a trip to the hands-on house in Lancaster, PA
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.
The Hands-on House boasts several indoor interactive exhibits. First is “My Backyard,” which resembles a woodland wonderland.
The Fun Farm.
The Corner Grocery Store.
Mostly Make-Believe, the dress-up section, complete with pirate ship!
Marty’s Machine Shop, filled with all sorts of whozeewhats and thingamajigs.
And the fantastic Play Garden.
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:
But soon he was climbing and exploring away in My Backyard.
We had a ton of fun over in The Farm area. Holden especially loved picking corn.
So cool — the ears were velcroed to the wall!
She kept stealing corn from the grocer’s basket to feed to the pig.
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.
Both kids hopped up in the driver’s seat of the tractor. Getting them to take turns was no small miracle.
We stopped in between The Farm and The Grocery Store to deliver some mail and blast some germs.
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.
Over in the Grocery Store, Holden went shopping for shellfish and produce.
GB opted for the canned food aisle.
Holden played at the check-out counter:
while GB opted to shoplift.
Leggo my Eggo, indeed.
Holden’s favorite exhibit was, of course, the Make-Believe Room.
My little narcissists loved the stage and the mirrors.
We then headed over to the Machine Shop, making Holden clock in before we started.
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.
From the Machine Shop, we headed outside to the Play Garden, which is a) beautiful and b) chock full of age-appropriate climbing structures.
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.
Luckily, he loved it.
My favorite part was when Holden came whipping down the slide so fast, she missed her feet.
I know, I know: that’s terrible, but I laughed so hard.
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