Ah, the Pocono Mountains! Many an east coast family ventures to these mountains with forested peaks in Pennsylvania every year.
That’s because it’s the perfect laid-back family vacation, with everything from horseback and go-karts to water slides and water parks.
With so much to do, it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in the Poconos with kids. Let’s get into it!
Quick View: Top 16 Things to Do in the Poconos with Kids:
- Great Wolf Lodge
- The Ranch at Pocono Manor
- The Schisler Museum and McMunn Planetarium
- Blue Lightning
- Pocono Go-Karts
- The Delaware Water Gap
- The Shawnee Playhouse
- Costa’s Family Fun Park
- Pocono Snake & Animal Farm
- Lake Harmony
- Bushkill Falls
- Claws ‘N’ Paws Wild Animal Park
- Promised Land State Park
- Camelback Resort
- Lake Wallenpaupack
- Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm
Located in Scotrun, a small town between Mount Pocono and Tannnersville, Great Wolf Lodge offers so much for little ones — PJ parties, character shows, story time…plus, of course, our indoor water park experience that’s always 84 degrees and included when you stay in one of our suites!
Get ready for the water slides! Staying somewhere else? No worries, day passes are available too! Buy your pass online and pick it up at the front desk..
Beginner or advanced, The Ranch invites you to gallop (or canter, or trot) around their beautiful 3000-acre grounds. And if you don’t feel like horsing around, why not partake in a family friendly wagon ride? They also have a petting zoo, pony rides for kids, and sleigh rides in the winter.
A great rainy-day destination, this combo science center and planetarium located in East Stroudsburg University lets you explore nature and space all under one roof! Its natural history exhibit boasts animals from all over the world, and the planetarium offers several different space shows making it a perfect thing to do with the little ones.
Reconcile your love for winter activities and warm summer weather at Blue Lightning All-Season Tubing. The year-round tubing facility features a Magic Carpet lift and two 300-foot tubing lanes. The tubes race down special runs that don’t require snow or water, meaning the kids can enjoy winter recreations even during dry summer days!
Want to race? Really, really race? This is the place. This go-kart track will satisfy those in need of an adrenaline rush, and they even have night racing in summer! The adult track is a super eight over 1400 feet long, with a tunnel running under a full-size track bridge. The kiddie track? Well, it’s a little less crazy. Also: They have mini golf and target paintball!
Who doesn’t love a good farmers market? Open since 1975, the Olympia Farmers Market attracts
over 100 vendors selling their home-grown goods. There are also crafts for sale and restaurants scattered around
the property. Go hungry and leave satisfied!
A “Water Gap” refers to any instance in which a flowing river carves right through a mountain range. And that’s exactly what you’ll find on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where the Delaware River cuts through a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Delaware Water Gap covers 40 miles of river, 67,000 acres of forested mountains and over 100 miles of hiking trails, stream ridges and mountaintops. Get ready to hike, swim, boat and fish your way around the water gap!
This local institution located in the historic Village of Shawnee puts on many great family-friendly shows every year. Recent adaptations include Schoolhouse Rock Live, based on the 1970s cartoons, classic musicals like Guys and Dolls, and original modern works.
If you’re looking for ways to fill up a summer day, take the trip to Costa’s Family Fun Park. The park, which is open from June until Labor Day, offers all sorts of attractions, from bumper boats, water slides, laser tag, arcade games and more. Make sure to stop by the the snack bar and pick up some hand-dipped Hershey’s ice cream on your way out.
Feed a black bear? Sure, you can do that here! You can also feed goats and potbellied pigs with a baby bottle. As for reptiles, they have a 14-foot King Cobra, and a 100-year-old, 150-pound alligator snapping turtle. Many animals here were rescued because their previous owners were unable to properly care for them, so you never know exactly what exotic animals you’ll find.
Lake Harmony is a hotbed for family fun. The place provides opportunities to camp, ski, swim and a whole lot more. It’s also home to the Pocono raceway, where you can take in a few different NASCAR races throughout the year! Or, check out some of the other attractions sprinkled around Lake Harmony, including a movie theater, arcade, bowling alley and indoor water park.
They call it “the Niagara of Pennsylvania.” This series of eight waterfalls, nestled deep in the wooded Pocono Mountains, is accessible via hiking trails and bridges which offer fabulous views. You can also mine for gemstones, hang out at the playground, or try out the Mining Company Maze — a fun, competitive challenge that involves more than simply finding the exit.
This animal park is only open during the summer months, so make sure to stop by during a warm-weather trips to the Poconos. Get up-close-and-personal with lions, black bears, giraffes, gibbons and other exotic creatures. There’s even a petting zoo where you can interact with some of the cuddlier creatures in the park. Think deer, goats and sheep!
If the name isn’t enough to inspire a visit, then the scenery should. Promised Land State Park rests on three thousand acres of forests, lakes and streams. Situated 1,800 feet above sea level, the park provides some pretty amazing views, making it one of the most popular places to hike and bike around the state.
If you’re looking for some outdoor water park action, look no further than Camelback Resort. Hailed as the biggest outdoor water park in the Poconos, the popular Camelback Resort boasts over 37 rides, slides and other kid friendly attractions. There are also zip-lining excursions and obstacle courses offered in their mountain adventure park. During the winter months, the area offers places to ski, tube and snowboard as well. Talk about a year-round package!
Now try saying that ten times fast! Lake Wallenpaupack was originally named by the Lenape Indians and translates to “the stream of swift and slow water.” It covers 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline and provides tons of opportunity for family fun. Enjoy kayaking excursions, boat rentals, swimming, fishing areas and more. There are plenty of dry-land activities to explore around the area, as well. We’re talking hiking trails, horseback riding, camping and more!
Ever wish you could travel back in time? Now’s your chance! The Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm is a living history museum designed to preserve 19th century Pennsylvania German agricultural heritage. Expect to find period actors dressed as they did during the 1800s. Situated on 114 acres of beautiful pastures, woodlands and streams, Quiet Valley will give you and your family a dose how people lived years ago. An extra perk? There are tons of cute animals running around the farm. Rabbits, chickens, pigs, horses and more!
Looking for more information on having a great family vacation in The Pocono Mountains? Check out their visitor’s bureau! If you haven’t already found a place to stay during your trip, think about making Great Wolf Lodge home base. Sign up for our email list to learn more about our best deals!