The Lehigh Valley is close to so many amazing attractions, and cities so take advantage. Take a look at some of our favorite ideas for local-ish day trips! All of these options are less than a 2 hour drive from most points in the Lehigh Valley. If these ideas don’t pique your interest see our full list of day trip ideas here!
We've been busy trekking all over the valley and checking out some fansatic day trip ideas for everyone! Even after having this amazing job for over 3 years I'm still shocked by the new treasures and hidden gems I continue to discover week after week! Our youngest is now 14 months and thay meants I am finally out of the exhausted haze that comes with having a newborn. We've taken on so much more this summer with trips, treks and mini travels. Here's a quick run down of some great local-ish day trips that you can of on one tank of gas and without an overnight!
Mauch Chunk Lake - Just north of the Lehigh Valley in Carbon County, is Mauch Chunk Lake. This park offers boating, swimming, camping, hiking and more. With a sand beach for children to play at, this location offers a picturesque option for a day at the beach without fighting traffic or booking an expensive place to stay overnight! With convenient parking on site snack stand, restrooms and shaded picnic areas this trip have my kids begging to go back. The water was clear and perfectly comfortable for even the baby to sit at the edge and splash a bit. This was only a 40 minute drive from our house and was completely worth the $5 I paid for myself (kids 3, 1, were free) to get in!
Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle - Step back in time when you visit these two incredible attractions in Doylestown. The Mercer Museum - filled with artifacts and objects gathered from 1850 - 1930 represent the time prior to the industrialization of america. The Fonthill Castle’s architecture is stunning and featuring works of art in a variety of styles, including a famed collection of Moravian tiles. They offer number of kids activities including printable scavengers hunts with a variety of themes (Harry Potter, Lord of the the Rings and more). Family friendly events are scheduled throughout the summer so check out what they have happening and make a visit.
Bushkill Falls - Even on the hottest of days walking through Bushkill Falls you will feel cool! This awesome attraction - less than 30 minutes North for most of the Valley, offers breathtaking views of waterfalls with only a short drive. This is a great trip to take a baby carrier along if you have littles. Big kids will LOVE navigating the trails and stairs. The walkways are protected with railings but best navigated with close supervision.
Knoebles - This gem offers free admission to their amusement park! Rides of course must be paid for using a all day ride pass or tickets but, this offers a huge cost savings for parents and grandparents who just want to watch and not ride along. The park’s food is seriously amazing and couldn’t have more options to pick from, its almost worth the drive just to go eat. The park is shady, offers free parking and has seriously awesome food. If you’re interested in extending your stay on site camping is also available. We spend a few days here camping and exploring the park each year, its a 25+ year family tradition that our children are growing to love more and more each year. We visited on a weekend when temps were over 90 degrees and with all the shade available the park didn't feel a bit over 80! If you visit on a weekday take advantage of the kids ride passes - our six year old rode for only $20 all day long (we used a $5 coupon from the kidstuff Book!) Weekend trips are pricier because they require the use of tickets but the savings you get from not paying for parking or admission for non-riders makes up for it. The food in the park is outstanding - don't leave without getting a Tiger Tail from Phoenix Junction (you're welcome.).
Crystal Cave or Lost River Caverns - Visit an underground caves at one of these super close day trip options. Crystal Cave- in Kutztown and Lost River Caverns in Hellertown offer an awesome both educational and entertaining experience for kids. This trip is probably best for children 7 and older but is breathtaking and completely worth the visit.
Wherever you decide to travel this summer make sure to check it off your summer bucket list! Kids LOVE tracking their summer adventures! Find our FREE printable Lehigh Valley Bucket List or print off a template to create your own!