10 Things To Do On A Rainy Day in Hershey-Harrisburg

Indoor Activities in Hershey-Harrisburg Area

Don’t let rain ruin your fun when you’re looking for something to do in the Hershey-Harrisburg area! When weather doesn’t permit outside activities like Hershey Park or City Island, opt for an exciting activity indoors. Below, discover 10 unique indoor activities you can enjoy in the Hershey-Harrisburg area on a rainy day.

Family Fun

National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA

1. National Civil War Museum

If you have an interest in history, you can’t miss the 25,000 square feet of education, legacy, and more housed in the National Civil War Museum. We were recently voted #1 on TripAdvisor for “Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Harrisburg.

No matter the season, the museum always has something to do. The tour itself is self-guided, allowing you to meander at your own pace through interesting exhibits, artifacts, and immersive, educational showcases. We offer group tours as well as private events if you’d like a one-on-one experience. 

The National Civil War Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Broad Street Market Harrisburg, PA

Broad Street Market in Harrisburg, PA

2. Broad Street Market

Shopping locally has never been more delicious, thanks to the diverse offerings of Broad Street Market. Head over to the market whether you have a sweet tooth or a need for fresh fruit; over 40 vendors have locally-grown and organic produce, meats, baked goods, and freshly prepared meals to sell. 

The cuisines at Broad Street Market provide a veritable trip around the world in the heart of Harrisburg, with vendors serving up Haitian, Korean, Middle Eastern, and Nigerian dishes—among other great foods.

Whitaker Cetner in Harrisburg, PA

3. Whitaker Center

Between live performances, immersive STEM-centered exhibits, opportunities for esports, and a massive digital cinema, the indoor activity options at the Whitaker Center can fill an entire week’s schedule. Live performances include dance, theater, music, and poets—check the upcoming performances to see what’s on the calendar next. 

Kids can involve themselves in the sciences, engineering, technology, and innovation through the Whitaker Center’s immersive programming. Try out state-of-the-art gaming, experiments, and exhibits that inspire while you’re there.

AACA auto museum

Antique Automobile Museum in Hershey, PA

4. AACA Museum, Inc.

Car enthusiasts will love the opportunity to get lost amid the history and collectibles of America’s Transportation Experience. Walk through permanent exhibits and installations like Tucker ’48s and The Cammack Tucker Collection and the Evolution of Headlights. Depending on when you visit, the museum will host rotating exhibits about niche topics like muscle cars, vintage bicycles, or makes and models of certain cars throughout the ages.

The AACA Museum is open daily between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., closing only for a few holidays in the year.

Escape Room ABC Lanes East

Escape Room-ABC Lanes East in Harrisburg, PA

5. ABC Lanes East & Escape Room

At ABC Lanes East, parents and kids can hold a friendly competition during fun-for-all bowling games—or team up to escape a locked room in under an hour! Check out the many different programs ABC Lanes offers, including Kids Bowl Free and Wine, Women, and Bowling!

Plan ahead by reserving a lane online or plan to attend cosmic bowling for laser lights, heart-pounding music, and a unique glow-in-the dark experience. 

Art Gallery

Arts District in Harrisburg, PA

6. The Harrisburg Arts District

If you don’t mind a little walking, take a stroll down the Harrisburg Arts District. Filled with museums and galleries, performance spaces, retail stores, and more, visitors get the chance to see history, beauty, and culture from different perspectives. 

Along the Harrisburg Arts District Trail, you’ll want to stop by a few galleries to see one-of-a-kind art, including the bright and creative paintings and masks of Nyeusi Gallery and the ​​“Palace of Art” that is the Capitol building.

Farm Show Complex Harrisburg, PA

Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA

7. The PA Farm Show Complex

Did you know that the PA Farm Show Complex holds a series of events throughout the year, not just the Farm Show? For example, the Sportsman Show (GAOS-NRA), the Car Show, and the RV Show all take place at the Farm Show Complex. Even better—the Complex is a short, five-minute drive from the National Civil War Museum. So, after you’ve had your fill of history and education about one of our nation’s most influential moments, head over to the Complex for a milkshake or another special event.

Cafe Fresco Harrisburg, PA

Friends dining in Harrisburg, PA

8. Dine In

Broad Street Market isn’t the only food-centric hub in the Hershey-Harrisburg area for some rainy-day enjoyment. Eclectic eateries like The Millworks, Cafe Fresco, and Spring Gate Vineyards offer refreshments, food, and unparalleled experiences.

The Millworks brands itself as a restaurant, brewery, and art gallery—so guests can sip craft beverages, eat an aesthetic meal, and gaze at unique local art in the same space. Located in Center City Harrisburg, Cafe Fresco provides a delightful fusion of urban and Asian-inspired dishes in a relaxed environment. Spring Gate Vineyards often holds events on weekdays and weekend nights that include local food trucks, live talent, and craft cocktails. 

Harrisburg, PA Capital

Pennsylvania Capitol

9. PA State Capitol Guided Tour

If you’d like to see a different side of history after your self-guided tour at the National Civil War Museum, head over to the State Capitol building. Each day, the building offers a free tour that spotlights its architecture, its influence, and its role in government today. 

Tours fill quickly and each is capped at 40 guests, so make sure you reserve yourself and your family a spot! While walk-ins are welcome on tours during the week, they are subject to availability. You can book a tour of the Capitol building up to one year in advance.

Fort Hunter

Fort Hunter Museum in Harrisburg, PA

10. Fort Hunter

Finally, Fort Hunter provides a delightful blend of history and immersive activities for adults and children. The mansion-turned-museum features a gift shop, a “park” through which you can walk, and special events on a weekly basis that hearken back to a simpler time. Hearth cooking demonstrations, hex stitching tutorials, and exercise lessons on the lawn allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the historical estate with a variety of activities.