One of the most fun PA attractions we have recently been to is the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, PA. Columbia is situated right on the Susquehanna River and is easily accessed by Route 30 or 462. Turkey Hill Dairy products like ice cream and iced tea can now be found nationwide but the company started out small, in charming and bucolic Lancaster County, PA. If you find yourself passing through Turkey Hill country, the Turkey Hill Experience is an excellent museum to spend a few hours exploring.
Although the Turkey Hill Experience could be considered a kids’ museum, it is suitable for the whole family. There are interactive exhibits for young children, like a ball pit and slide. Older kids will enjoy creating their own ice cream flavor and starring in their very own Turkey Hill commercial. Adults will appreciate learning about the many steps involved in creating the safe and delicious products that we have all come to know and love.
We arrived at the museum at noon on a Monday, meeting up with a friend and her 9-month old son. Entry cost was free for my kids because ages 4 and under are not charged. My ticket cost $9.95 and my friend’s cost slightly less because she took advantage of a coupon (my printer isn’t working or I would have used one too). Included in the admission is every exhibit, many opportunities for learning and fun, and samples of ice cream and drinks. There is a gift shop with many souvenirs available for purchase, perfect for remembering your family’s adventure. Upstairs is a local history exhibit on the loft, and getting up there is easy peasy if you’re in a wheelchair or have strollers – the elevator will take you right to the entrance.
Make sure you don’t skip the video on how ice cream is made. The theater is inside a gigantic ice cream container and when the button is pushed to start the film, curtains on either side of the container close and it’s just like a mini movie theater! Use a big microscope to inspect ice cream for bacteria and compare your findings with a chart to determine whether it is friendly or unfriendly bacteria. Press paper strips with various scents to use your olfactory senses to create a delicious flavor combination for ice cream. Don a paper Turkey Hill hat and create your very own flavor of ice cream and have it emailed to you or uploaded directly to your Facebook page.
Jump in the ball pit. Speed down the slide. Sit on a rocking chair and eat some ice cream. Go inside an old school dairy truck and push and turn all the bells and whistles. Learn about where tea leaves come from and what the different flavors are. Milk a cow.
The Turkey Hill Experience is awesome.
Address: 301 Linden Street, Columbia, PA 17512
Admission: $9.95 (ages 18-61), $8.95 (ages 62+), $7.95 (ages 5-17), FREE (ages 4 and under and military)
Hours: Open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Hours vary, please see their calendar.