Wheeling CVBlog: School’s Out
Top Ten Summer Activities for Kids
By: Jennifer Materkoski, MA
The school year is over, and the kids need to stay busy. Here is a look at some of the best activities in and around Wheeling to keep them occupied:
- Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum: Just off historic National Road, the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum offers an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy classic toys. The museum, which used to be an elementary school, has exhibits for dolls, trains, miniatures, games and more. One room features a model of Wheeling. The museum is also home to the annual Marx Toy and Train Collector National Convention. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through the summer. Admission pricing information can be found here.
- Oglebay Good Zoo: The Good Zoo at Oglebay has been a family favorite since the 1970s. The zoo recently acquired a cheetah, emus and a two-toed sloth to complement the classic exhibits guests have enjoyed for years. In addition to exhibits, guests can schedule animal encounters for personal interaction with certain animals. Educational camps and programs are also held throughout the summer, including all-day camps for kids entering first grade or higher and short camps for pre-school aged children. The zoo buildings open daily at 10 a.m. with outdoor exhibits opening at 11 a.m.
- SMART Centre Market: Stop at Centre Market every Saturday at 1 p.m. for a science demonstration presented by the SMART Centre. Inquisitive minds can explore topics such as dinosaurs and space and much more. In addition to the weekly demonstrations, the center also holds general admission hours. Guests can participate in science activities and browse the local art and natural jewelry available in the gift shop, then grab a sweet treat in the ice cream shop. The SMART Centre is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley: The Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley offers kids a place for educational play. The museum exhibits are open Thursday through Sunday each week with special classes and events scheduled at various times through the week. CMOV also offers Camp Cranium, an all-day camp for kids grades K-5, June through August. Camp Cranium takes kids to locations such as Grand Vue Park and Fresh Air Farm, and a special week during camp will be dedicated to Minecraft. Information on registration can be found here.
- The Aerial Course at Oglebay: Tap into your physical side at the new aerial course at Oglebay’s Schenk Lake. The course features 16 elements to test balance and climbing skills. The course can be used by climbers of all skill levels. Six challenges are beginner level and another six are intermediate level. Four challenges are considered advanced. The elements include a log balance, platform walk, tight rope and many more. The course takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete, and guides are available for help throughout. Participants must be at least 4 feet tall and must be accompanied by someone who is at least 5 feet tall.
- Mindful Kids Yoga: Teach your young ones the importance of mindful stress management this summer at Happy Goat Yoga. Each Tuesday this June, HGY will offer Mindful Kids Yoga with Nikki Kiger, MPT, a local pediatric physical therapist and owner of Three Little Birds Yoga, LLC. A session for kids ages 5-8 will begin each week at 8:30 a.m. and will focus on breath and body awareness through story-themed yoga and music. A session for older kids 9-12 will begin at 9:30 a.m. and incorporates building a knowledge of yoga science. Registration is now open online. Choose a four-week pass for $40 or individual sessions for $15 each. Additional children can attend for $35/$12. Follow HGY on Facebook for updates on events throughout the summer.
- WV Independence Hall: Use the summer to take in a bit of Mountain State history at West Virginia Independence Hall. The building opened at the beginning of the civil war as the Wheeling Custom House and served as the site for political discussions and conventions that eventually led to West Virginia’s statehood in 1863. An exhibit of West Virginia Civil War battle flags is currently on display. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is closed on major holidays. There is no fee for admission.
- Schrader Environmental Center: The Schrader Environmental Center at Oglebay gives children the chance to learn more about nature and environmental issues. “Summer of Wonder” nature programs are offered June through August. They feature guided nature walks, stargazing and old fashioned evening campfires. Snake shows, geology programs and nature crafts are also on the schedule along with the self-guided nature quests, during which hikers complete specially designed activities along the trails of Oglebay at their own pace. Other activities include pottery painting and archery classes. Fees and hours vary by activity.
- Heritage Port: Wheeling’s Heritage Port is the place to be for family fun all summer long. The city will continue this year with family movies shown at the port, starting June 2 with a showing of the latest in the Star Wars series, “Rogue One”. Waterfront Wednesdays kicks off May 31 with Guys Without Ties. Also this year for kids, check out Family Story Time at the Veteran’s Memorial Amphitheatre. Presented by the Ohio County Public Library, these stories times will take place Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. during June and July. In case of rain, the location will be moved to the OCPL.
- Capitol Theatre Movie Series: New this summer in Wheeling is the Capitol Theatre Movie Series. Starting on June 8 at 7:30 p.m., visitors can enjoy watching a classic family movie in the historic theatre. Some weeks offer special themes and the opportunity to come in character costumes such as Toy Story on June 11. Concessions and snacks will be available for sale. A full list of dates and shows is now online. Tickets for each show are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Purchase in advance at the WesBanco Arena Box Office or online at http://www.capitoltheatrewheeling.com.