Dear Diary,

In the past week, my daughter graduated from preschool; my nephew graduated from middle school; and my cousin graduated from high school. The ceremonies were marked with celebrations. We celebrated their accomplishments, the end of the school year and the start of summer. Now, we’re mapping out how we’ll spend the time off. Last year, I registered my daughter in summer camp. But this year, I decided to take time off from work and hang out in Pittsburgh.

I’ll save big bucks on gas by staying in town. And can splurge on cotton candy, corn dogs and ice cream trucks! We’ll have several weekends to embark on local adventures, which aren’t too far to get to by car.

Here are some of the fun adventures we’ll embark on.

Day One: Imagination Adventure

All summer long, kids can explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The new exhibit is based on the popular PBS Kids television series and guides kids through activities about care and creativity. The museum also boosts a water room, art studio and climbing wall.

Day Two: Courageous Adventure

Take a day trip to Idlewild and Soak Zone in Ligionier! This is the perfect park for little kids. They can take a ride on a roller coaster that’s just their speed, walk through storybook forest or make a splash at the water park.

Click here for activity ideas for the entire week!

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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