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11 Fun Things To Do In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - Updated 2020

things to do in harrisburg pennsylvania
Samantha
Samantha
Updated

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. Whoever travels here will surely have a sweet time!

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

1. 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

2. National Civil War Museum

Convalescence Hospital -- National Museum of Civil War Medicine Frederick (MD) 2016
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ron Cogswell used under CC BY 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

3. Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

4. Adams Ricci Park

Picnic Man Basket
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

5. Museum Shop

Hats Sales Stand Headwear Summer
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

This 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

6. Adventure Park

Picnic Family Group Of People
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

7. 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

8. City Island

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

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

9. 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

10.Tour the Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania State Capitol
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ad Meskens used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

11. 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

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania, US

Sweet times in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
Source: Photo by 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. So when traveling to, or even just through the city of Harrisburg, be sure to check out some of the listed places for a fun time!

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

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Harrisburg?

If you’re planning a holiday in Harrisburg, the three top attractions you shouldn’t miss are the National Civil War Museum, National Civil War Museum, and of course, Hershey Park.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Harrisburg?

There are plenty of outdoor activities to try in Harrisburg, and one of the top things to do here is visiting its many parks, including Adams Ricci Park and Wildwood Park.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Harrisburg with kids?

If your kids are coming with you during your trip to Harrisburg and they’ve been good, then why not reward them by bringing them to Hershey Park or Adventure Park. They’ll surely have a lot of fun riding roller coasters, water rides, and trying out other exciting features.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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My name is Samantha Kern, and I have my Bachelor's Degree in English, which I'm using to pursue a career in writing. I've had a love of traveling since I was younger. My family would go to the...Read more

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