The Enlightened Life: A community blog

Mount Gretna: Scenic Summer Destination

Written by Emilie Smetak, Community blogger | Jun 22, 2012 2:01 PM

On Father's Day, my family and I were sitting under a huge oak tree in front of the Jigger Shop (located in Mount Gretna, PA), while we speedily licked our ice cream before the sun beat us to it. Couples walked their dogs and in the distance, the Mount Gretna Playhouse buzzed with excitement at the start of a play. The reason why Mount Gretna has always been a family favorite is not hard to find as more and more places are trading their quaint atmosphere for a more commercialized and "tourist friendly" setting. This blog highlights some of Mount Gretna's many attractions, which have remained popular in the central Pennsylvania area.

The Jigger Shop is probably the most popular 'icon' of Mount Gretna. This outdoor ice cream parlor/eatery has been established since 1895. Their food menu consists mostly of hamburgers, salads and fries, but they are most known for their sundaes. The most ordered sundaes include the Banana Split, Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Fudge Royal and Baked Alaska. Note that the prices fall in the more expensive category, so be prepared to bring extra money.

Since 1927, the Mount Gretna Playhouse has been hosting summer plays that cover all genres. Spanning from June to July, the shows include a mixture of comedies and Broadway hits, along with ones geared more towards a children audience. Upcoming events include Grease (my all-time favorite), which is showing from June 28-July 8th. Burt and Me is July 12-15th and Goldilocks and the Fair Bears is July 28th. The summer performances end with Meet Me in Saint Louis, which will be performed from July 19-29th.

Mount Gretna also offers a lake and beach recreational area, which is open from 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. every day until September 3rd. A daily admission pass costs $16.00 with the youth (ages four through eleven) being $8.00. Canoes, kayaks, tubes and beach chairs are available for an additional cost.

Finally, Mount Gretna hosts an annual outdoor art festival the third weekend in August. Over two hundred and fifty artists will be in attendance and approximately 20,000 visitors are expected to arrive. Live music, usually a mixture of jazz, bluegrass, folk and pop will be performed throughout the festival. A kids' art show will also be in progress on Saturday morning, featuring paper making, face painting and many other art activities. Admission for anyone twelve and older is eight dollars.

Mount Gretna serves as just another example that scenic, summer destinations are really only a short car drive away.

Published in The Enlightened Life: A community blog

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