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HomeFamily Travel19 Issues to do in Gettysburg PA (+2-day Itinerary for Households)

19 Issues to do in Gettysburg PA (+2-day Itinerary for Households)

When planning a household highway journey we pulled out a map and took a take a look at all of the potential locations to go inside 4 hours drive from our household in New Jersey, and someway Gettysburg, PA captured the curiosity of my nine-year-old. I wasn’t certain how a lot she would get out of it since I wasn’t certain what there was to do there apart from take a look at the Battlefield and children sometimes don’t even research the Civil Struggle till eighth grade.

As soon as I began trying into it although, I used to be shocked by all of the issues to do in Gettysburg, even for youths! After doing analysis and getting some assist from Vacation spot Gettysburg, we had been capable of put collectively a jam-packed itinerary for two days in Gettysburg that had one thing for everybody and confirmed us that there was a lot extra to Gettysburg than simply the Battlefield.

Past that, we discovered the Gettysburg Battlefield to be far more impactful than a subject full monuments. The world’s devastating historical past had a profound influence on us, touched our hearts, and ended up being a spotlight of our journey.

So if you’re planning a household journey to Gettysburg, PA, here’s a pattern itinerary with loads of enjoyable issues to do in Gettysburg with children and a pleasant steadiness between historical past and household enjoyable.

Issues to do in Gettysburg, PA

Cannon at Devil's Den at Gettysburg PA

Day One

Disclosure: Our go to, together with lodge, sights, excursions and a few meals had been generously hosted by Vacation spot Gettysburg and the Hilton Backyard Inn Gettysburg however the opinions are solely my very own.

Go to the Gettysburg Nationwide Navy Park

Gettysburg Cyclorama
Scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama

I all the time assume it’s a good suggestion to start out off your day with museums when children are contemporary and fed versus later within the day. As you drive via Gettysburg you may simply get caught up by glimpses of varied monuments and need to get proper out on the Battlefield,

Nonetheless, I imagine that spending time within the Gettysburg Nationwide Navy Park Museum will assist create a greater understanding of the occasions main as much as the battle and foster higher comprehension throughout your Battlefield tour.

For those who haven’t completed so already, guide your excursions and take a look at the Junior Ranger and Nationwide Park packages while you arrive. You’ll want to begin your go to with the Cyclorama. Earlier than we went to Gettysburg many buddies and kinfolk stated, “You HAVE to do the Cyclorama,” however I had no concept what it actually was.

Mainly earlier than there have been IMAX theaters, there have been cycloramas, that are 360 diploma work that depict a scene (on this case, the Battle of Gettysburg ) and are surrounded by artifacts and landscaped foregrounds to create a three-dimensional impact. Painted by Paul Dominque Phillipoteaux and his assistants, the Cyclorama of the Battle of Gettysburg was first displayed in Chicago in 1883.

Earlier than you enter the precise Cyclorama, you’ll go to a theater to look at a 20-30 minute movie about slavery and the problems main as much as the Civil Struggle, an outline of the primary occasions of the Civil Struggle main as much as the Battle of Gettysburg, culminating with an outline of the three days of preventing that occurred in July 1863.

From there, you’ll transfer upstairs to a theater housing the Cyclorama. Place yourselves wherever alongside the rail and when the presentation begins, you’ll hear how the final day began with Pickett’s Cost. Utilizing gentle to spotlight parts of the portray and sound the scene will come alive. Afterward, you’ll have a number of moments to maneuver round and take a look at the opposite parts of the portray. You’ll want to search for a person standing close to a tree holding a sword, that is the place painter Phillipoteaux put himself into the image.

After taking within the Cyclorama, it would be best to spend about an hour exploring the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil Struggle. That can assist you perceive the timeline, the museum leads you thru the reveals beginning with the occasions main as much as the Battle of Gettysburg and the via every of the three days of the Battle and the aftermath. Every part encompasses a video that takes excerpts from what you noticed within the Cyclorama and expands upon them to provide a greater understanding of who’s who and the Battle timeline and areas.

The museum ought to preserve your children intrigued with so many multimedia reveals. Along with the movies, there are a lot of touchscreen, interactive reveals all through the museum to deliver historical past to life. Additionally it is a terrific preparation for a go to to the precise Battlefield. After exploring the museum, guests also can cease in to the useful resource heart to analysis any ancestors which will have fought at Gettysburg.

The customer heart is situated on Baltimore Avenue, simply south of downtown Gettysburg. Plan on spending 1.5-2 hours on the park museum and customer heart.

Downtown Gettysburg

After the museum, you might begin to get just a little hungry. I’d advocate heading into Downtown Gettysburg. Situated at 20 Lincoln Sq., proper within the coronary heart of downtown Gettysburg (5 minutes from the Battlefield), The Pub & Restaurant is a Gettysburg traditional that gives a really intensive menu that ought to preserve the entire household completely satisfied.

After lunch, take a while to walk via downtown Gettysburg and perform a little buying. You’ll want to cease and take your image with Abraham Lincoln proper within the sq..

Go to the Shriver Home Museum

2 Days in Gettysburg, PA - visit the Shriver House Museum

Within the morning, you’ll have realized lots in regards to the Battle of Gettysburg, however a go to to the Shriver Home Museum will present you what it was like for the civilians on the town. From guides in interval gown you’ll find out how Mrs. Shriver left their dwelling and saloon and took her household out to the household farm into the center of the battle.

When the household returned they discovered their home had been shot up, became a hospital, and utilized by Accomplice sharpshooters through the battle. The museum is situated between downtown and the customer’s heart at 309 Baltimore Avenue. Excursions run each half hour and take roughly one hour.

Dinner on the Dobbin Home Tavern

2 Days in Gettysburg, PA - dinner at the Dobbins House
Hen and shrimp on the Dobbin Home

If you find yourself prepared for dinner, a terrific historic choices is the Dobbin Home. There are two eating choices on the Dobbin Home; the downstairs Springhouse Tavern for informal eating and the upstairs eating rooms for superb eating in a interval ambiance.

We opted for the interval eating upstairs and I used to be so completely satisfied to see their youngsters’s menu had choices apart from the everyday rooster fingers and french fries. I had the rooster and shrimp dish (scrumptious) and my daughter selected strip steak (from a child’s menu that supplied Pasta, Baked Hen, Baked Shrimp, Filet Mignon and Strip Steak.) For those who go to you must also take a look at their museum upstairs that reveals how the Dobbin Home was a cease on the Underground Railroad.

Dobbin Home Tavern is situated at 89 Steinwehr Ave, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Take a Ghost Tour

Apparently professionals assume there may be plenty of paranormal exercise in Gettysburg, which is conceivable with what has occurred there. If you’re inquisitive about exploring the paranormal, there are a variety of ghost excursions obtainable in Gettysburg. I’ve a daughter that’s simply spooked so we didn’t benefit from these excursions.

Day Two

Tour the Gettysburg Battlefield

2 Days in Gettysburg - touring the Gettysburg Battlefield

There are various methods to tour the Battlefield, together with bike excursions, horseback excursions, bus excursions, audio self-driving excursions, and even segway excursions! However the way in which I’d advocate on your first go to to Gettysburg with children can be with an official Battlefield Information. For those who go this route, make your reservations at the very least 3 days upfront by calling 877-874-2478.

Our guided tour of Gettysburg Nationwide Navy Park was extremely informative and transferring. I’d extremely advocate reserving a registered information. Renae MacLachlan, our Licensed Battlefield Information, actually introduced historical past to life for us with graphic descriptions of the sounds and smells of the Battle of Gettysburg to seize our consideration, as a result of solely by making use of our creativeness to all of our senses might we start to fathom the size of this devastating battle.

“Through the Battle the bullets had been flying so quick and thick it seemed like 1000’s of hornet nests, but after the battle no birds may very well be discovered, they had been all scared away,” defined Renae. “Folks lay dying for days as they solely saved these value saving, not burying the final individual till April of the next 12 months — the stench may very well be smelled as distant as Harrisburg.”

“The sulphur from gunpowder burnt the within of soldier’s and native’s noses and affected their sense of scent for as much as 5 years after the battle.” Renae didn’t simply inform us in regards to the battle logistics, she took us again to that day and helped us think about what it was wish to be a soldier and a civilian through the Battle of Gettysburg.

I requested Renae what it took to change into a Licensed Battlefield Information and she or he gave me a glimpse into the trouble it takes to achieve this place. It isn’t only for historical past buffs. Along with studying and finding out a stack of books, candidates are screened to see how they work together with guests, together with households.

They should know the best way to have interaction the know-it-all historical past buff whereas nonetheless making it fascinating for his or her teenage children, and the best way to preserve the eye of school-aged youngsters by making the historic sights accessible to all ages and pursuits. Not solely that, she must know the situation of all 1,320 monuments and memorials to assist guests which are searching for sure states or ancestors.

That’s almost 6,000 acres of land to cowl in simply two and half hours in a means that’s significant, partaking and academic. Not a straightforward job, however they do it and so they do it exceptionally nicely as a result of they aren’t simply guides, they’re storytellers.

The story begins with the strategy of Lee’s military, pondering they might encounter just some Union troopers and shocked by the scale and energy of the pressure they encountered. We actually noticed the benefit that the excessive floor afforded Union Basic Meade, as we launched into a path following the three-day battle step-by-step.

Abruptly the monuments started to make sense as we began to establish which belonged to which military based mostly on the situation and the path they had been dealing with (matching the place of the suitable military and regiment.) We realized how regiments personalized their monuments with symbols like a Celtic cross or their canine mascot. Renae additionally described the best way to establish which of the 410 cannons had been unique versus reproductions.

With Renae driving our automobile, we had been capable of concentrate on all the data she was relaying, whereas feeling free to go searching and picture the armies marching throughout the fields. And though I wasn’t driving, we had been nonetheless capable of cease and discover any of the areas we thought appeared fascinating, together with climbing as much as the highest of Little Spherical High, scrambling across the rocks at Satan’s Den, and taking within the view from the highest of the Pennsylvania Memorial.

In case you haven’t surmised it already, I couldn’t have been extra impressed with our go to to Gettysburg with a Licensed Battlefield Information.

Lunch at One Lincoln

In any case that battle discuss, you’re going to have to decompress a bit within the afternoon. Begin with lunch at One Lincoln within the Gettysburg Lodge.

Go to the The David Wills Home 

If in case you have power for just a little extra historical past, after lunch you may cease by the David Wills Home, the place Lincoln stayed the night time earlier than his well-known Gettysburg Deal with, at 8 Lincoln Sq..

Take a Drive out into the Nation

Hauser Estate Winery on the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail

Subsequent, it’s time to go to among the farms, markets and wineries alongside the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Path. There are various locations to pattern native wine and ciders. Considered one of my favorites is Hauser Property Vineyard.

In early October, households may even love collaborating within the Nationwide Apple Competition, which has been celebrated in Gettysburg for over 50 years! Right here you can see arts and crafts distributors; vintage and traditional automobiles; hayrides; a petting zoo; pony rides; pie baking and consuming contest; scarecrow constructing; and tractor sq. dancing.

On weekends in September and October, households can benefit from the corn maze, hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin choosing, zipline and different actions at Fields of Journey.

Discover Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum & Sweet Store

Top-of-the-line stops for people who love quirky sights is at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and sweet store. The place else can you discover 12,000 elephants however in Gettysburg? As soon as you might be completed searching via his intensive show, you may have enjoyable buying on the over 700 styles of candies and fudge.

Dinner at The Garryowen Irish Pub

There are many locations on the town to have dinner however if you’re in an Irish temper (or significantly like bacon and need to attempt their Tuesday Bakon Nights), the Garryowen at 126 Chambersburg St. is an genuine pub with Irish fare and music.

For those who Have Extra Time in Gettysburg

If in case you have greater than three days, there are extra enjoyable issues to do in Gettysburg together with:

Land of Little Horses

The Land of Little Horses is a cute interactive animal park. Open April via October, the Land of Little Horses has a big herd of miniature horses, in addition to different farmyard animals. Guests can meet the animals, see each day performances, and even play within the reproduction western city.

Carlisle Sports activities Emporium

This mega leisure advanced has over 75,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outside enjoyable for all ages with three go-kart tracks, two 18-hole themed miniature golf programs, a 2-story lasertron laser tag area, an arcade, an indoor mountaineering wall, curler skating and café.

Liberty Mountain

If you’re visiting within the winter, close by Liberty Mountain gives snowboarding, snowboarding and tubing for the entire household.

Eisenhower Nationwide Historic Website

Dwight Eisenhower was stationed close to Gettysburg in World Struggle I and when he wished a spot to quiet down, he returned and purchased a farm very near the Battlefield. After changing into President, Eisenhower hosted many well-known company right here together with Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, President Charles de Gaulle of France, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain, and Gov. Ronald Reagan of California.

Go Biking

Wholesome Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian (HABPI) gives a wide range of bike experience choices on the town, on the battlefield and all through the county.

Horseback Driving

Nationwide Driving Stables can help you see the battlefield from a distinct perspective by driving the precise trails the place gives rode and infantry marched through the nice battle.

Meals Excursions

I really like exploring a brand new place via my stomach and meals excursions are an effective way to do that. There’s no higher option to see the city you’re visiting than to eat your means via it.  With Savor Gettysburg Meals Excursions you may discover the historic downtown space and style your means via historical past.

Steam into Historical past

Experience a reproduction of the steam engine that introduced Lincoln to his now well-known Gettysburg Deal with on the Steam into Historical past prepare. Alongside the way in which, you’ll hear in regards to the cities and villages he handed alongside the way in which and the skirmish at Hanover Junction previous to the Battle of Gettysburg.

Earlier than you Go to Gettysburg with Children

Notice: This put up could include affiliate hyperlinks. For those who click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I could obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

When you can actually go to Gettysburg with out having first studied the Civil Struggle, just a little background is useful. Since children often don’t research Gettysburg and the Civil Struggle till eighth grade, studying up on slavery, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil Struggle, Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Deal with is an efficient option to create some context.

Advisable studying for youthful children consists of:

Older Children may additionally take pleasure in:

Discover a Place to Keep in Gettysburg


If you are planning on visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield, there are tons of fun things to do in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania  (including things for kids!). Use this 2-day Gettysburg itinerary.

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