Best Spring Outings for Kids in York County

First a confession: this blog post is blatantly self-promotional. There, I’ve said it. Furthermore, it probably goes against every “how-to” and “write a great blog post” article you have ever read. Not one of those articles says, “step up to your keyboard and tell the world everything you can think of that’s great about your organization/your program/your product/yourself.”

So this may not be the world’s best rule-following blog post, and it certainly won’t win any awards for deep interactive on-line conversation. Nonetheless, I felt that today, right smack in the middle of school field trip season and scouting outing time of the year, some folks might be looking for interesting things to do with school-age kids right in their own back yard.

Even better, they MIGHT even be looking for things that most of those kids had never done before in spite of the fact that they are educational, fun, AND right around the geographical corner. Seems there is a lot of this going around: why don’t we take advantage of the myriad of wonderful things that there are to explore right here in York County? But that’s another blog post…

So as not to blog on and on and become excessively wordy (another blog no-no), let’s just get to it! Here are four fabulous and fun outings for your own kids, your school group, or your activity group (and, surprise, surprise, they are all at properties of the York County Heritage Trust!):

1. Go to the Agricultural & Industrial Museum, 217 West Princess Street, in downtown York, and get a taste of the farming and industry that has been part of York county history! The building is in the old Motter Printing plant, and so there is space for farm equipment (naturally), fire trucks and antique cars, a Conestoga Wagon, steam engines, a 1937 Aeronca K airplane, and a 3-story gristmill. You won’t be disappointed!

2. Take a Murals of York walking tour. A map is available at, along with a children’s activity link. There are 30 murals, depicting many facets of York County life and history; check them out!

3. Visit the Colonial Complex at 157 West Market Street. There you will find the Colonial Courthouse, the General Gates House, the Golden Plough Tavern, and the Barnett Bobb Log House. Political intrigue, tavern life and a family home – all available in a single visit to this site on the corner of West Market Street and North Pershing Avenue in DowntownYork.   These four buildings reflect both private and public lives in earlyYork.   The Golden Plough Tavern, built in 1741, presents the significant role a tavern played in a community as a hotel, restaurant and source for news. The General Gates House (c.1751) reflects the year 1778 when General Horatio Gates occupied the house while the Continental Congress met inYork.  You can visit a reconstruction of the Court House where the Congress met during York’s nine-month tenure as Capital of the United States just across the street from the Plough Tavern. The Barnett Bobb Log House, built with squared timbers, shows family life in the 1830s.

4. Take a little boy or girl who is fascinated by the life of firefighters and/or fire trucks to the Fire Museum, 757 West Market Street.  It’s tucked away on a corner in West Market Street, and parking is challenging, but what a little gem! Fire engines, sirens and old-fashioned alarm systems all await you at the Fire Museum. Stationed in the historic Royal Fire House, the museum holds collections from the more than 200 years of fire-fighting in York County including horse drawn fire carriages, vintage fire trucks, firefighter uniforms, photographs and much more. 

Just do it! Take a small friend to a museum for the afternoon! See you at the Trust!

–Melanie Hady, Director of Marketing & Public Relations

York County Heritage Trust


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