The Camp Hill area offers many adventures for tots and preschoolers looking for fun.

Things to Do With Children in and near Camp Hill, PA

by Jaime Budzienski

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania is a lively, historic town in the Cumberland Valley, about 2 miles west of the state capital, Harrisburg. There's no chance of being stuck inside with bored kiddos in this area! Young families have plenty of options -- indoors and out -- for keeping busy in and near Camp Hill.


Sometimes, no matter where you are, young kids just need to burn off some energy in the fresh air. Check out Camp Hill's 60-acre Siebert Park where you'll find an arboretum, pavilions, fishing, boating, hiking, biking, a playground and a track. For a more low-key outing, there's downtown Willow Park, which has a certain quaintness and includes a nature preserve, picnic tables, pavilions, stream access, bird watching, gazebos, gardens, benches and hiking/biking trails.

Inside Play

If you're looking to change it up a little from the park routine, indoor play areas can provide a bit of novelty. The kiddos are sure to love Monkey Joe's, a play center with wall-to-wall inflatables that include slides and obstacle courses. There's even a separate toddler play area for ages 3 and under with a trained staff who supervise the activities, and an adult lounge where you can relax and check your email. For some creative play, try Let's Pretend in Middletown, about a 25-minute drive from Camp Hill. This unique facility is designed for adults and kids to make-believe together in a variety of settings including a corner grocery store, a construction zone, a diner, a nursery and much more.

Gymnastics and Dance

If you live in or around Camp Hill, signing your toddler or preschooler up for a gymnastics or dance class is a sure win at this wiggly age. The Central PA Academy of Gymnastic in nearby Mechanicsburg, which is about 25 minute away, offers a Mini Gym for children ages 2 to 5. They have different classes tailored to each specific age that incorporate music and lessons about shapes, numbers and colors. If your little one likes to boogie, she might like Tap 'N Arts Dance Studio in Harrisburg, 10 minutes from Camp Hill. Starting at age 3, kids can take tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, creative movement and Zumba classes.

Rainy Day Activities

Don't let the rainy days get you down. When the sun isn't shining, the kids are sure to love the Cleve J. Frederickson Library, which has a large, diverse children's section. There's also various story times for the little ones -- and a summer reading program that your preschooler can join that includes reading activities as well as other activities like magic, science and art workshops. Another fun option is the State Museum of Pennsylvania's Curiosity Connection in Harrisburg, a hands-on play environment for kids up to age 5. It has several creative play zones, including a multi-sensory forest, a construction zone where kids can make structures from building materials, and an art area with a glass wall, vinyl shapes and markers where your little Picasso can get creative.

About the Author

Jaime Budzienski has contributed essays and articles to the "Boston Globe Sunday Magazine," "Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine" and the "Boston Parents Paper." She holds a B.F.A. in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College and a master's degree in education from UMASS Boston.

Photo Credits

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