Summer’s here, so what’s next? North East offers a variety of kid- and family-friendly activities to keep boredom and the blahs at bay.
On June 23, children entering first through fifth grade are invited to learn and explore with a Nature Day hosted by the Audubon Society at the North East Conservation Park. The free event includes a discovery walk, scavenger hunt and nature play. Dress for hiking along the creek and lake. Event is free but registration is required. Breakfast, lunch and transportation provided. Presented by North East Rec Commission and funded by 4 NINE Place. RSVP for this event and see the entire summer schedule for sports and more summer fun at www.northeastreccommission.com.
Picnic in the Park
Stop by Gibson Park Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15 through Aug. 17 for live entertainment and crafts for kids of all ages. It’s free and you’re welcome to bring a packed lunch or pick up a sandwich or snack from one of the local merchants. The event is sponsored by the North East Arts Council and funded in part by The North East Community Foundation.
Summer Reading for all ages
While you’re in the park, be sure to check out the Summer Reading Program at McCord Memorial Library, 32 W. Main St. This year’s theme is All Together Now/All Around the World and is open to all ages from children to tweens/teens and adults. There’s also weekly story time for preschool and toddlers, and grab-and-go kits for teens including shadow puppets, jewelry, sand craft, message in a bottle and canvas tote bag.
Cherry Fest 5K
With all you can eat ice cream sundaes at the finish line, the O’Neal Memorial Cherry Festival 5K Run/Walk may just be the sweetest race ever. The event begins at 9 a.m. July 8 in Gibson Park. Prizes given to male/female winners by age group. All proceeds benefit the North East High School Scholarship Fund in memory of Debbie and Laurie O’Neal. Cost is $20. Register at runsignup.com
Open Play at Ananda
Ananda Montessori, 17 E. Main St., welcomes ages birth through 6 to experience Open Play, July 11 and Aug. 15 from 3 to 6 p.m. Free and includes painting, music and more activities. Parent or caregiver require to attend with child. Contact (814) 440-4237 for more information.
Want to adventure out from North East? Headwaters Park, 1927 Wager Dr. in Erie, is a short drive away and offers story time for pre-K to grade 2 with North East resident and educator Kristen Currier. Stop by July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. in the downstairs classroom. Afterwards be sure to get outside and explore! This 70-acre park offers over three miles of outdoor trails, five geocaches and an array of habitats including forest, meadow and wetlands.
Teen hits at Tia Book Cellar
Celebrate teen hits in July with popular new releases like “One of Us Is Back,” from the Karen M. McManus series, new in paperback, “The Final Gambit, and modern retellings like “Ghosted.” Join fellow teens at a pizza party the last week of July. Date and venue forthcoming.
Book Swap for all ages
The Gibson Park Open Market will host a Book Swap July 15 sponsored by Tia Book Cellar. All ages and genres welcome. Come trade your reads for “new to you” titles. Bring 1 – 5 books at 11 a.m. to Gibson Park, then exchange your book for a ticket to begin shopping and swapping at noon.
Stem & Vine Coding camp
STEM & Vine will offer a free Coding Camp for students enrolled in the North East School District. The one-day camp will take place at Mercyhurst University. The program helps students learn the basics of coding and computer science and make CS/coding connections to the agriculture. Camp offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 24 for grades 9-12, July 25 for grades 6-8 and July 26 for grades 3-5. Lunch and t-shirt included. To register, search Mercyhurst Coding Camp 2023 at eventbrite.com.
Always wanted to take advantage of the water but don’t have the equipment? The Voyage Kayak Rental can help. They offer half and full-day rentals of kayaks and pedal boats with delivery. A new Tuesday night kayak club meets at various locations around the area and is open to anyone with a kayak. Bring your own or rent one. Details at (814) 392-5507.
Give golf a try
Putter around at Green Meadows Golf Course, 2451 N. Brickyard Road. You don’t need to be a pro to grab a bucket of balls and hit the driving range. Or give it a go indoors at The Clubhouse Indoor Golf, 10722 W. Main Road.
Rev it up
Lake Erie Speedway, 10700 Delmas Dr., offers live races on its 3/8-mile asphalt, oval track. Full schedule available online.
Did you know North East was once home to the largest train depot in the region? The train station is now home to the Lake Shore Railway Museum, 31 Wall St. The museum offers a large collection of stock, including many engines made locally at GE Transporation, along with a front-row seat to trains passing by every few minutes. Summer hours are noon to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
Art Zone sidewalk art
In Gibson Park, everyone can be a kid with interactive, colorful sidewalk art including hopscotch, Twister, grape stomping and color your own designs. More than two dozen creations were made by local artists, so stop by and enjoy a slice of summer in downtown North East.