Are you planning a family trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? This historic town offers a variety of activities that are perfect for kids of all ages. Here are the best things to do in Gettysburg with kids when visiting. Gettysburg is a great place to learn about American history it is also a great place to have some family fun. Based on our personal experience I have come up with the best things to do with kids in Gettysburg Pa.
Things to do in Gettysburg Pa with Kids
We took a trip to the Gettysburg area with the focus of having fun and learning history. While we went as an educational fun trip,m this destination is perfect for just traveling to and exploring as a family trip. On our Gettysburg visit, we all had an enjoyable time. This list of things to do in Gettysburg with kids is based on our actual experience.
Instead of doing history lessons with my kids for our homeschooling, I focus on learning history in a unique way. Visiting historic places and having the kids learn about the important role these locations have had in our history has been the way that has worked best for us. I find that my kids learn a lot more when they are exploring real-life historic areas instead of reading in a textbook.
We all enjoyed our trip. Visiting Gettysburg is filled with fun things to do and history learning. Even if you do not have a family of history buffs it is easy to find interesting things to do for the whole family. One thing that I loved is that many of the things to see and do you can do at your own pace. It is easy to take breaks if needed with the younger children as they need it.
Shriver House Museum
The Shriver House Museum is a historic house museum located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The house was built in 1860 and is a prime example of mid-19th century architecture. During the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the house was used as a field hospital for Union soldiers. Today, the museum offers guided tours that provide visitors with a glimpse into the lives of the Shriver family. It also shares the impact of the Civil War on civilians. The museum is known for its authentic furnishings and artifacts, including personal belongings of the Shriver family, medical equipment used during the war, and other historic items. The Shriver House Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the Civil War and the impact it had on ordinary people.
This was one of my kid’s favorite things. The tour is done in a way that both younger kids and older kids will enjoy it. The staff was super friendly and made the experience entertaining that kept everyone’s attention.
Children of Gettysburg 1863 Museum
The Children of Gettysburg 1863 Museum is a small museum located in the heart of downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This hands-on museum offers visitors a unique perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg. Its focus is on the experiences of the children who lived in the town during the battle. Upon entering you get to pick which child you want to be. Then while going thru the museum you learn about the things that child would have gone thru during the war.
The museum features exhibits that showcase the lives of the children of Gettysburg before, during, and after the battle. Visitors can see artifacts, documents, and photographs that highlight the impact of the battle on the children of the town. The museum also offers interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life was like for children during the Civil War. The Children of Gettysburg 1863 Museum is a great place for families to learn about the history of the town and the Civil War.
This museum is geared toward young children, however, all of my kids including the older kids enjoyed the museum. The hands-on activities were the best way for my youngest to understand the history. The older kids enjoyed the relaxed environment. It is at the top of my list of Things to do in Gettysburg Pa with Kids.
Explore Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park is a historical site in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA, that commemorates the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle was fought during the American Civil War in July 1863. The park is part of the national park service. It includes various monuments, memorials, and markers that honor the soldiers and civilians who fought and died during the battle. The park also features a visitor center with exhibits, films, and educational programs that provide insight into the history and significance of the battle. Visitors can take guided tours of the Gettysburg battlefield, walking tours, bike tours, and horseback tours. There are many opportunities to take self-guided tours of the area as well. The park is an important destination for history enthusiasts, students, and anyone interested in learning about the American Civil War and its impact on the country.
We explored the battlefield in a few different ways. We took the double decker bus, walked thru it and also did the drive thru it so we could see specific things the kids wanted to see. This area is huge, so I wouldn’t suggest planning to see everything. I would pick out the most important things that you want to see and take relaxing walks thru. The kids had the most fun when we drove to random places on the battlefield and then we walked around reading the signs that told about the area that we were in.
Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center
The Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center is an essential stop for anyone interested in exploring the rich history of the American Civil War. The center is located on the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park and is the main hub for visitors to the park.
The museum is housed in a modern, state-of-the-art building that features a range of exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. The center’s exhibits take visitors on a journey through the events leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg, the three-day battle itself, and the aftermath that followed. The museum’s exhibits are designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the Civil War, including its causes, key players, and the lasting impact it had on American society.
Explore the Gettysburg Diorama
The Gettysburg Diorama is a 3D model of the battlefield that gives visitors a unique and interactive view of the battle. Kids can get up close to the diorama and learn more about the history of the area.
One of the Gettysburg visitors center’s most impressive features is its massive, 360-degree “Battle of Gettysburg” painting, which measures 42 feet high and 377 feet in circumference. The painting is one of the largest of its kind in the world and provides visitors with a stunning visual representation of the battle, complete with soldiers, horses, and artillery.
Seminary Ridge Museum & Education Center
The Seminary Ridge Museum & Educational Center is an essential stop when visiting Gettysburg with kids. The museum is housed in the historic Schmucker Hall, which served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. It also served as a key strategic position for both Union and Confederate armies. The museum’s exhibits are designed to provide a comprehensive look at the social, political, and economic factors that contributed to the Civil War. As well as the role of the Battle of Gettysburg in shaping the course of the conflict.
We loved the museums’ interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to experience the battle from multiple perspectives. You can step into a recreated field hospital. Where you will learn about the medical practices of the time. You can explore a recreated 19th-century classroom and learn about the education system of the era.
When visiting they sometimes have the option of being able to walk up to the lookout spot that was used. From this spot, you can see almost the entire battlefield. It is a great way to get a different perspective on just how large the battlefield is compared to when you are walking thru it or driving thru it.
Double Decker Bus Tour
The Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tour is an excellent way to explore the historic battlefield and gain a deeper understanding of the events that took place there. The tour is done by licensed tour guides who are full of information. This tour provides visitors with a unique and immersive experience that is both informative and engaging.
The tour covers the key sites of the Battle of Gettysburg, including Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, the Peach Orchard, and Pickett’s Charge. On the tour, you will learn about the tactics, strategies, and sacrifices of the Union and Confederate armies. You will also learn the impact the battle had on the course of the Civil War.
One of the key benefits of the Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tour is the knowledgeable tour guides. The guides are experts in Civil War history. They provide fascinating insights into the events that took place on the battlefield. They bring history to life through engaging storytelling and answer any questions visitors may have. We enjoyed that it was done in a very interactive way, that kept everyone interested in what we were seeing.
The tour also includes stops at several key locations where visitors can get off the bus and explore. The kids loved this part and loved being able to get a closer look at something they had just learned about.
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve
This wildlife preserve is a little out of the area but is a great stop to make with the kids. The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is a unique and exciting destination for families with children. It is located in Thurmont, Maryland which is about 30 minutes away. The preserve is home to over 400 animals from around the world, including rare and endangered species. They have a focus on education, conservation, and animal welfare. It is an excellent place to visit with kids who love animals and nature. My kids loved being able to get up close and personal with some of the animals.
Walk around Historic areas of Gettysburg
As you walk thru the town you will see historic buildings everywhere you go. When you are walking down the streets you will see many signs that you can read that will tell you historic facts about that area of town. If you are wanting to walk around Gettysburg there are some must-see walking areas that are perfect for the kids.
- Sachs Covered Bridge. This picturesque covered bridge, located just outside of Gettysburg, offers a short and easy walking trail that’s perfect for kids. The bridge is a historic landmark and a great spot for photo opportunities.
- Devil’s Den. This rocky outcropping on the Gettysburg battlefield offers a unique and challenging walking experience for kids who enjoy climbing and exploring. The area is also home to several natural springs and streams, making it a great spot for a picnic.
- Gettysburg Heritage Trail. This trail winds through the town of Gettysburg and offers a unique opportunity to explore the town’s history and architecture. The trail is stroller-friendly and perfect for families with younger children.
- Gettysburg National Cemetery. Walking thru the cemetery might sound a bit odd but there is much history to be learned here including about the famous Gettysburg Address done by President Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Address Memorial inside the cemetery commemorates the speech. This cemetery is the final resting place for over 3,500 Union soldiers. It also contains the remains of American soldiers and dependents from the Civil War to Vietnam.
What is Gettysburg Known for?
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is primarily known for its historical significance as the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle took place during the American Civil War in July 1863. The battle is considered one of the turning points of the war.
Gettysburg is also known for its charming downtown area, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The town also boasts beautiful countryside and outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
Overall, Gettysburg is known for its unique combination of rich history, picturesque countryside, and small-town charm, making it a popular destination for visitors.
Is Gettysburg Good for Kids?
Yes, Gettysburg is a great destination for families with children. There are a variety of activities and attractions in Gettysburg that are both educational and entertaining for kids of all ages.
One of the main attractions in Gettysburg is the Gettysburg National Military Park, which is home to several museums, historic landmarks, and walking trails.
Is Gettysburg Worth Visiting?
Yes, visiting Gettysburg is definitely worth it. It’s a unique and historic destination that offers a lot to see and do, regardless of your interests.
First and foremost, Gettysburg is known for its role in the American Civil War. The Gettysburg National Military Park is a must-see attraction, with its many monuments, battlefields, and historic buildings. Visitors can take a guided tour, visit the museum and visitors center, or explore the park on their own.
But Gettysburg is more than just a Civil War site. It’s also a charming and picturesque town with a lot of character and personality. Visitors can walk along the streets and explore the many shops, restaurants, and galleries that line them. The town also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including a Bluegrass Festival, a Wine and Music Festival, and a Christmas parade.
When is the best time to Visit Gettysburg?
The best time of year to visit Gettysburg depends on what you want to experience and the activities you have planned.
The summer months, June through August, are the busiest and most popular time to visit Gettysburg. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and the town is bustling with tourists. This is a great time to explore the town, visit the museums and attractions, and take a guided tour of the battlefield. However, if you’re looking for a quieter experience, you may want to avoid visiting during this time.
The fall months, September through November, are a great time to visit Gettysburg, especially if you’re interested in experiencing the beautiful fall foliage. The weather is cooler, and the crowds are thinner than in the summer months. This is a great time to take a scenic drive through the countryside or hike one of the many trails.
The winter months, December through February, are the quietest time to visit Gettysburg. The town is decorated for the holidays, and there are several festive events and activities to enjoy. However, the weather can be cold and snowy, so make sure to dress appropriately.
Finally, the spring months, March through May, are another great time to visit Gettysburg. The weather is mild, and the town is starting to come back to life after the winter months. This is a great time to take a guided tour of the battlefield or explore the town’s historic landmarks.
How much time is needed to explore the town of Gettysburg?
For a family with kids, I would suggest planning 3 days time. This will give enough time to see the historic monuments and historic homes. You will also have time to take some tours to see everything there is in the area.
Where to Stay when you are visiting Gettysburg
We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson that was the perfect driving distance for everything that we did. It was also super close to the outlet stores, which was awesome because we checked out the Pepperidge Farm outlet. That is where we stocked up on snacks for while we were out and about.