15 Best Things to Do in Malvern, PA

Malvern, PA
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With a history dating back to the 17th century Welsh settlers and the American War of Independence, Malvern is a small township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

If you want to visit a historic yet isolated place for your next short (or long) trip, Malvern might be a good place to be.

From historic battlefields to charming arboretums, this small township has enough things to keep you captivated.

The United States Census Burau classifies it as a borough with a total land area of 1.2 square miles only.

While there is no doubt that Malvern is not the most touristy place around, it has its own rustic charm that draws many visitors every year.

William Penn, the founder of the province of Pennsylvania, sold the area of land now known as Malvern to a group of Welsh settlers in the early 17th century.

Now that you are intrigued enough let's find out more about the best things you can do in Malvern, PA.

Learn about Aviation at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

A helicopter on the grounds of American Helicopter Museum & Education Center
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Malvern is not only a place of natural landscapes and historical spots but also boasts new and more advanced attractions.

One such attraction is the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center, which houses more than 40 civilian and military helicopters.

If you are interested in aviation or the history of aviation in America, this place is a dream come true.

An aircraft at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center
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Harold Frederick Pitcairn, Kellett Autogiro, Frank Piasecki, and other aviation pioneers of the country get their due respect at this museum and education center.

There are various boot camps and courses for kids where they learn more about helicopters, planes, and aviation in general.

Located at 1220 American Boulevard, you would not mind your drive from Malvern to the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center.

Helicopters in front of the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center
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Attend the Historic Malvern Memorial Parade

To not miss the Malvern Memorial Parade, you must time your visit to Malvern.

Memorial Day Parades are held across the country to honor the US military, but the one at Malvern is the oldest of such parades.

If you want to attend a historic Memorial Day walk, make sure you visit Malvern before the announced date.

In 2022, Malvern celebrated its 153rd Annual Memorial Day Parade, making it the oldest continuous Memorial Parade in the country.

The parade goes through the entire borough, and it is also a chance to get a walking tour of the place.

If the history and solidarity of the country excite you, do not miss the historic Memorial Day Parade at Malvern.

Witness the Lands Where the Historic Battle of Paoli Took Place

The grounds of Paoli Battlefield Historical Park
Aimee Evoli, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Even if you do not consider yourself a history enthusiast, you would still agree that there is something magical to see a piece of land where a historic battle took place.

The Paoli Battlefield Historical Park preserves the glory and history of the battle of Paoli, which played a key role in American independence.

Welcome sign of the Paoli Battlefield Historical Park
Aimee Evoli, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This park also plays an important role in the Annual Remembrance Day, which is also an important event in Malvern.

Located at Monument Ave & Wayne Ave, Malvern, this is one place that no one should miss when visiting Malvern.

Paoli Obelisk monument at Paoli Battlefield Historical Park
Aimee Evoli, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pay Your Respects at the Haym Salomon Memorial Park

While community mausoleums are not the most exciting places, they often teach us a lot about life, death, love, and letting go.

For a pristine and humbling experience, visit the Haym Salomon Memorial Park at 200 Moores Road.

The memorial park and community mausoleum house the graves of notable individuals like folk and rock singer Jim Croce.

It is a quiet and green memorial park where everything harks back to the days gone by—spending an afternoon there would be a life-changing experience.

Every year, it also hosts the Annual Day of Remembrance to pay tribute to everyone buried in the mausoleum.

Experience the World of Botanical Diversity at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens

Trail lined with vibrant flowers in Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located at 631 Berwyn baptist Road, the Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is a living classroom for people who want to know about plants.

There are three sections in this place—the Arboretum & Gardens, The Garden Shop, and the John J. Willaman Education Center.

Scenic landscape of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
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It opens at around 9 am, but the timing varies depending on the season.

There are many educational programs and events here, and it deserves to be on your itinerary if you are traveling with a curious kid.

It also offers voluntary participation and internships for those who want to work in close quarters with plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers.

A wooden bench along the walkway of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Celebrate Malvern's Victorian Christmas

If you are willing to spend the holidays and Christmas with an enthusiastic and welcoming community, visit Malvern for the special Victorian Christmas celebrations.

All the members of the community come out to the streets to celebrate Christmas with each other and share joy.

However, the most interesting part is the Annual Tree Lighting, which draws people from every corner of the borough.

Followed by the tree lighting, there are street shows, hayrides, performances by bands and choirs, and a lot more.

If you want to have a gala Christmas celebration in a quaint borough of Pennsylvania, visit Malvern during or before Christmas.

Lose Yourself in the Chester Valley Trail

Chester Valley Trail lined with trees and covered with leaves
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If you want a safe yet adventurous hiking option, nothing gets better than the Chester Valley Trai.

The trail has five heads and parking spaces, with Battle of the Clouds Park and East Whiteland Municipal Building being the closes to Malvern.

It is a 14.7-mile-long trail, with most of it open for public access.

The trail is open every day from 8 am to sunset, but there might be changes in the schedule depending on the weather.

It is a quiet, nondescript trail that is open for everything from taking a stroll to going on a bike ride.

Motor vehicles, scooters, snowboards, etc., are not allowed on the premises, and make sure you are not carrying any of these.

Take Your Kids to the Treehouse World Adventure Park

The Treehouse World Adventure Park at 1442 Phoenixville Pike claims to be the best outdoor park in Pennsylvania.

While it is meant for kids, even adults can have a great time in the zip liners and obstacle courses.

The adventure park is designed around promote the importance of movement and outdoor activities among kids.

It opens only on weekends, and all visitors must make prior reservations.

Quite surprisingly, the Treehouse World Adventure Park is also a top party destination for a range of social events, mostly involving kids.

With more than ten treehouses and many other adventure sports, it is one of the best places to have a great time in Malvern.

Witness the Magic of Woodwork at Wharton Esherick Museum

Wharton Esherick is among the many notable figures to come out of the borough of Malvern.

He gained international recognition for his expertise in working with wood and creating wooden artwork.

Located at 1520 Horseshoe Trail, it is a quiet, tucked away museum housing more than 300 pieces along with regular special events and more.

The place is open for guided tours from Thursday to Sunday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm.

Founded more than 50 years ago, the museum also offers memberships to the public, through which they can get free access to the museum.

If you love history or have a knack for the arts and crafts, the Wharton Esherick Museum is a must-visit.

Witness One of the Last Remaining Covered Bridges at Bartram's Covered Bridge

Daytime view of the Bartram's Covered Bridge
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Today when we think about grand bridges, we do not have the idea of covered bridges in our mind.

Back in the 19th century, there were more than 30 covered bridges in Delaware and Chester County.

Named after Mordecai Bartram, it is the only bridge of its kind in Pennsylvania.

The bridge is no longer operational, but tourists can go there to take a look and photos of themselves in a historic place.

Located at Legislative Route 15098, this covered bridge is also a part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Experience the History of Chester Vallery Railroad at Exton Park

Exton Park, also known as Exton Hotel, used to serve as the ticket booth for the Chester Valley Railroad around 1859.

Today it is a huge park with historical significance.

Apart from being a historic spot, it is also known for its vintage Italian architecture with stuccoed stones and wide porches.

It also has hiking trails and a soccer field for people to have a good time.

You are likely to not find a crowd here on most days, which makes it all the more attractive for many people.

This 19.1-acre area is located at 132 Church Farm Lane in Exton.

Embark on a Historical Tour at Joseph Walker House

Malvern is home to many historical places, the Joseph Walker House being one of the most important of those.

The oldest section of the house was built more than 200 years ago in 1757.

The most important time for the house was between 1777 and 1778, during the American Revolution, when it served as the headquarters of General Anthony Wayne.

In 1986, it was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places.

Located at 274 Anthony Wayne Dr., it is easily accessible from the city center.

Even if you are not a history buff, it is worth visiting the place to witness the sheer architectural genius.

You can take an idle stroll around the structure or have a first-hand glimpse of some of the most important spots in American history.

Hike through the Wide and Open Spaces of Okehocking Preserve

Springtime landscape of Okehocking Preserve
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Malvern is a land of open, green spaces, and nothing represents it better than the Okehocking Preserve.

If you are visiting in the winter, you can enjoy sledding.

In the summer and spring, it becomes a beautiful place to go for a long hike.

With streams and historic spots within the preserve, it is a complete experience for anyone visiting Malvern.

Located at 5316 West Chester Pike, you will see everything from dogs to horses at this place.

The 180-acre campus is also a biodiversity hotspot with a range of plants and animals.

If you are a fan of hiking or want to enjoy a day at a beautiful nature preserve, Okehocking reserve is waiting for you.

Have Fun with the Family at Valley Creek Park

Compared to the other parks and nature preserves in and around Malvern, Valley Creek Park is much more urbanized.

It is a safe space to take kids of all ages and is located at the heart of Malvern at 361 Morehall Road.

It is a clean and tidy park with playing spaces that include adult swing sets and a lot more.

If you are in the mood to spend a quiet day without traveling away from the city center, Valley Creek Park is a good option.

The place is also ideal for bringing pets and playing with them.

Walk through the Unique Trails of Ashbridge Preserve

Ashbridge preserve is a relatively short trail for hiking, running, and walking.

The most unique aspect of this trail is the stone bridges that children and adults enjoy alike.

While walking through this trail, you will come across many birds you might not have seen before.

It is one of the more rustic trails in Malvern, where you can see occasional overgrowth, which adds to the rugged appeal of the place.

If you are moving at a steady pace, it will not take you more than an hour to finish the entire trail.

Located at 1691 E Strasburg Rd, West Chester, the Ashbridge preserve is a must-visit for anyone who wants a new hiking experience.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide will give you a reason to travel to Malvern for your next vacation.

With such a diverse range of activities and natural attractions, it is an enchanting getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

When you are in Malvern, do not forget to come back and check out the things you must do and the places you must visit.