While we were in Lancaster County, PA, a few months ago, the kids really wanted to visit some Amish touristy spots. Having grown up around the Amish, I felt rather odd doing this, but a visitor’s center recommended the Amish Farm & House on Route 30, and it was the perfect place to learn about the Amish up close and personal.
From the outside, this farm looks very odd – it’s practically in a Target parking lot! Apparently this is the only Target in the country that has a hitching post.
The Amish Barn & House was a working 15-acre Amish farm about 60 years ago. A young family lived there until Lancaster rezoned the property for commercial use only. At that time a local restaurant owner, who had noticed that his waitresses spent lots of time answering questions about the Amish, decided to purchase the farm to teach others about Amish culture.
The house is set up like a museum. Most rooms reflect the items that an Amish family would have, making it easy for you to understand their daily lifestyle. A guide takes you through the house, explaining what you see.
My Big Helper got to be the ‘model’ to understand the progression of Amish female clothing.
A barn behind the house had several animals. We were fascinated with the baby turkeys!
A recent addition to the property is an Amish-built schoolhouse. A former Amishwoman, who used to teach before marrying, now sits at the teacher’s desk, ready to answer questions. We arrived just in time to talk to her before this busload of Brazilians arrived!
The kids loved exploring the inside of this buggy. They weren’t expecting blue velvet seats or the dashboard with knobs. It was fun checking it all out!
There were many other features to this property. A new picnic pavilion, a light inside the old well, an outside oven, a carpentry shop, a covered bridge, playground, animal pens, scooter run, and a summer kitchen, just to name a few. A sign near the front door said that most visitors averaged an hour and a half there – but my kids were sad when we had to leave nearly three hours later. They could easily have spent the day.
With kind guides, in-house artisans, authentic artifacts, and lots to do, this made a great field trip.
Have you ever studied Amish culture?