Things for Kids to Do Near Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

by Emily Jarvis
The natural landscape of the Poconos offers endless activities.

The natural landscape of the Poconos offers endless activities.

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Mount Pocono is a small borough in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania where the family attractions are plentiful. Outdoor activities and water sports are big draws in the warmer months, and museums and indoor attractions offer year-round amusement. You'll find attractions for kids of all ages just a short drive from Mount Pocono.

Nature and Outdoors

The natural landscape of the Poconos offers activities for all skill levels. Older children and teenagers will enjoy hiking Bushkill Falls (visitbushkillfalls.com), "The Niagara of Pennsylvania." Trails for all levels of hiking ability surround the scenic falls. The Pennsylvania Wildlife Museum at the entrance to the park introduces visitors to the native wildlife they may see on their hikes. Bushkill Falls is open April through November. Families can see the mountain lakes and rivers by kayak and canoe or take a whitewater rafting tour of the rapids. Tour companies near Mount Pocono include Kittatinny Canoes (kittatinny.com), Pocono Whitewater (poconowhitewater.com) and Adventure Sports (adventuresport.com). Anglers can fish the rivers and lakes with a Pennsylvania fishing license as well (fish.state.pa.us).

Themed Attractions

Claws 'N' Paws Wild Animal Park (clawsnpaws.com) is one of the largest zoos in the region. A 25-mile drive from Mount Pocono in Lake Ariel, the zoo features petting areas, shows and feeding demonstrations. The park is open May 1 through mid-October. Camelbeach Waterpark in nearby Tannersville (camelbeach.com) has rides and attractions for all ages. Less than 10 miles from Mount Pocono, the park operates from the end of May to the beginning of September. You can also visit the H2Oooohh! indoor water park adjacent to the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, 20 miles from Mount Pocono (splitrockresort.com/waterpark).

Factory Tours

The Crayola Factory (crayola.com/factory) is a 30-mile drive from Mount Pocono to Easton, Pa. Young children will love the interactive displays and demonstrations at the discovery center, not to mention the gift shop. The discovery center is not an actual manufacturing hub, but demonstrations of how Crayola products are made will pique kids' interest nonetheless. For a real factory experience (tastings included), visit Callie's Candy Kitchen and Callie's Pretzel Factory, 8 miles from Mount Pocono (calliescandy.com). Kids can see a working production line and sample the results.

Museums

Vacations can be educational, too. Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm in Stroudsburg (quietvalley.org), just 17 miles from Mount Pocono, immerses visitors in Pennsylvania's rich agricultural history dating back to 1765. Demonstrations of period machinery and craftsmanship are held daily by the museum staff, dressed in period clothing. The reenactment of 18th-century farm life is both entertaining and educational for children of all ages,. Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary allows children to get up close with live butterflies and other wildlife (bearmountainbutterflies.com). The sanctuary is located 30 miles from Mount Pocono in Jim Thorpe, Pa. The Monroe County Conservation District's Environmental Education Center features outdoor laboratories for demonstrations of environmental education (mcconservation.org). The center uses a hands-on approach to teach visitors how to interact with native animal and plant life and to protect the ecosystems of the Poconos.

About the Author

Emily Jarvis is a graduate of University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in "Southern Distinction Magazine" and "The Red & Black." Jarvis holds a Bachelor of Arts in magazine journalism and a Master of Arts in journalism.

Photo Credits

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