Want to plan a summer trip? You don’t have to go far from home.
There is so much to do in the Pocono Mountains area, also known as the Poconos, spread over a few towns and the surrounding areas. It’s a great family friendly destination with activities for all ages. Best of all, it is so close to many of the large Jewish communities in New York and New Jersey.
Crayola Experience: Easton, PA
Located in Easton, PA, at the edge of the Poconos-not actually in the Pocono Mountains, the Crayola Factory offers an original experience to satisfy every age and palette. Crayola boasts 28 exciting, hands-on attractions. There are projects to be made, crayons to be melted and reshaped, and Model Magic to be molded into your very own creation. Toddler Town allows the little ones to play safely in an area designated just for them. Our favorite part of the Crayola Experience was watching the demonstration of how crayons are made in real time. Which child can resist playing with water? Crayola Water Works offers kids the chance to be the captain of their own crayon boat through a working lock and canal system. There are so many fun activities to keep children busy for a long time.
Address: 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042
Phone Number: (610) 515-8000
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
At the door: $25.99
Online: $22.99. $19.50 if purchased through this link.
Camelback Mountain Adventures: Tannersville, PA
Camelback Mountain offers some of the most exciting forms of adventure. The attractions are geared more to older children and adults, although on the Appalachian Express Mountain Coaster and Pocono Pipeline Mountain Slide children can ride together with adults.
- My personal favorite at Camelback Adventures is the Soaring Camel 4000 foot twin zip line. It is the longest zip line in North America and goes as fast as 60 MPH. You can race your friend to the end. It takes only about 70 seconds to go from the summit down but it is exhilarating! It feels as if you are flying, but at the same time the harness feels very secure and safe, a little like a chair. In order to get up to the Summit of Camelback Mountain to the zip line you need to first be fitted with a harness down at the Adventure Center. Ride up to the waterpark with a special bus, then walk through the waterpark to the chairlift that takes you to the top of the mountain.
- Camelback also has the Double Barrel 1000 foot zip line at the height of eight stories. This zip line runs through a tree lined space and can be done with a friend as well. The 1000’ zip line is located within the Adventure Park.
- The Pocono Pipeline Mountain Slide is the most classic and all around attraction. A scenic chair lift ride brings you to the top of the dual 2,800 foot long track. You can control your own speed through the twists, turns, tunnels that make up this very enjoyable slide.
- The Appalachian Express Mountain Coaster is more similar to a roller coaster than a slide. The benefit is that you control your own speed down the 4500’ long steel track winding down the scenic mountain. In order to get to the top of the track, you sit on your cart and get pulled straight up the track.
- We did not get to do the Scenic Mountain Segway Tour although it seems exciting. You must be 13 years or older to participate in that activity.
- There are five different ropes courses in the Adults Treetop Adventure Course. There are many different elements including zip lines, suspended bridges, scramble nets and swinging logs to conquer during the 3-4 hour course. There are guides stationed throughout to offer encouragement and help. By completing the entire Treetop Adventure Course you’ll have conquered over 100 aerial obstacles.
- The Kids Explorer Course offers children ages 6+, who meet the height requirement a chance to try their hand (and legs) on a real ropes course with lots of supervision and instruction. All children must be accompanied by an adult in order to join in the Kids Explorer Course.
It is advisable to book the attractions in advance since they sell out really quickly.
Address: 243 Resort Dr. Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone Number: (570) 629-1663
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Price: Prices vary per attraction. Check online for the prices.
Bushkill Falls: Bushkill, PA
Bushkill Falls, also referred to as the Niagara of Pennsylvania, offers visitors a chance to see eight different waterfalls located throughout the beautiful nature area.
There are four trails with varying levels of difficulty:
- The Green Trail offers a view of the Main Falls. The route takes about 15 minutes to walk. There is no climbing involved, however, there are steps.
- The Yellow Trail is a 45 minute walk with views of Main Falls, as well as Lower Gorge Falls, Laurel Glen and Upper Canyon.
- The Blue Trail takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and offer views of the Penell Falls.
- The Red Trail offers views of the Bridal Veil Falls. This trail is for the avid hiker in that it spans almost 2 miles, includes all eight falls, and takes over 2 hours to hike.
There are many observation decks and paths that lead to the waterfalls. Bushkill Falls is an excellent place to experience the splendor and natural beauty found within Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Bushkill Falls also offers some fun activities at an additional cost:
- A mini golf course
- Two person pedal boats can be rented on Twin Lakes
- The Bushkill Falls Mining Company Maze
There is also a playground at Bushkill Falls for no additional charge.
Address: 138 Bushkill Falls Trail, Bushkill, PA 18324
Phone Number: (888) 287-4545
Hours: click here to check online for the current hours.
Adult Admission (Ages 11 thru 61): $18.00
Child Admission (Ages 4 thru 10): $9.00
Senior Admission (Ages 62 and Over): $17.00
Adult Admission (Ages 11 thru 61): $15.00
Child Admission (Ages 4 thru 10): $9.00
Senior Admission (Ages 62 and Over): $14.00
Resica Falls: East Stroudsburg, PA
For some unspoiled natural beauty, visit Resica Falls. Resica Falls, within the Boy Scout Property, is located just 20 minutes from the more popular Bushkill Falls, and is free of charge. The falls are located a very short walk from the parking lot. Resica Falls is generally quiet, away from the crowds. There are picnic tables near the falls where you can enjoy a snack or lunch. If you are in the neighborhood, I would definitely recommend a stop at this beautiful free destination off the beaten path.
Address: 1200 Resica Falls Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary: Jim Thorpe, PA
Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is a great indoor destination for small children. Although the activities are geared for the young ones, the butterfly atrium can be enjoyed by all. When we were there, there were seniors who came on their own to enjoy the experience of being in close proximity with butterflies. In the Bear Mountain Sanctuary, almost every visitor is able to hold a butterfly (usually on a stick) or have one on you, more so than in other Butterfly places I’ve visited.
- The Bear Mountain Sanctuary also includes an exhibit of poisonous frogs. The small frogs in glass cages have unique colors such as orange and blue.
- There are interactive butterfly-themed activities in the sanctuary, such as butterfly shaped puzzles, butterfly coloring stencils and more.
- The sanctuary walls are decorated with a butterfly motif and going inside feels like entering an oasis of wonderful winged creatures.
Address: 18 Church Rd, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
Phone Number: (570) 325-4848
Hours: click here to check online for the current hours.
Admission (Ages 3 thru 61): $9.00
Senior Admission (Ages 62 and Over): $8.00
(Ages 2 and under): Free
Crystal Caves: Kurtztown, PA
Crystal Cave, located between Lancaster and the Poconos, is an amazing natural wonder. We went to visit the cave during a rainy day while we were in the Poconos. It was great to be able to go on a nature trip even though it was pouring. Since the cave is underground it worked out well. Crystal Cave’s long rich history dates back to 1871 when it was first discovered with millions of visitors coming to see the remarkable cave. Crystal Cave has many types of formations. Numerous stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, boxwork, calcium and aragonite crystals decorate the cave. Crystal Cave was named for the shining calcium crystals that formed in the cave over time. The formations within the cave resemble all types of things and were given names such as an upside down ice cream cone, animals and vegetables.
Address: 963 Crystal Cave Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530
Phone Number: (610) 683-6765
Hours: Open Daily: 9am -5 pm
Adult Admission (Ages 12 and Over): $17.00
Child Admission (Ages 4 thru 11): $13.00
(Ages 3 and under): Free
Hawk Falls in Hickory Run State Park: Lake Harmony, PA
The Hawk falls Trail in Hickory Run State Park is a short half mile easy hike through the most magnificent path framed by rhododendron bushes. I’ve never seen so many in one location. The path leads through a footbridge that crosses a pretty brook. Shortly after, the path branches off to the right where you can view the top of the 25 foot Hawk Falls. If you continue down the path without turning right you reach the bottom of the falls. The waterfall is magnificent and the hike is not very strenuous; it can be enjoyed by all ages, although I wouldn’t recommend bringing a stroller.
Address: There are 2 parking lots off of PA 534 just East of the turnpike overpass
Lehigh Gorge State Park, Glen Onoko Access: Jim Thorpe, PA
We went to Lehigh Gorge State Park in order to hike to Glen Onoko Falls. We arrived mid-afternoon and I hadn’t realized that the hike to the falls would take an hour and a half. It was too late to embark on that hike. Instead we parked in the third parking lot which has a sign stating it is the last parking lot before the bridge. Right by the parking lot there was an entrance to a cave. The end of the cave overlooks the Lehigh River. We spotted a few whitewater rafters ending their trip. The view from the cave was gorgeous! After we came out of the cave, we crossed over the bridge and went down to the river. The kids had an awesome time wading and playing in the water. Although we didn’t make it to the waterfall, we had a fabulous time at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Address:S Lehigh Gorge Dr, Weatherly, PA 18255
Lehigh Gorge State Park
Glen Onoko Access
D & L Trail/Lehigh Gorge Trail
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Whitewater Challengers: Weatherly, PA
There is no need for artificial thrills when you have the genuine natural adventure of Whitewater Rafting. Our trip with Whitewater Challengers was outstanding! We went on a level I-II family trip since we had our 5 year old with us.
We arrived at Whitewater Challengers center where we met, signed in, and got suited up with our life jackets. Everyone needed to show that we had proper shoes on (no crocs or flip flops) since it is dangerous to be without shoes. Sneakers or water shoes are the suggested footgear.
Once everyone was ready, we boarded a bus that took us to the river. While we were riding along, one of the guides gave us detailed instructions of what to expect, what to do, and of course, what not to do when we are rafting. We were ready to begin our three hour trip.
Whitewater Rafting is wild. Whitewater Rafting is WET! Don’t think that you will be careful and stay dry since there is no such thing. Water fights are part and parcel of the experience. It is amazing to see how grown men and women, even seniors, enjoy playing and spraying each other with water.
In the more passive waters we had some time to jump in and swim if we chose to. For lunch we stopped on a bank with rocks and ate. We continued on to the exit point where the buses were waiting to take us back to the meeting place where our dry clothing was waiting for us. The Whitewater Challengers Center has shower rooms and dressing rooms so that you can change comfortably.
Whitewater Challengers also offers additional activities such as paintball, trail biking and hiking trips and is truly synonymous with natural adventure.
Address: 288 North Stagecoach Road, Weatherly, PA 18255
Phone Number: (800) 443-8554
Hours: click here to check online for trip times.
Adult Admission: Prices start at $48.95 for weekday family style trip
Youth Admission (Ages 4 thru 16): Prices start at $41.95 for weekday family style trip
For additional options and pricing check online
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