Exton, Pennsylvania, located in the far southeastern tip of the state, is filled with stately homes, historical landmarks and plenty of native flora and fauna. If your grandchildren are visiting, or even if they live close by, you'll find both entertaining and educational activities in the area that the kids will likely enjoy.
Parks and Outdoor Activities
Marsh Creek State Park (dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/marshcreek/index.htm) is a 1,727-acre park with a large lake for boating and fishing. Meander down a few of the trails with your grandchildren and look for birds, insects and other animals. During the winter months, you can take your grandchildren ice skating in the park, too. Or, you can drive 18 miles from Exton to the Elmwood Park Zoo (elmwoodparkzoo.org) in Norristown. Here, your grandchildren will see hundreds of interesting animals including bison, elk, birds, bobcats, mountain lions, monkeys, alligators, snakes and fish. Before you leave, stop at the petting barn area, which is open to the public during the spring and summer -- and has owls, goats, sheep and alpacas. Another option, about 20 miles away in Media, is Linvilla Orchards (linvillaorchards.com), where your grandchildren can pick their own fruits and vegetables, go on a hayride and play on the playground.
Museums and Learning Centers
Your grandchildren are bound to enjoy the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (americanhelicopter.museum), which is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Exton in West Chester. The museum is the only helicopter museum in the United States, which may or may not impress your grandchildren, but the restored aircraft on display are sure to interest them. In fact, your grandchildren can climb on several of the helicopters to learn more about them. Also in West Chester, your grandchildren might enjoy the Chester County Historical Society (chestercohistorical.org), a large cultural complex that has a museum featuring artifacts from the 1800s and 1900s. The complex also has an interactive exhibit on the history of Chester County, which is where Exton is located. Also, don't forget about the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation (colonialplantation.org), located in Newton Square about 16 miles from Exton, where the kids can catch glimpse of life in the 1800s complete with costumed actors and hands-on activities.
If your grandchildren are bouncing off the walls, head to Arnold's Family Fun Center (arnoldsfamilyfuncenter.com) so they can burn off some energy and get some exercise. The indoor play center is about 20 miles away in Oaks. Here, your grandchildren can drive go-karts, go bowling, play a game of laser tag, bounce on inflatable playgrounds, or try their hands at a large number of arcade games. Also, about 20 minutes away in Newton Square is Jumpers Fun Center (funatjumpers.com). Here, your grandchildren can play on a 3-tiered soft play structure that includes places to climb, bounce and slide. If you have small grandchildren, the there's a "Little Cub" play area just for the little ones.
After a quick 20-minute drive to Glenmoore, a suburb near Exton, your grandchildren will enjoy a day in the country at Springton Manor Farm (no website: 1-610-942-2450) where they can see animals, like pigs and cows, up close. There's also a park for playing. At the educational center on site, the kids can learn more about agriculture and raising animals through demonstrations and workshops. You might also want to spend the day at the Wilmington Western Railroad (wwrr.com) for a different kind of entertainment. It's about 23 miles from Exton just across the Delaware border. Your grandchildren can ride the train most days of the year, but if they're with you on a holiday, the railroad hosts special events, as well, such as the Easter Bunny Express or the Fireworks Express.