13 Things To Do Before The Start of School

One room schoolhouse

The end of summer is looming and soon it will be time to send the kids back to school. But before the break is over, there is still time to enjoy these 13 fun things in Marion County that you can do as a family.

Take a trip to Prickett’s Fort:

Pricketts Fort

In 1976, the Prickett’s Fort Memorial Foundation rebuilt Prickett’s Fort, a rustic log fort located at the junction of Prickett’s Creek and the Monongahela River. The fort now serves as a living history site where you can experience the late 18th century lifestyle. Kids can test their agility playing Grace of Rings or listen to a story about a frontier hero.  Every Friday evening outdoor concerts are free and and be sure to see the exhibit of West Virginia made rifles!

Fish at Valley Falls or Trek a Trail:

Valley Falls State Park

Valley Falls State Park  is open to variety of outdoor recreation including picnicking, kayaking, and 18 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Bring your fishing gear and spend the day casting from the rocks.

Craft a Project:
West Fork Pottery is located in the coffee shop, Joe n’ Throw in downtown Fairmont. Does playing in mud interest you? Stop by for a regularly scheduled class every Tuesday or Thursday at 6:30pm

Mountain Creative lets you create your own pottery, from on the wheel to freshly painted and glazed, it’s a fun way to get your hands dirty.

Bring your friends and paint your own masterpiece at DaVinci & Desserts. You’re allowed to bring in your own snacks which makes it an ideal venue for friends and family.  

Test your skills
Coal1Test your skills at Coal Country Mini Golf’s 18-hole course or if you need more of a challenge, try shoveling a ton of coal at the on-site mine museum. Each hole at Coal Country Mini Golf displays a different coal mining theme, giving players a taste of coal mining history. Their mascot, a large coal miner with pickaxe, can be seen from Interstate 79.

Valley Worlds of Fun:
MCCVB-ValleyWorldsOfFun-15As a year round amusement park, Valley Worlds of Fun is known for not only their black light bowling lanes but also their Tactical Laser Tag. Their newest attraction, Archery Tag, allows players to “tag” the other players with foam-tipped arrows. Valley Worlds of Fun also includes bowling lanes, an arcade, tea cups, bumper cars, bumper boats, 18 hole mini golf, a climbing wall and the Valley Free Fall. With fun passes, families can spend an exciting day together.

Take your pick – tackle mountains of ice cream:
Do-you-know-where-to-get-the-biggest-cones-in-the-region-DairyCremeCornerDairy Creme Corner is known for their super large ice cream cones or if you are really adventurous, split a Poky Dot banana split with your best friend.

Visit a Museum:
Marion County Historical Society & Museum showcases collections of the revolutionary war, civil war, building West Virginia, coal industry, glass industry and bridges and railroads. Don’t forget to take a peek in one of their jail cells.

Wilson SchoolThe Wilson School Museum features the original bed, chair and dresser of Frances H. Pierpont, the first Governor of the restored Government of Virginia after the civil war. Families can also visit the 1800’s furnished log house and a miniature railroad museum of articles used in the operation of the area’s transportation system. The Wilson School Museum contains collections of family histories, census records, vital statistics, cemetery records, county histories and more from the local area. Kids will especially enjoy the caboose and fire truck.

Splash Park:
Palatine Park’s Splash Pad sprays water from every direction. The Counting-down-the-days-to-the-June-1st-opening-of-the-SplashPark-PalatineParkwater comes down from flower-shaped fountains, sideways from sprinklers and straight up for the ground. Located around in the park are picnic tables where families can sit and relax. The park is opened to people of all ages, allowing families to splash together. Most Saturday evenings you will find a free concert making it a perfect venue to spend the day.

Wave Pool:
Wave Pool at East Marion ParkThe Wave Pool at East Marion Park offers families a chance to catch the waves sans the beach and even offers flotation tubes to play in the waves, plus a water slide. East Marion Park also offers tennis, horseshoes, a basketball court, a softball field, hiking and jogging trails, pavilions, a playground, picnicking and mini golf.

If your family consists more of the four-legged kind of “children” then be sure to visit FIDO’s Backyard. The dog park is perfect for both large and small dogs to run off some extra energy.

Mannington District Fair

fair rides

Nothing says summer like the Mannington District Fair! It is a week of entertainment, carnival rides, games and food. It is a great way for kids to meet up with friends to make plans for the first day of school. 

Visit all 6 Civil War Trail Markers:
Trace Marion County’s footsteps during the Civil War. The structures may be gone but the history lives on.  

Visit the WV Folklife Center and One-Room School at FSU:
fairy garden 3Curious what students wore to school in the “olden days”? The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University can show you what you want to know.  Including displays on coal mining in WV as well as Appalachian folk music instruments. At the bottom of the hill, you will find the One-Room Schoolhouse. This 23-foot by 26-foot white frame schoolhouse was a private teacher training school and is a far cry from the size of today’s schools.

Telephone Museum:
Remember-your-childhood-telephone-number-Celebrate-that-feat-and-the-fact-that-today-is-emmamnuttdayThe Telephone Museum is a tribute to the history of the telephone, including switchboards, pay phones, booths, test board and cable displays. Kids will be in awe over life before cell phones and the internet!

What fun things do you have planned before the school bell rings?

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