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About Us

Hands-on House Children's Museum of Lancaster

A place for kids, ages 2-10, to learn through play alongside their grown-ups!


Here's what you can look forward to:

  • Interactive exhibits rooted in STEM and trade-careers
  • An open Play Lab for experimentation with a trained educator
  • Free-with-admission classes
  • A stunning outdoor learning and play space
  • Annual and pop-up events
  • Outreach programs to bring the museum to your school


"How can I get the most out of my visit?"

Stay curious: Play isn’t just for kids! We want to see grown-ups relax into that child-like curiosity (here and at home) all the while trusting that learning will happen naturally when imagination and fun lead the way!


Extend the learning at home: Did your child really enjoy a particular class or exhibit? Our teachers would be delighted to chat with you about ways to expand on a topic at home. You can also follow along on our social media for at-home prompts and activities inspired by in-museum offers! Follow on Facebook and Instagram: @handsonhouse. 


Be kind: With so many local and visiting families eager to spend a day learning through play we ask every guest to be mindful while at Hands-on House. Treat others with respect, stay with your children, and pick-up after yourself to help us keep our facilities and play spaces tidy.




We believe in an accessible play experience

Sometimes being in a big space with big crowds, bright colors, and excited chatter can be overwhelming. We understand and certainly don't want your little one to miss out on a fun time!

We provide FREE noise-dampening headphones to support your day of play. Please ask our staff at the front desk if this sounds like a good fit for your visit.


Programs we offer

Come enjoy free-with-admission art, STEM, and story classes or consider our camps, in-school programming, and scouting badge workshops.



Our mission:

Hands-on House provides an inclusive environment that facilitates learning through play and a sense of belonging for children and families, igniting a love of learning on site and in the community through an innovative combination of technology, science, engineering, math, and creative arts.

Our values:

  • Innovation
  • Community Partnerships
  • Excellence
  • Safety


But how EXACTLY are we practicing these values?

Hands-on House has a dynamic team of leaders and staff members who all share a drive to do MORE for our community. You'll find us:

  • Actively experimenting and yes, playing, with our own materials to create truly unique (often made in-house) and safe activities for visitors
  • Networking with local schools and businesses
  • Continuing our own education and learning from museum leaders around the country
  • Drafting up new ideas to deepen learning in our exhibit and program spaces


The history of Hands-on House


Thanks to the Junior League of Lancaster and community members, Hands-on House Children's Museum opened its doors in October of 1987. Many of our visitors have fond memories of the original museum location; a historic farmhouse that brought character and charm to the play experience. After 12 years, Hands-on House moved to its current location, a 7,300 sq ft. facility where we could expand both exhibit and class offerings. 

Our executive director, Elizabeth Gable, and Board President, Brad Lefever, joined the Junior League for a 30-year anniversary podcast to discuss the early years of Hands-on House and how we've grown.

Listen here


Have a look around!

  • Check out upcoming classes and events

  • Learn about camps, classes, workshops, and in-school offers!

  • Help us create more opportunities for the community

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

  • RKL
  • Georgelis Family
  • Clark Associates
  • DH Funk and Sons
  • Alliance Towing
    Alliance Towing
  • Harrington