by Aimee Brindle

Living in Central Pennsylvania, we have access to so many adventures and fun things to do outside. Who doesn’t love spending time outdoors during the summer? Central Pennsylvania has a lot to offer. Between outdoor festivals, a history lesson, or even amusement parks, you are bound to find something that your whole family will enjoy.

Central Pennsylvanians have been enjoying the annual Harrisburg Art’s Festival since 1966. This year it’s kicking off the summer Saturday May 28th through Monday May 30th. It hosts a variety of local artists and art vendors with anything from paintings, jewelry, pottery, and metal works. There are plenty of crafts available for the kiddos, or enjoy a bite to eat, all while enjoying the beautiful view of the Susquehanna River. Also you can play miniature golf or take a stroll over the Walnut Street Bridge to City Island and catch a Senators baseball game.

The hometown favorite, Mechanicsburg’s Jubilee Day, is the largest street fair on the east coast!  There are many things for your family to do, from enjoying the array of food, playing games, visiting the local vendors, listening to live music, or having fun on the carnival rides. There is some on street parking available, but there are also shuttle services from the Mechanicsburg High School and Immanuel Alliance Church. Definitely something you have to do at least once. The 2016 Jubilee Day is currently scheduled on June 16th from 10am-9pm.

If you are a history buff, Gettysburg is only a short drive away. Packed with American history and wonderful views, all in the heart of Gettysburg. There are multiple informational auto tours, which will give you in-depth stories throughout the battlefields.  You can also catch a reenactment at Devils Dens, or if you are feeling adventurous, take part in a nightly ghost tour. If you need a break from all of the fun, there are many wonderful restaurants, where you can enjoy a delicious meal, or take the whole family to the parlor for an ice cream treat!  If one day is not enough, there are plenty of campgrounds and hotels available in the area. What ever your family is looking for, you’ll find it in Gettysburg.

If you really want to have a good time, be sure to visit Knoebels, America’s largest free admission amusement park!  Knoebels has rides for any age.  Whether you are a thrill seeker or looking for rides for the kiddos, you are sure to find it here. Need to cool down?  Head over for a dip in the Crystal Pool or take a ride on the water slides. Not into rides? Don’t worry, Knoebels also offers many other wonderful activities, such as the Bald Eagle Habitat, Carousel Museum, and miniature golf.  Of course, no amusement park would be complete without lots of food, games, and shopping!

When scheduling your days for this summer, be sure to take in all the wonderful things that Central Pennsylvania has to offer!!

P.S. Don’t forget to wear sunblock!!