Summer might be a time to kick back and relax, but tell that to the parent or babysitter whose child is bouncing around the room yelling “I’m bored” every 10 minutes. This summer get ready to erase that frustrating phrase from their vocabulary. Sit down with your child and create a bucket list of free or low-cost summer possibilities. Make sure you have a range of activities from freebies close to home and those activities kids can do while playing at home. If you are looking for ideas to add to your family’s bucket list, here are a few suggestions.

Close to Home

Living in Adams County we often overlook the obvious, Gettysburg National Military Park. This is a source of free things to do in the summer months. Free battlefield walks and programs take place almost daily. Remember bicycle and pets are welcome in the park.

Michaux State Forest is a designated recreation area. There are several shaded trails to walk and enjoy the gorgeous views. Long Pine Run reservoir is a beautiful place to canoe, walk the trails, or fish.

“Tennis for Kids Inc.” is a program that offers free tennis lessons at 21 different location in Adams and York County. Nearest locations include Lincoln Elementary in Gettysburg and New Oxford High School. www.tennisforkidsyork.com.

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum is a unique local attraction. You will find more than 12,000 elephant figurines and gardens with fishponds for a little walk through. Of course, the nearby fudge, roasted peanuts, and candies are for sale, but exploring the museum and gardens are free-of-charge.

Adams County Library System is a local treasure. Their Summer Reading Program is an easy way to keep kids reading, learning and having fun all summer. The programming begins with activities for babies and continues with programs through the teen years. Weekly incentives are offered, and many free special evening programs and events are offered for families.

Home Activities

Picnic in the backyard. Allow your kids to plan, assemble, and pack the lunch but don’t forget the blanket.

Stage an A to Z Scavenger Hunt, where your children must locate an item that’s begins with each letter of the alphabet. Additional scavenger hunt ideas can be found at www. handsonaswegrow.com.

Slip and Slide Time can be such fun with a painter’s plastic tarp, a trickling garden hose, and few drops of dishwashing liquid for easy sliding.

Painting with water on the sidewalk or patio with sponges, brushes, and a bucket filled with plain old water can pass the time and help keep kids cool in the summer sun. When the creation dries, they can begin again!

As you can see, close to home or in your home, fun activities are not hard to find here in Adams County. I hope your family creates a bucket list of summer activities to post on the refrigerator. When you hear those two little words “I’m bored” remember you do have a backup plan the bucket list.

Diana Fasnacht is the director of Ready to Learn, United Way of Adams County.

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