Pennsylvania

9 Fantastic Family Resorts in Pennsylvania | With Year-Round Indoor and Outdoor Activities

From ski slopes to indoor waterparks, these fantastic kid-friendly family resorts in Pennsylvania will ensure that everyone gets the most out of their vacation.

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.

Roar with Fun at an Indoor Waterpark Made for Families

It’s hard to find a more family-friendly, all-season property that caters to kids the way that Great Wolf Lodge does. This indoor waterpark resort in the Pocono Mountains hits the sweet spot with preschoolers through tweens, with 80,000 square feet of heated indoor water fun with slippery slides, a long lazy river, and lots of splashing fun for little ones. Spring for the private cabanas and you’ll be able to enjoy private wait staff serving drinks and food right to your chair (or towel). In the summer, there are outdoor pools, too.

Out of the water, there’s ample activities to keep the kids entertained, from a Technicolor game room to interactive laser games, 10-pin bowling to a Build-A-Bear workshop. All of those incur additional costs, but Great Wolf offers plenty of complimentary fun in the price of an overnight, including PJ parties and nightly story time for kids with costumed characters, yoga trails and kids fitness offerings, as well as arts and crafts so you can take a break from the pools. There are several on-site dining options with kid-friendly menus (think: pizza and ice cream), with a special focus on allergy-friendly dining and a nut-free kitchen to accommodate every guest’s needs. And you know a parent came up with Great Wolf’s savvy “Wine Down” package; it allows you to put the kids to bed after a long day in the waves and have a wine pairing with either sweet or savory snacks delivered right to your suite.

The all suite accommodations at the resort range from spacious 2-queen bed, pullout couch standard suites to kid-beloved options with tent- or log cabin themed rooms with bunk beds or cabins, to luxurious duplexes with fireplaces and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.

Great Wolf Lodge - Poconos Pa

Scotrun
8.2 Very good (1678 reviews)

Hit the Slopes for Mountains of Fun

Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark is where to experience the best of winter fun in Pennsylvania. It’s the largest ski resort in the state, and one of the most popular in the east coast for its expansive snowmaking capabilities, learn-to-ski program plus extensive beginner trails, and new ski-in/ski-out restaurants. Don’t ski? Don’t worry; the resort also offers the biggest snowtubing park in the entire country, which kids as small as 33 inches can participate in; and there’s even disco-lit Galaxy Tubing at night.

Off the slopes, families make a bee-line straight to Aquatopia, the indoor waterpark housed under a 1.5 acre transparent roof that allows for natural sunlight year-round while you and your brood splash it up in the pools and waterslides, surfing simulator, wave pool, or on America’s longest uphill water coaster. In the summer, the ski area transforms into an outdoor water park, Camelbeach, which offers watery thrills under the open skies.

Whatever time of year you’re here, you’ll be able to relax in rooms that are all suites, including options for studio spaces or one-, two-, or three-bedrooms configurations.

Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark

Bartonsville
8.1 Very good (34 reviews)

All-Inclusive Activities and Entertainment to Keep the Whole Crew Entertained

Voted the number one family resort in the United States by USA Today, the all-inclusive Woodloch Pines Resort in the Poconos offers worry-free, pay-one-price fun with more than 30 activities offered everyday. In the winter, highlights include snow tubing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. In the summer months, there is pool and lake-side fun, and in fall haunted hayrides are a special treat. Meals are served “family style” around large tables, and the resort prides itself on being especially adept at dealing with allergies and special dietary requests.

At night there’s Broadway-like entertainment, from talent shows, dance parties, and comedians; it’s all geared towards families, and it’s all included in the price.

The resort offers accommodations in several price ranges, making it affordable for families to visit. Ranging from whole vacation home rentals to multi-room suites to lake view deluxe rooms with patios, even the least expensive motel-style standard rooms have two queen beds in a separate space divided by a partition door, with two additional day beds in a separate living space, as well as two televisions so the kids can be entertained while you get a few extra minutes of shuteye.

Woodloch

Top rated
Hawley
8.8 Excellent (218 reviews)

Submerge in Springs of Family Fun

Nestled in southern Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley, Omni Bedford Springs Resort boasts unbeatable outdoor recreation, including tennis, guided tours, fishing in the Gold Medal trout stream, as well as hiking and mountain biking. In addition, the resort touts indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a full-service luxury spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, endless dining opportunities and a magnificently restored golf course. Even the drive presents its own photo opportunity, as the Allegheny Mountain ridge offers its own spectacular autumn view along the horizon.

The Omni Sensational Kids program pampers kids, with special backpacks stuffed with crafts and games, a milk and cookies delivery on their first night, games, books, and toys to borrow throughout their stay.

Parents can partake in plenty of pampering too, whether on the 18-hole golf course or at the Springs Eternal Spa where in addition to body and face treatments, you can soak in the historic spa waters of the Bedford Baths, a complimentary perk of booking services here.

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Top rated
Bedford
9.1 Excellent (1009 reviews)

Mountains of Fun Near Philadelphia

In the Lehigh Valley, just an hour from Philadelphia, Bear Creek Mountain Resort offers an easy escape from the city. This year-round resort features a 116-room hotel, including rooms with two queen beds and kitchenettes, perfect for families. Other amenities include two restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, plus indoor and outdoor heated pools. as well as activities and amenities for all ages on 330 verdant acres of mountains perfect for hiking and mountain biking, plus a lakefront for watersports in the summer.

The 330 acres of mountains the resort provide year-round activities. In summer, there is hiking and mountain biking, plus a lakefront where you can cool off or try out a variety of watersports. In winter, there is skiing or snowboarding on 86 acres of slopes, trails, and terrain parks at Bear Creek Mountain. There’s something for every level of skier or rider, from the beginner area served by a carpet lift and triple chair, to three progressive terrain parks with a wide variety of freestyle features, to the

most challenging black diamond trail: the 50% slope of Sasquatch.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Top rated
Coopersburg
8.8 Excellent (348 reviews)

Family Adventures in the City of Brotherly Love

The Loews Philadelphia is an urban hotel that feels like a kid-friendly resort with a large pool on the fifth floor that’s always busy with a contingent of junior swimmers. The Loews Loves Kids program offers complimentary loaner baby gear including bottle warmers, pack and plays, car seats, strollers, and childproofing kits.

The hotel also provides healthy kid menus at their on-site restaurants, but just two blocks away is the Reading Terminal Market Food Hall with a plethora of quick meal options and snacks (Pennsylvania Dutch hot pretzels and farm-fresh ice cream!) perfect for small eaters. The Dutch Eating Place is especially worth a stop for their diner-style menu with great breakfast options (yay, pancakes!) served all day. After you’ve fueled up, it’s an easy walk to reach the historic sites of the city including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

At night you’ll appreciate the comfy double-bedded rooms, sleek bathrooms, and free WiFi.

Hotel Loews Philadelphia

Top rated
Philadelphia
8.8 Excellent (6877 reviews)

A Sweet Stay for Kids of All Ages

Although this is considered the more moderate of the two Hershey properties, in many ways Hershey Lodge feels more child-friendly than its swanky sister up the hill. Kids love the special check-in where they get chocolate treats and the room wings named after favorite sweet confections (my family stayed in the Hershey Kisses section and we found the foil-wrapped treats on our pillows every day).

There’s a terrific indoor pool complex, tricked out with slides, a spray zone, basketball hoops, and ropes courses. Costumed characters (think a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with arms) do meet and greets in the lobby, and the breakfast buffet offers up chocolate pancakes to fuel your sugary adventures in the adjoining theme park and Hershey World.

Guestrooms are spacious and modern, decorated with bright colors and candy-themed wallpaper; premium category rooms have two queen size beds plus a pullout couch, giving families plenty of room to spread out.

Hershey Lodge

Hershey
8.1 Very good (350 reviews)

Chocolate-Covered Luxury at Historic Hershey

If you want to treat yourself after the kids have had their fill of twirls and thrills at Hershey Park, the historic Hershey Hotel offers plenty of grown up perks within its elegant walls. Top of the list for indulgence is the two-story destination spa, a plush retreat that offers chocolate-based treatments such as a fondue body wrap and cocoa facial in addition to decadent treats to accompany hot chocolate, tea, and coffee in the lounge when you’re done soaking in the Jacuzzi or relaxing in the steam room. Grown ups will also appreciate the 18-hole golf course and stand-alone fitness center.

There’s plenty of appeal for kids, too, with indoor and outdoor pools, lawn games in the warmer months, the supervised Cocoa Clubhouse with games and activities (perfect childcare for when you’re at the spa). The whole family will also want to experience the majestic birds at the falconry center, before indulging in the chocolate cream pie at the hotel’s famed Circular restaurant.

Sophisticated guestrooms here have two queen beds; there are also a large number of suite configurations, plus the Woodside Cottages which offer luxury accommodations and more privacy, but take you away from the main building.

The Hershey Hotel

Top rated
Hershey
8.7 Excellent (230 reviews)

Outdoor Adventures in the Allegheny Mountains

The sprawling Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania, 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, is an unparalleled destination for family outdoor activities. Set on 2,000 private acres in the Laurel Highlands, the resort features an Adventure Center where guests of all ages can try out zip lining, bungee jumping, off-roading, skiing and tubing in the winter at Mystic Mountain. Another highlight here is the Wildlife Academy where you’ll find an Equestrian Center, an animal nursery, and a perennial kid favorite: an on-property zoo with animal habitats that house tigers, lions, black bears, and bison. Also popular are the extensive woodlands for hiking and mountain biking, a bowling alley, and two PGA golf courses.

Two supervised kids clubs, one for ages 4 to 15, and one for babies and toddlers ages 6 weeks to 3 years, mean you and your spouse can check out the spa, gamble at the casino, or sample the gourmet French offerings at the 5-diamond Lautrec Restaurant, while the little ones are being entertained.

When you’re ready to hit the hay, there are extensive room options, including spacious townhomes that offer every member of the family their own bedroom, and are pet friendly, too.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Farmington
8.8 Excellent (595 reviews)