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5 family-fun zones to visit this winter

Frigid temperatures have settled, and now you are wondering what to do.

Don't want to be outside? Check out these five interactive places you can go in the region to have fun as a whole family:

Explore & More Hands-On Children's Museum

Address: 20 High St., Gettysburg

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except Wednesday when it is closed) and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Hours change seasonally.

Cost: $7 for ages 2 to 14; $5 for adults


Stand inside a bubble, paint a masterpiece, or play house 1860s-style. This museum in Gettysburg offers young children an opportunity to play and explore activities upstairs and downstairs in the Civil War-era house. They can create a color explosion with milk and soap, they can play with a train table, or they can trace pictures and decorate them. "Everything we've done is pretty much homemade," co-owner Andrea Robinson said. She and co-owner Alesia Bennett are former preschool teachers.  What some of the older children appreciate is the museum is close to Baltimore Street, and from the house, Abraham Lincoln could be seen passing by, Robinson said.

Monkey Joe's

Address: 3608 Hartzdale Drive, Camp Hill

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $8.99 per child during the week; $11.99 per child on Saturday, Sunday and holidays ( ages 3-12); $5.99 for children 2 and under


Do the children need to burn some energy? Let them bounce, climb and slide on giant inflatables. If they want, they can play for hours. Toddlers can play on smaller inflatables away from the older children. Referees help to monitor the children. Adults get in for free and can either watch their children play or sit in a lounge. Food and drinks also can be purchased on site. Don't forget socks!

Go 'N Bananas

Address: 1170 Garfield Ave., Lancaster

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday

Cost: Varies. You can either pay for each attraction, or buy passes that range from $9.99 to $29.99.


This new, 22,000-square-feet indoor play attraction offers a variety of fun for the family, including a playground with foam balls, blasters, fountains and slides, laser tag, a rope course, an arcade, a toddler zone and more. The owners -- the Legensteins -- are family-oriented and the father and sons wanted to create a place where families can play together, general manager Joan Wurster said. The attractions include bumper cars that spin when a certain spot is hit. She recommends buying Nano's Deluxe Pass, which includes all six attractions, unlimited play for up to five hours and a $5 game card for the arcade. "That's a way better deal," she said. Adults do not have to pay unless they want to play, but it is fun for the adults, too.

"I love watching the whole family play together," she said.

Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center

Address: 110 Hickory Lane, Hanover

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Varies. You can pay per attraction or buy a package.


Check out a huge indoor playground -- a big jungle gym with slides, tubes, swings, a trampoline area and more, manager Pam Miller said. There's one gate to the indoor playground, which helps when it comes to keeping track of children. Or perhaps you want to go for a race on one of the go-karts. It doesn't matter what the weather is because the indoor track is open year round. (You can race on the outside track, too, if the temperature is above 40 degrees and the weather isn't inclement.) The play facility also features a three-tier laser tag arena, rollerball bowling (duckpin bowling), an arcade and more. It's cheaper to buy a package, and the staff can help with selecting the right one based on the ages of the children, Miller said.

Turkey Hill Experience

Address: 301 Linden Street, Columbia

Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on most days during the winter, but it is open longer on weekends and holidays. Check the website or call ahead.

Cost: $9.95 for adults (18-61), $9.50 for seniors (62+), $8.95 for juniors (5-17), and children ages 4 and under are free for the Turkey Hill Experience only; $14.90 for adults (18-61), $14.45 for seniors (62+), $13.90 for juniors (5-17) and children ages 4 and under are $4.95 for the Turkey Hill Experience and the Taste Lab


Who doesn't want to experiment with making their own virtual flavor of ice cream and creating a commercial for it? Or getting a family picture while inside a carton of ice cream? You can learn about how to make ice cream, the history of Turkey Hill, and sample flavors of ice cream and tea. The attraction features plenty of interactive play, including a ball pit for children. If you haven't been there in a while, you can now make your own ice cream flavors --  for real -- in the Turkey Hill Experience Taste Lab.