We stopped in Harrisburg, PA on our way to Gettysburg. But, Harrisburg unexpectedly became the highlight of the trip. We’ve gone back to explore some more and I have to say, Pennsylvania’s capital has a lot to offer. Let me share our favorite spots!

The Pennsylvania National Fire Fighter Museum

This small museum, dedicated to Pennsylvania fire fighter history, is gorgeous. My little boy was enthralled with all the fire trucks.

Horse drawn wagons with shiny bells, leather fire helmets, and all sorts of interesting contraptions are on display. Everything is pristine and the staff is super friendly.

They even gave my kids plastic fire helmets to wear home. We loved it. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for children. But, two adults and all children under 18 can appreciate a family rate of $20. They are closed on Mondays. Click Here for more info and address.

Midtown Scholar

A bookworm’s Mecca, Midtown scholar is what librarian’s dreams are made of. This is the most beautiful bookstore I’ve ever seen. My daughter and I wandered around in here entranced.

A cup of hot tea and a juice box, a funny picture book and a used copy of a biography I’d been wanting…Saturday afternoon perfection.

They house 200,000 volumes. They carry first editions, rare antiques, second hand, and brand new books. And, can I say again how lovely it is? The meandering stairs, the exposed beams, the smell of fresh coffee and old pages…ahhh. More info and to order online.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania

This museum has something for everyone. Dinosaurs, art, cars, and a wonderful children’s area.

They call the children’s wing the Curiosity Connection. It is geared for the littlest museum goers, children 5 and younger. They are welcomed by a giant fuzzy yellow peep in a farm themed area. My daughter planted and replanted fabric vegetables while my son was busy building Mack trucks on an assembly line. My mother and I enjoyed the anthropology exhibits and the areas devoted to the civil war.

This is a world class museum. Admission is $7 for people over 12 years of age, $5 for children. There’s a discount for seniors and active duty military (and their immediate family) are free. There’s a planetarium for an additional fee. To learn more about special events.

City Island

In the middle of the Susquehanna river, there is a magical little island.

It’s 63 acres of family fun. There’s a minor league baseball stadium, a carousel, a miniature train, and playgrounds.

As if that weren’t enough, there’s a paddle wheeled riverboat, the Pride of Susquehanna, horse-drawn carriage rides, miniature golf, and batting cages. Come here to run or to relax. For directions to get to the island, click here.

PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center

Gun and Knife shows, open air farmer’s market, dog shows, rodeos, auto auctions, even high school graduations take place here. My dad attends their Sportsman’s Expo every year. 4H clubs travel here from all over to show horses.

The venue is nearly 1 million square feet. They host 200 events a year. This is Pennsylvania’s place to have large events. So, check it out! With everything from Sneaker Expo to Archery Championships, there’s always something going on. For event details

So, check it Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You won’t be disappointed.

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