As I slide into the freshwater spring, all I see around me is the sun-dappled greenery as it catches the breeze and seems to sway in rhythm with children’s laughter all around. When I resurface, I spot the rainbow-wide smile on my son’s face as he dives under the crystal surface and nearby, my extended family is scrambling and slipping over a water obstacle course, splashing happily as they try and climb to the top.
This happy scene is all the more stunning for the fact that I haven’t flown off to some remote tropical island beach. Instead, I’ve driven just 90 minutes from New York City to rural Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania where Dutch Springs, a spring filled quarry, has been transformed into a family-friendly outdoor dive center and waterpark.
Although Dutch Springs is a unique attraction, it’s not the only spot that offers one-of-a-kind wholesome, affordable, entertainment and amusements to families in the Keystone State. In fact, the towering pines and rolling hills of Pennsylvania always offer a relaxing and entertaining reprieve from our usual family routine. Whether we’re exploring the natural world of the Allegheny Mountains, swishing down the slopes in the Poconos, getting crafty at Crayola, enjoying pint-size thrills for preschoolers at Sesame Place, hitting the highest heights of roller coasters at Hershey Park, or following in the footsteps of history in Philadelphia, it seems that the “families welcome” sign is always lit up over the state.
We’ve discovered a myriad of family resorts in Pennsylvania that aren’t just places to stay, but also entertaining getaways in their own right, with special amenities for kids and plenty to do for the whole family right in the heart of all the state’s greatest attractions.