a trip to the hands-on house in Lancaster, PA

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30.05.15

We took a trip to the Hands-on House Children’s Museum in Lancaster, PA recently. I had taken Holden to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia when she was about 18 months old and we had a lot of fun, so I was psyched to find a kids’ play museum so close to home.

I was told in advance that there would be age-appropriate activities that could scale for a one-year-old and an almost-three-year-old, so we gave it a shot.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

The Hands-on House boasts several indoor interactive exhibits. First is “My Backyard,” which resembles a woodland wonderland.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

The Fun Farm.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

The Corner Grocery Store.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Mostly Make-Believe, the dress-up section, complete with pirate ship!

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Marty’s Machine Shop, filled with all sorts of whozeewhats and thingamajigs.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

And the fantastic Play Garden.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

It’s easy to see how Hands-on House is great for all age levels, even little crawlers like GB. We were able to find activities to entertain both of them in each exhibit. He was a bit skeptical at first:

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

But soon he was climbing and exploring away in My Backyard.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog 

We had a ton of fun over in The Farm area. Holden especially loved picking corn.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

So cool — the ears were velcroed to the wall!

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

She kept stealing corn from the grocer’s basket to feed to the pig.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

We were cracking up at the egg-laying chicken activity, no pun intended. Every now and then an egg would come shooting out, surprising both of us.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Both kids hopped up in the driver’s seat of the tractor. Getting them to take turns was no small miracle.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

We stopped in between The Farm and The Grocery Store to deliver some mail and blast some germs.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Here’s a great example of the scaled activities. Each exhibit has a mailbox located outside so you could actually read the address and deliver mail all throughout Hands-on House. Or, you can just move packages from the incoming bin to the outgoing bin like my kids did.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Over in the Grocery Store, Holden went shopping for shellfish and produce.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

GB opted for the canned food aisle.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Holden played at the check-out counter:

Hands-on House in lancaster pa

while GB opted to shoplift.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Leggo my Eggo, indeed.

Holden’s favorite exhibit was, of course, the Make-Believe Room. 

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

My little narcissists loved the stage and the mirrors.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog IMG_8040 Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

We then headed over to the Machine Shop, making Holden clock in before we started.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

There were lots of fun things to do with widgets and obstacles, kind of like a large-scale game of “Mouse Trap.” I think my kiddos were a bit too young to fully enjoy this section, though GB did get to slobber up a wiffle ball or two.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

From the Machine Shop, we headed outside to the Play Garden, which is a) beautiful and b) chock full of age-appropriate climbing structures.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

GB enjoyed eating mulch, as per usual.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

 

There was a super fun sandbox. I was interested to see how GB would respond, having not been in sand since last year’s beach trip.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

 

Luckily, he loved it.

My favorite part was when Holden came whipping down the slide so fast, she missed her feet.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

 

I know, I know: that’s terrible, but I laughed so hard.

Hands-on House Children's Museum Lancaster PA @ohbotherblog

Overall, we had a great experience at the Hands-on House. The nature of the exhibits make it a great place to visit again and again… and it’s priced affordably enough to do so!

Daily admission is $9.50 for adults and $9.50 for children over age 2. An annual family membership for just $99/year gets you free admission, discounted guest passes, member mornings and reduced birthday party rates.

Memorial Day through Labor Day
M, T, W, Th: 10am-5pm
Friday: 10am-8pm
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 12-5pm

www.handsonhouse.org/visit

 

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