Summer fun doesn't have to break the bank.
Here are some ways to enjoy the season on a budget.
Relax at a Creekfire
Looking for a summer activity that combines relaxation for the adults and fun for the kids? Creekfires at Foundry Park in downtown York might be your best bet. Spend a Saturday evening unwinding by the floating fire pits on the Codorus Creek. The events, held from 7-10 p.m. every fourth Saturday through September, will feature a variety of entertainment each month from fire performers to local musicians to children’s crafts and activities. Some months will also include an illuminated boat parade on the Codorus.
Plus, it’s free. Can’t beat that, right?
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/creekfireyork/.
See an outdoor concert
Grab your lawn chairs and picnic blankets and set yourself up for some free live music on a warm summer night. In downtown York, you can see acts ranging from jazz to country to Hawaiian at the Box Lunch Revue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Cherry Lane. Springettsbury Township also puts on a “Sounds of Summer” series at 7 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays at the Springettsbury Township Park Amphitheater. Or, take a drive to Lancaster to see musicians from across the country at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays at Long’s Park Amphitheater. Local acts will also perform on Saturdays July 9-23. Click here for a full lineup.
Go out for ice cream (or make some)
So, it’s no secret that York, Hanover-Adams and Lancaster have some great spots to grab an ice cream cone. Just check out our lists below.
But, true ice cream lovers can find the ultimate ice cream adventure at Turkey Hill Experience, 301 Linden St., Columbia. For $9.95 (or $8.95 for children 5-17), you and your family can taste unlimited samples, learn how ice cream is made, sit in a milk truck and milk a mechanical cow.
Want to make your own ice cream flavor? You can do that, too, in the Turkey Hill Taste Lab. You’ll also get to create your own ice cream package and commercial. Tickets for this experience cost $4.95 for children 4 and under. But older children and adults will have to pay a little more than $10. Visit turkeyhillexperience.com for more info.
Tour Chocolate World
If ice cream’s not your thing, maybe you’d rather spend the day exploring a world of chocolate, instead. Hershey’s Chocolate World’s free admission includes a ride on its newly updated tour attraction that features singing cows and animated characters who show you how Hershey’s chocolate is made. You’ll also enjoy a free chocolate sample as you exit.
Then, take the family to a new dimension in the 4D Chocolate Mystery. Through digital animation and special effects, you’ll become part of the show and interact with characters to solve the mystery. Tickets are $7.95 for adults or $6.95 for children.
Or, head over to Hershey’s tasting experience, where you’ll become a chocolate tasting expert from milk to dark and other varieties in between. Tickets are $9.95 for adults or $6.95 for children.
Visit www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld for more info.
Hit the pool
Several area swimming pools like Graham Aquatic Center in York, Lincolnway Swimming Pool and Sports Club in West Manchester Township, Codorus State Park in West Manheim Township and Gifford Pinchot State Park in Warrington Township, offer day passes for under $10. Visit their websites for more information.
Take a safari tour
African lions, North American bison, alligators, buffalo, snakes and many more animals are waiting for you on the safari tour at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, just a short drive from York at 760 Tobias Road, Halifax. You’ll ride with a tour guide on an open-air bus on an hour-long adventure that takes you across 150 acres of rolling hills and allows you to see wild and exotic animals from around the world up close. Some animals might even walk right up to the bus and allow you to touch them. The safari tour is the main attraction, but the park also includes a petting zoo, reptile and other zoo exhibits and concessions. Park admission is $7, and the safari tour is $6. Visit laketobias.com for more info.
Catch a summer festival
Area festivals make for a fun and affordable way to get out of the house. Mark your calendars for events like Codorus Blast, a $5 festival with live music, craft vendors and children’s activities June 17-19 at Codorus State Park; Yorkfest, a free-admission fine arts festival in downtown York Aug. 27-28; and What the Food Trucks, a free-admission food truck party in Penn Park Sept. 4.
Grab some friends and try a new outdoor sport this summer. Gifford Pinchot and Codorus state parks both offer outdoor disc golf courses. It’s a lot like regular golf, only instead of trying to get a little white ball in a hole, your goal is to get a Frisbee/disc into a metal basket. The courses are free to play. You just have to supply the disc or purchase one in the marina concession building.
Looking for more variety? Try a local sports facility. Carlisle Sports Emporium offers indoor and outdoor go-kart racing for $7.50, mini golf for $8 and rock climbing for $1-$20. The batting cages are currently closed. You can also find go-karts for $8, mini golf for $6-$8 and rollerball bowling for $3 at Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center in Hanover.
Go to a carnival
It’s officially carnival season in the Hanover-Adams County area. From the Delone Catholic High School Carnival in McSherrystown June 13-18 to the Biglerville Hose and Truck Co. Fall Fest Sept. 15-17, local families will have plenty of opportunities to get in some rides, games, music and fireworks this summer. Click here for a complete list of area carnivals.
Explore a museum
Looking for something to do on a rainy summer day? Area museums have lots of neat exhibits to explore for the whole family. For $9 (or $8 for children), you can see dinosaurs up close and personal at the North Museum of Nature and Science’s “Explore the Past’ Dinosaur Gallery in Lancaster. While you’re in the area, you can also head to Lancaster Science Factory for more than 60 hands-on, interactive exhibits and the Hands-on-House Children’s Museum in Lancaster for self-directed exhibits designed for adults and children to learn and play together. Admission for both is under $10.