Road trip!

Last-minute family vacation ideas

Last-minute family vacation ideas

August 24, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Feeling adventurous for Labor Day weekend?

Or perhaps you want to take in a good concert or check out personal watercraft stunts?

Enjoy the unofficial end of summer with a holiday weekend road trip.

Here are some Labor Day weekend events for your family to consider:

Get rolling at Cedar Point

Check out Maverick, the newest roller coaster at Cedar Point on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio. Maverick opened in May with 4,450 feet of track, a 100-foot vertical drop, two 360-degree corkscrew rolls, a 400-foot-long tunnel and two launch areas with a top speed of approximately 70 mph.

Cedar Point claims to be home to more roller coasters, 17, than any other park in the world. The park also has thrill rides such as the Demon Drop that simulates a 60-foot free fall; carousels; spinning/circular rides; tranquil rides such as paddlewheel cruises; water rides; and children's rides.


Cedar Point will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday Sept. 2, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Labor Day.

The regular admission price is $42.95 with some discount options available. Ages 62 and older or ages 3 to 61 who are less than 48 inches tall get in for $12.95.

For more information, call Cedar Point at 419-627-2350 or go to

Fun on the water

The Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta in Wheeling, W.Va., features vintage race boats running demonstration laps that reach 50 to 150 mph on the Ohio River on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.

At least 43 boats are expected to participate, said event organizer Debbie Joseph. The boats have automotive engines and must have been built before 1986; many of them were constructed in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Most of the boats are wooden and many have been restored, Joseph said.

The free show also will have personal watercraft stunt shows, a remote-controlled airplane show, a science stage show and children's crafts on both days.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, is family-oriented. There will be concession vendors, but beer will not be served, Joseph said.

To get to the regatta at Heritage Port, take Interstate 70 west to Hancock. Take Interstate 68 west to Morgantown, W.Va., and then take Interstate 79 north back to I-70 west. Follow the signs for Heritage Port in Wheeling, W.Va. As you go through the tunnel on I-70, you want to be in the right lane so you can take the exit on the right after the tunnel. Turn left on W.Va. 2 south. Go to 12th Street, and Heritage Port is on the right.

Parking is available in metered spots or in the parking garage on 14th Street.

For more information, go to, e-mail Debbie Joseph at or call 304-233-4738.

See an 'Idol'

If you're an "American Idol" fan, there's a double dose of "Idol" at the Great Allentown Fair in Allentown, Pa., with an American Idols Live! 2007 Tour concert the night of Saturday, Sept. 1, and Carrie Underwood with special guest The Lost Trailers the following night.

Tickets were still available for both shows as of Thursday. The Idols tour concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, costs $55 to $65. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, concert with Carrie Underwood cost $49 to $59.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 410-547-7328.

The fair also features amusement rides daily; an "Iron Chef"-style cook-off and karaoke contest Saturday; a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, with former E Street Band drummer Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez on Sunday; and a demolition derby and a chance to sample entries in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship on Labor Day.

Fair admission tickets cost $4 if purchased before Wednesday, Aug. 29, and $6 thereafter. Ages 11 and younger get in free. Parking is $7 per vehicle. Some activities and events cost extra.

For more information, go to or call 610-433-7541.

Run the white water

Try out the man-made white-water course atop a mountain at Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) above Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Md.

The water course has "waveshapers" that can create class II or the more difficult class IV rapids, said Jesse Shimrock, marketing coordinator. Movable panels in the river are controlled by strong rubber air bladders that inflate or deflate to create waterfalls, slides and flat sections.

There's also a boat conveyor connecting the last rapid to the first so rafts don't have to be carried back and flat-water paddling isn't required.

The 550-acre area will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Labor Day.

A two-hour white-water rafting trip, a three-hour guided climbing trip or a three-hour guided rappelling trip each cost $50 per person. A 20-percent discount is being offered on Labor Day, Shimrock said.

For more information, including reservations and the full price menu, go to or call 877-300-2724.

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