Exactly where is Levittown, PA? This planned community between Trenton and Philadelphia was developed in the 1950s (and modeled after an earlier Levittown built in Long Island, NY) and incorporates 41 sections across four municipalities. Initially, the homes were promoted to prospective buyers as an idyllic, affordable new way to live with convenient amenities like public pools and a large shopping center. While some of those original built-in highlights no longer exist, today's Levittown is conveniently situated near dozens of points of interest in Bucks County and New Jersey, including family fun activities, historic sites, scenic parks, arts and culture venues, independent shops and great places to eat and drink. We've selected some of the best things to do in and around Levittown that just might be off your radar.
For History Buffs
Historic Bolton Mansion
If you're looking to soak in some local history, visit this site, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The onetime ancestral home of the Pemberton family dates back to the era of William Penn. These days, the house and grounds hold public-facing events like outdoor movie screenings and seasonal festivals. Fun fact: Pemberton descendant John would go on to create the recipe for Coca-Cola in the 19th century.
The Philadelphia area is ground zero for Colonial history buffs and this park is high on the must-visit list, given that one of the key moments in the Revolutionary War took place here—the powerful moment when General George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Night 1776. Reenactors play out the scene every December, and the rest of the year there are restored Colonial buildings to visit, a scenic tower to climb, tours and other events.
For Outdoor Enthusiasts
Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve
Next to Washington Crossing Historic Park, Bowman's Hill is the nation's only living museum devoted to native plants with thousands of species to discover. The trails, which wind through various habitats can take you through a meadow, woods, stream or pond and wetlands area. Family activities, birding events, and other special classes and guided walks offer reasons to visit.
Core Creek Park
If fresh air is on the menu, add this 1200-acre expanse to the itinerary. The park encompasses Lake Luxembourg, a favorite for sportsmen as it supports catfish and trout for fishing. There are also paved trails for walking, biking and running and a dog park for animal companions.
Silver Lake Nature Center
Explore the 4.5 miles of trails here with their diverse habitats, or delve the Nature Center. A natural play area for kids, butterfly garden, radical utopian Earthship and hands-on exhibit area add to the back-to-nature fun. Visit on a Sunday for a free guided nature walk.
Sporty types are in their element at Tyler State Park. Spanning over 1700 acres around Neshaminy Creek, this popular state park has it all: hiking, boating, fishing, disc golfing, even a theater and an arts facility on the premises. Twenty-three miles of trails wind through wooded areas with lots of challenging hills.
Oasis Family Farm
Some farms stop short at a pumpkin patch or hay maze, but this family-owned enterprise in nearby Mercer County, NJ, goes a bit further with a giant pirate ship, gem mine, fossil dig, and bee observatory. Stop for local food at the farmers market on the way out.
In nearby Langhorne, the well-trod children's theme park based on Big Bird's popular TV show features favorite characters at every turn, with a mix of rides for the intrepid and not-so. Live shows in the Neighborhood star the Muppets, Elmo and other familiar faces.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
The Levittown branch of a local chain takes air-bound activity to new heights with virtual reality, ninja warrior battles and trampoline dodgeball. For the littler ones, there's a Toddler Times area, while older jumpers can take advantage of the nighttime Glow events, with dance music and laser lights.
Snipes Farm and Education Center
Weekend and special programs open up this educational working farm to the public for visits with the barnyard animals, seasonal organic treats and fun holiday festivities. When you need a dose of bucolic charm, this is the place to browse a pumpkin patch, warm up by a bonfire or splurge on apple cider donuts.
Andy's Brick Shop
Tucked into the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne is an unexpected indie retailer focusing exclusively on LEGOs. Owner Andy stocks the shelves with thousands of new and used rare and vintage sets, figures and pieces. Enthusiasts are invited to peruse the selection and use the building tables in the back of the store to make their own creations.
Another Time Antiques
The specialties at this long-running shop are Chippendale furniture, jewelry, art, ivories, porcelain, sterling, and glassware. For more than 40 years, this neighborhood staple has anchored the commercial district of Bristol, and the owner also buys antiques, art, and collectibles as well.
Bristol Antiques Market
With multiple vendors housed under one roof, the chances of scoring great finds only multiply. Opened in 2017, the two-story Bristol Antiques Market features an eclectic array of wares from multiple periods.
Looking for Games
If you love to indulge in a bout of Settlers of Catan or a few rounds of Carcassone, then this board game "lounge" and shop will speak to the meeples of your soul. The staff will help you find your next favorite game or you can buy a snack and settle in with something from the in-store library.
Vinyl collectors can spend hours digging through the new and used crates at this jam-packed independently owned shop. Those loyal to other formats will also find a healthy selection of CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays as well. The annual Record Store Day promotion in the spring, with exclusive offers and limited-edition pressings, is an ideal time to visit.
Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market
Held five times a year at the Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, this shopping and eating bonanza brings out local artists, food trucks, live music and plenty of oddities to peruse. There are also, on occasion, celebrity appearances.
For Arts Lovers
Bristol Riverside Theater
This regional theater, located in a former movie house along the Delaware River once hosted the likes of Gregory Peck and the standards of the professional productions continue to be high. Among the hundreds of performances every year is a summer music series.
Artist Seward Johnson transformed 42 acres into a visionary wonderland when he built his sculpture garden on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. The contemporary art collection, housed in galleries and in and around the landscape is itself impressive, as is the lush plant life, changing exhibitions and restaurants onsite that make it easy to spend an entire day here.
New Jersey State Museum
The underrated and free New Jersey State Museum in capital city Trenton has a permanent collection of over 12,000 works including some by Ben Shahn, Jacob Landau, and Alfred Stieglitz. The small but tightly curated galleries also feature natural history and archeology exhibits as well as an adjacent planetarium.
To Eat and Drink
Calm Waters Coffee Roasters
When the day drags, dip into this cheerful café in the center of Bristol and just a few blocks from the Delaware River. Small-batch coffee, roasted on the premises, is served, along with light eats including vegan and gluten-free baked goods. In the evenings the venue hosts game nights and live music.
With modern savvy, this startup revived the tradition of making rye whiskey in Pennsylvania, and the owners of Dad's Hat will open their doors to interested parties with some advanced notice. For a fee, the tour session also includes a tasting of their products, distilled onsite in Bristol.
This chain of markets stocks a vast array of Asian groceries from produce to dry goods. The onsite café serves up inexpensive, large portions of Korean fare like sesame pancakes, fried chicken and kimbap.
Hong Luck Restaurant and Tiki Bar
Long before the current hipster Tiki revival, the Lee family opened this Levittown pan-Asian restaurant and bar, replete with thatched-roof bar and bamboo booths. This is your spot for Pu Pu platters, steak Waikiki and zombie cocktails with little paper umbrellas.
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
Neshaminy Creek is both the name and a key ingredient at this craft brewery in Croydon. The brewery is open to tours on Saturdays at 2, 3 and 4 p.m., but the tasting room has more expansive hours. If you're expecting food, be warned that there's no kitchen—visit on a Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. or Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m., when food trucks are brought in to feed the masses.
Sofra Mediterranean Restaurant
Bristol township's popular Turkish eatery is open for lunch and dinner. The extensive menu covers Mediterranean fare like hummus and falafel sandwiches, as well as Turkish delicacies like pide or flatbread pizza, adana kebabs and, slow-baked rice pudding, made with authentic care.
Under the Pier
Dating back to 1971, this low-key local institution has outlasted many others that have come and gone in that time. The secret? Affordable fish and chips, bowls of crab bisque, icy beer, fast service, and a no-frills atmosphere.