The town of Gettysburg attracts several million visitors each year, and a large portion of those visitors are families. While some activities in Gettysburg are not ideal for kids, there is a wide selection of family-friendly things to do in Gettysburg with kids that will keep the whole family engaged so you can have a meaningful time and make memories.
Tour The Gettysburg Battlefield As A Family
One of the biggest attractions in Gettysburg is the famous battlefield. If your kids are a little older and have shown an interest in American history, they’ll appreciate almost any method available to tour the battlefield.
But if you take a tour in an open-air double decker bus, the experience can be fun even for younger kids who will enjoy being high up in the air and looking down at the surroundings from a different perspective. You can learn more about our bus tour options here, or schedule a tour on a double decker bus here.
Alternatively, consider a bike tour of the battlefield, where everyone in the family will get to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and learn some history at the same time. GettysBike Tours offers a number of options for biking through the battlefield.
Family-Friendly Ghost Tour
If your kids are old enough, they may enjoy a family-friendly ghost tour of the Jennie Wade house, located near the historic battlefield. The first half of the tour takes place in East Cemetary Hill, where you’ll hear stories about soldiers and ghostly encounters. During the second half of the tour, you’ll find yourself at the famous house of Jenny Wade, the only civilian who died during the Battle of Gettysburg.
The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is fast-paced enough to keep the attention of kids who may have an interest in the paranormal.
“Our family went on The Jennie Wade Midnight Tour on September 12th, 2009 and had a wonderful time. The guide (Eric) was knowledgeable, friendly and kept our kids interest throughout. Thanks, keep up the good work.”
-Jim & Sue, Philadelphia, PA
Go Out For Ice Cream
Take a break from the hot sun in the middle of the day for a special ice cream treat (or cool off at the end of a long day of activities)!
There are several noteworthy ice cream shops just outside the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District, including:
- Sunset Ice Cream Parlor on Steinwehr Ave (click here for map)
- Cone Sweet Cone on Baltimore St (click here for map)
- Mr G’s Ice Cream on Baltimore St (click here for map)
Or if you prefer nationwide ice cream shops to local, you can also find Friendly’s, Dairy Queen, and Rita’s in the same general area.
Children of Gettysburg 1863 – Interactive Adventure for Young Historians
Opening in late Summer 2021, the Children of Gettysburg 1863 kid’s museum offers an interactive way for young children to experience the history of Gettysburg while staying active and engaged.
This museum is located at the Rupp House History Center on Baltimore Street, slightly north of the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District, surrounded by restaurants, parks, and other local attractions.
Enjoy A Local Park
The Gettysburg National Military Park is the largest “park” in the area, taking up almost 18 square miles of space (see an interactive map here). There are plenty of trails and walkways where you can take your family for outdoor exploration.
In the center of the Military Park, just outside the center of town, you’ll find the Gettysburg Recreation Park (click here for map). Young kids will enjoy the very large playground that features a number of slides, monkey bars, merry-go-round, and more. Older kids will enjoy the nearby ballfield and other walking areas. And if you’re bringing your dog, you can take a stroll in the adjacent dog park. Even if you’re traveling to Gettysburg without kids, this park is a nice place to sit and relax and get some fresh air or walk around and explore.
There are many exciting things to do in Gettysburg with kids – we’ve just highlighted a few favorites! Hopefully this has given you some ideas on what to do during your upcoming visit. We hope to see you on a tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield soon!