10 Best Things To Do In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Things To Do In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Photo by Brett Sayles

Today I am going to take you on a tour of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Harrisburg is a town that is very rich in history. This history expands over 200 years. Harrisburg is the Capital of Pennsylvania, and it sits on the beautiful Susquehanna River. Harrisburg is host to many yearly activities and shows; Pennsylvania Farm Show in January, the Outdoor Sports Show, an Auto Show, and the Motorama.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has an abundance of things for vacationers to experience during their visit. Visitors can enjoy indoor and outdoor activities, various museums, arts, culture, and yearly events. If it is an adult-only vacation, there is a large variety of nightlife to experience. Not to mention an extreme variety of restaurants with amazing food choices.

So, what do you say, shall we get started on our tour of the top 10 things to do in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

# 10 – Five Senses Gardens

Let’s begin with a beautiful outdoor setting that offers a one-of-a-kind experience to its visitors. Started in 1996 on the Capital Area Greenbelt in Harrisburg, Five Senses Gardens will challenge your five senses with its amazing aromas and beauty. At the Five Senses Gardens, visitors will experience a separate garden for each of the five senses; touch, taste, smell, audio, and visual.

The Sight Garden offers a gorgeous experience with many types of plants and unique, colorful flowers. The Touch Garden allows visitors to experience the different types of plants and their textures. In The Sound Garden, patrons can hear many species of birds singing their beautiful songs, the autumn leaves under your feet, and the woodpecker knocking on the trees. Visitors can also enjoy The Taste Garden and The Smell Garden.

# 9 – The National Civil War Museum

Take a giant step back in time to 1861-1865, and visit The National Civil War Museum at Reservoir Park in Harrisburg. Here, visitors will see material and resources that are directly related to the American Civil War. This museum is the only one in the United States that depicts the American Civil War’s whole story.

There are over 4,000 artifacts and 21,000 documents for visitors to see. Patrons can explore items from Gettysburg, The Battle Map, Costs of War (Civil War Medicine), and many more. Move on up to the second floor of the museum, and patrons will find many more historical items, such as; A House Divided (1850-1860), Making of Armies, Camp Curtain, and experience music from the Civil War. Adults and children will see and learn a lot during their visit.

# 8 – Adams-Ricci Park

More kid-friendly and fun than a museum, the Adams-Ricci Community Park has a newly constructed area as of 2019. Just a 10-minute drive from Harrisburg, the park is 82-acres and offers visitors baseball fields, three tennis courts, 2 basketball courts, a batting cage, a drinking fountain, and so much more. For children ages four and under, the park offers the Panther Station, constructed in 2019.

Visitors can also take advantage of five different trails. Walk or bike in the sunshine. There is also boating, fishing, horseshoe pits, pavilions, and a picnic area. Take the kids and spend the day doing an array of activities at the Adams-Ricci Community Park. Fun in the sun and fresh air is one of the best things to do on vacation.

# 7 – Koons Park

Speaking of fresh air and fun in the sun, why not add a pool full of nice cool water? This 33-acre park is one of the most popular, offering an abundance of locals and vacationers activities. Koons Park has a football field, a concession stand, restrooms, and lighted basketball and volleyball courts. Grap your swimming suit, beach towel, sunscreen, and enjoy the Koons Swimming Pool.

When visitors are done swimming, they can relax in one of the picnic pavilions while the kids enjoy the playground equipment. Enjoy a snack from the concession area and relax and take in the beautiful scenery. If you are in the area during Independence Day, you can enjoy the stunning fireworks display at Koons Park.

# 6 – Market Street

Spend the day shopping for your new look, feasting on delicious food, and relaxing at Market Street. There is a large variety of retail stores for visitors to shop at; J. Crew, Woodhouse Day Spa, Michael Kors, and Bath & Body Works, to name a few. Patrons can also grab their favorite drink from Starbucks, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, or Uni Sushi. Vacationers can spend a day at the spa, get hair color and/or cut, or visit Sarah Kelly Music School.

When visitors are done shopping or being pampered, they can choose from one of the many dining establishments at Market Street. Try Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, Jasper’s Gourmet Backyard Cuisine, La Madeleine, and more. Vacationers can also book their accommodations near Market Square and take in a movie at the Cinemak Theatre.

# 5 – Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM)

Harrisburg’s only dedicated art museum offers appealing and ingenious exhibits that will be enjoyed by both the young and the old. New exhibits are rotated multiple times a year, keeping things fresh and new. The many galleries inside the art museum highlight regional, national, local, and international artists.

The Susquehanna Art Museum offers educational and youth programs for the locals of Harrisburg. The museum prides itself on inspiring visitors of all ages to learn more about the arts and the cultures that surround them. There is an overwhelming about of beautiful works of art and sculptures for all vacationers to see.

# 4 – Hershey Gardens

Just a hop, skip, and jump (15 miles) away from Harrisburg is Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey Gardens is a must-see! A gift from Mr. Milton S. Hershey, a chocolate tycoon, to his wife Catherine; it opened in 1937. It started a small, gorgeous rose garden and over the last 80 years has grown to a 23-acre stunning beauty. Vacationers will experience an impressive color collection of shrubs and flowers.

Take in the large assortment of signature trees, and experience numerous virtual programs while at Hershey Gardens. There are amazing seasonal displays, themed gardens, and a hands-on garden for the children to enjoy. Visitors will also get to enjoy the Butterfly Atrium, Educational Wing, Bug Zone, and the Hoop House. This is a gorgeous destination for a wedding, family photos, and relaxation during your tour of Harrisburg.

# 3 – City Island

The perfect place to play and relax during your vacation to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. With many spectacular things to do on the 63-acres of ground, you will be content all day. Play some arcade games, visit the beach and the beach house, or take a swing (or 5) t the batting cages. Visitors can enjoy an entire day of fun and adventure at one single destination; City Island. Watch a Harrisburg Senators Baseball game, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of Harrisburg, or take a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat.

Parents and children will have the opportunity to try their skills at the 18-hole mini-golf course. Enjoy the unique and challenging holes, water hazards, waterfall’s, and sloping greens. When the family is done enjoying the game of mini-golf, head on over to Turkey Hill Ice Cream and have a delicious ice cream treat as you watch the brilliant sunset.

# 2 – Wildwood Lake/Park

A retreat of freedom for those who love and want to enjoy nature, away from home. The nature center was constructed in 1999 to allow visitors to watch nature in a peaceful setting. Children are encouraged to view nature from the tree, or they can enjoy a book in the reading space, set up especially for them. View a variety of birds from the enclosed bird blind or shop in the one-of-a-kind nature store.

Not only can you view and learn about nature in the nature center, but visitors can also view some nature and wildlife at Wildwood Lake/Park. This is home to many species of Fauna and Flora, which are natural to the area. Stroll along the trails by the lake or take a peaceful walk along the boardwalk. Don’t forget the camera!

# 1 – Hershey Park

Because a large number of people can not live without chocolate, once being me, this just had to be number one on the top 10 list of things to do in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Yes, it is in Hershey, PA, but that is only 15 miles from Harrisburg, and honestly, who can pass up chocolate? The family theme park was founded in 1906. Mr. Milton S. Hershey built it as a relaxation part for his employees at the Hershey Chocolate Company. Not only can visitors enjoy a day at Hershey Park, but you can also stay at the Hershey Lodge, The Hotel Hershey, or Hershey Park Camping Resort.

There is a large variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy at Hershey Park. Kiddie rides, roller coasters, a water park, shopping, and a whole lot more. Take the kids to Chocolate World for a free tour and to create their very own unique candy bar. Check out the world-famous milkshakes and bakery treats and shop at the world’s largest Hershey store. The kids can also see and have their pictures taken with the Hershey characters. No one can beat the extraordinary day that visitors will have at Hershey Park. Deliciousness!!


There you have it! A tour of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with a stroll or 2 just a few short miles away. This is only a small sample of the things that visitors can do in Harrisburg. There are many more museums, parks, and exciting things to do. Book your vacation online soon; summer is coming.

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