Pandora’s Deals was provided with complimentary tickets to Hands On House in exchange sharing this review with our readers. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
There are so many fun things to do in Lancaster County for families with kids. Last week I had the pleasure of taking my daughter to Hands-on House Children’s Museum and we had a blast! The museum is very well thought out with tons to do, both indoors and out. It’s divided into many different exhibits where parents can join in at each station to explain the activity and background information to their kids (and maybe do some playing themselves!). HOH is designed for parents and children to play and learn TOGETHER which is the really cool part. I had a great time joining in on the fun with my daughter, playing and pretending at each station. I asked her questions about what she was doing while sharing what I knew about the activity, too.
The local flavor of Lancaster County is found throughout HOH and my daughter really enjoyed the farming stations. She loved harvesting the corn off the wall (plastic cobs of corn attached to the wall by Velcro) and loading it up into her basket before carrying it over to feed some to the pig. She did it over and over again! We also had a lot of fun at the supermarket where the kids can take a shopping list and fill their basket with the items on their list. The electronic checkout is so neat; it scans the items, beeps and gives the price. The post office activities were fun as well, and she had a great time dropping and sorting all the mail and then loading up into her mailbag to deliver to the mailboxes throughout the museum. Some of the other activities we enjoyed were fishing, face painting, working in a machine shop, assembly line in a factory and playing dress up in the make believe room.
One thing I really liked about HOH was that it’s all on one level and fairly small with only one entrance and exit. So if I lost sight of her for a minute I didn’t panic as much knowing she couldn’t get too far from me. It was also very clean and each station was very well maintained. The one thing that did surprise me was the lack of hand sanitizer throughout the museum. They had a station that taught about germs and the importance of washing your hands so that would be a great place to add a bottle.
After playing inside for a little over an hour, we ventured outside to Mason’s Active Adventure Garden, which my daughter loved to explore. There’s a sandbox and tunnel, some paths and stepping stones she had fun hopping over, and a FAST slide…maybe a little too fast! My daughter came flying down and landed flat on her back, so keep that in mind and be there to catch your kiddo!
“Hands-on House Children’s Museum of Lancaster is a not-for-profit educational center whose mission is to create and provide interactive learning opportunities for all children and their families through self-directed exhibits and programming that stimulate curiosity and invite the joy of discovery through play.”
Hands-On House is intended for ages 2-10 but probably best for kids between the ages of 3 and 6. My daughter is almost 2-1/2 and thoroughly enjoyed herself, but I think she will get a lot more out of it in another year or two. We had so much fun exploring this fun museum and we’ll definitely be visiting again! It’s a perfect day trip for families and it’s open year-round so you can stay cool inside in the summer or get out of the house and beat cabin fever in the winter, too.
About Emily Mohry, Pandora’s Deals contributor
Emily is a SAHM to 2-year old Magnolia and 7-month old Violet. The family loves spending time outdoors, especially swimming in their pool. Magnolia is showing signs of being the next Picasso or Brandi Carlile, while Violet’s innate talents are still under wraps. When not entertaining her two very active girls, Emily enjoys thrifting, baking and all things DIY.