How can I stay with an Amish family?

Staying in an Amish home can be a memorable experience

amish homeOutsiders often express the desire to visit and even stay with the Amish, to experience Amish life firsthand.  Some are motivated by sheer curiosity, or an admiration for the Amish lifestyle.  Others may even come to this request out of a desire to explore the lifestyle for the purpose of joining.  Such individuals are often referred to as “seekers”.

While some seekers do eventually join the Amish, this is typically quite rare.  It is difficult both to join successfully, and to remain Amish if one does join.  Challenges can stem from adapting to the lifestyle—if one does not grow up in the culture, the Amish themselves often say, it can be very difficult to adopt.

That said, some may wish to experience living with an Amish family firsthand.  While not impossible to stay with an Amish family, it helps to have some connections in the community.  Due to the sheer number of requests we receive, we are unable to connect individuals with Amish families. That said, there are a few steps one can take.

Why do you want to stay with an Amish family?

It’s worth asking, why do you want to stay with an Amish family?  If it is to get a better experience of Amish life—rather than through traditional tourist activities—there may be other alternatives.

Some Amish do serve meals in their homes, which gives one both the chance to visit the interior of an authentic Amish home, eat a delicious meal, and converse with the owners. Some Amish even offer the possibility of overnight homestays. There are such home businesses run by Amish in Lancaster County, Arthur, Illinois, and in other communities. A first step is to contact the tourist bureau in the area you are interested in visiting.

Form a relationship with an Amish person

The best way to visit an Amish home, of course, is to visit as a friend.  Becoming friends with an Amish person or family is of course easier to do in person.  At the risk of stating the obvious, Amish are people too, are often interested in how people from beyond their communities live, and enjoy many of the same subjects the rest of us do.

Striking up a conversation when visiting an Amish business or while at an auction or other event where Amish are present may be a way to do just that. Forming and developing relationships takes some work and an honest heart but the rules are generally the same as with any other people.

Remember however that Amish value modesty in dress, appreciate family and community, are church-going and live by the dictates of the Bible. This does not mean that Amish are particularly stuffy, however, and appreciate a good joke and warm companionship as much as anyone else.

Having formed an authentic relationship, it’s possible you may receive an invitation to visit. It’s certainly not unheard of as Amish much enjoy visiting, both with Amish and non-Amish friends, and it is a primary social activity in Amish culture.

Learn more about the Amish

Spending some time reading non-fiction books and learning more about Amish culture can also help you when trying to understand and relate to Amish.

There are numerous resources available by which to learn more about the Amish.  Here is an Amish reading list of worthwhile books on Amish society and faith.  Also, read the Amish America blog and try subscribing by RSS or email to keep up to date with new posts.

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    1. Shiloh Platt

      I am interested in visiting an Amish community

      Hello, I have read much about the Old Order Amish and I really would like to visit an Amish community. I am from Germany and I am a Russian-German, in German: Russlanddeutsch, and I already know one thing or two about mennonite culture and values. When I am at my grandparents, I attend a church that has its roots in Mennonite beliefs. If I’m at my hometown I attend an anabaptist church that really agrees with Menno Simons teachings too. Anyways, I would really love to join an Amish community because of my faith. Is it possible to come and visit an Amish community even though I am from Germany? Also, at the time I am not old enough to leave my home. I am 16 years old. My faith is the most important thing in my life and I wanna live my life with other people who share the same strong faith.
      I would love to get in contact via E-Mail or letters. It is a good thing living with other people who also believe and share the same faith.
      As it is written in 2. Korinther 6, 14-17 . I woul dalso love to learn more about the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.
      It would mean very much to me if I could get in contact with an Amish community in some way.

    2. Dan

      Ich habe schon bei Amischen, Mennoniten alter Ordnung (Old Order Mennonites), konservativen Altkoloniern und Hutterern gelebt. Ich kann dir da einiges erzählen! Schreib einfach am 123.ffm bei GMX und zwar .net statt .de:

      Herzliche Grüße aus Heidelberg

    3. Dan

      Hallo Shiloh Platt,

      du musst aus dem, was ich oben gesagt habe, eine Eimail-Adresse zusamensetzen: 123.ffm at, ohne Leerzeichen und mit @ statt “at”.

      Wenn ich hier direkt meine Emailasresse angebe, lesen das Bots und überschwemmen mich dann mit Spam-Mails.

      Wie gesagt, ich könnte dir in vieler Hinsicht weiterhelfen!

    4. Hello

      I’m 50 years old I was born in European country I am American and I live in Philadelphia Pennsylvania Allegra to marriage with Amish sure woman ! I am really excited

    5. would love to spend some time with a Amish family and learn more of their ways and lifestyle

    6. Nathan

      I would love to stay with an amish family. I want change my lifestyle. Where can I go to get this opportunity?

    7. Raised Quaker, taught to live a life of Love

      Hi, so long story short-ish; I come from the deep rural south of Virginia and my mother married a God-fearing Christian who was from North Carolina. We moved to Kentucky out of necessity since his mother was in ill health. My story is long but… essentially I find myself tired of technology my entire life and things that aren’t a part of actually “living.” I really just want to be another century, where people care about each other and only want to be happy, not this crazy, constructed and pretentious mode of existence.

      For reference I am a 33 year old single female who keeps to herself because what makes me happiest isn’t what others find valuable.

      So, not that short of a story but here I am

      1. Heidi

        Reply to Jenny

        Hi Jenny,

        I did not grow up in rural America like you did but I certainly can resonate with what you wrote. Is there a way I can get in contact with you so we could chat and share some thoughts? I would really like to find a way to contact an amish family to stay with for about a month.

    8. A good way to get in closer contact with an Amish community is to just visit them. You can, for example, go to visit the New Order Amish at Union Grove, NC:

      You can try to talk to the people who have shops there and ask if you are allowed to attend their Sunday service. Normally serious seekers will be invited, especially by New Oder Amish who in general are more open to seekers. Most probalby they will be people who have time for you the whole Sunday.

      Most Amish are very busy people who do not have much time during the week to deal with visitors and seekers.

      Another option is to go to Pinecraft, a suburb of Sarasota, Florida, where there are many Amish – often retired persons – who have a lot of spare time:

      Language is a serious problem for seekers, maybe the most serious one. To be really part of an Amish community you need a good ability to speak and understand Pennsylvania Dutch. But there are are very Amish-like Old Order Mennonites who speak English even among themselves and not German.

      Therefore, if you seriously want to join a very conservative Christian Community you should consider the Virginia Old Order Mennonites:

      I’d recommend you to also read this article:

      Also consider the Old German Baptist Brethren who also speak English only and who are in many cases a very good option for seekers like you too!

      Also consider the Amish like Christian Communities:

      A good option may also be some relatively open Hutterites like Elmendorf:

      Since Hutterites have all goods in common, it is much easier for a visitor or seeker to stay with them.

      There is only one community with which I’d be very careful: The Bruderhof Communities which in my view have become cult like in some aspects.

    9. Earl Geffert

      I what to become amish bc I love the country dont like cars and city life I love my horses would like to know how I can do this

    10. Dan Holsinger

      Joining the Amish

      Amish life is very much about being a follower of Jesus Christ, not about a certain life style! Rural life is just the way Amish find best to live and preserve their faith.

      If you are not a serious Christian you can life close to them and try to get in contact with them as a good neighbor. For most of the Amish good relations to their neighbors are very important.

      You can establish a relationship of mutual help and understanding with an Amish community. Amish often appreciate non-Amish neighbors who can do many things for them they are not allowed to do, e.g. services as a driver.

      To get in contact with an Amish community, just follow the advice a gave in my last posting in this threat.

    11. Kate Stromlund

      Staying with an Amish family

      I am interested in becoming Amish and I heard that you need a host family. How do I go about finding one?

    12. Cheryl Brooks

      Would love to learn the ways

      I’m not sure how this works but my husband of 31 yrs ND I would love to spend time with you and your culture to learn a better way of living…I have the most admiration for your way of living I would love to learn more on working with what I have….thank you for your time

    13. Matthew

      How do I live with the Amish for a little bit

      How do I live with the Amish for a few days if allowed? I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Please email me at

    14. Adrian


      Hi I interested and I like too married with Amish women! I’m 52 year’s old i live in Philly !! I like a woman Younger and me about 30 years ! old !! I like too worked in farm’s and too make a lot’s kids!!

    15. Francine Hendrickson

      Would love to live.with Amish family or share a home with an Amish woman

      Hello my name is Francine Hendrickson I’m 69 years old and I would very much like to live with an Amish family or share a home with an Amish woman for.a year . I’m of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and know a lot about the Amish life style and culture. Please send response to me at
      Francine Hendrickson

    16. Vicky


      I grew up with parents who weren’t able to pay bills and our electric and gas was turned off very often. My mom when this happened would light lanterns or candles around the house I miss those days as a child. She would tell us stories. They were the best ones as she made them up. With electronics and all the hustle I would love to take my granddaughter who loves animals to a place that she can interact with them. A place where things were rough as I was growing up but a place I would love to take her to visit where it all started. A place that you weren’t afraid a place where doors were unlocked a place you were safe. That is not here in the English world but where she can see the difference and be aware of her surroundings. Because this is the world she is growing up in. I would love to stay with a Amish family for a weekend to show her the difference which I know she herself would appreciate