Here we are...just days left in the school year. Many of us are counting the days until summer vacation.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Here we are...just days left in the school year. Many of us are counting the days until summer vacation.
Today, I've listed some suggestions that could add value and fun to your summer. Divide the list into Rainy Day and Sunshine Day, and plan out your summer. Google ideas, research some of the sites listed below, use Facebook.
Some of the activities below cost nothing...free! Some you may have to budget ahead. But, look at all of these ideas...they are full of fun...ways to enjoy the simple life. I plan to do almost EVERYTHING on this list, and come September, I can look back and know I had one of the most fun-filled summers ever!
I will share my journey on my Facebook page, and title it "Summer of '17"...check in from time to time. I'll include photos, too!
Enjoy everything June, July and August have to offer. Life is too short to be bored!
* spend the afternoon at your local public library...relax, enjoy the AC and the peace and quiet. Get a library card if you don't have one.
* read one book per week
* grow your own favorite vegetables
* clear out some of the junk in your attic, garage, basement or spare room, and have a yard sale
* support lemonade stands run by children
* visit your local area farmers' markets and buy locally-grown fruits and vegetables
* take in a festival or two
* sleep in one day, as late as you want, and spend the entire day in bed, in your PJ's - just letting the day go by with no worries, no housework, no yard work
* pack up the family and go on a picnic
* go camping
* make this summer one when you visit every local park in the area's counties...there are MANY town and state parks you can enjoy! Swim, hike, bike, boat, picnic, camp, collect rocks and twigs for natural home and garden decor
* browse Facebook for local events...there are many things to do!
* attend local community theatre productions...the theatre season is thriving!
* Day Trip - take the family to Ligonier Beach - the largest swimming pool in PA - 1.3 million gallons to be exact! Cooling off swimmers for over 90 years...and, there's a lounge, restaurant, seafood buffet on certain dates, special activities. Check out their website, and make plans to go!
* attend a little league baseball game and buy your dinner at the concession stand
* support local barbeques and dinners sponsored by Ruritan, Lions Club, fire departments and other organizations - the food is always delicious AND you are supporting their community programs
* organize a street or neighborhood carnival
* put out a hummingbird feeder, using clear liquid food, and clean and maintain through October
* enjoy fireworks with someone special on the 4th of July
* gather up your blanket and a small cooler of snacks and go to an outdoor movie
* go to a drive-in movie...there's Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City, Virginia…what fun! Check out their website for movies, special events. They have two movie screens, children's play area and are only open on weekends. Get there early, and be prepared for a line to get in to the drive-in. It is a VERY popular attraction!
* get up early, pack a breakfast to go, grab a blanket, a thermos of hot coffee and enjoy the sunrise all by yourself at a very special place
* take your kids roller skating
* sit outside on the porch during a rain storm
* have a movie night at home with the family - make popcorn, turn off all of the lights, and light some candles
* sit around the campfire, make s'mores and roast hot dogs...and bring the guitar!
* call up a friend and meet her or him for lunch...your treat!
* visit your local lakes...rent a boat
* buy a dinner certificate for your favorite pastor and send it inside a nice card...or better yet, just drop it in the offering plate
* plan a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, Virginia…have some popcorn and enjoy lunch while you watch a movie! And, I since I consider myself quite the popcorn connoisseur, I will say their popcorn is THE best, and it's served in big stainless steel bowls with butter...refills, too!
* support these young musicians who are out there performing...go to hear them play
* audition for a local play or musical
* adopt a kitten or puppy from your local animal shelter or rescue
* take the grandkids bowling
* go fishing
* cook out on the grill
* make homemade ice cream
* learn to make a terrific dessert!
* support your local town swimming pools
* take day trips to new locations
* make sun tea
* ride on a carousel
* have a water balloon fight
* play miniature golf
* make homemade pizza
* catch "lightning bugs"
* go to a BBQ
* eat a sno-cone...name your favorite!!
* make fresh-squeezed lemonade
* donate food to an animal shelter or rescue
* see a magic show
* bake cupcakes in ice cream cones
* plan to eat at area restaurants that have been in business for 100 years or more...there's a reason they are still in business. Discover it for yourselves!
* make homemade jam or jelly
* visit the zoo
* organize family game night
* family bike ride
* buy Coop's Bunns in LaVale with peanut butter frosting for a 6 a.m. breakfast...yum.
* eat watermelon
* go fishing
* grab your blanket, your favorite beverage, some portable music and set up in a big field to stargaze and make wishes on falling stars...bring along your favorite person, too!
* unplug for an entire 24 hours - no phone, no computer, no TV or electronics
* make root beer floats
* eat breakfast for dinner
* dinner on the beach or lake
* attend a hymn sing
* visit a planetarium
* round up the family and go to an amusement park
* walk in the rain and splash in puddles
* buy ice cream from an ice cream truck
* get all the grandkids together and meet a photographer at a favorite outdoor location for candid photos
* go swimming at night
* attend a parade (Keyser has one on the 4th of July!) Wear red, white and blue, and bring your mini American flags!
* camp out in your backyard
* read a book that could change your life - and read it on a porch swing!
* support your local county arts councils - they have interactive and interesting activities for everyone!
* attend the local county fairs and firemen's carnivals
* take your children or grandchildren to Bible School
* take a nap in a hammock
* plan out one day this summer full of activities you can do alone on a rainy day
* make dinner for your neighbor
*support the soon-to-be-open Indie on Main in Keyser - movies, studio space, arts, music, theatre...keep updated on their activities on Facebook
* go on a date with your parents
* help your children prepare dinner one evening - with candles, rocks and flower centerpieces - and music!
* ride a rollercoaster
* take the kids horseback riding
* spend the day at an arcade
* attend a community dinner fundraiser
* play bingo
* go to a carnival and buy a corn dog, cotton candy and a caramel apple
* take your children and a couple of their friends to Bedford Village and Spruce Forest Artisan Village at Penn Alps
* attend a musical at an amphitheatre
* enjoy an evening of music outdoors
* collect seashells
* put pinwheels and other "whirligigs" in your flower pots and gardens
* eat out at a restaurant in another town where you have never eaten before
* attend an open mic night - go to applaud in the audience, or take your chance to sing, dance, tell jokes, read poetry
* visit and click "like" on this Facebook page for things to do every single day! https://www.facebook.com/cumberlandmdregion/
* follow the Community Events posting on my Facebook page; it is updated 2-3 times weekly. It is a master list of a variety of things to do and places to go.
* message me on Facebook for other ideas, or shoot me an email at tmorgan0305@gmail.com.

Make Summer of '17 a busy, happy, special one - and one to remember!