Gettysburg

Gettysburg in Fall: Best Educational Activities for Your Family (From a Local!)

Are you looking for some great educational activities to do with your family while visiting Gettysburg in Fall? As locals who have lived here our whole lives, we have all of the best secrets for having an amazing, educational, and down-right FUN adventure in Gettysburg, PA!

Visiting Gettysburg, PA anytime is a great idea, especially if you are a homeschool family looking to turn a vacation getaway into a fun and educational opportunity.

But visiting Gettysburg during the Fall is……AMAZING.

From the gorgeous colors of the changing tree leaves to the crisp, cool air and the significantly reduced crowd size, Gettysburg in Fall is the perfect place to learn, explore, and enjoy time as a family.

We are locals, but if you are coming from out of town, I suggest planning at least a 2-3 day visit in October through November. December can also be an excellent time to visit, as our winters here have been fairly mild. Just be sure to check beforehand that the places you want to see are still open!

Below I will list several of the museums and other special events that my family has personally enjoyed along with this link to MANY of the others that are available!



Magnificient Museums (And More!)

Gettysburg is teeming with amazing museums of all kinds! Below are some of my family’s absolute favorites.

1. Beyond the Battle

Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum was, by far, our favorite exhibit to date! This is one of Gettysburg’s newest museums and tells the stories of everyday, ordinary people turned heroes prior to the Civil War, during it, and post-Civil War.

This museum also has an exhibit called “Caught in the Crossfire” where participants experience what Gettysburg civilians would have seen, heard, and felt during the three-day battle. Truly an immersive and creative experience you won’t want to miss!

2. The Jennie Wade House

When you visit the Jennie Wade House, you will learn the story of the only civilian casualty of the Civil War. Jennie was in the kitchen making bread when a stray bullet struck and killed her at only 20 years old. This museum has superb guides dressed in period attire!

Jennie Wade House

3. Gettysburg National Military Park and Visitor Center

If this is your first time in Gettysburg, the National Military Park and Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin! This treasure holds everything from a museum to informational films to a cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge. While there you can also find out about tours (both with guides and self-guided with audio) through the park.

4. Gettysburg Diorama and History Center

Gettysburg Diorama and History Center was one of the first museums in Gettysburg that we took our son, a history buff, to visit as a young child. This extraordinary exhibit features a built-to-scale model replicating Gettysburg at the time of the Civil War. It is fully narrated covering the three-day battle and is accompanied by a light and sound show!

Gettysburg Diorama

5. Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours

I have lived in Gettysburg all of my life and always wanted to take a tour on one of the double-decker buses at Gettysburg Battlefield Tours. Well, I finally did it 2 years ago! We, of course, sat on the top (isn’t it the most fun?) and enjoyed a tour of the battlefield narrated by a highly knowledgeable guide. Definitely recommend adding this tour to your family trip!

6. The Historical Daniel Lady Farm

The Daniel Lady Farm offers a variety of educational opportunities your kids are bound to love! Tours, reenactments, workshops, and demonstrations of all kinds will leave you feeling like you were really there in history! We especially enjoyed interacting with several of the reenactors during our trips there.

Daniel Lady Farm Exhibit

7. 1863 Escape Room

While not a museum, the 1863 Escape Room offers an entertaining way to sharpen those critical thinking and team-building skills….all while in a historically accurate room! And, bonus….if you complete the mission, you can boast that you are a real Civil War hero!


Apples, Pumpkins, and GHOSTS!

It’s not just the rich historical significance that makes Gettysburg in Fall fabulous!

This area is also known for its plentiful orchards and pumpkin patches too! Below are some of the main attractions in (and near) Gettysburg during the Fall season.

🍂National Apple Harvest Festival

If you decide to plan your family trip to Gettysburg during the first two weekends of October, you can add a trip to the National Apple Harvest Festival. There is no shortage of “apple-istic” and fall festivities to enjoy! Looking for a hayride, no problem! Or maybe you are looking for an orchard tour, petting zoo, antique cars, or apple-anything…..the Harvest Festival will have you covered and is a short 9-mile drive from Gettysburg.

🍂Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. Fruit Farm and Market

Hollabaugh Bros. Inc., also located near Gettysburg, is a great place to buy delicious, fresh produce and scrumptious homemade baked goods! They also have tours (usually through October) complete with a wagon ride through the orchard where you will learn about apple farming, the importance of honeybees, and various species of invasive insects. In the end, you even get to pick your own apples! YUM!

🍂Fields of Adventure

Would a Fall vacation be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch? Located near Gettysburg in Aspers, PA, Fields of Adventure offers a diverse amount of activities that are both fun and educational. From corn mazes to human foosball and a zipline 😬, this farm has something for everyone! They even have a homeschool day in October where you can take a hayride through the pumpkin patch and learn how they grow.

🍂Ghost Tours

When in Gettysburg…….make time to see the ghosts! A true tourist favorite (and one my family has visited way more times than I would like to admit!) is Gettysburg Ghost Tours! These walking tours are narrated by professional storytellers who are excellent at their craft! Their enthusiasm is contagious and the tours are open year-round, rain or shine. Who says ghosts are only for Halloween? 👻


Gettysburg Eats and Sleeps!

After all of that touring and exploring (and maybe even some ghost-hunting!), you are going to be hungry!

Just like the fact that there is no shortage of museums in Gettysburg, indeed the same can be said for the number of restaurants!

🍔The Dobbin House

Built in 1776, The Dobbin House is the oldest house in Gettysburg. While visiting here, you can not only enjoy a delicious meal but also a free guided tour of the house complete with historically decorated rooms! Good for your belly and your brain!

🍔Blue and Gray Bar and Grill

Looking for a fun place to eat that combines sports and history with great-tasting food? Blue and Gray Bar and Grill is your go-to place! Conveniently located on the square of Gettysburg, this restaurant offers 20 televisions featuring all kinds of sporting events plus specialty burgers named after generals (yes, both Union and Confederate!) and a whole lot more! Is anyone hungry for a “General George Meade” burger served “Little Round Top” style? 🙋‍♀️

These are just two of our family favorites. Here is a link with SO MANY MORE, for you and yours!

And, of course, you will also need a place to sleep, so here is a link to some awesome kid-friendly hotels in Gettysburg.


Conclusion: Gettysburg in Fall

Gettysburg in Fall is beyond stunning. A 2-3 day visit during the Fall season (or longer if you can!) will leave your family with a deeper understanding of the events surrounding the American Civil War and some amazing family memories!