This past summer it dawned on me that we are in a very unique stage in our family.  All of our friends with children have several of them, therefore, the children Levi's age (4) are all older siblings by this point.  So we are entering a season where Levi is interested and able to do a lot of fun family activities, and there is no one younger to slow us down.  It kind of feels like the parenting/family jackpot.

Realizing this, I have been going out of my way to do things that we wouldn't be able to do with a baby.  It's the summer/fall of GO.

For example, on a whim, today Levi and I went to see "Moses" at Sight and Sound Theater.  A friend offered us free tickets, we had nothing else on the calendar, and my boy is finally old enough that I would trust him to sit through a major musical production (which he did).  We had a beautiful time.  And the show - just wow - if you're in Lancaster County, you've got to go see it.  I've heard that if you go to the box office 30 minutes before show time and have a Lancaster County driver's license, you can get 50% off.

Maybe some of you would enjoy a list of all the fun things we've been discovering to do (at amazing prices).  Also - as the colder months approach, I would LOVE to hear more ideas to keep us busy this winter!

- Bike rides around town and on trails like Lancaster Junction and Linear Park

- Crafternoons at AC Moore - this summer they had free craft time for kids from 1-3pm on Wednesdays

- Fall/Community Festivals - we watch for signs, and check out the blog listed below for these events

Five Fun Free Family Things to Do - a weekly list of cool things to check out every weekend.  We've consulted this MANY times

- Hershey Park - This is an amazing amusement park and I think we found the most cost effective way to do it (for sports fans).  The Hershey Bears have 3 games a year where the giveaway at the game is Hershey Park tickets for the following summer.  So, you buy three hockey tickets ($60), then go to the hockey game (fun, I guess), and come home with three Hershey Park tickets (amazing deal).

- Hershey Park Chocolate World - this is totally free to just ride the "how we make chocolate ride," so we go several times a year, ride the ride, get the free sample and then buy a couple cookies.  Plus, they honor souvenir cups from Hershey Park (which we purchased and get refilled for $1).

- Knoebels - FREE admission and parking.  If you pack a lunch, even cheaper!  Because you only pay per ride, we got out of there for about $50 for the day (including food)

- Lancaster Barnstormers Baseball - Tuesday nights this summer were cheap, like $3/ticket, and then they had $1 hot dogs

- Manheim Township Library- I know everyone can go to story time, which is usually a great activity, but this library has open FREE PLAY.  As in, the kid room is open for large blocks of time and filled with duplo blocks or set up with like a Melissa and Doug food market.  Honorable mention goes to the parachute play story time (which you have to sign up for).

Railroad Museum of PA- turns out you can get FREE tickets from the Lancaster Library!  Great full size trains to explore and several rooms of train tables to occupy a preschool boy for hours.  The Lancaster Libraries actually have museum passes to MANY local museums.

- Roadtrips - Fredericksburg, VA and Pittsburgh, PA are our favorites!  Baltimore and NYC get an honorable mention. ;)

Splash Park (FREE) - there are two in Lancaster, one on Ross St, one on Crystal St

- Strawberry picking - the icing on the cake was making jam together!


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