Most students experience Franklin and Marshall College between the end of August and end of April, but what about those summer months? F&M is a great place to visit during the summer for a number of reasons, but especially because in the summer you have more time than during the busy school year. With that time, you can explore the hidden gems of Lancaster, PA.
1. Beau's Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park
It's no secret that Lancaster, PA has one of the best dog parks in the country. During the school year you can go when you need a pick-me-up, but most likely you're stopping by on a weekday when many dog owners are at work. Also, the school year often presents weather-related obstacles. The fall can feel a little chilly and the spring can get rainy. The summer, however, is the perfect temperature for playing with dogs! On hot days, there is even a part of the park where water shoots out out of a sprinkler for the dogs to stay cool.
2. Your friends taking summer classes
F&M offers a lot of summer courses, and the first session is increasingly popular for students wanting to add on another credit before going abroad. Having friends staying in Lanc over the summer also gives you a place to stay when you visit.
3. The party scene
The party scene at F&M over the summer is pretty mellow for the most part, but the nice thing about it is that you usually know everyone at the party. It won't necessarily present you with opportunities to meet new people, but you will have the chance to enjoy a lowkey night with your closest friends, and that's rare during the school year.
4. Moving-in early
If you are living off campus next semester, then you can move in to your new place during the summer. Most leases start June 1! If you're already paying for the space during the summer months, then you might-as-well use it. Move-in day is always such a hassle with everyone coming at the same time, squeezing all of your stuff into your car, and then having to bring it all upstairs and unpack at the same time as your roommate(s). This way you can come in shifts and feel a lot less overwhelmed.
5. Peace and quiet
During the school year, F&M can be a stressful place. The days and nights can consist of work, work, and more work, and then the nights can sometimes be very loud. Over the summer, F&M is a quiet place where you can go to actually escape the chaos back home.
6. Cupcake split
Lancaster Cupcake is always a reason to go visit F&M, but they just did something big that will make you want to visit ASAP. Think: an ice cream sandwich, but with a cupcake instead of a cookie. It's called a "cupcake split," and it's incredible.
7. The Escape Room
The Escape Room is a place in Lancaster, PA (and, okay, it's in a bunch of other towns, too) where you get "locked" in a themed room and you have to use clues to figure out a way to "escape." It's a ton of fun, but something that you might not have time to do during the school year. If you visit F&M during the summer, definitely take advantage of this place.
8. Central Market
Again, Central Market is another place that is open during the school year, but you may not have time to utilize. Central Market has fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, juice, and even homemade candles. If you drive ten minutes outside of F&M you hit a lot of farms, which is one reason why Central Market has so much fresh food. It is very unique to Lancaster, and very delicious.
9. The gym
The F&M gym has weird hours during the summer, but it is open. Even if you are not going to classes during the summer, you can use the gym, so save some money on a gym membership and visit F&M!
10. First Fridays
On the first Friday of every month, downtown Lancaster comes to life. After 5:00pm, galleries, shops, and restaurants flow onto the pavement. There's music, entertainment, and good vibes-- or at least that's what I hear, because yet again this is a place you may not have time for during the school year. It's one of those things I keep meaning to attend, and just never get around to it. The summer is the perfect time to take advantage of First Fridays.
A breezy summer night, a hotdog, and the smack of a bat hitting a ball right over centerfield. Lancaster is home to its very own minor-league baseball team. The Lancaster Barnstormers have quite a packed summer schedule-- visit F&M and check out a game.
12. Pine View Dairy
Pine View Dairy is a farm that makes delicious homemade ice cream. At this farm, you can pet cows and enjoy the rustic scenery all while devouring a cold treat. What better time to enjoy homemade ice cream than on a hot summer day?