Staycation Ideas for Northeastern Pennsylvania NEPA

 As we get closer to the summer and more families are starting to look at the cost of a vacation, many are opting to save the money on a traditional vacation and spend a few days together as a family having a StayCation. A Staycation is a vacaction in your own city and is becoming more popular with the inflation of prices the past few years. Families are looking for frugal and unique ways to spend time together and a StayCation seems to be the answer.

During your staycation, here are some of the programs available for the entire family.

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Lackawanna County Attractions

Lackawanna Coal Mine

Descend slowly into the earth in a mine car as you enter the old Slope #190.  Watch the sky slowly disappear. Soon you’ve reached “the foot”.  Then explore 300 feet beneath the earth through an anthracite coal mine originally opened in 1860.  Accompany a miner in the winding underground gangways and rock tunnel past three different veins of hard coal, past the mule boy and the nipper, past the monkey vein and the dead chute. Listen as he explains the fascinating methods used, and the heroic efforts involved, in deep mining’s history.

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Electric City Trolley Museum

Relive the time of the trolleys at Electric City Trolley Museum and Station, located in a recently restored late 19th century mill building. Through interactrive exhibits and displays – including vintage trolleys, the museum tells the story of the electric traction systems and the impact they had on the development of the Lackawanna Valley. Northeast Pennsylvania and the industrial northeast.

Local Parks

Kids Activities in NEPA

With the summer just weeks away, many families are looking for activities to keep kids busy and out of trouble during the months away from school.  While stretching a buck seems to be harder in the summer with vacations, there are some local activities that are cheap or even free.

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Your kids can play 2 Free Games of Bowling every day via Kids Bowl Free ( This is a deal to organize with other parents, so that kids can meet up with their school friends during the summer. Kids Bowl Free offers kids to bowl 2 games free all summer everyday. There is also an option to purchase a family pass so parents, grandparents and babysitters can participate.
How the program works….

  1. All of the participating bowling centers are listed at Kids Bowl Free
  2. Select a bowling center near you.
  3. Register directly on the bowling center page (The registration is valid only at the bowling center where you register and cannot be used at any other bowling center unless otherwise noted.)
  4. Once you register, you will have the opportunity to purchase the family pass. The Family Pass was created to allow for adult family members to enjoy bowling throughout the summer as well. The Family Pass starts from $24.95 and includes 2 GAMES PER PERSON PER DAY. The Family Pass covers up to 4 adult family members. You may have 1, 2, 3, or 4 adults on the family pass.
  5. There are a bunch of locations throughout PA that participate, in the Scranton area those locations areValley Bowling in Carbondale. South Side Bowl and Idle Hour Bowling in Scranton.

Movie Theater Deals in NEPA

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Everyone enjoys a movie, especially just to cool off on a hot summer day. There are local theaters offering special discounts to select child friendly movies. We have attended these in the past and it’s a great way to break up the week, and especially helpful with staying on a budget.

  • Cinemark Theaters 10 movies for $5 with advance purchase or $1 each at box office. All movies begin at 10 am. Starting June 13, featuring Happy Feet 2 (PG).  Cinemark also offers coupons on their site that can be used at any time.

As a mom of three children under 6, I am always looking for discounts on educational activities.

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Did you know that there is a hands on touch museum for kids right in Scranton? Yes, that’s right,Timmy Town Center! Located in the Steamtown Mall, located 2nd floor between Gertrude Hawk & Bon Ton.  Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm. Timmy Town allows kids a chance to play dress up, play Pupper Theater, Farmer’s Market, create crafts and is very educational with a “reading center” and Multicultural Exhibits.
The cost is only $3.00 per person and children under 2 are free. You know that I am always looking for the best deal.  Also, consider purchasing an annual family membership for $100, this not only enables you unlimited access to Timmy Town, but also free admission for a minimum of 4 family members to almost 200 ACM museums in the Reciprocal Program network.  Some of the museums close to Scranton are The Hands -on House Children’s Museum of Lancaster, Please Touch Museum in Philly, and The discovery Center in Binghamton. Each of those have an average ticket price of at least $14 per person, so you save with just one visit.

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Another great place to take toddlers is The Crayola Factory in Easton open Sun – Sat 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM.  Children can see how crayons are made, make dozens of crafts, learn about water and boats in the canal museum and just be creative.  Admission is $12 per person and children 23 months and under are free.  You can even pack your own lunch and have a picnic outside or in the bottom floor of the factory.

Water Park Deals in NEPA

It’s that time of year again that families start to map out their summer vacations. With the price of gasoline on the rise and the current economic troubles, many people are opting out of weekly family vacations and spending money on day trips to amusement parks.  It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for any trip, especially when there are tickets involved.

Most parks offer a discount when you purchase a season pass in advance, and that is how you will get the most for your money. Most passes usually equal the cost of about three visits, so if it’s somewhere that you will be visiting more than three times, you may want to look at purchasing a season pass.  Some season passes also offer additional discounts on parking and food, so that is something else to read when deciding on the best possible deal.

Dorney Park offers a discount when you purchase tickets online rather than at the gate. Adult tickets cost $48.99 at the gate, but only $39.99 when you buy them online.  Kids’ tickets are also discounted online by $5.00, dropping from $29.99 to $24.99.  Through May 28, purchase a sason pass for 3 payments of $34.99.

Hershey Park offers discounts when you purchase tickets at Giant Food Stores. Starting May 1st, Giant Food Stores will be selling tickets for $15 off, plus get a voucher for free parking through June 30th, when you purchase 2 regular admission tickets.

Camel Beach also offers a discount when you purchase tickets online for $30.99 dropping from $36.99 at the gate.  A season pass is $99 or $89 when you purchase 4 or more.

Montage is Back 2013 Daily Rates
Adults-$20.99 | Youth(Below 48”)-$16.99 | Senior(Age 65+)-$16.99 | Age 2 and Under-Free Season Passes are also on sale now for only $75 each, and only $60 each if you purchase 4 or more!

Sesame Place tarting May 22, Sesame Place will be open daily. Guest can visit as often as they like and play all season by purchasing a Season Pass for as low as six monthly payments of $16.17. Offer ends June 30!

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Programs for Kids in NEPA
The Lacakwanna County Library System ( offers a summer reading club for kids 6-14, which is also free.  Sign up begins Monday, July 11. There is also a once a week story hour for toddlers and babies. Check with your local library for dates and times.

The Everhart Museum Join the Everhart Explorers for a week-long adventure of exploring the museum’s collection of creepy crawlies!  Students will learn about bats, bugs and other insects through music, art and science-based.

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 Local Sports Teams

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. This is the first season for the RailRides to be in Scranton. Make sure to call for special event info or to get discounted group tickets.
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 Zoo’s near Scranton, PA

Claws and Paws– LOCATION: Route 590, four miles East of HAMLIN, in the beautiful POCONO MOUNTAINS of Pennsylvania 30 min drive from Scranton

Philadelphia Zoo is just a short 2 hour drive away. Great for day trips with the family.

County Fairs

 Wayne County Fair
Honesdale PA
August 2 – 10, 2013
Friday thru following Saturday

West End Fair
Gilbert PA
(Monroe County Fair)
August 25 thru 31, 2013
Sunday through Saturday

Harford Fair
Harford PA
(Susquehanna County Fair)
August 19 – 24, 2013
Monday thru Saturday

About Jenna Urban

Jenna is a trusted community resource for helping families live a better life on a budget and specialize in finding the best online deals, using coupons efficiently and living a frugal lifestyle.

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