It's that time of year again when you look at the calendar and suddenly realize that summer is almost over.
Before you know it, vacation will end, the kids will be back in school, the leaves will start to change and you'll be left with the memories of summer, until next year.
But, there's no need to panic. You still have plenty of time to fit in your favorite summer activities before school starts up again.
Here are 10 things to help you make the most of the last few weeks of summer.
Ride Laff Trakk
If you haven't been to Hersheypark yet this summer, put it on your list. The amusement park's top attraction this year is Laff Trakk, the first indoor, spinning glow coaster in the country. The coaster, which opened Memorial Day weekend, takes riders through a fun house, complete with a hall of mirrors and house of cards. If you don't like curves, loops, twists and spinning, this ride is probably not for you. But with more than 65 rides and attractions, 13 roller coasters, a water park and entertainment, you're sure to find something you'll enjoy. Watch a video of the coaster here.
See an outdoor movie
Your last chance to see a free outdoor movie in York County is coming up at the end of July and beginning of August. York Township Recreation hosts free films at York Township Park at sunset or 8:45 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 7. Call 741-3861 Ext. 350 for updates or visit yorktownshiprec.com for a list of movies. Kiwanis Lake also shows family-friendly films at dusk or about 8:15 p.m. on Wednesdays through July 29 at the park at North Newberry Street and Parkway Boulevard in York. For more information and a list of movies, call 854-1587.
More outdoor movies will also be shown (for a fee) on weekends through Labor Day at Haar's Drive-in, 185 Logan Road, Dillsburg. Tickets are $8 for ages 12 and up and $2 for ages 3 to 11. For more information, visit haars.com/drive-in.
Go to a beach party
If you can't fit in a trip to Ocean City this summer, then a trip to Mudhook Brewing Company will have to do. Grab your beachwear and head to downtown York Aug. 21 and 22 when 10 tons of sand will cover the ground outside the restaurant at 34 N. Cherry Lane. Beach seating will be available outside the restaurant and on the patio both days, Mudhook host Christian Winstel said. So, come downtown, stick your toes in the sand, and enjoy some food, beer and live music. More details on bands and vendors will be announced at mudhookbrewing.com.
Go out for ice cream
Hanover and Adams County are home to several popular ice cream shops, each known for different flavors. Raspberry soft serve is the signature flavor at York Street Treat, 881 York St., Penn Township. And you can find more berry flavors at Big Dippers, at 2135 Baltimore Pike, West Manheim Township. But if you're looking for more variety, Half Pint Creamery, at 3780 Centennial Road, McSherrystown and 1101 Biglerville Road, Cumberland Township, is the place to go. The shop has about 140 different flavors and offers 36 at a time, including unique options such as red velvet, peanut butter Oreo and Jolly Rancher, among others.
See a baseball game
What says "summer" more than a beer, a hot dog and a ball game? Bring the whole family to a Saturday night game at Santander Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, and you'll see a post-game fireworks display light up the night sky. Families might want to try the Family Fun Pack, which includes four undated ticket vouchers, four food vouchers, two Stauffer's Playground wristbands and a parking pass. The game schedule and more ticket options are available at yorkrevolution.com.
Go on a safari
A safari tour, featuring African lions, the North American bison, alligators, buffalo, snakes and much more, is just a short drive away at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, 760 Tobias Road, Halifax (north of Harrisburg). You'll ride an open-air bus on this hour-long tour of the park's exotic mammals. The 150-acre park also includes a petting zoo, a reptiles and exotics facility and concessions. Admission is $7 for ages 3 and up and an additional $6 for the safari tour. For more info, visit laketobias.com.
Other great places in the area to see animals include the Wolf Sanctuary of Pa. in Lititz, the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Nixon Park in York, William H. Kain County Park in York and The Country Barn in Lancaster.
Explore state parks
York County is home to three state parks — Codorus State Park, Samuel S. Lewis State Park and Gifford Pinchot State Park — which are great places for your favorite summer activities, including swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, camping, picnicking, biking, horseback riding, disc golf and more. Learn more at www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/index.aspx.
Check out end-of-summer festivals
You know you're going to miss going to outdoor festivals as summer fades to fall. So make sure you don't miss these last few festivals in York. On Aug. 29 and 30, close to 100 fine artists will take over the streets of York at Yorkfest. The fine arts festival will also feature live entertainment, food, children's activities, a community jazz concert and more. Then, finish off the summer with the ultimate food festival, Foodstruck, on Sept. 6. More than 50 food trucks and carts will make their way to downtown York for this free-admission food party. Click here for more festivals to catch this summer.
Participate in a Luau Murder Mystery
Tickets are still on sale for the last murder mystery event of the summer at Escape Games Live, 147 W. Philadelphia St., York. And you could be the next victim. Put on your best Hawaiian shirt and lei because the event is luau-themed, perfect for an end-of-summer party. The $40 ticket includes summer snacks, like hot dogs, chips and salsa, fruit and desserts. So, come hungry and ready to play. Make reservations and find more information on escapegameslive.com.
See Adam Levine in concert
Maroon 5 is performing only two U.S. shows this summer, and one of them is in Hershey. It'll be a performance you won't want to miss. Maroon 5 — known for recent hit singles "Maps," "Animals" and "Sugar" — will be joined by "Jealous" singer Nick Jonas and "The Voice" season seven runner-up Matt McAndrew. The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at Hersheypark Stadium, 100 Hersheypark Drive, Hershey. Purchase tickets at HersheyEntertainment.com or TicketMaster.com.