Life gets busy, especially when you have kids. Between work, school, sports and clubs, it’s easy to forget to stop and have fun. Fortunately, Harrisburg has lots of things for families to do right in your own backyard, so to speak.

The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is a downtown gem. Much like hiding cauliflower in mashed potatoes, The Whitaker serves up a heaping pile of fun that’s fortified with learning. The Select Medical Digital Cinema delights and entertains with both educational and popular movies shown on a huge, 4-story screen. The Harsco Science Center’s three floors have engaging, interactive exhibits created to spark the imaginations of children of all ages.

The Popcorn Hat Player’s Children’s Theater is another great place to take the kids. Located at Gamut Theatre’s new home near the PA State Capitol Complex, the Popcorn Hat Players breathe new life into classic fairy tales, folk tales and fables by writing their own original adaptations. New shows play throughout the year.

Lunch at Broad Street Market is a great way to teach your kids the importance of buying local. There are several places to grab a bite or three as well nearly 40 venders offering locally grown food you can take home with you. Afterwards, you can visit the nearby Midtown Scholar Bookstore to search their wide selection of kids’ books.

State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg

The State Museum of Pennsylvania is an incredible collection of exhibits and displays that highlight the rich history of our state. It’s also home to one of the few planetariums left in the region, where short but insightful programs are geared for different age levels. Check the schedule before your visit to find the best fit for your family.

Art can have such an impact on our little ones. They often spend parts of their days drafting out their thoughts in crayons and markers, so to see art on a grander scale can be pretty inspirational! Children can see art at its point of creation with a walk through the Millworks Art Gallery Studios, or participate in story time at the Susquehanna Art Museum – both in Harrisburg’s Midtown neighborhood.

Bonus

Think spring! How about a day (or night) at the ballpark to see the Harrisburg Senators. Not only does the ballpark offer fun activities for the kids before and during the game, City Island itself has a ton of fun things to do including miniature golf, an arcade, batting cages and train rides.