The days are long, the sun is bright, the orange of road construction is all around, which can only mean one thing: it's officially summer in Northeast Pennsylvania.
It's high season to get out and do whatever you can, when and wherever you can to drink up all that summer has to offer. Here in NEPA, we've got a variety of things to do, whether you want to be indoors or out, boozing it up at a festival or running it hard at a mud run.
HAVE A BANGIN' HOLIDAY
Memorial Day certainly kicked off the warm weather season, but the Fourth of July is pretty much the ultimate summer celebration. Explosions and beer? Count us in.
Kirby Park 4th of July Celebration: July 4, 7:30 p.m., Kirby Park, Market Street, Kingston.
Scrantastic Spectacular: July 3, 7:30 p.m., Courthouse Square, Scranton. Fireworks accompanied by the music of the NEPA Philharmonic.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: July 4th Fireworks Spectacular presented by Pennsylvania Lottery: July 4, game against Buffalo Bisons at 7:05 p.m., fireworks to follow.
LET THE MUSIC PLAY
Nothing beats a good concert, but what makes the summer shows around here so spectacular is the venue – our major venues offer either a gorgeous mountain view or a seat in an astoundingly beautiful historic building. There's also a show for everyone, so kicking back and taking in the tunes has never been an easier task this summer season.
F.M. Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, 570.826.1100, kirbycenter.org)
• Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers: July 2, 8 p.m., $59-$95
• Jason Isbell: Aug. 9, 8 p.m., $25; $50, VIP.
• Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium: Aug. 18, 3 p.m., $39.75.
Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain (1000 Montage Mountain Rd., Scranton)
• Kid Rock: July 6, $20.
• Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival: July 13, $31.50-$60.50.
• Vans Warped Tour: July 16, $35.
• America's Most Wanted II Tour featuring Lil Wayne: July 21, $25-$89.75.
• Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival: Aug. 9, 8 p.m.
• Peach Music Festival: Aug. 15, $35.
• Jason Aldean: Aug. 25, $31.50-$61.25.
• Honda Civic Tour featuring Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson: Sept. 1, $30-$120.
CRUSIN' FOR A BRUISIN' (OR JUST SOME COOL CARS)
Have a hankering for the old days? Want to see what some local people have done to trick out their automobiles or bikes? There are plenty of car cruises and car and bike shows happening this summer to give you an ample chance to check out some sweet rides.
Coal Cracker Cruisers Car Club (570.876.4034)
• Cruise Night: July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., Advance Auto Parts (Rt. 6, Carbondale).
• 15th Annual Car Show: Sept. 15, 9 a.m. For more info, contact JoAnn Spalnick at 570.876.4034.
McDonald's (Rt. 590, Hamlin)
• Car Cruise: Every second Friday of June, July, August, and September, 6 p.m.
Montage Mountain Classics (Thurs., 6-9 p.m., Fri., 6-10 p.m., Sat., 5-9 p.m.)
• Car Cruises: July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13, 6-10 p.m., Southside Shopping Center, Scranton; July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, 5-9 p.m., Johnny Rockets, Montage Mountain; July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6, 5-9 p.m., Pittston Cruise, Tomato Festival parking lot.
• St. Joe's Car Show: Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Pittston Bypass. Rain date Aug. 25.
• Cruise to Benefit Ronald McDonald House: Sept. 22, 2-6 p.m. Rain date Sept. 29.
3rd Annual Car Show by Volunteers of Loving Care: July 14, rain date July 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Laurel Mall. $10, day of show; $8, advance. For more info, contact Kris at 570.582.7329 or Jeff at 570.956.6377.
SCHOTT Car and Bike Show: July 27, rain date July 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $10, registration fee. Benefits SCHOTT colleague who is bravely facing cancer. For more info, contact Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570.474.6484.
Wouldn't it be nice to grab a drink or two and cool down after hitting up a concert at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain this summer? Well, you just might get the chance, and you're more than welcome to cool off any time you'd like at Montage Mountain's water park, Montage Meltdown.
That's right, the Mountain is back under new management and looking to take things in a new, more involved direction.
“It's very exciting for us,” said Sarah Farrell, director of sales and marketing, of the new slate for the Mountain. “We've got a lot of great events going on, and we're working to tie the water park in with the Pavilion. After the Kid Rock concert, we're having an after-hours happy hour. Why wait in traffic when you can come up here and play volleyball?”
A regulation-size beach volleyball court is a new addition to the park this year, as is the inclusion of yoga classes put on by Steamtown Hot Yoga every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Who doesn't want to downward dog on a deck overlooking the river?
There are also pre-park opening programs such as Water Walkers, an exercise class where people can walk the Lazy River, and Water Babies, for the little ones. Adult swim nights sponsored by LT Verrastro are every third Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. for those 21 and older.
Montage has several thrill rides to choose from, like the Alpine Run, Tundra Tornado, and Iceberg Alley Luge. If you need to dry off fast, head over to the Zip Rider, which sends seated occupants flying over the park down a 40-story drop at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.
Montage Meltdown: Montage Mountain (1000 Montage Mountain Rd., Scranton, 570.969.7669). Enjoy a wave pool, slide, lazy river, and much more, then take a ride on the Zip Rider to dry yourself off.
Camelback Mountain Resort: (1 Camelback Rd., Tannersville, 570.629.1661). Sandstorm, Dune Runner, Titan, and Triple Venom are enough to get your blood pumping.
Great Wolf Lodge: (1 Great Wolf Dr., Scotrun, 800.768.9653). Stay for a while at the lodge, where you will have access to rides like Coyote Canyon, the Double Barrel Drop (which features music throughout the ride), and the Hydro Plunge, a roller coaster/water slide hybrid.
THE OUTDOORSY TYPE
Get off your couch! Don't you know there's a lot to see around here? Take a stroll through the woods or vault over obstacles and land in the mud. Whatever you choose is up to you; just make sure not to miss out on the beautiful sights our area has to offer.
Lacawac Sanctuary: (94 Sanctuary Rd., Lake Ariel, 570.689.9494), Music in the Forest series: Wargo Stevenskey Flute & Guitar Duo: July 13; The Old Geezers: July 14.
Lackawanna Historical Society guided walking tours: 11 a.m. on Saturdays, June 29, July 13, 27, Aug. 10, 24. Tours are free, but reservations are required by the Thursday prior to the tour date. Call the Lackawanna Historical Society at 570.344.3841 for more details and reservations.
Nescopeck State Park (1137 Honey Hole Rd., Drums, 570.403.2006). Kayaking: Level One: July 31, 11 a.m., ages 16 and up. Meet at Lake Frances. Must register in advance; Kayaking: Level Two: July 31, 1 p.m., ages 16 and up. Meet at Lake Frances. Must register in advance.
R3 OPS, “the Mud Run with Options:” July 20, Northeast Fairgrounds, Pittston Township. Visit r3ops.com or “like” its Facebook page at facebook.com/r3ops.
Rooster Run: (347 Quiet Valley Rd., Stroudsburg, 992-6161). A 5K cross-country race and walk through the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm past ponds, pastures, apple orchards, and historical buildings on varying surfaces, followed by the 7th Annual Music in the Valley with old-fashioned traditional music. July 13, with race at 9 a.m. and music 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club Movie Nights in the Park: June 28, July 26, Aug. 30, 7 p.m., Dailey Park, West Wyoming. Crafts and kids activities at 7 p.m., movie begins at 8:15. Popcorn and drinks provided; please bring blankets and chairs.
SO YOU SAY THERE'S NOTHING TO DO…
Kielbasa, jazz music, and auctions, oh my! If we haven't already given you a summer full of fun, consider these other options, which include everything from noshing on every fried food known to man at the Bloomsburg Fair to cranking a home run over the fence during a wiffle ball tournament.
14th Annual OATS Bluegrass Festival: July 4-7, Benton Rodeo Grounds, Mendenhall Lane, Benton. 26 bands on two stages with camping, food, craft vendors, string instrument workshops, Danny Stewart's Jam Tent, Kids Music Academy, and Kids Korner.
15th Annual Ethnic Food Festival: Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church (93 Zerby Ave., Edwardsville).
16th Annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival: (88 Old Berwick Hwy., Nescopeck, 570.379.3342, briggsfarm.com). Featuring Lurrie Bell, more: July 12-13, $28-$90.
27th Annual Pocono State Craft Festival: Aug. 24-25, Quiet Valley (347 Quiet Valley Rd., Stroudsburg). $6, adults; Free, children 12 and under. For info, visit poconocrafts.com or call 570.476.4460.
Arts on the Square: July 27, noon-8 p.m., Courthouse Square, Scranton. For more info, visit scrantontomorrow.org.
Back Mountain Library Auction: July 11-14, 4-11 p.m., live bidding at 6 p.m., Back Mountain Memorial Library (96 Huntsville Road, Dallas).
Bloomsburg Fair: Sept. 21-28, (620 W. 3rd St., Bloomsburg. 570.784.4949, bloomsburgfair.com).
High Mountain Craft Beer Festival: June 22, 1-5 p.m., Best Western Genetti Inn & Suites (1341 N. Church St., Hazleton). $20, advance; $25, at the gate; $10 designated drivers.
Peculiar Music Festival: June 22, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Jefferson Park, Pittston. Raises funds for the restoration of Jefferson Park. Features music, food from area restaurants, vendors, and family-friendly activities. $10 donation.
Pittston Tomato Festival: Aug. 15-18, Main Street, Pittston, pittstontomatofestival.com.
Plymouth Kielbasa Festival: Aug 23-24, Main Street, Plymouth.
Wiffle Ball and Horseshoe Tournament: July 20, 9 a.m., (345 Madison St., Wilkes-Barre). Sponsored by the Backyard Wiffle Ball League. $10.
Wine and Dine Festival: June 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Luzerne County Fairgrounds (Rt. 118, Dallas). $15, advance; $25, at the gate; $5, designated drivers.
What are your plans this summer?
“To spend the summertime out at the lake with my family.” -Amanda Burke, 35, Exeter
“Seeing a good friend from New Zealand and taking her around the area.” -Joshua Fisher, 22, Larksville
“Going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on June 20.” -Joey Kane, 25, Kingston
“Getting to go on vacation at Virginia Beach.” -Eddie Walters, 19, Wilkes-Barre
“Watching my new puppy grow up and taking him on vacation with us.” -Lindsey Dotzel, 19, Mountain Top
“Being able to see friends, no school, and vacation with my best friend.” -Erica Hollock, 19, Mountain Top
“Mayhem Festival to see Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, and Butcher Babies.” -Jeff Paisley, 20, Hazleton