A couple of weeks ago, my kids and I headed north to York, PA to enjoy a couple of snow days off from school. Our school system called on a Tuesday evening to say the schools would be closed the rest of the week, so I knew we had to escape, and off we went to York.
York is known for its factory tours, including Synder’s and Utz, even Harley-Davidson. In fact, there are so many factories to explore that York hosts Made in America Days every June to allow visitors to see how everything from violins to pretzels to bath fizzies are made. Such a great idea.
If you’re looking for an easy escape with the kids, think about York. Here are 10 things you really must do if you visit York as a family. Have fun. 🙂
1. Go Snow Tubing at AvalancheXpress. Clearly, you can only go snow tubing in the winter, but it’s a must in York. Head to AvalancheXpress for 10 lanes of tubing fun. There’s even an outdoor ice skating rink to enjoy once you’re done tubing. Stay at the Heritage Hills Resort, which is across the parking lot from AvalancheXpress. Check out the latest nightly rates and more details.
2. Eat a York Peppermint Pattie. I know, that sounds random, but while in York… I had no idea, but the York Peppermint Pattie actually hails from York, PA (I also had no idea that it was “pattie” instead of “patty”). Today, Hershey Foods owns the York Peppermint Pattie and makes them in nearby Hershey, PA.
3. Make Bath Fizzies at Sunrise Soap Company. In downtown York, it’s a must to stop at Sunrise Soap Company. The owner, Chris, makes soaps, lotions, bath bombs, and of course, bath fizzies. She’s also super visitor-friendly and will put you to work immediately. My kids loved being able to mix and cut soaps, as well as make their own bath fizzies.
4. Go on a Factory Tour at Snyder’s. On your way to York, make a stop for a factory tour at Snyder’s (which technically is located in Hanover). The tour is free and is offered several times daily. Call ahead for reservations, just in case. After the tour, shop the “factory seconds” in the factory store and get pretzels and chips for as little as 15 cents a bag.
5. Eat Breakfast at the Central Market. While in York, it’s a must to stop at the Central Market. It’s fun to walk around to see the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats for sale from the various vendors. Eat breakfast at The Copper Crust. The pastries are amazing, as are the breakfast sandwiches. The Central Market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
6. Try the Dipping Sauces at York City Pretzel Company. Everyone loves the soft pretzels at York City Pretzel Company and it’s a must to order all four of the dipping sauces, including the special root beer mustard sauce. They’re just 50 cents a piece and are such a fun way to experience these Bavarian-style soft pretzels. While you’re there, walk to the back of the store to watch as the pretzels are made.
7. Visit with Baby Cows at Perrydell Farm. Seriously, so adorable. Stop at Perrydell Farm and Dairy to visit with cows and baby calves. If you time it just right, you can even watch the cows being milked (3:30-5:30 pm daily) or the calves being fed (4 pm daily). Treat yourself to a hand-dipped ice cream cone before you go.
8. Eat a Donut at Glazin’. I’ll admit, we did not eat a donut at Glazin’, but the guy behind the counter at the York City Pretzel Company recommended them so highly that I wished we had time to try one (or more than one). With flavors like Salted Caramel Glazed and Maple Bacon Glazed, I can see why this donut shop was so highly lauded. I’m definitely going back.
9. Check Out Ballocity at Bogey Macaws. Kids will love eating dinner at Bogey Macaws. Not only do they have a lot of kid-friendly dishes, like personal pizzas and cheeseburgers, but when you upgrade to the Super Kid, you’ll get tokens to play loads of arcade games. You’ll also get free access to Ballocity, a super-fun obstacle course with foam balls, slides and climbing structures.
10. Come back for Made in America Days. We had so much fun exploring York in a short time that it looks like we’ll need to go back for Made in America Days. We’ll need to hit the Utz factory tour and watch the milk being bottled at Perrydell. And, of course, we’ll be all over Glazin’. Yum.
Disclaimer: I was hosted by the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau while in York. However, I was not compensated for this article and all opinions expressed here are my own.