Summer Fun in the Lebanon Valley
Bring extra sunshine to your summer by visiting the Lebanon Valley! Where family fun is easy to come by and restaurants invite you to dine with them outside on the deck. Music can be heard all summer long, throughout the county. Cool off in one of our waterways, take in the local history, and round off your summer with a trip to the Lebanon Area Fair.
#1: Family Fun Starts Here – Ice cream and sunshine! The perfect combo for your family’s summer!
For a fun time with the family, head into the quaint, hidden village of Mount Gretna. This little spot in the mountains is a great way to get away from the noise and relax in the shade. Cool off and enjoy some fun in the sun at the same time by visiting the Mt. Gretna Lake and Beach. Grab a spot on the sand, jump from the high dive into the water, and grab a tube and let your worries float away in the lake.
The Jigger Shop, a historic ice cream parlor in Mt. Gretna, has a full menu of ice creams, sundaes, milkshakes. Get the full cow-to-cone experience at Patches Family Creamery. Visit the animals at their petting zoo, play on the playground, and enjoy fresh ice cream from their porch, right on the farm.
#2: Outdoor Dining – Eat and drink outdoors all summer long on our restaurants’ decks and patio’s.
Dining outside is a great option during the summer in the Lebanon Valley and we’ve got some amazing options for you to choose from. The Hideaway Restaurant in Mt. Gretna has a beautiful deck lit up with lights and a full bar outside. Relax and enjoy a few drinks or have a full meal. The Rising Sun Bar & Kitchen has a tented area in the side yard of the restaurant. An oasis decorated with potted plants, it’s a great spot to enjoy live music during the summer. The Blue Bird Inn and the Quentin Tavern are also outdoor dining spots, each with seating on their spacious decks and their own rotating drink lists and specials.
#3: Summertime Arts & Theatre – Enjoy art and theatre under the trees and under the sun.
Bring the lights up on your summer! Gretna Theatre, Gretna Music, and the Mt. Gretna Summer Concert Series each has their own program of shows and performances they are hosting at the Playhouse or at the Mt. Gretna Tabernacle. There are matinee and evening performances available to make your vacation schedule. One of the highlights for the 2022 Gretna Theatre season is a family favorite story, Matilda: The Musical showing July 14 to July 17 and July 21 to July 23. Coleman Memorial Park also hosts concerts all summer long on Sundays and some Saturdays at 6pm.
If you find yourself in Mount Gretna August 20th and 21st, you’ll have to make time for the nationally attended and ranked Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show. This annual tradition is where artists and artisans from around the world come together to display their best works. Browse hundreds of one-of-a-kind items, purchase handcrafted art pieces, and enjoy art under the trees.
#4: Make a Splash – Play and swim in our creeks and lakes!
The Lebanon Valley has beautiful waterways that are open for public use. Hit the water at Memorial Lake State Park and take out a kayak or canoe on the lake. Memorial Lake’s 85 acres has mooring spaces available, two launching ramps, and is also a great spot for fishing. If you’re looking for water that moves, the Swatara Creek and Quittie Creek are both wonderful options. A float down either creek will give you the chance to see some of the best nature and wildlife the Lebanon Valley has to offer.
#5: Rich History – Learn about the past, have fun in the present.
The oldest existing transportation tunnel left in the United States is right here in the Lebanon Valley. Catch a narrated tour thru the Union Canal Tunnel by boat or kayak. Advance reservations required.
Visit the Cornwall Iron Furnace, the oldest surviving blast furnace in the United States. Take a tour of the furnace and learn about its important role in this area’s history.
#6: Lebanon Area Fair – The best the Lebanon Valley has to offer, all in one place.
The Lebanon Area Fair is packed with exciting shows, live music, and incredible food options, including fried Lebanon Bologna sandwiches. From July 23-30, 2022, experience first-hand how important agriculture is to Lebanon County.