Things to Do this Summer in the Lebanon Valley

Pick-Your-Own Adventure in the Lebanon Valley

We’ve hand-picked our top 2024 events and activities happening this summer in the Lebanon Valley… Pick your favorites and make it a summer to remember!

Pick-your-own flowers at Royal Oaks Farm

“A pleasure, not a luxury”: That’s the mission behind Royal Oaks Farm, where you can pick your own assortment of flowers at a simply unparalleled price. The experience itself of walking amongst the rows of flowers and picking the perfect assortment for your bunch is truly a delight, and that’s not to mention the fact that you get to bring it all home! So, grab some clippers, choose your favorite floral blooms, arrange them just-so in a provided mason jar (that you get to keep!), and of course, snap some photos while you’re at it!

  • Address: 3615 Oak Street, Lebanon, Pa. 17042
  • Dates: June 28 – early October

Experience Music in the Park

Listen to local bands under some of the tallest and oldest trees in the state at Coleman Memorial Park. Each Sunday of the summer, local bands take the stage at the park’s outdoor amphitheatre, filling the historic grounds with music from a variety of genres and generations. With free admission and concessions available at each performance, these concerts are a great way to support the community while enjoying local musicians and the outdoor splendor of Coleman Memorial Park.

  • Date & Time: Every Sunday, now through August 4, 6 p.m.
  • Address: 1400 West Maple Street, Lebanon, Pa. 17046

Climb to the top of the Governor Dick Tower

Experience a 360-degree view that looks out over five counties atop the Governor Dick Tower in Mount Gretna. After a short hike, traverse alternating ladders within the tower to the enclosed observation area at the top, where you’ll be met with a full-circle view and a pretty epic photo-op! With over 16 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails surrounding the tower, there’s plenty to explore even for those who aren’t a fan of heights.

  • Address: 3283 Pinch Road, Mount Gretna, Pa. 17064

Attend the Cherry Fair & Early American Craft Show

Since the 1700s, cherry lovers and history buffs have united in Schaefferstown for this annual celebration, held at the historic Alexander Schaeffer Farm. Enjoy demonstrations by skilled artisans and take a tour of the Schaeffer House, a rare survivor of the old European tradition of combining domestic and manufacturing activities under one roof. The Cherry Fair also features a pie eating contest, live folk music, and traditional PA Dutch foods (with lots of cherry desserts, of course)!

  • Date & Time: Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Address: 213 South Carpenter Street, Heidelberg Township, Pa. 17088

Experience unmatched outdoor dining

If you’re looking for outdoor dining, the Valley is the place to be! Ask a local and they’ll likely suggest the Bluebird Inn, a restaurant in Cornwall with an expansive deck that features an outdoor bar. For an elevated fine dining experience, try out the patio at Tony’s Mining Company, where you’ll find an ever-changing menu of locally sourced and freshly made dishes. At the Rising Sun Bar & Kitchen, enjoy the brand-new outdoor dining area where live music often fills the air, and an indoor-outdoor bar brings together the various seating spaces.

  • Address: Multiple locations

Enjoy “Chess” featuring the Hershey Symphony at Gretna Theatre

Each summer, Gretna Theatre presents a full season of Broadway-caliber shows performed in the “casual elegance” of the Mount Gretna Playhouse. Although we’d suggest any show that the theatre puts on, we couldn’t help but highlight their run of the gripping musical “Chess,” which will feature our neighbors, the Hershey Symphony! Become immersed in the international spectacle that was the fierce chess match between American Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky, a competition that went far beyond the chess board given its occurrence at the height of the Cold War.

  • Date & Time: July 11 – 14 & 18 – 20, multiple showtimes
  • Address: 200 Pennsylvania Ave, Mount Gretna, Pa. 17064

Swing into the water at Mount Gretna Lake & Beach

Cool off from the summer heat with a step into the water, and back in time, at Mount Gretna Lake & Beach. This summer oasis features a sandy shoreline, perfect for beach chairs and sandcastles, and a large swimming area complete with a kiddy dock, diving board, high dive tower, and multiple sunning docks. There is also the “swing,” a one-of-a-kind trapeze from which one can swing into the water, providing hours of entertainment for both those on it and those watching from the shore! Back on land, the lake also features a snack bar, picnic area, the “big chair,” sand volleyball courts, and lifeguarding during all open hours.

  • Address: 130 Lakeview Drive, Lebanon, Pa. 17042

Step right up to the Lebanon Area Fair

What’s a summer without a trip to the fair? From peach sundaes and funnel cakes to Ferris wheel rides and live music, the Lebanon Area Fair is a local favorite each and every year! Plus, this year the Fair will be hosting local cover band and regional favorite the Amish Outlaws, on Wednesday, July 24. Whatever day you attend though, enjoy fair rides, a petting zoo, delicious fair foods (fried Lebanon Bologna sandwiches anyone?), live music, track events, and so much more!

  • Date & Time: July 20 – 27, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Address: 80 Rocherty Road, Lebanon, Pa. 17042

Kayak, boat, or paddleboard at Memorial Lake

If you’re looking to get on the water but not in the water, head to Memorial Lake State Park in Grantville. This 85-acre lake provides a scenic respite for fishing, boating, paddle boating, and paddleboarding. Multiple launch areas are available around the lake for those with their own watercrafts, though the state park does have rentals available at the address listed below. With hiking opportunities, picnic areas, and multiple pavilions around the lake as well, it’s a great place to host a get-together!

  • Address: 18 Boundary Road, Grantville, Pa. 17028

Catch jazz harpist Brandee Younger at Gretna Music

Gretna Music has an impressive lineup scheduled for their summer season, featuring a number of award-winning artists. One such artist is Brandee Younger, a jazz harpist who was the first Black woman to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition. With an exemplary command over the harp and a true passion for what she does, Younger has taken the harp beyond genres and labels in a way that no other has done before. Each Gretna Music performance takes place in the Mount Gretna Playhouse, an open-air theatre that offers outstanding acoustics, and some occasional backing vocals from birds and cicadas nearby.

  • Date & Time: Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Address: 200 Pennsylvania Ave, Mount Gretna, Pa. 17064

Pick your own strawberries at Risser-Marvel Farm Market

Get your hands dirty at this local farm market, where fields of strawberries cover the landscape for a pick-your-own adventure each June! Bring your whole family along to experience the fun of strawberry picking and reap the rewards when you get home with a basket full of delicious berries. Plus, be sure to stop in the market afterwards to pick up other fresh produce, local meat and dairy products, baked goods, and countless other local offerings.

  • Address: 2425 Horseshoe Pike, Annville, Pa. 17003

Attend the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show

As one of the top art shows in the country, the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer! Held along the cottage-lined paths of Gretna, the show will feature over 200 exhibitors, 10 “emerging artists”, and the Kids’ Art Show. This year also brings a new program to the show: the Mount Gretna International Film Festival, a film competition to honor and support both emerging and established filmmakers. The show will also include a gourmet food court with offerings from local restaurants, wine and craft beer, and live music.

  • Date & Time: Saturday, August 17, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, August 18, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Address: 101 Chautauqua Drive, Mt. Gretna, Pa., 17064

Get the cow to cone experience at Patches Family Creamery

This Lebanon Valley creamery is a favorite among locals of all ages and it’s easy to see why! Enjoy ice cream made on-site, feed farm animals, and let the kids run free on the playground. You can also pick up free-range eggs, homemade milk, home goods, and more in their store. Plus, while you wait in the inevitable line (it is a favorite after all!), watch as milk gets processed inside the plant through large windows within the store.

  • Address: 201 Fonderwhite Road, Lebanon, Pa. 17042

Kayak through America’s oldest transportation tunnel

Did you know that the oldest transportation tunnel in the United States is located right here in Lebanon? Built over the course of two years from 1825 to 1827, the Union Canal Tunnel was once an essential link between Harrisburg, Reading, and Philadelphia by extension. And though it is no longer in use, the tunnel is open on select days throughout the summer for kayak tours! If you have paddling experience, join Cocoa Kayaks for the unique experience of a paddling history lesson through the entire tunnel. But please note, these excursions are only available through Cocoa Kayaks, so be sure to check their website for the full calendar of tours!

  • Date & Time: Varying dates and times, May – September, see the schedule here.
  • Address: 25th & Union Canal Drive, Lebanon, Pa. 17046

Hike/Bike/Stroll the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail

The Lebanon Valley Rail Trail offers hiking and biking opportunities across the county. With 10 trailheads and over 20 miles of mixed-use greenway, the trail passes through cityscapes, forests, and farmlands, providing a great opportunity to get out and get moving, no matter where you hop on.

Pro tip: Pick up the Rail Trail at the Mt. Gretna Trailhead on Mt. Wilson Road, where you can enjoy a post-walk ice cream at Colebrook Crossings, a soft serve hot spot right next to the trail’s parking lot.

  • Address: 119 Schaeffer Road, Lebanon, Pa. 17042 or various other trailheads

Happy Summer!  

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