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Summer Day Trip Ideas

It's barely a more than a week before the kids start getting out of school for the summer. Get them (and yourself) out of the house with some of these easily accessible getaways.

That day in July is coming, and you know it: School’s been out for weeks, the AC is on the fritz and the kids are so bored with going to the pool. 

How about a day trip?

Summer is a great time to explore the myriad destinations we have within a few hours’ driving distance. So load the kids up, pack a picnic lunch, fill your car’s gas tank and hit the road!

Check out Patch’s day-trip suggestions, with free or low-cost activity ideas, or plan your own daylong adventure and tell us all about it!

Lancaster County boasts America’s oldest continuously operating farm market, Lancaster Central Market, open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Check out regional food specialties and Amish Country souvenirs. 

Adamstown is known as the Antiques Capital of the U.S., because of the heavy concentration of shops and dealers in the area. Find great deals on furniture, collectibles and lots more.

Take the Herr’s Snack Factory Tour. Schedule a free tour and witness the production of your favorite snacks firsthand! 

Lace up your sneakers and take the Historic Lancaster Walking Tour. Guided tours leave the Visitor’s Center every day at 1 p.m., and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. $7 for adults and $1 for children 6 to 18. Discounts available for students and seniors, children under 6 free.

Take a horse-and-buggy ride. No trip to Amish Country would be complete without one! Choose from a 55-minute ride passing under a real covered bridge, or a 35-minute back-country tour. Prices vary by ride selection.

Gettysburg is the site of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. Start your day at the National Military Park and tour the battlefields, see statues and monuments, and check out special programs and exhbits. Make a reservation at the Visitor Center for a battlefield tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide. Entry to the park is free, but there are admission charges for museum exhibits and the guided battlefield tours.)

If you happen to find yourself in Gettysburg after the sun goes down, take the Gettysburg Ghost Tour. Professional storytellers will lead you on a one-hour walking tour. Tours are rain or shine, and umbrellas are provided. Reservations are not required but tickets are first-come, first-served. $8 adults 12 and over, $5 children.

Make a stop at the Gettysburg Railroad Station Museum. Train buffs will appreciate the station’s 19th century building and collection of trains, and history aficionados will love knowing that the train Abraham Lincoln rode on his way to delivering the Gettysburg Address arrived at this station. 

Explore Gettysburg’s Wine & Fruit Trail, including wineries, orchard markets, nurseries and a Christmas tree farm. Download the brochure and follow the trail to experience the best home-grown goodness the area has to offer. Check out the special events for 2012.

Visit the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve’s 609 acres in the foothills of the South Mountain Range. Discover the preserve’s diverse habitats, 10 miles of walking/hiking trails, unique rock formations and more.

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