Summertime Blues

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There is no shortage of fun events for children in the Tri-State this summer.

Outdoor and indoor activities are in abundance as the summer heats up and there is something for every budget.

“There is a ton of different programs you can sign your kids up for,” said Kerry Greenwood, member of the MOMS Club of Ashland, Ky.

Email newsletter signup


The public libraries in Lawrence, Boyd, Greenup and Cabell counties are offering reading programs for all ages. This year’s theme is Make a Splash.

The libraries have story time for the younger children and reading contests and prizes for the older children. There are also teen programs available.

“The kids really like it,” said Debbie Yeats, library clerk at the Catlettsburg branch, after their first day of activities.

The Catlettsburg branch gave away prizes for children who read and logged their hours. Some of the prizes were squirt guns, pool toys and bubbles.

“They all checked out a bunch of books to read,” library clerk Madison Scott said of the conclusion of the event.

The Greenup Public Library will have a movie every Friday beginning in July.

Each library has its own schedule and activities, so contact your local library for exact times.

Main Branches

Briggs Lawrence County Public Library (740) 532-1124

Boyd County Public Library (606) 329-0518

Greenup County Public Library (606) 473-6514

Cabell County Public Library (304) 528-5700


Kyova Mall 10 in Ashland and Marquee Pullman Square 16 in Huntington are showing free movies all summer. Each theatre is showing G and PG-rated movies. Some of the movies include: “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Planet 51,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “Doogal”.

“The lineup looks pretty good this year,” said Marquee manager Andrea Merritt. “We encourage kids to take advantage of it because it’s free.”

Movies in Boyd County run through Aug. 4 and begin at 10 a.m.

Movies in Huntington run from June 22 through Aug. 11 and begin at 9:30 a.m.

Spare Time Recreation offers free bowling for children under the age of 18 this summer. When parents register their children online at, they can print out certificates for two free games per day during set times. A family pass is also available for $25. Shoe rentals are separate.

“On Sundays, bowling is $1 per game for everyone,” said owner Jeff Dillow.


There are several public and private pools to cool off in this summer.

Dawson Pool in Ashland has $1 admission for children and $2 admission for adults. There are two playgrounds, a basketball court and concessions available.

According to the Ashland’s Parks and Recreation website, they will also be offering free swim lessons for ages 2-12 in July and August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m.

Sta-Tan Pool in Ironton is a private facility with group packages available. A summer pass that includes admission for two adults and two children is $440. Call Sta Tan at (740) 532-1306 for complete pricing.

The Friends of Ironton sprayground is still scheduled to open this summer.

Dreamland in Kenova has $3 admission for children and $5 admission for adults. There are beach volleyball courts and basketball courts on site, as well as a skate park and concessions stand.

“It’s definitely been picking up,” said Lee Hager, the maintenance assistant manager at Dreamland. “We’re averaging about 500 people a day.”

Parks can be found all over the Tri-State with all kinds of activities and recreation equipment.

Central Park is the largest park in Ashland and sits on 47 acres of land. There are five tennis courts, ten regulation horse shoe courts, two sand volleyball courts, two basket ball courts, playgrounds for all ages, a regulation baseball field, a pond and two concessions stands.

The second week in July through the first week of August, the Ashland Tennis Center and Jack Ditty will sponsor free tennis lessons to the public at the Central Park Tennis Courts.

Ironton’s new skate park is slated to open this summer also, but no date has been set yet. The park is waiting on equipment to be installed. It is located at Fourth and Etna streets.

Wayne National Forest offers almost every kind of outdoor activity imaginable.

There are trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and ATVs.

Lake Vesuvius offers swimming on Big Bend Swimming Beach for a $3 parking fee on Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Wayne National Forest also has campgrounds and nature viewing.

To find out more about permits and facilities, visit or call (740) 534-6500.

Camden Park in Huntington offers fun for the whole family. Children shorter than 48 inches tall are admitted for $14.99 and general admission is $20.99. Season passes are available for $99.99.

There is a special section of the park for the 48 inches and under crowd with a carousel, kiddie boats and other kid-friendly rides.

For more information, call Camden Park at (304) 429-4321.


The Paramount Arts Center in Ashland has a summer program for children that want to learn about movies, dance, music and art. There are camps for children of all different age groups and interests.

“We’re really excited,” said Education Director Melanie Sweeney. “We’re expecting a really good turnout.”

Sweeney said that the most popular camps this year are the Tie-Dye camp, where children will be making wearable art projects. And the Disney Channel Favorites camp, where youth will be performing and singing songs from Disney movies and TV shows.

There will also be a two-week production camp where children will audition and put together a stage production of Alice in Wonderland. The performance will be open to the public on July 23.

Call Sweeney at 606-324-3175 ext. 311 for more information.

Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland is having Discovery Day Camp 2010 beginning July 5 for ages 6-11. Children will learn about science, nature and astronomy.

“It’s educational but they are going to have fun,” said Jennifer Criswell, office manager at Highlands Museum. “Everything is hands-on, interactive and educational.”

“There is something for everybody,” said Angie Elkins. Her daughter Jana, 10, likes to make weather reportsin the Forces of Nature Weather Wall.

“It’s like a field trip,” said Penny Winters. Her eight-year old twins Ethan and Emily like dressing up in the costumes and the schoolroom.

There will also be special appearances by the Ashland Police and Fire Departments and a face painter and balloon animal artist. The fire department will be bringing a fire truck that the kids will be able to get in.

The deadline for registration is June 25 by 5 p.m.

For more information, email or call 606-329-8888.