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Summertime, Fun Time!

Memorial Day is almost here and that is always the unofficial kick-off to summer. I’m here to do what it seems I do best…give you ideas on stuff to do!
There is a lot going on in the area at any given time but summer and fall are particularly busy times in central Pennsylvania, so without waiting any further…here we go.
So let me start by saying that my idea of ‘outdoorsy’ is drinking wine on my porch while I read. If you enjoy my type of outdoorsy, might I suggest mixing things up and enjoying a nice glass of wine or a good beer outside at the Brickyard/Stonehouse, The Whiskey Room (they also open their windows so you don’t even have to be ‘outside’ technically), 33 East, Barrel 135 or the Mill Tavern? They all have great outdoor areas to get some fresh air while you try a new drink.
Taking a short wine tour is a great way to spend a Saturday exploring the area. There are some great wineries in the area including Bastress Mountain (they also have a distillery), Eagle Rock and Four Friends. If you take the trip to Four Friends, be sure to go in a group of four, or multiple of four so you can get your picture(s) on the wall! There are also some great wineries just outside of the area including Spyglass, Fero, Shade Mountain, Oregon Hill and Beniga’s Creek (which also has a store in the mall). These are just a few in the Central PA area. If beer is more your style there are some great microbreweries in the area including the Bullfrog, Riepstine’s Pub and Abby Wright (in the Valley Inn). Again, if you want to travel outside the area a bit, be sure to check out Selin’s Grove, Old Forge, Otto’s (one of my personal favs) or Turkey Hill.
As always, if you are enjoying your alcohol out and about, please enjoy responsibly. Cabs and/or designated drivers are non-negotiable.
For those of you that enjoy actually being outside, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied until fall.
Ricketts Glen and the PA Grand Canyon offer some pretty amazing hiking opportunities, as well as a lot of the local state parks. There are over 100 state parks in Pennsylvania, so I’m sure you can find what you are looking for in at least one of them. There are, of course, plenty of camping areas to be found. Between the river and the plethora of creeks and stream around, good fishing certainly isn’t hard to find. If you are looking for a quick outdoor adventure, the Riverwalk has plenty of sights to see while you enjoy being outdoors. I always appreciate a good friend with a Riverlot or even better a pool, seeing as that’s as close to outside as I like to be!
There are also plenty of creeks and streams to cool off in with swimming or kayaking. There is even a Kayak Race being held at Riverfront Park on June 20th.
There are a lot of events being held in the area this summer also.
First Fridays will be in full swing until the weather turns cold. The downtown Growers Market will be up and running every Saturday. There is also one in Montoursville on Tuesdays and one in Jersey Shore on Thursdays. Don’t forget about 4th Fridays in Muncy!
The Ways Garden Arts & Craft show will be held on June 14th. The Lycoming County Fair runs July 16-25. I personally love the Fourth of July celebration downtown. Music, vendors and of course – fireworks! The Rotary Balloon Festival at the Lycoming County Fair Ground will be September 12. The annual Mini-Indy to benefit the Red Cross will also be coming up in September. LaFesta will also be hitting Bowman Field in September.
Speaking of Bowman Field, does anything say summer quite like a baseball game? The Crosscutters’ home opener is June 20th against the State College Spikes. I can already smell fresh cut grass and have a craving for peanuts and Cracker Jacks!
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is hit the carnivals! There is nothing quite like burgers, fries, funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreo’s at a local carnival! Yeah, I’m totally in it for the food, but I hear they have rides and games too. There are several happening at fire departments and churches throughout the summer.
If music is your thing, you are in luck! The Billtown Blues Festival kicks things off on June 20th. LibertyFest is running July 10 & 11 at the Liberty Fair Grounds. The Uptown Music Collective will have their Summer Music Festival at Brandon Park on August 2. A Bears Picnic will be held in Roaring Branch August 6-10. Brand-new this year is the Gratifonia Music Festival being held at the Lycoming County Fair Grounds September 4-6. I’ll have more details on this later, but let me tell you there are a lot of great bands planned for this festival. There are also lots of concerts and shows coming up at the Community Arts Center. Let’s not forget about the Lock Haven Summer Concert Series that takes place throughout the summer at the J. Doyle Corman Amphitheater and Floating Stage.
We all know that summer means kiddos are out of school, but don’t worry, I have ways to keep them entertained also.
It is always fun to head over 15 and see what Clyde Peeling has going on at Reptiland. Treasure Castle Playland and Hoopla’s are always fun for the slightly younger set. (Though I can’t deny, I REALLY love that Wizard of Oz coin game at Hoopla’s). You can never go wrong with an afternoon or evening of bowling at Faxon or ABC. Hoopla’s also has a pretty cool miniature golf course and if the weather is bad or too hot, you can play Glow Golf inside the mall.
If you are after something a bit more low-key, catch a movie downtown or out at the mall.
Looking to ditch the kids completely? (I kid, I kid…kinda). Send ‘em to camp! West Branch School offers several throughout the summer, Lycoming College offers their College for Kids Program, St. John’s School of the Arts is offering a music and fine arts day camp and several local parks offer day camps also! The local churches also offer a variety of Vacation Bible Schools for the little ones. The Uptown Music Collective is also offering camps this summer. If your kids are a little more athletic and looking to improve their skills, there are also several sports camps available this summer, including, but not limited to: Maz’s SMART Camp, CI’s Basketball Camp, Little League Baseball Camp and Lycoming College’s Football Camp. Several of the local dance schools will also be offering summer camps.
Looking for a quiet and educational day? Be sure to check out the Thomas Taber Museum and the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum. You can also check out the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.
Maybe you and the fam would like to get out of town for the day? There is lots of fun to be had just a bit out of the area – easy and close enough to make a day trip. One of my personal favorites is Knoebels. I can’t resist the Haunted House (The tractor trailer gets me every time) and of course – tri-taters.
Also not too far out of town are the Packwood House and Slifer House museums in Lewisburg – I remember going to both of these as a kid on a school field trip and having a good time.
There is also Penn’s Cave, which I have been putting on my summer bucket list for years and swear this year I mean it – I will get there!
If you feel like traveling just a hair farther, the Corning Museum of Glass is just a hop, skip and jump over the NY border and is fun for kids and adults. A little bit further and you can hit up a few of the wineries on Seneca Lake.
So have you got a few ideas of things to do yet? No? Okay, let me keep going…
The Lifland Skate Park is open in Elm Park if skateboarding and BMX riding is your thing.
You can always spoil a good walk with a round of golf at White Deer Golf Course or you could enjoy a relaxing trip on the Susquehanna on the Hiawatha.
There are a few local pools still open in the area also. Jersey Shore has one, as well as Muncy and Loyalsock and Splash Lagoon at Memorial Park will be opening this summer also.
If that still isn’t enough for you, there is of course the pride and joy of Williamsport and all that is the Little League World Series. The series kicks off with the Grand Slam Parade on August 19 and that Friday there is the Williamsport Welcomes the World Celebration downtown. The games are always a great way to break up a summer day – and don’t forget your cardboard for sliding down the hill. After you’ve had your fill of the games and hill-sliding, cool off by taking a trip through the Little League Museum.
All this great stuff to do in the area, and I haven’t even gotten to what you can do in your own backyard! Catching lightening bugs, S’mores around a fire pit (if your area allows), Ladder Ball, Corn-Hole, Bocce Ball, a good old-fashioned Slip N’ Slide or just running through sprinklers! Make rainy days into craft days – if you are looking for ideas Webb Weekly runs kids crafts at least once per month, just look for the Kids Korner heading! You can start with the one on page 34.
What better way to cool off this summer than with ice cream or Froyo? Eder’s Ice Cream has been an area staple forever, Sunset Ice Cream as well! There is also Sweetfrog, if you like to get a little creative with your sweet treats. There is also the new downtown addition – Sprinkled Sweet Bakery & Artisan Creamery.
OK, so I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting a little tired just thinking about all of the things the area has to offer when the weather starts to warm up! So on that note, if you need me, I’ll be on my front porch with my Kindle and a glass of wine!
Thanks to Jimmy for giving me his space this week! He took the time to enjoy some summer fun of his own fishing and hunting with the family!

Jim Webb, Jr.
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