Archive for June, 2014


Cool Pool Toys

Summer is officially here! Time to break out the water toys! In addition to the always-popular beach balls and noodles, here are some other fun choices:

Waterproof playing cards – Play cards while you’re lounging in the pool with decks of floating, waterproof playing cards.

Floating bean bag toss – Take the yard game into the water with an inflatable version that comes with floating “bean bags.”

Water paddle ball – Sets come with rackets and squishy balls that can be played with either wet or dry, in the pool or in the yard.

Sand stamps – Stamps can be attached to kids’ feet or hands to make pictures in the sand.

Floating pong games – These come in a variety of styles, but offer kids and adults the chance to test their accuracy with throwing ping-pong size balls into cups or through small rings.


Drive-in to Something New

Summer is in full swing, and you might be looking for something new to try. Why not take in a movie at a drive-in? The nostalgic summer-night entertainment venue has faced a tough road — at its peak in the 1950s there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in operation; today there are about 350. But owners have fought hard to keep them going, and they offer more than you’d expect.

Most drive-ins have converted to digital projection, so the quality of the picture is nearly as good as you get at a multiplex theater. The sound is broadcast through FM signals, enabling you to have control over the volume. Many drive-ins offer double-features, allowing you to see two first-run movies for the price of one. And the atmosphere is fun and relaxed.

Keep these tips in mind for your next trip to the drive-in:

  • Search the database at to find a drive-in near you.
  • Before you go, check the theater’s policies, such as whether pets or outside food and drink are allowed.
  • Bring lawn chairs, blankets, pillows, and a portable radio if you want to sit outside your car.
  • Arrive early to get a good spot.
  • When driving in the lot, use your parking lights instead of headlights and drive slowly.
  • Give the concession stand a try. Drive-ins depend on concession sales to stay in business.

Take a Hike and Try Geocaching

If you like the outdoors, geocaching might be the next adventure for you. This free treasure-hunting game is played by more than 6 million people in more than 180 countries. Individuals and organizations create “caches” and then list the cache coordinates on a geocaching website. You search the website for a cache in your area (or use one of a variety of smartphone apps), then use a GPS-enabled device to navigate to the coordinates and attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at the location.

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where you enter the date you found it and sign it with your established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where you found it. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value.

After finding and returning the cache, you can go back onto the website and share your adventure with the person who created the cache and others who’ve found it. It is a fun way to spend time with friends and family, get exercise, have an adventure, and connect with people online. And it’s easy.

Chances are you are within a few miles of a cache right now. Jeremy Irish, the founder of, says it’s about exploration. “We all have this nature to explore. It’s in all of us. [Geocaching] is like finding these adventures in your own backyard.”