The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 14, 2013

LEVINE: There is plenty to do in Gateway area this summer

CLINTON — It came later than in years past, but summer is officially here.

And with that heat, comes a time when families must make a choice on how to fill the day’s time. Either stay inside and watch TV and play video games, or get out, experience what the area has to offer and enjoy the sunshine.

I know what my family is choosing this summer. And ironically, a TV personality is making the same decision.

Dan Wardell, from IPTV, visited the Clinton Public Library on Wednesday, and told children to turn off the TV and get outside. His message, at least in my household, worked.

Thanks to Dan’s program, I got a stern message from my daughter Wednesday after she woke up from her nap. As I was waiting for her to finish her afternoon nap, I was completing some work from home with the television on in the background.

As I heard the thundering hooves of what sounded like an elephant herd coming from my daughter’s room (don’t worry, it wasn’t quite a herd; just my daughter), I looked over and my daughter had a disappointed look flashed across her face.

“Dan says no TV, Dad,” she said.

Thanks a lot, Dan.

But he, and my daughter, are right. Summer isn’t about catching up on daytime soap operas or watching endless reruns of SportsCenter. It’s about getting outside and enjoying the outdoors, something we longed for during winter.

Unfortunately, it seems the prevailing attitude is there’s nothing to do in the Gateway area.

However, that’s not true.

My wife and I come from a town that is one-third the size of Clinton. Many people make those same suggestions about having nothing to do in my hometown. Some are exaggerated. Some are right.

If you can’t find something to do in this area, then you’re not trying hard enough, especially if you have small children. Sure, during the winter months, the amount of varying activities dwindles, and that’s something that needs to get better as the area tries to grow.

In the summer, there’s something to do every day.

First, we’re surrounded by water, so use your imagination on how to spend a day on the river, whether it’s through boating or fishing, or going to a county park that offers activities to do on the Mississippi River or a nearby lake.

There are several parks in the area, but if it’s raining, then try going to one of the many indoor establishments, like the library, Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center or the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre.

Weekends won’t be a problem, either, since almost every weekend includes a local festival or event.

And if all that fails, pick up a bat and a ball, and start a neighborhood pick-up game. Playing the neighborhood kids in high-stakes games are some of my favorite memories as a child, even though we didn’t make it much past a couple of innings before an argument occurred.

The Herald will do our best at alerting residents of all the things to do with our weekly feature in Saturday’s TV Guide. If you don’t see an event listed, let us know, so we can make sure we don’t hear “there’s nothing to do.”

Don’t be trapped inside this summer. Get outdoors and enjoy what the area has to offer.

Anniversary

Last Friday I celebrated five years of marriage to my wife.

That also happened to coincide with our move to Clinton, marking major changes in our lives.

Being virtually on our own, hundreds of miles from our hometown, without knowing many people, strengthened our relationship, and made the adjustment period of being in a foreign place much easier.

Since that time of just us occupying our home, we’ve welcomed a daughter and soon a son will join the mix. It’s been a great ride, and here’s to many more years to come in this area.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.

 

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