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Summer Festival Fun in Central PA


fff_york2016_1272016 Central Penn Parent Family Festival in York. Photo: Amy Spangler

Summer means festivals! It seems like every weekend there’s at least one to be found reasonably close to us. Here are some that we like, in chronological order:

June

Apple Dumpling Festival
June 12-18
Willow Glen Park, Sinking Spring
A tradition in the Berks County area, the festival includes games, food, music and more, plus competition for Little Miss Apple Dumpling, Junior Miss Apple Dumpling, Teen Miss Apple Dumpling, and Miss Apple Dumpling.

Jubilee Day
June 15, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Downtown Mechanicsburg
The largest, longest running one-day street fair on the East Coast, with more than 300 vendors offering food, games, arts & crafts, carnival rides and more. FREE.

Kempton Fair
June 15 – 17
Kempton Community Center, 83 Community Center Drive, Kempton, PA
Old-timey country fair, complete with tractor pulls, livestock shows and country line dancing. Live music talent show and midway fair rides. Fireworks on Friday night!

Central Penn Parent Family Festival
June 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Long’s Park, Lancaster
Live music and stage performances, a petting zoo and pony rides, Atomic bounce houses, Storytime corner, and lots of exhibitors with child-friendly activities. Children are also invited to dress up and walk in the costume parade or bring their favorite stuffed animal for a check-up. Bring a picnic lunch or get something from our food court and spend the day enjoying everything this festival has to offer for local families. FREE.

Pennsylvania Firefly Festival
June 25, noon-midnight
Black Caddis Ranch, Kellettville
The festival, which attracts visitors from all across the globe, celebrates the late-night activities of the synchronous fireflies in the Allegheny National Forest area. Their peak season is short and the viewing here is ideal, plus there are food trucks and live entertainment until 9 p.m.

Chester County Balloon Festival
June 23, 4-9 p.m., June 24-25, 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
New Garden Flying Field, Toughkenamon
This festival features tethered and untethered balloon rides, with more than 20 balloons taking flight twice a day. Plus helicopter rides, a zip line, walk through an inflated balloon, monster truck rides, a fire truck parade, a kid zone, and for parents, a wine and beer garden.

Carlisle Summerfair
June 23-July 4
Carlisle and surrounding area
Now in its 40th year, this 10-day festival is filled with family activities including a parade, fireworks, music, ice cream social, a performance by Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the Anything Floats race.

July

Kutztown Folk Festival
July 1-9
Kutztown Fairgrounds
America’s Premier Pennsylvania Dutch Festival offers nine days of Pennsylvania Dutch culture, crafts, entertainment, food and more. Admission charged, but parking is free.

Adams County Irish Festival
July 15
Moose Park, Gettysburg
It’s Adams County’s only Irish festival and takes place rain or shine. There will be Irish bands, Irish step dancers, Irish food, Irish wolfhounds, and lots of art and gift vendors.

Acorn Family Festival
July 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Central Oak Heights, West Milton
Music, dance, art activities and children’s literature. In the evening there is a big band concert. FREE.

Nature and Arts Festival
July 29
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Millersburg
nedsmithcenter.org
This annual celebration of nature and the arts features more than 50 fun and educational programs on a huge variety of topics, live music and dozens of children’s activities. FREE.

34th Annual Hanover Dutch Festival
July 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hanover Center Square
Festival features 330+ handmade craft & food vendors, authentic German entertainment, antique/classic car show and kids carnival.

August

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, Children’s Fantasy Weekend
August 5-6, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Mount Hope Estate, Manheim
Opening weekend for the faire features free admission for kids ages 11 and younger, plus a special treasure hunt and other activities in addition to the usual Faire events. The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire runs every weekend through Oct. 29.

India Day, A Community Fair
August 12, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg
Experience India right here in Central PA.  Ethnic foods and arts and crafts vendors. Live music and dancing in all styles, from folk and traditional to Bollywood. Children’s activities include bounce house, face painting, toy painting, chess and a  sit and draw competition.

Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show
August 19 – 20
Under the oaks of the Chautauqua section of Mount Gretna between Route 117 and Pennsylvania Avenue, Mt. Gretna
Hundreds of arts and crafts represented, from painting, printmaking and photography to metal, glass and fibers.  Live music and strolling performers. The Kids’ Art Show will be held on the Chautauqua playground, and kids’ activities include make=and-taker art, face painting and balloon animals.  Admission: $12 for 12 years old and older; FREE for 11 years old and younger

Shippensburg Corn Festival
Aug. 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Downtown Shippensburg
This annual festival includes more than 250 craft and antique vendors, performances and every type of corn you can imagine.

September

Central Penn Parent Family Festival
Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cousler Park, Manchester Township, York
Live music and stage performances, a petting zoo and pony rides, Atomic bounce houses, Storytime corner, and lots of exhibitors with child-friendly activities. Children are also invited to dress up and walk in the costume parade or bring their favorite stuffed animal for a check-up. Bring a picnic lunch or get something from our food court and spend the day enjoying everything this festival has to offer for local families. FREE.

33 family-fun destinations within 90 miles of Central PA

Family Fun in Philadelphia: 9 destinations to visit with the kiddos

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Tue 27

Native Americans Along the Susquehanna

June 1 @ 10:00 am - July 29 @ 2:00 pm
Tue 27

Friday Fun

June 2 @ 11:00 am - August 25 @ 1:00 pm
Tue 27

Summer Learning for All Ages!

June 5 @ 9:00 am - August 6 @ 9:00 am
Tue 27

Teens Create! Contest

June 5 @ 9:00 am - July 8 @ 5:00 pm
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