REVIEW | The Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA

 

 

June 6th marked the 3rd anniversary of the grand opening of The Turkey Hill Experience – what started out as the hulking ruins of the former Ashley & Bailey silk mill building has been transformed into what is now one of Lancaster County’s most popular attractions. In 2013 alone, 100,000 visitors made their way through the impressive 26,000 sq ft space.

So what exactly is the “experience”, and is it worth your time and money to see it?

The interior is broken down into four different areas. Upon entering, on the ground floor you’ll find the ticket counter, gift shop and cafe. Up the stairs, extending over the top of the gift shop is the “museum ” section highlighting local history of the area with signage and various exhibits including two lifelike Holstein dairy cows perched mid-air. These three areas are accessible without buying a ticket. If you want to get an idea of what the interior of the building looks like it’s worth it to take a minute and explore these spaces. At the spot where you have to have a ticket to continue you can get a good look into the heart of the attraction. Getting a peek inside might help you to decide if you want to pay admission and get the full “experience”.

The main space has an open layout that is divided into sections, each dedicated to a different aspect of the production and marketing of the Turkey Hill product line. The space high and full of light coming in from the large factory windows. There is a wide variety of colors and textures used in the building materials making it an especially stimulating sensory environment for kids. Many of the individual stations or stops have an interactive aspect that requires some basic grasp of using a computer, which should be engaging for older kids and teens. But smaller ones too will find much to touch and play in and around. This is a key strength of the experience – it will appeal to a fairly large spread of ages.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels near The Turkey Hill Experience at TripAdvisor.

Of course one of the best features is the all you can eat ice cream. I recommend pacing yourself. During my visit they had 16 varieties available at the bar and several more in the all-natural freezer across from the bar. Seeing as how your allowed to roam freely around 26,000 square foot floor plan with ice cream in hand, it makes sense to grab one and spend some time exploring, then come back and try more flavors as your visit progresses. There were also 15 different flavors of iced teas and lemonades including 4 organic varieties with which to wash your ice cream down , as well as water.

If you’ll be seeing the experience with an older family member or someone who cannot stand for long periods there are large, comfortable wooden rocking chairs throughout the space including some on the deck beneath the faux barn facade the looks out over the central court that serves as the jumping off point to the various display. Behind the barn you’ll find a history section featuring fact-filled signage, a vintage milk truck and two cows that can be “milked”. There is also a small theater where you can watch a short film about Turkey Hill.

The overall experience was worth the admission price when the ice cream and tea was factored in. The various displays and interactive exhibits are too numerous to go into detail about; suffice it to say that you’ll find it is easy to spend 2-3 hours of fun and educational time inside the walls of the old Ashley & Bailey silk mill with your family. Other highlights that I thought were interesting was the advertising area where you can star in a commercial for the company. Kids of all ages should enjoy this section with the resulting video clip your sent to your email for later viewing. There is also a wall of live video feeds piped in from the nearby production facility where the ice cream manufactured.

The problems I encountered with the experience where ones that I imagine are not always present and did not effect the overall experience enough to warrant serious grumblings on my part however I feel they should be touched on.

The attraction gets one shipment of all natural ice cream per day and when we arrived around 4 o’clock the freezer with picked clean. I had to remove on of the baskets at the bottom of freezer and grab a couple stray containers that had fallen down over the course of the day. One way to avoid this problem, as well as the worst of the crowds, would be to get their early. They could also increase the size of the shipment so that people who prefer the all-natural flavor will be assured a steady supply. This problem is mitigated by the fact that the main ice cream bar is stocked so as to have a plentiful variety available at any time of day.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels near The Turkey Hill Experience at TripAdvisor.

Two other observations also had to do with supplies: The paper hats were all gone. This didn’t upset me as much as it did my kids who would’ve enjoyed wearing them. Again an easy fix for the Turkey Hill people. As well, some of the scents  dispersed at the one of the stops had run low and were therefore not working.

The last negative I encountered was that the fast freezing section of the production line, where you are supposed to be shut into a cooler and then “frozen” by a wall of high powered fans, was not working. I assumed that some type of mechanical failure had occurred and although you could still pass through the room I was disappointed because I’m sure that it would’ve been one of the most exciting parts of the experience. As with any attraction that depends on mechanical operations to supply the fun, there will inevitably be equipment failures. This I understand. But I was a bit puzzled as to why the entire time I was there I didn’t see anyone working on fixing it.

Again, it is important for me to note that in the big picture, none of these issues would classify as a deal breaker. All of the staff I interacted with were helpful, friendly and informed. If your looking for a place to spend an afternoon with kids that will stimulate their minds as well as entertain them, I can recommend The Turkey Hill Experience.

There is also a reservation only section of the space dedicated to the ‘Taste Lab’, where, for an additional $4.50, you can create you own custom ice cream flavor. See the website for details.

Like to avoid large crowds during your visit? The staff informed me that weekends are busy year round and that during the regular season Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the slowest days. The busiest period overall, that is peak season, runs from mid-June to mid-September.

turkeyhillexperience.com

301 Linden Street
Columbia, PA 17512
(888) 986-8784

Adult (ages 18-61): $9.95
Junior (ages 5-17): $7.95
Senior (ages 62+): $8.95
Children (ages 4 and under): FREE

*Prices listed above are for the Experience only. See the website for Experience/Taste Lab combo ticket prices.

Find the best deal on hotels near The Turkey Hill Experience at TripAdvisor.

Related Posts
Seasoned hikers and beginners alike don't have to go far to find that perfect trail. Source: 11 great places to go hiking in Lancaster County - LancasterOnline
PHOTOS | Riverfront Park – Lancaster County, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail nears finish line
→ 14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail nears finish line - LancasterOnline I've walked most of this route over the years starting from different locations, but having it all connected will ...
The Turkey Hill Experience + Chickies Rock County Park
UPDATE: Click the link to read my in depth review of The Turkey Hill Experience. → The Turkey Hill Experience | NBC 10 Philadelphia The link above leads to a very brief roundup of ...
→ Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom adding new family ride, barbecue restaurant next year - lehighvalleylive.com
PHOTOS | Wright’s Ferry Mansion – Columbia, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
→ First Thunder on the River crowds Columbia with classic cars - LancasterOnline: Local News You can go straight to the photo gallery accompanying the article by clicking here.
→ Picnic hike at York's Apollo County Park - York Dispatch
PHOTOS | White Cliffs of Conoy – Lancaster County, PA
On this trip we parked at Koser Park in Bainbridge and walked 1.5 miles south along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail to find the cliffs. I was told by ...
Artsfest will be located along Riverfront Park along Front Street in Harrisburg with a juried crafts show, food vendors and live entertainment. Thousands of visitors, some from as far as ...
PHOTOS | Devil’s Den – Gettysburg, PA
 All photo © visitpadutchcountry.com
What to see along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County
→ The river side of Lancaster County - Bucks County Courier Times Follow the link above for a general overview of places to see along the Susquehanna River's 40 mile frontage in western Lancaster County.
Lancaster County now has its own viewing of live eagle nest - LancasterOnline What a great idea, and a brilliant way to promote awareness of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail.
To many leaf-peeping enthusiasts, high, open places are among the best spots for taking in the colors of fall foliage, and Pennsylvania is accommodating to that view with an abundance ...
→ Civil War predominates at Caring for Heritage in Columbia - LancasterOnline Events like these connect the past with the present in a way that history books cannot. They are an ...
→ Mount Hope Estate & Winery hosts Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest Memorial Day Weekend - LancasterOnline: Manheim Central
Photo by Wikipedia
→ Two York County state parks get kudos in Smithsonian - The York Daily Record The parks were mentioned in the article "The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014". Coming ...
Photo Credit - Frank DeFreitas
→ Roadside America: A reality play - Main Line Times I agree with the writer that even in our technology saturated times an old-school attraction like Roadside America is still a cool ...
PHOTOS | Haines Shoe House – York, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
→ Indoor trampoline park with Get Air Ninja Obstacle Course opens in Susquehanna Township - PennLive.com Get Air Harrisburg on Union Deposit Road in Susquehanna Twp. opened earlier today in the ...
5 spectacular views of the Susquehanna River in two hours
→ 5 spectacular views of the Susquehanna River in two hours - LancasterOnline  
PHOTOS | Columbia River Park – Columbia, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
→ Cherry Crest readies maze for July 4 opening day - The Unionville Times
PHOTOS | Architecture of Columbia, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
→ 'Be the Dinosaur' at Allentown's Da Vinci teaches kids about Cretaceous Period life - The Morning Call
These "cliffs" were created by the J.E. Baker quarry that once operated just inland  from the river and whose flooded depths are now a popular scuba diving destination named The Bainbridge ...
REVIEW | The Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA
June 6th marked the 3rd anniversary of the grand opening of The Turkey Hill Experience. What started out as the hulking ruins of the former Ashley & Bailey silk mill building has ...
→ Tales from Pennsylvania's 'Museum of Mysteries' - WGAL  
New way of seeing York, Pa: Heritage Rail trail northern extension opens up new vistas of city
→ New way of seeing York, Pa: Rail trail opens up new vistas of city - The York Daily Record
PHOTOS | The Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA
For a detailed review of The Turkey Hill Experience click here.  All Photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
Courtesy Dutch Wonderland.
→ Dutch Wonderland adds new ride for upcoming season - PennLive.com The Bon Voyage Balloon Chase will be making its premier when Dutch Wonderland opens on May 2, 2015.
PHOTOS | Lititz Springs Park
Click here for location map. All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
New Susquehanna River trail center in Columbia hosts open house
→ New Susquehanna River trail center in Columbia hosts open house, wows visitors - Lancaster Online
Photo by All Things Michigan
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association is a unique 33 acre museum located in Kinzers, Lancaster County PA.  Gates open at 9 am for the antique tractor pull and the action starts ...
Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge Destroyed by Hurricane September 29, 1896
This was the last wooden covered bridge (prior ones were destroyed in 1832 and 1863) to connect Columbia and Wrightsville, it was replaced by a steel-truss bridge that would last until being ...
→ Crayola Experience to stay open seven days a week - lehighvalleylive.com I've been to the Crayola Experience twice and have had a good experience both times. The space is huge with multiple ...
→ Photos: Columbia Kettle Works Craft Brewery - ydr.com
→ York County corn maze goes high-tech - Evening Sun 30,000 visitors come each year during the 10 weeks that Maize Quest Fun Park is open. Open: August 30 – November 9 Hours: ...
Local Links | May 12, 2015
  5 delicious things to know about the 2015 Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival | lehighvalleylive.com 6th Annual Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival will be held June 12 - 14, ...
PHOTOS | Conewago Falls Potholes near Falmouth, PA – Susquehanna River Set I
Click here for a map of where to park and how to get to the best area for exploring the potholes and rock formations. The best time to go is ...
→ Crayola Experience in Easton: Attractions you shouldn't miss | lehighvalleylive.com
REVIEW & PHOTOS | U.S. Army Heritage Trail – Carlisle, PA
  The U.S. Army Heritage Trail in Carlisle is a free, outside attraction. It's a great place to take children, with many structures and objects to explore and plenty of open space along ...
Photo by Wikipedia
→ It's triplets! Another successful peregrine falcon nesting on Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge - LancasterOnline The article predicts that the young falcons could make their first flights within the week. My only questions: What ...
VIDEO | Colebrookdale Railroad’s ‘Easter Bunny Express’
→ Digital Notebook: Easter Bunny is Making Tracks Peter Cottontail joins us for a two-hour adventure into the Secret Valley. Every child will receive a free gift from the Bunny himself. ...
Missing link in popular Northwest Lancaster County River Trail will open Saturday
→ Missing link in popular Northwest Lancaster County River Trail will open Saturday - LancasterOnline As noted in my photo gallery post on the White Cliffs of Conoy the path beneath ...
VIDEO |Steam into History Northern Central Railway York 17 to Hanover Junction
→ Steam into History Northern Central Railway York 17 to Hanover Junction - YouTube
→ 15 huge animatronic dinosaurs coming to Dutch Wonderland's new Exploration Island - LancasterOnline Costing one million dollars to develop, Dutch Wonderland's newest attraction is the biggest addition to the park's portfolio ...
PHOTOS | 2014 Bridge Bust – Columbia-Wrightsville , PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
PHOTOS | Shocks Mill Bridge – Lancaster County, PA
Built in 1905, Shocks Mill is a train bridge that crosses the Susquehanna in between the Lancaster County river towns of Bainbridge and Marietta. The mid-section's appearence is different due ...
Columbia’s first Albatwitch Festival remembers the apple-snatching creature of local lore
→ Little Bigfoot: Columbia’s first Albatwitch Festival remembers the apple-snatching creature of local lore - LancasterOnline This is a brilliant idea for a festival and certainly a welcome addition to the ...
Photo Credit: Tim Scott
→ Mount Gretna offers nature, art, fun and ice cream - LancasterOnline Very informative article about things to do and see in the Mt. Gretna area. Be sure to click over ...
Photo Credit: Cumberland County Historical Society
With the hot summer months upon us your going to want to visit the Cave Hill Park & Nature Preserve in Carlisle, PA.  Cool off in the 52° cave located on directly ...
→ Thousands attend Pumpkin Festival at Renfrew Park - Herald Mail Media Seeing the medieval pumpkin launcher is reason enough to attend this yearly festival in Waynesboro.
Photo of the day for January 15, 2015
 The Central National Bank building in downtown Columbia, PA. Photo © visitpadutchcountry.com.
PHOTOS | The Crayola Experience – Easton, PA
All photos © visitpadutchcountry.com
11 great places to go hiking in Lancaster County
PHOTOS | Riverfront Park – Lancaster County, PA
14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail nears finish line
The Turkey Hill Experience + Chickies Rock County Park
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom adding new Cedar Creek Flyers ride, barbecue restaurant for
PHOTOS | Wright’s Ferry Mansion – Columbia, PA
First Thunder on the River crowds Columbia with classic cars
Picnic hike at York’s Apollo County Park
PHOTOS | White Cliffs of Conoy – Lancaster County, PA
Artsfest of Greater Harrisburg set for Memorial Day weekend
PHOTOS | Devil’s Den – Gettysburg, PA
What to see along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County
Lancaster County now has its own viewing of live eagle nest
Best spots for long view of fall foliage in Pennsylvania
Civil War predominates at Caring for Heritage in Columbia
Mount Hope Estate & Winery hosts Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest Memorial Day Weekend
Two York County state parks get kudos in Smithsonian Magazine
Roadside America: A reality play
PHOTOS | Haines Shoe House – York, PA
Get Air indoor trampoline park with Ninja Obstacle Course opens in Harrisburg
5 spectacular views of the Susquehanna River in two hours
PHOTOS | Conewago Falls Potholes near Falmouth, PA – Susquehanna River Set II
PHOTOS | Columbia River Park – Columbia, PA
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm readies maze for July 4 opening day
PHOTOS | Architecture of Columbia, PA
‘Be the Dinosaur’ at Allentown’s Da Vinci teaches kids about Cretaceous Period life
Map of Dutch Wonderland
VIDEO | Conoy Township’s white cliffs now open to public
REVIEW | The Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA
Photos: Tales from Pennsylvania’s ‘Museum of Mysteries
New way of seeing York, Pa: Heritage Rail trail northern extension opens up new vistas
MAP | Susquehanna Riverlands
PHOTOS | Shocks Mill Bridge Bike Path Flooded
PHOTOS | The Turkey Hill Experience – Columbia, PA
Dutch Wonderland adds new ride for upcoming 2015 season
PHOTOS | Lititz Springs Park
New Susquehanna River trail center in Columbia hosts open house
Antique Tractor Pull Saturday April 26, 2014 in Kinzers, PA
Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge Destroyed by Hurricane September 29, 1896
Crayola Experience to stay open seven days a week; Alert staff found my lost child
Photos: Columbia Kettle Works Craft Brewery
York County’s Maize Quest Fun Park goes high-tech
Local Links | May 12, 2015
PHOTOS | Conewago Falls Potholes near Falmouth, PA – Susquehanna River Set I
VIDEO | Crayola Experience in Easton: Attractions you shouldn’t miss
REVIEW & PHOTOS | U.S. Army Heritage Trail – Carlisle, PA
Another successful peregrine falcon nesting on Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
VIDEO | Colebrookdale Railroad’s ‘Easter Bunny Express’
Missing link in popular Northwest Lancaster County River Trail will open Saturday
VIDEO |Steam into History Northern Central Railway York 17 to Hanover Junction
15 huge animatronic dinosaurs on Dutch Wonderland’s new Exploration Island
PHOTOS | 2014 Bridge Bust – Columbia-Wrightsville , PA
PHOTOS | Shocks Mill Bridge – Lancaster County, PA
Columbia’s first Albatwitch Festival remembers the apple-snatching creature of local lore
Lebanon County’s Mount Gretna offers nature, art, fun and ice cream
Cave Hill Park & Nature Preserve in Carlisle, PA
Thousands attend Pumpkin Festival at Renfrew Park
Photo of the day for January 15, 2015
PHOTOS | The Crayola Experience – Easton, PA

Comments are closed.