Holiday Hacks: Things to do During Winter Break

Holiday break is coming up and you just know the kids will drive each other crazy being cooped up inside. We’ve got some tips for you that will make your holiday break easy-breezy and tons of fun. Here are some of the best places for family fun this winter.

Museums & Educational Fun

State Museum of Pennsylvania
This museum houses dinosaurs, mammals, and more! You can learn about the stars in the Planetarium, different forms of transportation, the Civil War, Native Americans throughout Pennsylvania’s history, and the list goes on. This is a great spot for kids who have a passion for learning. For the younger ones, the museum also has its Curiosity Connection exhibit, a PA themed, hands-on play space aimed at children aged 1-5. Visit the State Museum Tuesday through Sunday. Adults $7, kids $5.

Whitaker Center
This science play space has three floors of interactive fun! Learn about how your body works with fun games that challenge your heart and brain, or endure the rising winds of a tropical storm in the exhibit exploring weather and geology. This center also shows movies on the biggest screen in Central Pennsylvania! Check out their website for current showings and ticket prices for their various events.

Wildwood Park
This nearby nature center is a local favorite. Although it may be too chilly to walk the entirety of this park’s 3.1 mile trail, Wildwood also has an indoor center that your little ones will enjoy exploring. From bird watching, to climbing inside of a tree, to reading a good book, “walking into the Nature Center is like being outside in a controlled atmosphere.” There’s a lot to do at this local gem, and the good news is, it’s free! The Nature Center is open Tuesday to Sundays from 10a.m.-4p.m. www.wildwoodlake.o

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
Explore this 19th century estate with a guided tour through the beautiful mansion. See how life looked and worked for those on the estates’ grounds as you step back in time throughout the different sections of the house. Visit their gift shop and surrounding buildings for some more information and fun. Tours run up until Dec. 23 Tuesday through Sundays. Adult tickets are $7, $6 for senior citizens, and kids are $4.



Sports & Activities

Roundtop Mountain Resort
Try something new with ski lessons, snowboarding, or even snow tubing. The resort has lessons every day at 10:00 a.m., Noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. They also have weekly specials like College Day for your older kids – every Wednesday beginning January 2 – $40 learn to ski/board packages, $39 lift tickets and $5 rentals. And Home School Day for those families looking for fun physical education activities runs – every Thursday beginning Jan. 3 – $45 learn to ski/board packages and $35 lift tickets.

Olympic Skating Rink
Take the kids out for a fun day of skating! This family friendly rink is located in Enola and has many opportunities for fun. Public skating hours happen Thursday-Sunday, check online for specific times.

Twin Ponds
Looking for another fun, traditional winter activity? Try ice skating at Twin Ponds East (Harrisburg) or Twin Ponds West (Mechanicsburg). These ice skating rinks are open on the weekends (check online for specific hours) and offer reasonable prices for skating sessions – $7 ages 7 and over, $4 ages 6 and under and $3 skate rentals. Take the family out for some quality winter fun.

Autobahn Indoor Speedway
This venue offers high speed fun for your friends and family. The tracks are open every day of the week, with varying hours available online. Take a single lap or get a bundle pack of 3 or 5 races. Their prices differ between weekdays and weekends so be sure to check before hand. Quench that “need for speed” desire by booking a day at this awesome indoor track.


More Family Fun

Local Libraries
Visit one of the many local libraries around Harrisburg. With a heart for learning and engaging children in educational fun, many of our local libraries have great programs and events for kids that will be a fun way to spend some quality time over the break. Check out the events going on through the Dauphin County Library System. Search by age group or month.

Let’s Pretend
This progressive play center, developed with the idea that adults and children would play together, free of modern day distractions, is located in Middletown. With no TV, gaming systems or computers in their play areas, you’ll have a wonderful, nostalgic experience with your family. Visit them and interact with all ten of their pretend areas Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 9a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Pre-reserved parties begin at 2). Find out more info at

Color Me Mine, Harrisburg
Bring out your inner artist this winter. At this paint your own pottery place, you’ll have lots of fun trying new techniques and watching your creation come to life with brilliant colors. There is an $8 studio fee that covers your unlimited time for the day that you choose to paint, all the products you use while you are there, as well as the glazing and firing process. The other cost is the pottery that you choose. Don’t forget to check out special events here

Do You Even Escape?
Looking for a fun activity for older kids? What better way to get quality time out of your teen than locking yourselves in a room together to solve an escape puzzle? All jokes aside, this place will be sure to provide an exciting experience! Choose from three different rooms open Wednesday to Sunday (check online for varying times) – “Checkmate”, a family reunion puzzle gone wrong, the “Starboard Room”, or the “Port Room”. The last two rooms are identical cabins on the Titanic, which are fit for Race Room Challenges.