17 Things to Do in Amish Country/Lancaster PA (2024)

Getaway for a long weekend or a few days and visit Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country. These 17 things to do in Amish Country in Lancaster PA will give you the total Amish experience and also other things in this area too.

If you never explored Amish Country before you are in for a treat. Let’s first talk about what is Amish.

Amish is a religion and these people live their lives in a very simple way without modern amenities.

They believe in the old ways like working the land and being self-sufficient. They live their lives as people did 300 years ago.

You get to experience examples of this when visiting Amish Country. Here is a list of facts about the Amish people along with some of their traditions:

  • Horse and buggy is their transportation
  • They plow the fields with mules and donkeys
  • They don’t use electricity in their houses
  • Everything from tools to lamps is run by gas (propane)
  • They bake everything from scratch
  • Children only go to school until 8th grade.
  • Schools are one-room schoolhouse with one teacher who teaches all ages
  • There are no telephones in their houses rather several households share one phone in a phone booth on the road mostly for business use
  • The Amish are very hard-working people
  • Before teens turn 18 they can experience the outside world but most choose to stay with the Amish lifestyle
  • Sunday is a religious day with church services in the morning and visiting in the afternoon, they do not work on Sundays
  • They have no church building as they take turns having church at their house and food for all the attendees
  • The Amish community works together and always help each other
  • They make their clothes
  • Quilting is big business in the Amish community (and they are beautiful)
  • Most are farmers
  • They only marry in November and December when all farming is done for the year
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Table of Contents

Things to do in Amish Country

Here is alist of things to do and see in Amish Country as well as non-Amish things inthe area to experience. From eating to shopping to many tours, there issomething for everyone.

Here is a list of things to do and see in Amish Country as well as non-Amish things in the area to experience. From eating to shopping to many tours, there is something for everyone.

1. Visit Shady Maple

Shady Mapleis well known in the Amish Country as one of the best places to eat and shop for over 40 years.

Located in East Earl, PA, it features a smorgasbord, banquet center, farmers market, and gift shop.

Shady Maple is famous for its smorgasbord in its 800 seat restaurant serving more than 1.5 million people each year with 200 feet of home-cooked Amish food. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner 6 days a week (closed on Sunday).

On any given Saturday they serve more than 800 lbs. of bacon. From Amish favorites of fried chicken, dried corn to apple dumplings and shoo-fly pie there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Shady Maple Farmer Market is also open 6 days a week and features many of the foods that are served in their smorgasbord. Here you can get many Amish specialties such as sweet bologna, bread filling, ham balls, slab bacon, and stuffed chicken to name a few.

The store has a big bulk food section including every kind of spice you can think of, dips, soups, cereals, baking products, candy, nuts and so much more. They also have over 100 kinds of smoked meats, fresh seafood, large deli, and prepared salads and desserts.

The in-store bakery employees over 100 and sells over 300 different bake items. With over 75 different kinds of donuts, Shady Maple sells over 3.5 million each year including smores, maple bacon, jelly, and cream-filled donuts. They also are known for their whoopie pies (in several favors including seasonal ones) and make several kinds of cookies, cakes, and pies.

There is the Dutchette Restaurant adjacent to the Farmers Market which serves cafeteria-style for a quick bite to eat.

The lower level of the main smorgasbord has a huge (44,000 sq. ft.) gift shop with all different kinds of items. When visiting Amish country make sure to stop by for a visit.

Be sure to readRestaurants in Lancaster PA, Amish Food at its Bestfor other places to eat while in Amish Country.

2. Kitchen Kettle Village

Kitchen Kettle Village is a quaint shopping area with 42 shops, 2 restaurants, and a hotel. They are known for their jam, jelly, and bakeshop. You can sample many of there jellies and other products such as pickles, beets, salsa, and sauces. You can watch them make the product they are “canning” for the day.

Other stores include the fudge shop where they make fudge daily and yes you can sample it. It’s so good! A coffee shop, a pretzel shop, an olive oil store, a pottery store, and a Christmas shop. They also offer AAA Buggy Rides at the Village.Kitchen Kettle Village

One of my favorite restaurants in the area is The Kling House, which is opened for events, private parties and occasional meals.

Although not Amish food, they serve fresh homemade meals. Their menu changes seasonally but is known for their Crème Brulee French Toast and Coconut Crème Pie and Crème Brulee for dessert.

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3. Turkey Hill Experience

The best part of visiting the Turkey Hill Experience is trying all the different ice cream and ice tea samples. Yes, that’s right, you get to taste some classic Turkey Hill flavors as well as some new flavors not yet in stores. But that’s not all you can do here.

Although this is not an actual tour of the factory, it offers exhibits on how they make their ice cream and ice tea. It’s a kid-friendly experience with many interactive opportunities for your children such as “milking a cow”, creating your own ice cream flavor and making a commercial. In addition, there are several kid play areas.

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Tickets can be purchased online (and is recommended during peak season) for $10.50 for adults and $10.00 for children ages 4 to 12. Children 3 and under and military personnel are free.

Turkey Hill also offers a Taste Lab (for an additional fee) where you can actually make your own masterpiece. You start with a base flavor (ex. vanilla) and add different flavors and colors to create your own ice cream. Please allow an additional hour for your visit.

Website: Turkey Hill Experience

Check out other fun food factory tours in Pennsylvania. Some are nearby.

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4. Take an Amish Buggy Ride

Experiencing a buggy ride is a must-do when visiting the Amish Country. Can you even imagine only having this as your transportation? I can’t, but this is how the Amish still live today!Buggy ride around Amish Country

AAA Buggy Ride

AAA Buggy Rides, located at Kitchen Kettle Village, offers 3 different rides on a horse-drawn carriage around the Amish Country.

There is a 4-mile ride for $16 for adults and $8 for kids under 12 (under 2 free) that’s around 35 minutes long. A 5 miles ride for $20 for adults and $10 for children which is 55 minutes long, going under a covered bridge. They also offer a 60-minute ride with a tour of an Amish dairy farm for $26 for adults and $12 for children.

Ed’s Buggy Ride

Ed’s Buggy Rides is located on Route 896 across the road from Sight & Sound Theater. They offer a 3.5 mile, 40-minute tour in an authentic Amish Buggy on the back farm roads and a one hour ride that also tours an Amish farm.

Drivers will teach you about the Amish culture and how they lived for many centuries. You can also enjoy a petting zoo for your kids while waiting for your adventure.

Abe’s Buggy Rides

Abe’s Buggy Ride offers the most tours of all ( five in total) depending on how long, how much, and what you want to see in a real Amish-style buggy. Tours start at $10 and go up to $60 for adults and $5 to $15 for children, respectfully. They are located on Route 340 in Bird-in-Hand, PA.

These are the rides they offer:

  • 20-minute ride (2.3 miles) around the surrounding farmland
  • 30 minutes (3.5 miles) around the peaceful farmland of the Amish country.
  • 45 minutes, 4.5-mile ride passes a one-room Amish schoolhouse where many times you may see children playing on the grounds.
  • 1-hour ride that also passes the schoolhouse but gives you an option to stop at an Amish farm to walk around or a craft and bake shop where you can purchase Amish items.
  • 1 hour and fifteen minutes non-stop tour (6.5 miles) along the Amish countryside.

All of the above rides are just with your party.

Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Ride

Aaron & Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides is located on Route 340 next to Plain & Fancy Farm and offers 3 “buggy ride” experiences.

  • The Cookie Tour is the shortest at 25 minutes around the farm area with a stop at a farm stand when you can purchase cookies. This tour is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
  • A 35-minute tour takes you around the farmland area and is $15 for adults and $8 for children.
  • An Amish Farm tour is 60 minutes and you go to a real Amish Farm and see horses and cows. This experience is $22 for adults and $12 for children.

Aaron and Jessica is the only buggy ride available on Sunday and offers 35 minutes around Amish farms but doesn’t make any stops. The Sunday Tour is $16 for adults and $8 for children.

Note: All of the above buggy rides offer discount coupons you can get in the local Amish guide book.

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5. Dutch Wonderland

Enjoy a family fun day at Pennsylvania kid based amusem*nt park, Dutch Wonderland. Located right in Lancaster on Route 30, Dutch Wonderland offers 35 rides and shows including 7 just for kids (under 54″) rides.

Many rides are geared for the whole family. Take your kids to Exploration Island, where they can experience 20 life-like dinosaurs on Prehistoric Path and take a gondola cruise around the island. You can also dig for fossils at Dino Dig.

There are roller coasters to bumper cars to a sky ride, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There is also a water section with fun including Duke’s Lagoon, Pipeline Plunge from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.

During November and December, Dutch Wonderland transforms into a Winter Wonderland. This features 20 rides and family attractions with thousands of lights are all over the park and festive holiday music. You can even met Santa and take pictures and give him your kid’s wishlist!

Website: Dutch Wonderland

6. Strasburg Rail Road

The Strasburg Railroad is a scenic 45-minute train ride through beautiful Amish farm country.

You get to choose from one of five steam trains and ride in one of 20 passenger cars. This equipment is all original and has been restored before the railroad became a tourist attraction.

The train travels to Paradise, PA. You can get off at one of two picnic recreation areas. Groff’s Grove and Leaman Place Grove offer picnic tables, charcoal grills, and porta-potty and at Groff’s a playground area.

You can experience several different cars, from parlor to dining, presidential, and open-air, each car offers a different experience.

The railroad also offers events during the year including Thomas the Train, Easter Bunny, and Santa’s Paradise Express, the Great Train Robbery and so much more.

The Strasburg Railroad is open all year, visit theirwebsitefor more information.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is also located in Strasburg. This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of railroading in Pennsylvania and across the United States. The museum features a large collection of historic locomotives and rail cars, along with interactive exhibits, educational programs, and special events.

Visitors to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania can explore more than 100 historic locomotives and rail cars, ranging from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. The museum also has a vast array of railroad artifacts, model train displays, and interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on experience for visitors of all ages. It’s a must-see destination for railroad enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning more about the history of rail transportation in America.

7. Visit an Amish Farmers Market

There are four farmers’ markets around Lancaster, all selling Amish goods. All of these markets carry homegrown and homemade products from many different vendors.

You can find homemade baked goods, spices, jellies, and canning products in addition to wood products, quilts, and paintings. Vendors bring meats, fruits, and vegetables as well as soft pretzels and funnel cakes.

Some are indoor and outdoor markets and some are just indoor.

The Bird In Hand Market is open Friday and Saturday all year, Wednesdays from April to November, and Thursdays, from July to October. It is located on Route 340 in Bird-in-Hand.

If you only have a short time in the Amish Country this is the market to see. It’s the smallest one but has many vendors. This is my favorite market and is well worth the trip. You will get the all-around experience of an Amish market here.

The other three markets are much bigger and could take 4 to 5 hours to see all the many buildings. Also if staying on the main strips of Route 30 or Route 340, these markets are a bit of a ride.

  • Green Dragon (opened on Fridays)
  • Roots Market (open Tuesdays)
  • Lancaster Central Market (open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays)
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    8. Go See a Show

    They are many theaters around the Lancaster area offering different types of entertainment.

    Sight & Sound Theater

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    The Sight & Sound Theater is “where biblical stories come to life”.

    The theatre is known for magnificent sets and costumes, live animals, spectacular music, and special effects.

    For the 2024 season, Daniel will be playing beginning March through December.

    For information visit here.

    American Music Theater

    American Music Theater located on Route 30 in Lancaster offers Broadway-style musicals and celebrity concerts. With over 300 shows each year including a Christmas musical show there is something for everyone.

    Bird-in-Hand Stage

    The Bird-In-Hand Stage offers musicals and magic shows. They are having six shows for 2024 including:

    • The Confession (4/4 to 8/3)
    • Ryan & Friends (4/6 to 10/19)
    • Half-Stitched (8/13 to 10/24)
    • Ryan & Friends Christmas (11/14 to 11/22 and 12/13 to 12/28)
    • The Christmas Candy Caper (11/1 to 12/28)

    9. Try Some Amish Food

    Shoo-fly pie, apple dumplings, apple butter, funnel cake, soft pretzels, scrapple, buttered noodles, sweet bologna, country sausage, ham, and dried corn are some of the many Amish foods.

    When visiting the Amish Country in Lancaster be sure to experience some of their many favors. Amish cooking is hearty and made from ingredients from their farms. Many types of meat are cured and they offer many smoked kinds of cheese and the Amish love their sweets!

    There are many Amish restaurants in Lancaster that serve traditional Amish food. Many of these restaurants are smorgasbords or family-style.

    Some to consider are Shady Maple, Miller’s Smorgasbord, Dienner’s Country Restaurant, Hershey Farms, Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant, and Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet.

    Read Amish Foood at its Best for more information in dining the Lancaster PA.

    10. Shop at the Outlets

    Lancaster is also known for outlet shopping. They have two major outlet centers, Tanger Center Outlets and Rockvale Outlets located on Route 30.

    Rockvale Outlets offers 3 sections with over 75 stores from restaurants, clothes stores, shoes, housewares, and specialty. To name a few. Vanity Fair, Reading Glass, Lenox, Disney, Kirkland, and Cracker Barrel and among the many outlets available for your shopping pleasure. A new playground was opened in 2019 for your kids to enjoy.

    Tanger Outlets has over 70 stores featuring apparel, jewelry, home furnishings, shoes, and accessories. Some stores are Old Navy, The Gap, Bath & Body Works, Coach, and Justice.

    Both outlets are open 7 days a week with hours varying depending on the season.

    11. Go to an Amish Store

    I’ve been going to the Amish Country for over 40 years so I’ve come to know and love this area. There are many Amish stores that it’s just too many to list so I’m going to mention some of my favorites that I always go to when I visit.

    Kaufman Fruit Farm & Market

    Kaufman Fruit Farm & Market is located on Route 340 in Bird-in-Hand. It’s a family-run business, known for its homemade apple cider.

    I go there for apples in the fall, apple cider (the freshest you’ll ever have), and bulk baking items (every kind of sprinkles you can think of, vanilla, and fruits in a pouch).

    Don’t forget their famous apple cider donuts if you’re there between June and October.

    The Old Candle Barn

    The Old Candle Barn is located on Route 340 in Intercourse, PA. For over 40 years they’ve been making candles the old-fashion way, hand-dipped and poured into moles.

    This large store carries all kinds and sizes of candles with decorative items that you will love in your home.

    The factory is in the lower level of the store and you can take a free tour Monday to Friday from 8 to 4 to see how the candles are made.

    Peaceful Valley Amish Furniture

    With three locations, Peaceful Valley Amish Furniture is handmade furniture made by the Amish.

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    This store is known for its handcrafted wood furniture and outdoor furniture. They also carry beautiful home decor items that enhance the beauty of your home.

    Stoltzfus Meats

    Stoltzfus Meats, located in Intercourse, PA., a family-run market since 1954, known for its homemade sausages and meat products.

    At this location, there is a small retail market, butcher and cheese shop in addition to a very good restaurant serving breakfast and lunch called Amos’ Place.

    I go there for maple breakfast sausage and their famous grillers that come in many favors. They also have delicious cheese spreads.

    12. Lancaster County Food Tour

    There are many food factory tours within a short ride of the Amish Country (Lancaster). Here are a few but you can get more details of all the Fun Food Factory Tours in Pennsylvania.

    Herr’s Snack Factory Tour

    Come see how Herr’s chips and pretzels are made in this real working factory tour. You will see the actual products and learn what kinds of seasonings and ingredients they use in their products.

    Tours are Monday to Thursday from 9 to 3 and Friday from 9 to 11. Productions cannot be guaranteed on Thursday and Friday.

    Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery Tour

    Located in Lititz, Pa, this is Sturgis’s original bakery and houses the original equipment used by the company.

    You learn about the history of making pretzels and are able to hand-twist you’re very own.

    At the end of the tour, you can purchase soft pretzels and drinks and also their horse and buggy hard pretzels, which are made for the Amish, and sold in stores in Lancaster.

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    13. Tour an Amish Farm

    Old Windmill Farm, Amish Farm Tour

    Located in Ronks, PA the Old Windmill Farm offers farm and garden tours. You will be able to milk a cow, feed a calf, and pick up eggs.

    In addition, you will also learn about the crops grown on the farm and the way the Amish farm uses mules.

    The Amish Village

    The Amish Village is a popular tourist attraction located in Ronks, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Lancaster County’s Amish Country. This unique destination provides visitors with a glimpse into the life and culture of the Amish community. The village offers a variety of experiences, including guided tours of an authentic Amish farmhouse, demonstrations of traditional Amish crafts, and a tour of a one-room Amish schoolhouse.

    The Amish Village also features a barn with farm animals, a blacksmith shop, and a variety of shops selling Amish-made goods, such as quilts, crafts, and foods. Visitors can explore the picturesque grounds and learn about the Amish way of life through interactive exhibits and knowledgeable guides. It’s a great place to experience the simplicity and charm of Amish culture in a scenic rural setting.

    14. Wolf Sanctuary of PA

    The Wolf Sanctuary of PA is a non-profit organization caring for over 40 wolves that were rescued from environments that were not suited for them.

    These wolves and wolf dogs are being taken care of, on over 80 acres, by donations and money raised from wolf tours.

    You can see these beautiful animals during tours offered by volunteers on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. These tours range from one to two hours and are between $12 to $15.

    They also offer full moon tours for $20 and photography sessions for $35.

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    15. Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

    The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is a 14-mile multi-use rail trail. It runs along the Susquehanna River beginning in Columbia, PA, and goes through Marietta and currently ends in Bainbridge.

    This paved trail offers beautiful views of the river, Chickie Rock, and some remaining river “locks”. You also pass the abandoned brick kilns at Clay Iron Furnace ruins.

    There are benches for rest along the way and a fresh spring for water. At Columbia station, you can get something to eat and restrooms are available.

    16. Landis Valley Villages & Farm Museum

    Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum is a living history museum located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the cultural heritage of Pennsylvania’s rural communities, with a focus on the Pennsylvania German experience from 1740 to 1940. The museum features historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and exhibits that illustrate the everyday lives of early Pennsylvania settlers.

    Visitors to Landis Valley Village can explore a variety of historic structures, including homes, barns, and workshops, all set in a picturesque rural landscape. The museum also hosts special events, workshops, and educational programs throughout the year, making it a great destination for families, history enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about Pennsylvania’s rich cultural heritage.

    17. Lancaster Balloon Rides

    Lancaster Balloon Rides offers hot air balloon adventures over the scenic countryside of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This unique experience provides breathtaking views of the area’s picturesque landscapes, including rolling farmlands, Amish homesteads, and charming small towns.

    The balloon rides are typically scheduled around sunrise or sunset, which are the best times for calm winds and stunning vistas. Lancaster Balloon Rides operates from Bird-in-Hand, a quaint village located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The company offers a variety of flight packages, including shared and private rides, and provides passengers with a memorable and serene way to experience the beauty of Lancaster County from above.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can tell, there are many things to do in the Amish Country. It’s great to experience this simple way of life, even for just a couple of days.

    Be sure to take the buggy ride and shop in an Amish store and eat Amish food cause, after all, that’s what it’s all about, to experience Amish Country.

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