Jul 31, 201208:21 AMDaily News
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How to keep your family cool
With the school year inching closer, many families are trying to cling to summer break before it’s gone.
Although there are only a few weeks left, there’s still time for families to have fun while beating the heat—all while staying close to home.
Here are seven different ways to stay cool while having affordable family fun this month:
Cool tour: Turkey Hill Experience
For families who enjoy ice cream on hot summer afternoons, the Turkey Hill Experience offers a great option to stay cool, learn new things and have a lot of fun.
And of course, it offers plenty of ice cream, too.
Due to health and safety hazards, Turkey Hill couldn’t open its real factory to visitors, so it officially opened the Experience in June 2011 six miles from the factory in Conestoga.
“So many people wanted to know more about how we make our products, and unfortunately we couldn’t show them,” said Rebecca Carroll, operations supervisor. “So we made this. It’s fun and it’s really for all ages.”
The Experience offers a variety of interactive displays and exhibits that take visitors through the process of creating Turkey Hill ice cream.
Families walk a path with stops at major parts of the ice cream-making process, including a tunnel through “pasteurization” and a computer game focused on measuring.
Turkey Hill also allows people to get creative as high-tech computers allow visitors to create their own flavor, design their own carton and even star in a commercial—complete with a “green screen” and teleprompter.
The exhibit is located at 301 Linden St., Columbia, which pays tribute to Turkey Hill’s roots—residents of Columbia were the first customers to buy from Turkey Hill.
Cool treats: Bamboo & Sweet Frog
Frozen yogurt is a craze that’s sweeping the nation that finally made its way to Central Pennsylvania this year.
It’s become so popular that a pair of shops opened 2 miles apart from each other in Mechanicsburg, and there are yogurt shops popping up in Hanover, Lancaster, York and coming soon to Chambersburg and Waynesboro.
Each franchise offers customers more than a dozen kinds of frozen yogurt and a wide assortment of toppings—from candy to fruit, to sundae staples like hot fudge.
Bamboo touts itself as gourmet frozen yogurt hand crafted by a family-owned facility in the U.S., with non-fat or low-fat yogurt with live active cultures and probiotics.
SweetFrog also offers gourmet frozen yogurt, but the chain was founded on the principles of Christianity (F.R.O.G. stands for Fully Rely On God).
The cost of treats at both shops is based on the weight of the dish at check-out. Bamboo is 47 cents per ounce and Sweet Frog is 39 cents per ounce.
Cool air: Indian Echo Caverns
Families who enjoy the outdoors but don’t like the heat and humidity may enjoy Indian Echo Caverns.
The caverns offer a chance to explore ancient caves on a 45-minute guided tour. Visitors can learn about the geology and history of the caves and see amazing formations—all the while enjoying a year-round temperature of 52 degrees.
During the summer months, visitors can also search for gems at the Gem Mill Junction. Kids especially will enjoy sifting through pans of dirt and rocks searching for gemstones. Indian Echo Caverns is located at 368 Middletown Road, Hummelstown.
A cool dip: Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Pennsylvania may not have an oceanfront beach, but it does have many lakes for families to visit and enjoy. One place that offers something for everyone is Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
The park features a pair of beaches—one with a lifeguard (Fuller Lake), one without (Laurel Lake)—for swimming from 8 a.m. until sunset from May through September. Each beach has a snack bar, in addition to picnic pavilions, tables and grills.
Visitors can also rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats at Laurel Beach and enjoy fishing at both beaches.
The park is located at the edge of Cumberland and Adams counties at 1100 Pine Grove Road, Gardners.
Glide through summer: Lancaster Ice Rink
There are few better ways to beat the heat than going to a place that’s frozen year-round: an ice rink.
Lancaster Ice Rink, 371 Carrera Drive, Lancaster, offers a Sunday Family Skate, which includes free skate rentals and $6.50 admission for everyone 5 and older. Kids 4 and under are admitted for free.
The rink also offers lunchtime skating from 10:15 to 12:15, Tuesday through Friday.
Strike up the fun: Trindle Bowl
Bowling is a great way to get some exercise in the cool air conditioning.
With plenty of alleys in the area it can be very hard to choose, but Trindle Bowl has a program that allows kids to bowl for free.
If parents register their kids at https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/center.php?alley_id=5288, each registered kid gets to bowl two games per day for free all summer long.
Not only do kids bowl free at Trindle Bowl, but they also bowl in a family-friendly environment. Trindle is the only alley in Central Pa. that is 100 percent smoke- and alcohol-free.
Trindle Bowl is at 4695 E. Trindle Rd., Mechanicsburg.
Cool fun for everyone: Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center
For families who rarely agree on what they want to do for fun, Hickory Falls could be the answer.
Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center, 110 Hickory Lane, Hanover, has something for everyone with laser tag, batting cages, miniature golf, bumper cars, an arcade and even water wars—a game that lets visitors launch water balloons at opponents. The center also has a play area for kids 12 and under and a snack bar.
Kurt Bopp, Central Penn Parent’s assistant editor/web prefers to keep cool by swimming in the pool at his apartment complex.
Turkey Hill Experience: http://www.turkeyhillexperience.com/
Bamboo Frozen Yogurt Café: http://www.bamboofrozenyogurt.com/
Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt: http://www.sweetfrogyogurt.com/
Indian Echo Caverns: http://www.indianechocaverns.com/
Pine Grove Furnace State Park: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/pinegrovefurnace/index.htm
Lancaster Ice Rink: http://www.lancastericerink.org/
Trindle Bowl: http://trindlebowl.net/default.asp
Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center: http://www.hickoryfalls.com/index.html