After such a rainy spring and early summer, the weather finally feels like it’s time to have a picnic, go on a hike and make some memories. With two young children, I try to take advantage of the extended daylight hours when I get home from work, and try to do as much as we can as a family on the weekend, too.
While I love a good road trip (look for upcoming posts for my favorite road trip destinations), here is my summer bucket list for Northeast Pennsylvania. I’ve tried to list a variety of ideas — including many free and low-cost options.
- Visit the Everhart Museum in Scranton’s Nay Aug Park. My girls love the bird room, dinosaur skeleton and mineral room. I also love that they are exposed to art, and I try to teach them museum etiquette (don’t touch the paintings!). Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $3 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under. Museum passes are also available on loan (for free!) from the Lackawanna County Library System. (Bonus idea: Pack a picnic lunch and eat at Nay Aug Park. Enjoy one of the park’s playgrounds or visit the pool.)
- Pick blueberries at LaCoe’s Berry Nice Farm in Newton Twp. or the Paupack Blueberry Farm in Paupack. Eat them plain, make jam or have your kids help bake. My oldest daughter and I had a great time picking strawberries this year and hope to pick blueberries in the next two weeks.
- Eat ice cream at the farm. Did you know Pennsylvania has a new ice cream trail that features creameries from our region? We love to get a scoop of ice cream at Manning Farm Dairy (we often like to visit Lackawanna State Park first) in North Abington Twp. My favorites are charlie brownie, strawberry shortcake and almond joy. My 1-year-old loves the banana. We’ve also had a scoop (or two) from the Lands at Hillside Farms in Shavertown. Also delicious.
- Pick up some produce at the Co-Op Farmer’s Market in Scranton. Each time we visit, I challenge my oldest daughter to pick any kind of vegetable there and we will prepare something with it together. We’ve had plenty of yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant and cauliflower this way.
- Cool off at a splash pad. We like the splash pad at South Abington Park, but we want to check out the water at Sherwood Park and Lackawanna State Park, too.
- Spend a rainy afternoon at the library. Our libraries are so much more than a place to check out books. Just with my oldest daughter at the library, we’ve listened to stories, watched her teddy bear get a check up from medical school students and got to see a hawk and owl up close. Check out the library’s summer reading program, too.
- Watch a movie on the big screen. Cinemark in Moosic offers $1 children’s movies on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. throughout the summer. Check out the schedule here. Regal Cinemas in Dickson City also has $1 movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I hope to check out a movie at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City as well.
- Cheer on the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre Railriders. I’ve never been a huge fan of baseball, but I truly love going to games at PNC Field. The atmosphere is wonderful, and watching the sunset from the lawn is perfect. With a 1-year-old, my time at the park will likely be limited this summer (ever try to get a 1-year-old to sit and watch a baseball game?), but I hope to make it to at least one game. Here is a link to promotions to help save you some money.
- Check a festival/carnival. One of our favorite events is the annual St. Joseph’s Center Summer Festival, scheduled for July 26-28 this year. We love this festival because it supports the center, which provides care and companionship to people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities. Local volunteers make the food (try the potato pancakes!), and it’s a great place to run into people you haven’t seen in awhile. For a full listing of festivals, check out the calendar at Access NEPA.
What are your must-do activities for the summer? Let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah balances life as a reporter for The Times-Tribune and as the mom of two little girls. A graduate of Ithaca College, Sarah started covering education in 2006. She has received awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association, Inland Press Association and Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, their daughters and their sweet pug, Sadie. Reach her at email@example.com, 570-348-9133 or @HofiusHallTT.