The Best Things to Do in the Poconos in the Summer

Looking for a family friendly vacation this summer?  Look no farther than The Poconos in Pennsylvania! 

This area is a prime spot for outdoor summer activities and adventure. Whether your family prefers to stay at a resort with all adventures on site or travel around to explore the Pocono area has it all and more.

I have been going to the Poconos since I was a young girl. I experienced many different accommodation options and explored all the great activities the area has to offer.

Each option has its benefits and you might want to try them all.  Don’t be surprised when you’re booking your second trip back to the area!

Where to stay in the Poconos

There are many different options for accommodations in the summertime at the Poconos. Most places to stay already have built-in family fun, making it easy to fill your day with outdoor summer activities without leaving the property.  

In the Poconos, you have your choice between a resort packed with activities, an airb&b which can be more quiet, or even campgrounds for the outdoorsy families.

Best Resorts for Families in the Poconos

A Pocono Resort offers much more than a place to sleep. These resorts come with adventure built into them.

Each one has unique features which will make staying at them a fun family experience.

Camelback Resort

This large ski resort has plenty to offer a family in the summertime. The Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark is the main attraction with 37 slides and rides, a new interactive play area for toddlers, pools and more.

Families with dogs are in luck. Camelback has some dog friendly rooms available and even has some outdoor dining options where you can bring your pet!  

There is plenty more outdoor fun in Camelback.  In addition to the waterpark Camelback also has outdoor treetop adventures, ziplining, snowbowl (summer) tubing, mountain coaster, ax throwing, and UTV tours. 

The indoor Camelback waterpark is open year round as well for those rainy or cooler days in the summer.

Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort

The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort holds a special spot in my heart as I got married there! This resort is a great summer spot for families. The grounds have their own brewery and pizza restaurant. Other activities include river journeys, archery grounds, axe throwing, and, of course, a golf course.

Everyday Shawnee has guided hikes during the day and campfires in the evening.  Pick from a handful of scheduled activities going on or venture out on your own for the day. Be sure to take advantage of the Shawnee exclusive boat trips with local rental companies!

Shawnee gives you the option of staying at the main inn or renting a bacon on the resort grounds.  The cabin locations have a more remote feel, but still offer all access to the main resort and activities.  

Skytop Lodge

Skytop Lodge is a gorgeous Inn on a large plot of land that was renovated in 2020. It features some great family activities on the premises including its Treetop Adventure Park, paintballing, lawn games, tennis, outdoor pool, boat rentals and hiking trails. And, of course, its award winning golf course.

The lodge offers a weekly calendar of events which during the summer is geared towards family fun! You can start your day off with breakfast and yoga and join a guided hiking tour before relaxing at the pool for the afternoon. You might not even have to leave Skytop Lodge to find adventure. 

Best Airbnb for Families in the Poconos

Arrowhead Community surrounding Arrowhead Lake is the perfect summer spot for families. The community has multiple house selections all around the lakes.

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

Perks of staying in the community are the amenities. There are 4 beaches, 3 pools, playgrounds, fishing, boat rentals, a gym and a game room. 

Last summer my family and I stayed in the Arrowhead Lake Community. Each morning we hiked in the Poconos and spent the afternoon at the lake beach.  In the evenings we relaxed on our back deck or by the fire pit. 

The lake beaches, playgrounds and pools make it the perfect spot for families with kids.  For younger kids don’t forget their swim vests.

Top Things To Do in the Poconos during the Summer

There is no shortage of activities and fun in the Poconos during the warm summer months. Whether you are an avid outdoorsy family or just like to do some scenic shopping, there’s something for you!

1. Hike

The Pocono area is covered in hiking trails. Whether you want to go on a short scenic hike to a waterfall or an all day hike there is something for you and your family. 

Hiking has been a staple in my life since having kids. It is a great family activity that you can do with any aged child. With a baby you can bring a soft structure baby carrier and with toddlers a hiking backpack to carry them. 

Top Hikes in Pocono Area

There are a plethora of options to hike in the Poconos. Each resort has their own network of hiking trails on the grounds as well as the surrounding area.

Delaware Gap National Recreation Area

Raymondskill Falls– Raymondskills is the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania and only 4 feet shorter than Niagra Falls. You can hike a short distance (0.3 miles) to the falls and view it from two different platforms. The hike is very short, but does include some steep uneven sections.

Cliff Trail is a longer hike that rewards you with its 360 degree surrounding views. This hike follows the cliff on the Pennsylvania side and grants its hikers spectacular overlooks. You will be able to see three states (PA,NJ and NY) from the views.   

Milford Knob Trail connects to Cliff Trail and grants its viewers a bird’s eye view of the charming Milford town. You can make this hike shorter by starting in Milford or take the longer route by starting near Cliff Trail Trailhead Parking.

Natural Lands Bear Creek Preserve

The nature preserve is the perfect family hiking location. The network of trails is well kept and the grounds are blooming with greenery in the summer. 

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

I took all three kids here last summer and am already looking forward to visiting it again this summer. You can choose how far you want to hike, up to 9 miles, and choose from fun features such as bridges, stepping stones, 4 different waterfalls and a scenic overlook.

Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area

The nature area is well maintained and stunning. Parts of the trail make you feel you are in a pine tree forest while other times you are rock hopping next to the TobyHanna Creek.

The trail offers much diversity with rock hopping, bridges, overlooks and water play options.

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

You will have a selection of trails and distance you want to hike. My 2 and 3 year old, at the time, loved the terrain here and the gushing creek views. We spent a fair amount of time skipping rocks!

2. Camping

Why stay inside when there are such great family camping options outside? Summer in the Poconos is the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature and sleep under the stars. The campgrounds all offer great family activities and swimming opportunities!

Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run State Park has 45 miles of trails and over 300 campsites for RVs or tents. There are modern restrooms with warm showers and trash stations.

All you have to do is find your own food, perhaps catch some salmon in the fishing streams!

Enjoy yourself at Sand Spring Lake beach, a smoke free beach. There is a  convenient snack bar there making it a great day option when camping or just to drop in for the day!

Other activities include disc golfing, fishing, wildlife watching and 44 miles of hiking trails.

Promised Land State Park

Promised Land State Park is around 3,000 acres on the Pocono Plateau surrounded by Forest. The grounds offer camping and bathrooms as well as rustic cabins and 50 miles of hiking trails through the forest.

There are two lakes where you can enjoy fishing and boating during the summer months. Two beaches are also located here with a refreshment stand near the main beach serving drinks, including coffee, and snacks.

For younger kids a playground can be found near the main beach. My kids love it!

Promised Land State Park is a great camping spot with lake views! 

Mountain Vista Campground

If you are looking for a campsite filled with activities then Mountain Vista Campground should be your choice. This campground features an outdoor swimming pool, stocked pond for catch-and-release fishing,  fire truck rides, playground, volleyball, disc golf and more.

Mountain Vista Campground holds events all summer for added entertainment. Events include pool parties, Christmas in July, scavenger hunts, movie nights, duck races and more!

3. Take an open air train ride

Located in the charming small town of Jim Thorpe is the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

Offered at 3 or 4 different times every day you can take a 70 minute round trip train ride up the Lehigh Gorge and back. Sit outside on the open air carriage or inside depending on the weather.

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

Starting in 2023 you have the option to take a bike train. Here you can take your bike one way to White Haven (25 miles) and cycle your way back to Jim Thorpe on the scenic country roads! 

Train rides are always a favorite family activity. Even the little ones will enjoy it!

4. Camelbeach outdoor waterpark

Just because you aren’t staying at Camelback Resort doesn’t mean you can’t visit the Camelbeach outdoor waterpark for the day! Everything you will need for the day is here; lockers, food, rides, cabana rentals and restrooms.

The perfect summer day for families is riding the water slides under the summer sun. Camelbeach is the largest outdoor water park with rides for kids of all ages.

You will find kiddie pools, splash zones, lazy rivers and lots of amazing water slides!

Need some downtime from the slides? You can also rent out cabana spots and relax by the pool.

This is a great option for families with little ones. I personally love the tacos and beer option for lunch here.

5. Spend a Day on the Delaware River

Nothing better in summer than finding yourself on the river. The Delaware River provides the great opportunity to kayak or tube in the summer months.

I have been taking river trips on the Delaware since I was a child and now enjoy taking my kids. 

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

If you are staying at the Shawnee Inn take advantage of the Shawnee Exclusive rates.

Kittatinny Rafting Excursions

Kittatinny offers 4 different rafting experiences down the Delaware. The company provides a one way service, rafts and the information you need for this unguided trip.

There is a minimum of 2 people per raft and maximum of 6 people.

This is perfect for adventure families and adds some excitement for the kids. During summer you will encounter some rapids, cliffs, unique rock formations and panoramic views.

The trips should take between 3 and 6 hours, depending on which trip you selected.

Adventure Sports: Canoe and Kayak 

Adventure Sports offers a one day canoe or kayak trip on the Delaware. On this 16 mile journey you will start at the Bushkill boat launch in Lehman, Pa and make your way to Delaware Water Gap. 

This trip allows you to gaze upon wildlife and there is no fear of any rapids. You will pass by the Shawnee Inn and remains of Old Karamac Resort.

It will take around 6 hours of paddling so ensure you are up for the challenge. 

If you are looking for a multiday trip Adventure Sports also has a two day package. The two day trip completes the same distance, however after 11 miles you will stop for the day at Tocks or Labar Island to camp before starting again the next day!

6. Milford Music Festival 

Every June, Milford, a charming mountain town, hosts a weekend-long music festival. The main street turns into a festival full of music and the whole town joins in on the fun.

This event is free and all outdoor music free. However, you can pay for the performance hosted in the Theater which is the big event each year.

Besides listening to the music you can fill your day with shopping, eating and even a hike (to Milford Knob) without getting in your car. 

The Waterwheel Cafe, Bakery and Bar is the perfect spot for lunch. You can explore the restored grist mill and sit outside on the deck while enjoying the American and Vietnamese food.

Grey Towers is a very short drive out of town and worth the visit. At this historical site you immerse yourself in a French chateau mansion with beautiful style grounds.

It was home to Gifford Pinchot, the founder of US Forest Service. 

7. Cycle 

The Pocono is perfect for families who love to cycle. I have taken my road bike up to the Poconos on several occasions and love the windy quiet roads.

Whether you want to ride on the roads or trek through a forest the Poconos won’t let you down.

If you're looking for a family friendly vacation this summer in the Northeast, explore The Poconos in Pennsylvania for adventure & fun!

Pocono Biking

Located in Jim Thorpe this bicycle shop rents out Trek Bikes. You won’t have to look hard to find the type of bike you want, from mountain to a more aggressive road type bike and many in between.

The company even accommodates youth bikes and rents out a bike trailer for smaller children.

Pocono Biking offers day tours up to a 4 day biking tour starting in Jim Thorpe and ending in Washing Crossing Pa. The company provides a shuttle to haul you and the bikes to the start of your adventure. 

Peterson’s Bicycle Rentals

Looking for mountain bikes? Peterson’s bike rentals cater to the mountain biking crowd. Here you can rent bikes by the day and if staying locally can have them delivered to you for a small fee.

Peterson’s is not a tour company, but knows local routes that are ideal. Peruse their site for ideas or speak to them to gain inspiration on where to go.

8. Summer Camp in the Poconos

To give your child a taste of the timeless summer fun I cherished in the Poconos, consider enrolling them in a local summer camp. Here, amidst the natural splendor of the Pocono Mountains and the vibrant community culture, Pennsylvania’s camps offer more than just a break from the everyday.

They provide a launching pad for a journey packed with discovery and excitement. Whether your family enjoys the convenience of a full-service resort or the thrill of exploring, the region has everything you need.

Camps here tap into a spectrum of interests, from the creative arts and sciences to the pure joy of outdoor sports and activities. Pennsylvania’s summer camps are the perfect setting for your child to experience an unparalleled adventure.

No matter what type of adventure your family enjoys in the summer, the Poconos has something to offer you. 

Author Bio

Kristina from is a momma of three, two boys and a baby girl. Her goal is to inspire others to stay active during the different phases of mom life, as well as grow the love of the outdoors to the new generation. 

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