May 25, 2024

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The Amish Village Tour in Lancaster • Just One Cookbook

a white single story building with Amish Village on it

The Amish Village in Lancaster Pennsylvania is a great way for visitors to learn about Amish culture and traditions. Join our family as we tour the picturesque farmhouse and village.

a boy and a girl standing in front of Amish Village

When we drove from Philadelphia to Baltimore, we took a long detour to the Amish Village near Lancaster PA. We’ve heard about the Amish community but never had a chance to learn about them or understand how they live. Since we were nearby, we wanted to take the opportunity to learn in person.

Amish in Lancaster County

blue and white clothes hanging on wall hooks

The Amish settled in Pennsylvania in the early 1700s from Europe to escape religious freedom. Today, the Amish mainly reside in the Midwest with Lancaster County in Pennsylvania having the largest Amish community. There are many Amish businesses in the area that welcome visitors but we could only visit the Amish Village as we were pressed for time.

Where is the Amish Village

The Amish Village is in the town of Ronks, near Strasburg and a bit east of Lancaster. It takes about 1 hr 20 min by car from Philadelphia or Baltimore to get to the Village. While driving there from Philadelphia, we loved the beautiful green landscape and farms along the way.

a white single story building with Amish Village on it

The Amish Village Tour

The Amish Village offers 3 different tour options: Amish House Tour, Backroads Bus Tour, and a combination of both. We opted for the Amish House Tour only due to our limited time. It includes a guided group tour through the farmhouse, and then self-guided through the rest of the village property.

In addition to the farmhouse, the property includes a barn, a schoolhouse, a market, a blacksmith shop, and a village store.

The Amish Farmhouse

The guided tour through the farmhouse is roughly about 30 minutes. It started in the main room of the house and the tour guide explained to us the history and features of the house and the Amish way of life. We learned interesting facts such as:

  • The Amish do not use electricity (though now some use solar)
  • There are no photos, so family details are written on paper
  • Each church district is made up of 20 to 40 families
  • Though religious, there are no churches for congregation and each family in the district takes turn every other Sunday to host worship services
  • Since Amish do not use electricity, most home appliances are powered by propane, including lights, washers, refrigerators, and kitchen stove
  • The Amish own very little clothing and everyone in the community dress the same way. There are certain rules of how one must dress based on the occasion and marital status.

The Bedrooms

The second part of the tour is through the upper floors of the house and the bedrooms. There are two bedrooms in the farmhouse shared by the entire family. An Amish family is typically pretty large with 6-8 children.

During the bedroom tour, the tour guide gave additional information on how the Amish live. It included examples of the clothing they wear and other cultural aspects such as family size, school education, and marriage. All the information was new to us so it was very interesting to learn.

The last part of the house tour is in the basement where the summer kitchen is located. It’s cooler to cook in the basement during the summer months. There was also a pantry for food storage.

After the tour, visitors are encouraged to walk the grounds and self-tour the other parts of the Amish Village.

Outdoor Picnic Grounds

Outside the farmhouse, it is a large area covered mostly with grass with several examples of Amish carriages. The Amish travel by carriages and we saw quite a few on the road while driving in the area. They do not own cars but some are allowed to get rides from their non-Amish friends.

Amish Schoolhouse

On the far side of the lawn is the schoolhouse. The Amish schoolhouse is typically one-room and teaches from the first to eighth grade. The education is similar to regular public schools but no science is taught. The primary focus of Amish education is focused on tradition, group identity, cooperation, and humility.

Smokehouse Market

We visited on a warm day so we stopped by the smokehouse market to eat some ice cream. Inside the market, there are Amish-made products including canned vegetables and fruits, jams, and cheese.

Blacksmith Shop

There are a few other structures in the village and one of the more interesting ones is the blacksmith shop. Inside the blacksmith shop, there are examples of tools used by the Amish such as corn sheller, horse collars, grain cleaner, and blacksmith tools.

On the other side of the blacksmith shop are a furnace and the work area for metalwork.

a blacksmith workshop inside a barn
a chimney inside a barn

It was really fun for our family to visit the Amish Village. We wished we had a bit more time to spend in the area and learn more about the Amish way of life. If you are interested, the Backroads Bus Tour at the Amish Village takes visitors to working Amish farms and businesses.

Have you had any interesting experience visiting the Amish country or have any in-depth knowledge of the community? Leave us a comment below as we’d love to learn more!