What to do in Carlisle: 10 ideas for you and your family

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If you are taking a trip to Carlisle, PA for your next family vacation, we don’t blame you! This cute and quaint town has plenty of family-friendly activities that you can do either indoors or outdoors – don’t worry about a little rain ruining your vacation. Fortunately for you, there are tons to do in this beautiful town!

But where is Carlisle, PA? This small borough contains around 19,000 people as of 2019 and is the main city in the Harrisburg and Carlisle Metro Area. Known for being a quintessential Pennsylvania town, Carlisle was actually ranked the second-best place to raise a family in the past decade!

What to do in Carlisle: 10 family-friendly activities

If you are trying to find a non-crowded and tranquil place to bring your family for your next vacation, why not consider Carlisle, PA? Not only is Carlisle filled with historical significance, cultural events, and outdoor spaces, but you can find family-friendly activities that everyone will enjoy. When asking yourself “what to do in Carlisle”, you’ll be pleasantly surprised there is plenty to do!

United States Army Heritage and Education Center

One of the best things you can do for your and your family when you are in Carlisle, PA is going to the United State Army Heritage and Education Center. A family-friendly activity that combines fun and education into one, this museum is meant to help inspire people in the local area – and across the entire nation – about what the soldiers did for the American citizens during the war. Known as one of the best resources to help study historical events, the US Army Heritage and Education Center is open every day of the week until 5 PM.

At the US Army heritage and education center, you can attend events, check out the collections in the library, and enjoy the exhibits at the USAHEC. Some examples of fun events that you can attend are army history weekends, lecture series, demonstrations, workshops, histories of the wars, and educational programs of song and dance.

Dickinson College

Dickinson College is one of the biggest attractions in Carlisle, PA. Even if your kids are way too young to be looking at colleges, it can be fun to walk around the campus, check out buildings, and enjoy the common spaces. There are many things to do in the nearby area of Dickinson College, like walking on the Appalachian Trail and learning a little more about President Buchanan.

Molly Pitcher Brewing Company

Thirsty after exploring with your family all day? Bring you and the kids to the Molly Pitcher Brewing Co! Although this place is known for its beer, you can also get some cool drinks and kid foods, such as chicken tenders, lemonade, and much more! Not to mention, cooling off in this cool and industrial-inspired atmosphere is a real way to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

Along with getting something cold to drink and a snack, there are always events going on at the Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. You can sign up for the email list to check out exclusive events that are held at the brewing company which is open every day of the week until 9pm.

Cumberland County Historical Society

This educational museum is a great place that you can bring your kids to learn more about Cumberland County. You can head here to some events, research past events, and even enroll your kids in summer camps! Some of the most common events held at the Cumberland County Historical society are the golf classic, private tours, the annual gala, and historical presentations. 

Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center

The Kings Gap environmental education center is home to the terrain that makes Pennsylvania a vacation destination around the country – the mountainous areas with green spaces, forests, trees, and extensive views of the surrounding areas. You can enjoy self-guided story walks and family field trips at this educational center!

Carlisle Barracks

One of the best events and traditions to go to in the Susquehanna Valley in Carlisle, the Carlisle Barracks is the second oldest army installation in the entire country. First dating back to the mid-11th century, this historical site is something that your kids are sure to remember for years!

Cameron Masland Mansion

Bring your kids to the Cameron Masland Mansion that was used as a summer home in the early 20th century. For those who want to check out this extensive building and the surrounding property, you can bring your children to check out the 32-room mansion!

Carlisle Theatre

Head to the Carlisle Theatre to watch a local performing arts show and expose your kids to some creative artists in the local area! You can check out films, special events, concerts, and other performances.

Bedford Street Antiques

Looking to bring something home for your friends or family as a gift? Check out Bedford Street Antiques on Bedford Street in Carlisle. If you have already been to this unique and eccentric antique store, you can also check out the local antique findings like Serendipity Antique Gallery, Northgate Antiques, or the American Artisan Gallery.

LeTort Spring Run and Nature Trail

The last family activity that we command in Carlisle, PA is the LeTort Spring Run and Nature Trail. This easy two-mile walk is perfect for bringing your children out in nature and getting some exercise in the process! You can jump into the LeTort Spring Run if it is a hot day and teach your kids how to swim, bathe in the sun, and enjoy being outside in nature.


Are you asking yourself what there is to do in Carlisle, PA? Fortunately for you, when asking yourself what to do in Carlisle, there are plenty of opportunities for you and your family! Not only can you enjoy some great indoor spaces and cultural events – such as museums and cinemas – you can also enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces. As you can see, Pennsylvania is known for being a beautiful and nature-oriented place – and Carlisle is no different! Head here to enjoy the mountaineers’ terrain, forests, and green spaces.

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