Summer is the perfect time to think about doing a new experience with the family. With so many options for exciting experiences, Laurel Caverns cave near Uniontown, Pennsylvania is a great choice for families.
As the world’s largest sandstone cave, Laurel Caverns Park offers an experience you literally can’t get anywhere else in the world.
Laurel Caverns Admission
One of the first things I like to look for when planning a trip is prices. Like most families, my family travels on a budget and I don’t like to spend all of our money on admission. While I first thought Laurel Cavern’s ticket prices were expensive, a quick comparisson of other cavern admission prices, quickly proved me wrong. Laurel Cavern’s admission prices range between $12-$14 and preschool aged children actually get in for free with a paying adult.
Though this price could quickly add up, if you’re visiting with a smaller family, the caverns is actually pretty affordable.
Visiting Laurel Caverns
When we arrived at the caverns, there was already a line of buses waiting and things quickly got a bit hectic.
Although, the staff tried, you could tell they were overwhelmed with the amount of kids. Our son’s class was pushed into the indoor mini golf course, but we had to wait outside, near the gift shop, since there was only enough for the golfers to walk through.
We looked through the gift shop, while we were waiting, and while they had a few nice things, I didn’t really see much worth buying. Most of the stuff was just things you could easily buy at the store, besides a few shirts, rocks, mugs, and postcards.
On the day we visited Laurel Caverns, it was the end of spring and we were traveling with a school field trip. Since the park is a popular field trip location, the park was overflowing with school children and the staff seemed overwhelmed.
After waiting for what seemed like forever to a bunch of kids, they were finally allowed to do the gem-mining!
My 8-year has been collecting rocks, so he had really been excited for this part of the tour, but it only lasted for about 5-minutes. When he was done, he did get a small bag of rocks to keep and he loved it.
After finishing gem-mining, we all thought it would be best to break and eat our packed lunches. Thankfully, Laurel Caverns offers a nice pavilion and picnic tables, so kids can eat lunch.
After lunch, it was finally the part everyone had been waiting for – the tour of the cave.
Going into the Laurel Caverns
Of course, before taking any group of children down under, inside a real sandstone cave, we had to take some time and listen to a few rules and information about the cave.
Once we heard everything we had to hear, our tour guide lead us into the cave. While it was pretty dark inside, the cave had lots of lighting, so we didn’t need flashlights to tour it.
The tour of the cave took us about an hour, but it was really fast-paced. Tours run almost back-to-back, so there’s not a lot of time for stopping and taking pictures. You walk in almost a line-formation, so if you do try to stop, you hold someone else up.
While this was our first cave experience, I wasn’t impressed with Laurel Caverns in Pennsylvania. There are a lot of things that could be improved, but the cave, itself, is still pretty amazing. Walking through it was probably a once in a lifetime experience, for my family, and it wasn’t as narrow walking through as I hear some other caves are.
If you’re looking to take your child on their first cave experience, I do think Laurel Caverns Park is a good place to start. It’s not scary and at the end, they put on a pretty cool lightshow.
The only thing I would truly suggest is planning a visit during a less busy time – possibly weekdays during the summer?
If you want to learn more about Laurel Caverns Park, you can visit their website HERE.