It isn't too late to start planning for some easy summer jaunts with your family. These out-of-state destinations are only a short trip away by car, and will enrich the lives of your crew with history, science, music, and art.
You may need to plan ahead for a trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this summer. With different events each day, the city is continuing its bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.
Visitors can tour battleships, see concerts, and visit museums. From September 10-16, Baltimore is planning a Star-Spangled Spectacular celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. But you don't have to wait until September–there's a whole summer's worth of scheduled events and activities! For a full list of events and details, check out the Star-Spangled Spectacular website.
And in Pennsylvania
Closer to New Jersey, in the Lehigh Valley area, some hidden gems await. If you’re really ambitious, you can probably see all of them in one day.
At The Crayola Experience in Easton, you’ll find more than a dozen interactive exhibits that teach kids to think outside the lines. The Dry E-Race Car allows kids to use dry-erase crayons to color on a kid-sized race car. The exciting Meltdown zone is a color-infused area housing eight vats of melted Crayola crayons, giving little artists a delightful and unique experience: painting with melted wax. At Cool Moves, kids can jump, dance, move to music, and watch their bodies become art, projected on a giant screen in cool colors and patterns. Visitors are encouraged to take a peek at their website before going, to check which exhibits are open. Reservations are recommended during the summer and holidays.
Just a short drive from The Crayola Experience is the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, with two floors of interactive exhibits. One of the most popular attractions is the spinning GyroSphere. Thrill-seekers (more than 4-feet-tall) can experience the sensations astronauts feel when training for spaceflight, as they whirl around in every direction. Visitors can also explore the ocean touch tank, honeybee hive, and the pitch-black twists and turns of the Tunnel Vision experience.
Nearby, in the Bethlehem area, the nonprofit organization ArtsQuest presents music, arts, and festivals all year long. During its 10-day flagship event, Musikfest, which is Aug. 3-12 this year, Banana Island will be the hotspot for kids, with rides, crafts, and other attractions. And from June 22-24, ArtsQuest will present the ¡Sabor! Latin Festival, celebrating Latino culture with free family programs, interactive exhibits, and activities.
Photos courtesy of Sail Baltimore and The Crayola Experience.