Wherever you’re looking to escape this summer, Northeast Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains is the perfect destination for a family vacation. An easy drive from most major East Coast cities, you’ll find rolling mountain terrain, beautiful waterfalls, rushing rivers, and plenty of parks to explore.
Gaining a reputation as a family vacation mecca, the Poconos is home to resorts for every kind of kid: waterpark obsessed, arcade lovers, lake loungers, zip line fanatics, and everyone in between. Family-friendly resorts entertain children and adults during the summer break, and there are plenty of attractions, adventures, and eateries for everyone.
We put together this guide to some of our favorite spots to help plan your summer getaway to the Poconos. With everything from what to do to where to eat and stay, we’ve got you covered from start to finish.
There’s no shortage of outdoor and indoor family fun in Pocono Mountains. These establishments are well-known for endless adventure and entertainment.
Indoor and Outdoor Waterparks
Home to five waterparks, you’ll find every kind of water recreation here from steep slides to lazy rivers. Play in the sun at outdoor waterpark Camelbeach, or head inside to experience Camelback’s Aquatopia, Split Rock’s H2Oooohh! or Kalahari. These are open to the public as well as staying guests. Great Wolf Lodge is open to the public for private parties only.
Add a dose of magic to your family vacation at Great Wolf Lodge’s MagiQuest. Choose a wand, set out on a quest, and come back over and over again for more adventures. Battle goblins and dragons, befriend mythical creatures, and open treasure chests on every delightful quest.
Claws 'N' Paws Wild Animal Park
Feed giraffes, pet animals, and search for dinosaur bones in this woodland zoo tucked away in the Pocono Mountains. Open seasonally, this park lets you get up close to alligators, lions, lynxes, leopards, and more.
Costa's Family Fun Park
This summer destination near Lake Wallenpaupack is the place for family fun. Ride go-karts, play miniature golf or laser tag, race down water slides, ride bumper boats, test your skills on the golf driving range and batting cages, or enjoy the cool a/c at the indoor arcade.
Casino Theatre Entertainment Center
Find old-fashioned fun with a side of ‘50s nostalgia at Casino Theatre. Here, a night at the movies pairs with a malt shoppe serving milkshakes, and ice cream concoctions from yesteryear.
The Stourbridge Line Train
All aboard! Gather the family for a ride on this historic railroad line, traveling 25 miles along the Lackawaxen River Valley on select dates throughout the year.
From breweries to classic American fare to ethnic cuisine, the Poconos region is an evolving hotbed of culinary excellence. There are plenty of casual eateries that welcome families looking for good food, great atmosphere, and a relaxed vibe. Here are a few of our favorites.
Barley Creek Brewing Company
This brewery isn’t just for grownups. Expect great food all day long and nonstop fun in the Pint Sized Park during warmer summer months. Parents can enjoy brews and cocktails from the Tiki Bar while the kids play wiffle ball, corn hole, bocce ball, ping pong, foosball, and plenty of other yard games. Open on select summer dates and for events.
Shop the world’s largest general store at Country Junction in Lehighton. Come for the free petting zoo where kids can feed ducks, pet an alpaca, and watch chicken wander the grounds. Tiny tots will also love the playground, racetrack, and sandcastle-building area. New additions like escape rooms, laser tag, and Nerf arena mean you can make a day of your visit. Stop by The Barn Door afterward for pizza, ice cream, and their famous butter beer floats.
The Dock on Wallenpaupack
Take in the lake views at this eatery specializing in food that was popular when Baby Boomers were kids—think comfort classics and seafood dishes. Live music is played frequently in summer months and a ring toss game will keep the kiddos entertained.
Rootin’ Tootin’ Hot Dogs
Keep lunchtime simple at this roadside stop serving up hot dogs, mac and cheese, and tatters in a classic setting. Hot dogs are $4 or less, making it a perfect budget option. Sock Hop outdoor dance parties held every Saturday in the summer for even more fun.
Apple Valley Restaurant
Find hearty American fare at this long-standing restaurant set amidst koi ponds and cabins-turned-specialty shops. Welcoming to families with food the kids will actually eat!
Berrelli’s Family Style Italian
Find home-style Italian cooking on the slopes of Camelback Resort at this restaurant specializing in communal, family-style feasts.
From mega waterpark resorts to cozy mountainside inns, diverse Pocono Mountains lodging options have something for every type of family. Choose the location and attractions you like best and get ready for a one-of-a-kind stay beloved by parents and kids alike.
Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
This mega resort might be set on the ski slopes of Camelback Mountain, but it isn’t just for winter fun. Keep sunburn at bay and play at the indoor waterpark or venture outside to Camelbeach and its 37 waterpark rides.
Great Wolf Lodge
Named America’s Best Family Resort by USA Today in 2017, Great Wolf Lodge boasts a massive indoor waterpark, arcade, family-friendly bowling and golf, kiddie spa, and character appearances.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Waterbabies will love visiting America's Largest Indoor Waterpark, featuring huge slides, splash areas, lazy rivers, and a retractable roof so you feel like you’re outdoors on summer days. (Kalahari has an outdoor waterpark too.) Don’t forget to head outdoors to check out the new treetop ropes course, mini golf, zip line, and mini train.
If outdoor adventure is your game, this is your lodge. Skytop is surrounded by more than 30 miles of trails spread across the 5,500-acre property and hiking, lawn games, rock climbing, archery, putting green, swimming pools, and archery tag all are part of the diverse offerings. Or just head to the lake to paddle and relax.
All-inclusive resorts are a rare find in the Poconos, making Woodloch Resort a special treat. If you don’t like worrying about where to eat and what to do on vacation, you’ll love it here. Summertime means boating, swimming, and lounging lakeside or hiking on numerous trails surrounding the property.
Pocono Manor Resort & Spa
Find high-class adventure at this restored, historic resort set in the heart of the Pocono Mountains. From lawn games and archery to trap shooting and UTV rides, there are plenty of ways to enjoy and explore this historic property and its surrounding outdoor landscapes.
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