Everything’s better when you’re wet.
Thanks to a medley of water-filled experiences around Northeastern Pennsylvania, getting soaked is likely to bring the heat this summer. It should keep you sublimely cool when the sun sizzles.
Whether you’re floating freely above the comely Lake Wallenpaupack with Pocono Action Sports or drifting down a 1,000 foot slip-and-slide in vehement spirit when Slide the City dominates downtown Scranton, there are plenty of ways to stay cool.
Sure, day-trips to Knoebels or Dorney Park are enjoyable options for the sunny season, but being by the water is where it’s at. It’s just science, really. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, people feel more placid after visiting the water as opposed to a park. The study suggests that being near water offers a sense of freedom that cannot be appreciated anywhere else.
Knowing that, Weekender set out to find the five hottest ways to stay chilled when it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Pay attention.
We’ve got a feeling you may want to try the entire list.
1. Parasailing on Lake Wallenpaupack
When: Weekday’s through September — weather permitting.
Where: Pocono Action Sports at Lighthouse Harbor Marina, 969 PA 507, Greentown, PA 18426
Cost: $70 per person
Why it’s hot: Erik Sonsteby, owner of Pocono Action Sports at Lighthouse Harbor Marina on Lake Wallenpaupack, says there’s nothing better than being by the water. “It’s a fun atmosphere. It’s nice and tranquil,” he said.
For over 30 years, Sonsteby made a living out of sharing his love for the water with locals and travelers, providing rentals for lake visitors to experience water sports and the retail sales for water sports equipment.
“It started out as just fun,” Sonsteby said. “We rented a piece of property on the lake. We had the phone company come in and install a jack on a tree. We’d pull up in the morning, plug the phone into the tree and sit at a little picnic table — and that was our office to rent out two jet skis and a couple of boats,” he said.
Sonsteby’s hobby evolved into a passionate entrepreneurship. His office is now more traditional. Pocono Action Sports has grown from two jet skis and a couple of boats to more jet skis and more boats, sailboat and kayak rentals and the only parasailing experience in the entire state.
Since 2011, Sonsteby has allowed visitors to experience parasailing — an activity where up to three people are towed behind a boat while attached to a parasail wing (similar a parachute) — without having to travel to Ocean City with all the other basic bitches of Pennsylvania who forget there are other beaches in the world.
Passengers can experience a gentle ride while getting a serene view of Lake Wallenpaupack from 400 feet in the air. Minimum total weight is 150 pounds to parasail with a maximum of 400 pounds. Passengers under 12 years old must ride with a family member, Sonsteby said.
“Every now and then a curious eagle will fly by to see what’s going on,” he added.
Riders are in the air for approximately 10 minutes. The entire experience is about an hour. “The boat ride around the lake is half the fun,” said Pocono Action Sports employee Alex Molt.
“This is something fun for the family that’s right in the backyard of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre,” Sonsteby said. “And a lot of people from the area haven’t been here because they just don’t realize it’s here. It’s a nice family atmosphere. Families that have kids have to remember they only have those kids for 18 summers and then they’re gone and don’t want to hang around anymore.”
2. Get Wet Ultra Pool parties
When: Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Mount Airy Casino Resort, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, PA 18344
Why it’s hot: On Friday and Saturday nights, and every Sunday afternoon, Get Wet Ultra Pool has a unique party unlike any other nightlife experience in the area, says Vincent Jordan, Director of Player Development at Mount Airy Casino Resort.
For starters, Playboy Playmates kicked off the grand opening of the $5 million four-season luxury pool in May 2014. Playmates at a pool called Get Wet? Calm your hard-on, there’s more.
The weekend parties are so hot, that on Saturdays, the entire pool “turns into fire,” Jordan said. “All the lights turn red. The water is red. The staff’s attire is all red.” Entertainers are also wrangled for the party. “They’ll range from fire-breathers to people jumping through rings of fire.”
By Sunday afternoon, the pool turns into a “recovery” party, where drinks are served in syringes to help support the vibe of recuperating from a wild weekend.
No wonder Erin Roland of Wilkes-Barre says she feels like she’s in Vegas every time she goes there.
3. Slide the City
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 25
Where: Linden Street, Scranton — between The University of Scranton and Adams Avenue
Cost: Single Slider registration starts at $18. Triple Slider and Unlimited Slider information is available at www.slidethecity.com
Why it’s hot: Have you ever slithered your way down a thousand-foot-long slip-and-slide? Probably not.
This summer you can.
Slide the City will bring nearly a quarter-mile of slick vinyl to “strut your hot bod” down Linden Street in downtown Scranton. There will be food, drinks, live music — and lots of hot people dripping wet. Event director Lauren Brady says the huge slip-and-slide will be up and running for five hours to the general public and can be experienced by anyone who is at least 5 years old and 46” tall. Unlimited pass holders can experience the slide one hour before and after the public.
Environmentalists out there will be happy to know as little water as possible is used. “We use a sprinkler-like system that continuously sprays the slide and then recirculates it,” Brady said. Safe, big and dripping wet? Yes, please. (That’s what she said.)
When: Non-guests get a sneak peak through Sunday, June 14
Where: Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark, 301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372
Cost: $39.99 for adults; $29.99 for guests under 48” and over 65 years of age; free to resort guests.
Why it’s hot: Jose Prosper of Westchester, New York, spent Memorial Day weekend at Camelback Lodge and Indoor Waterpark with 30 of his friends and family. “A whole group of us got a bunch of rooms. I love it here. It’s a great place to get together with the entire family. There’s something for everybody. Slides for the kids. Even slides for the big kids,” he said with a smirk. “And I like that it’s supposed to be 84 degrees in here at all times,” Prosper said.
John Gorski of Clarks Summit appreciated the steady, warm temperature when he and his wife, Gina, brought their kids, Cody and Isabel, to the indoor water park. “We were going to go to the outdoor waterpark, but it’s too cold outside, so we decided to check this place out. I like this place more. The weather can’t ruin your fun.”
The newly opened water park isn’t just for families. Kyle Russman of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was there celebrating his bachelor party weekend. “The swim-up bar is nicer than the one I was at in Jamaica,” he said. Russman’s best man, Luke Davis of Philadelphia, said the slides are no joke, either. “I just went down the slide that drops you — the Skydive Plummet. It was insane,” he said.
With a leap of faith, the Skydive Plummet is a 312-foot-long free-fall body slide with a 60-foot vertical drop.
Aquatopia is open 365 a year. Marketing manager Kelly Joffe said it was the dream of owners Ken Ellis and Arthur Berry to open an indoor water park that offers year-round fun.
5. Adult Swim at Montage Mountain Waterpark
When: Third Thursday of every month this summer starting June 17
Where: Montage Mountain Waterpark, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, PA 18507
Why it’s hot: “Who wouldn’t want to go down a water slide with a beer in your hand?” said Justin Milian of Scranton. Unless you’ve been hibernating in air-conditioning for the past two summers, you should know that you can drink and experience waterpark attraction at the same time at Montage Mountain Waterpark’s Adult Swim Nights.
Lazy river with a bucket of Coors Light on your lap? You can do that.
Pass your time spent in line waiting to ride the Tundra Tornado while sipping on a beer? You can do that.
This summer, waterpark spokesperson Jessica Kalinoski said the monthly “3rd Thursday” event will be switching to the “3rd Wednesday” of each month — starting June 17.
What are you doing to keep cool this summer? Let us know on Facebook.com/TheWeekender or on Twitter @wkdr