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Family Activities in Berks County, Pennsylvania

by Laura Werner

Less than an hour's drive northeast of Philadelphia, and halfway between Washington D.C. and New York City, lies Berks County, Pennsylvania. Berks County sits in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country and was once the the world's leading manufacturer of fashion hosiery. Reading, the largest urban city in Berks County, hosts the county's largest sporting and entertainment arena and theater, The Sovereign Center, and is home to five regional sports teams in baseball, ice hockey, basketball and indoor and outdoor football.

Parks and Outdoor Activities

Travel through one of five covered bridges to Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport or Lake Ontelaunee in Shoemakersville for a picnic or a swim. Take a relaxing walk or energizing bike ride in Gring's Mill across from Penn State Berks Campus in Wyomissing. Go hiking or camping at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in the city of Hamburg or visit Crystal Cave near Kutztown. The Pagoda near the hills of Reading provides an unforgettable, must-see panoramic view of Berks County.

An Evening Out

Goggleworks in downtown Reading provides an outlet for the creative members of your family. Indulge in music, dance or art classes or just browse through the five art galleries. Shopping at the Vanity Fair Outlet Center in Wyomissing will save you some cash, as there is no sales tax on clothing. Then spend the cash you saved on a family dinner in the small business district of West Reading.

Summer Festivals

Each year The Reading Hospital, one of the area's largest medical facilities, sponsors a Garden Party Fundraiser and Book Sale that gets bigger and better every year. The Kutztown Folk Festival, celebrating Pennsylvania Dutch culture, arts and traditional skills as well as music and food, boasts over 150,000 visitors each year. Berks Art Councils' Annual Jazz fest, one of the largest in the nation, sponsors over 130 different events around the county in 10 days.

History and Museums

Take the kids to explore a real railroad car in the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum, located in Hamburg. Visit the homesteads of Daniel Boone and Conrad Weiser, located in Birdsboro and Womelsdorf, respectively. If paranormal activity is something that interests your family, visit the Brinton Lodge in Douglassville or Emily's in Mohnton. Shocktoberfest is a nationally acclaimed haunted attraction using 3D technology and multiple themes in Sinking Spring.

About the Author

Laura Werner has been doing rights-based development writing since 1998, focusing on grant applications for international organizations. She is pursuing a dual Master of Public Health and Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

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