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Vacation Destinations in our own “Backyard”

Who doesn’t long for those long, hot, lazy days of summer and all the fun that comes with them? Backyard barbecues. Pool parties. Fireworks. Homemade ice cream.

Planning the family vacation. Packing everything but the kitchen sink. Riding in the car for hours. Are we there yet?!

OK – so some things I don’t long for and could easily live without. That’s why this year I asked Susquehanna employees for suggestions for summer fun ideas right in our own backyard. From amusement parks to county fairs, the ideas are inspiring. In fact, we received so many that we decided to include them in two separate blogs. Read the first group of recommendations to see where your summer could take you. It might be closer to home than you think.

Pennsylvania Memorial in Gettysburg National Military Park

Be adventurous and put a little fun in your summer with these great getaway ideas right around the corner.

Pocono Mountains – recommended by Barbara in Allentown, PA:

More than a ski resort, these mountains offer much in the way of summer fun with Camelback Beach (“the waterpark in the woods”) and Claws and Paws, which has “… a nice variety of animals and birds”  where “the kids can feed their giraffe — he takes carrots from your hand!”

Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City, NJ – recommended by Lori in Vineland, NJ:

“Fishing cruises, sightseeing, restaurants serving up ale house brews and home of the Atlantic City Aquarium … I highly recommend this area because of its convenient location away from the busy casinos and the relaxing local atmosphere.”

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County, PA – recommended by Amy in Hunt Valley, MD:

Pack up the kids and hit the road for a “… huge corn maze, petting zoo, games, farm tours, refreshments, and you can board the Strasburg Railroad from the farm.”

Knoebels Grove Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA – a top choice among Susquehanna employees, including Amber in Lancaster, PA, and Kristin in Cinnaminson, NJ:

Check out this wonderful amusement park in a shady area where you do not pay to get in, but instead pay as you go. The park also offers an Olympic size pool and children’s water park… a miniature golf course on site as well.

Learn a Little

School’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean fun can’t be educational.

Hershey Falconry Experience in Hershey, PA – recommended by Ed in Lititz, PA:

Did you know that people once used birds to hunt food for their families? This one provides a “very educational, unique experience that is fun” too.

Washington D.C – recommended by Kendra in Gap, PA:

Don’t wait for the class field trip to see the city where history is made daily, and “the monuments and most of the museums are free.”

Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA – recommended by Katelyn in Lititz, PA:

“The Museum collections are quite expansive and the Fonthill property is great to wander around on a nice day. It’s a hidden piece of history right in the suburbs of Bucks County!”

Gettysburg Military Park / Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park – recommended by Jami in New Holland:

“…like taking a step back in time. Harper’s Ferry especially with its daily tours and presentations. The buildings and shops through town tell the story of what took place all those years ago.”

Valley Forge National Park — recommended by Dawn in Lititz, PA:

“… historical and interesting with some of the original buildings intact, has a great picnic area and an awesome 8-mile loop that you can walk, bike or drive with interesting stops along the way.”

Do a Little

Whether you’re a spectator or an active participant, these ideas put some activity into your day.

Lancaster Polo Club in Reamstown, PA – recommended by Chip in Lititz, PA:

“The Polo Club has been in operation for decades and I’m amazed that so few locals even know about it.”

Reading Phillies Kids Club – recommended by Zinia in Adamstown, PA:

This one is for “…anyone who loves baseball, free tickets for the kids and who can beat hot dogs for $1.00??”  Check out the minor league ball teams in your area too.

Westminster Community Pond in Westminster, MD – recommended by Laura in Westminster:

“…fish in the pond, or feed the many ducks and geese that are there, or even let your kids swing or play on the playground.”

Stay tuned…a future blog post will include even more recommendations from our employees.

What are your best recommendations for summer fun in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland or West Virginia?

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