With the holidays approaching, scheduling a family photo session for updated pictures to include in your seasonal greetings may be on your to-do list.
To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of some fun and budget-friendly location options in South Central Pennsylvania.
Area Parks to Check Out
There are countless parks in the South Central PA region that allow you to capture the beauty of the area as well as the smiles of your family members. A few to consider include:
- City Island, Harrisburg, PA – A mile-long island in the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg City Island, offers a variety of backdrops for your photos. All in one place, you can get views of the river, the city, and the Walnut Street Parking is free in the North Lot after 11 a.m. on weekdays and only $5 per car on holidays and when the local baseball team is playing.
- Fort Hunter, Harrisburg, PA – With 40 acres of open park land, there are a myriad of locations to take family photos at Fort Hunter Mansion & Park, including breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River, wooded lots, and historic buildings. There’s no cost to park and, per the park’s website, no fees or reservations are necessary to take photos on the grounds, though donations are always welcome.
- Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park, Mechanicsburg, PA – Featuring a nature trail and an abundance of free parking, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park is a great spot for family photos. Located a short drive from Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg, PA, it’s easy to find and offers a backdrop of the leaves changing colors in the fall.
The greater Harrisburg area has more than its fair share of locally owned wineries offering tons of beautiful photo opps. From mountain views and rows of grapevines to historic buildings and open farmland, the area’s wineries offer a wide variety of settings for your photos. Each winery may have different rules about when and where photos can be taken, so be sure to contact the owner or event organizer in advance to make sure you’re permitted to take photos on site.
Though these options typically charge a fee, there are some gorgeous gardens in the South Central PA region that make amazing photo backgrounds. Two examples include:
- Hershey Gardens, Hershey, PA – The Hershey Gardens are a great place to take photos, no matter the time of year. The grounds feature seasonal blooms year-round and are meticulously maintained. This location does require a bit more planning, as professional photographers need to sign a permission form and all in attendance (both photographers and those being photographed) need to purchase general admission tickets.
- The Formal Gardens at the Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, PA – You’ll need to get permission before scheduling your photo shoot at the formal gardens at the Masonic Village, but taking the time to plan ahead is worth it. This sprawling location offers gardens, fountains, and all-around beautiful views for your family photos.
Get Ahead on Your Holiday Plans
Capturing updated family photos is just the start of holiday planning. Once your images are edited and your cards are designed, you’ll have plenty of other items to tick off your to-do list. Get ahead on your holiday plans and the budget you’ll need to accomplish them with our action plan to prep for the holidays and avoid debt. Plus, get more tips on managing holiday expenses on our blog.