St Bridge, 17101 Harrisburg, PA

Website: City Island

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12. Susquehanna Art Museum

Susquehanna Art Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fuzheado used under CC BY-SA 3.0

As art museums go, this is one of the better ones to visit anywhere in PA. They have some wonderful artworks to see and the staff are all really friendly and can answer most questions visitors may have on the artworks. They have a lot of different exhibits to look at, so it could take a few hours to get through everything. From motorcycle artwork to modern paintings, they have quite the pieces to look at. Some days during the week, normally Saturdays though, they have kids events where they can paint all they like and make their own artworks. It’s fun and a good way to get them to like the arts. So be sure to check out the Susquehanna Art Museum when in Harrisburg PA.

Susquehanna Art Museum

Address: 1401 N 3rd St, 17102 Harrisburg, PA

Website: Susquehanna Art Museum

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13. Tour the Pennsylvania State Capitol

The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Fall
Source: Photo by Flickr user Governor Tom Wolf used under CC BY 2.0

The Pennsylvania State Capitol runs tours which are educational and interesting for adults and children. If you’re there on a Sunday, book early as they have fewer tours. The ornate and elaborate architecture is beautiful in itself. Inside, there are many murals and painted floors worth seeing.

The round stained glass windows are stunning and the dome is spectacular. Allow about 40 minutes to see the rotunda and the wings. Visitors can even call in and speak to their representative, or watch a session taking place.

Pennsylvania State Capitol

Address: Third Street, d Street Street reet et, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Website: Pennsylvania State Capitol

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14. Wildwood Park

Wildwood Park Harrisburg PA 7539
Source: Photo by Flickr user bobistraveling used under CC BY 2.0

Wildwood Park is located on the edge of downtown Harrisburg. It’s home to many species of birds, animals, and plants. The park’s set among attractive wetlands. Trails and boardwalks are popular with those who enjoy the outdoors. In the Olewine Nature Center, you will find exhibits about the environment.

Birdwatchers, nature lovers and fitness fanatics will love the place. As you walk around, keep an eye out for the chipmunks, herons, and turtles. The park will take a couple of hours to explore.

Wildwood Park

Address: 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110-2914

Website: Wildwood Park

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Sweet times in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user kev72 used under CC BY 2.0

There are plenty of things to do in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and many of them are even kid friendly. Dine in one of the best Indian restaurants or fancy restaurants to recharge your batteries. So when traveling to, or even just through the city of Harrisburg, be sure to consider some of the listed places for a fun time! If the sun has set and you’re still not ready to turn in, there are also cool things to do at night you should definitely check out.

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Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Samantha Kern, holding a Bachelor's Degree in English, is passionately dedicated to her writing career. Her love for travel has been ingrained since her early years, with cherished memories of...Read more

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