While we were staying in Hershey last month, we wanted something fun to do with the kids that was indoors since the weather was nutso and snowing in April.
We decided to head to Harrisburg to go to the Whitaker Center. It was just about 20 minutes from Hershey Lodge, which is awesome!
The Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA is a combination of a cinema, theater, and science center. There is something for everyone to get into here with three floors of hands-on science exhibits and fun-filled galleries including Forces of Nature, KidsPlace, Carnival of Health and Move It!
Inside the Select Medical Digital Cinema, you can experience spectacular Hollywood movies and documentaries on a 4-story-tall screen! And… you can catch amazing live performances of music, theater, and dance in the Sunoco Performance Theater! Jewel was there the weekend we were. I was tempted to ditch the family at the Lodge and come back alone!
Since we have two little ones under 5, we knew the Harsco Science Center was where we would be spending our time.
The boys immediately took off for KidsPlace. Charlie saw the ambulance while I was picking up our tickets and he knew that's where he wanted to be! KidsPlace is a separate gated area for children 5 and under.
Our kids would have been more than happy to spend the entire afternoon in KidsPlace. Everything in here is geared for the littlest explorers. They can play on a stage, experiment with a big waterworks station, shop a grocery store, and so much more!
Charlie spent the majority of the time in KidsPlace playing in the house and building site. He was more than entertained sending “bricks” up and down using the pulley system. Owen ran through it a bit and went down the slide.
Owen thought the ambulance was awesome! He sat in there “driving” and just hanging out with Dad for quite awhile. In the back of the ambulance were medical supplies that any ambulance would need!
If you have little ones that will be playing in KidsPlace, make sure you bring an extra change of clothes! They are going to love the waterworks station!
There are hand dryers next to the water area, but it's not quite enough to dry the whole kid. If you have a baby, you can pop them in a built-in seat and let them play in the water, too!
After playing in KidsPlace for over an hour, we moved onto the next floor down where we found Move It! Charlie loved designing his own car here and racing it against mine.
While he was building his car, I tried my hand and making paper airplanes and trying to get it through hoops that are hanging from the ceiling. It's tougher than it sounds!
On the same level, we explored the Carnival of Health. This is a fun carnival-themed area all about healthy living and the human body. You can bike race, smash germs, and even climb a wall!
The next floor down is where we played with a lot of Earth Science activities in the Forces of Nature area. I really love how much the kids can just wander around and play with everything. There's nothing they can break or ruin (which is always a plus with my boys).
Both boys really enjoyed experiencing some of the natural phenomenons, like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.
There are a lot of other cool things on this level, but they're more for the older kids. The Backstage Studio area is full of exhibits about the science and technology behind movies, TV, music, and theater. Kids can even tag a graffiti wall and make their own stop-motion movie.
Parking was a breeze! We parked in the Walnut Street Parking Garage. All we had to do was take the elevator up and we were there!
If you have little ones, there is a nursing room inside of KidsPlace, both men's and women's bathrooms have changing tables, and there are elevators and plenty of room for strollers.
After you've finished your day of fun, you can pop into the gift shop and bring some educational fun back home with you.
I was so impressed with The Whitaker Center. It is truly somewhere that we could take the kids and just let them play, explore, and learn for several hours. We spent about three hours here and could have gone longer I'm sure. If it were closer to us, we would definitely get a family membership!
We received complimentary tickets for our day of fun at Whitaker Center, but all opinions are my own.