Savannah Marie searches for the best restaurants, wildlife and attractions that Harrisburg has to offer.
Central PA has much to offer this time of year. The snow is melting away and the sunshine is becoming a more consistent fixture in the sky. With this springtime weather comes the desire to be outdoors; or at least out and about - rather than huddling by the fire as we did the last four months. So what are people to do locally? If you're up for more than a simple walk around the block, here are some activities to get you out of the house and having a blast in the Harrisburg/Hershey area:
Come out and enjoy the classic fairytale on April 18 at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. or April 19 at 2 p.m. at Sunoco Performance Theatre, a part of Harrisburg's Whitaker Center. Ticket prices range depending on seating preference and age. View costs and purchase tickets online or call 717-214-ARTS.
2. PA Flavor Foods and Beer Fest
On April 25, individuals 21 and over can head out to the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex to enjoy Pennsylvania's finest in-state brews and eats. Up to 40 PA breweries will be in attendance. It's an event for sampling local treasures and buying favorites to enjoy later. There is a VIP Reception from 1 to 2 p.m. and general admission from 2 to 5 p.m. Three types of tickets are available: $75 VIP, $44.50 General Admission and $20.00 Designated Driver. You can buy tickets online.
3. "Pandas: The Journey Home 3D"
Interested in animals? Select Medical Digital Cinema of the Whitaker Center continues to offer showings of this panda documentary until May 31, 2015. The film was premiered on Jan. 22 and will run throughout the spring. Take the family to learn more about this incredible species on the brink of extinction. Not interested in pandas? Select Medical Digital Cinema has lots of other film options that are sure to pique your interest.
4. Hershey park
Springtime in Hershey means the opening of Hersheypark; the park is only open select Saturdays and Sundays in the beginning of April and all weekends in May. By the end of May, the park is open every day at 10 a.m. Some nights it's open until 8 p.m.; others until 11 p.m. Reference Hersheypark's calendar for specific dates and times.
Local families and travelers alike have long loved Hersheypark, and 2015 will be no different. The park offers rides and attractions for all ages, including intense roller coasters, fun family rides and games. There are children's rides, a boardwalk filled with water-inspired rides and even a zoo. ZooAmerica is open all year and features creatures native to North America. Organized tours are available.
5. Harrisburg Senators
Harrisburg's minor league baseball team - the Harrisburg Senators - is back in action. Their season starts this month and will continue through the summer, with multiple games each week, many of which take place at their home stadium on City Island. Ticket prices range from $9 to $34, with discounts available if you purchase them in advance. Head out, grab a hot dog and have a ball.
6. Public Parks and Playgrounds
In addition to scheduled events in the area, public areas exist in which you can enjoy constant springtime fun. Visit a playground in your area, or hike through one of the many parks and nature centers. Harrisburg's Wildwood Park offers trails and a boardwalk that are perfect for hiking or biking. If you're seeking something more elegant, you can pack up and take a nice stroll through the Hershey Gardens, a blossoming 23-acre estate.
These are just a few of the events being offered in the Harrisburg area - many other activities will be held throughout the season. These six, however, are the ones you can't miss.