School is out, the weather is warm, and it’s time for some summer fun in Wheeling! With gas prices on the rise, many folks are choosing to stay closer to home this summer. Choosing to explore locally this summer doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun times. We have you covered with a Wheeling Summer Bucket List and we challenge you to check them off your list from now through August 1.
Start checking off this bucket list and let us know which of these activities you end up participating in this summer! Post pictures on social media and use the hashtag #WheelingSummerBucketList. Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook and Instagram! Keep track of it and if you can check off more than ten activities, we will add you to the raffle for your chance to win a summer-themed gift package from the Artisan Center Shop!
An easy way to beat the heat is to spend a day at the pool! Whether you’re planning to lay all day on a pool lounger or looking for a good way to entertain kids, a sunny day spent poolside is a day well spent. Wheeling has plenty of pools to choose from, with city pools in the South Wheeling, Warwood, Wheeling Island, and Grand Vue Park neighborhoods, as well as pools at Oglebay and Wheeling Park. More information about the pools including directions, cost, swim lessons, and events can be found here.
Attend a Local Festival
Wheeling is known for our festival line-up! Featuring everything from cultural celebrations to music festivals to food appreciation, Wheeling has something for everyone. Read a bit more about our summertime festival list including dates, locations, and descriptions of each event here.
Go on a Picnic at Heritage Port
This one is easy! Pick up your favorite snacks or take out from your favorite local restaurant and spend some time outside. Watch the boats go by, hang out with friends and family, or enjoy a good book. Talk about an easy way to pass the day!
Centre Market is full of great places to shop and eat. Antique stores, thrift shops, boutiques, bookstores, cafes, art galleries and more line Market Street, making it the perfect place to while the day away, enjoying this iconic, historical Wheeling district. A full, updated list of shops and restaurants can be found at Centre Market’s official site here.
Go to a First Fridays Event
Speaking of Centre Market, the annual summer concert series at the market has started up again! Every first Friday of the month, the two halves of Market Street surrounding the market are cordoned off and a free outdoor concert is held. Support local restaurants, bars, and businesses and enjoy some summertime ambiance at this event each month. More information including artist lineup and special deals on food and drinks can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.
See a Show at the Capitol Theatre
Check the calendar of events for the Capitol here and enjoy an afternoon or evening at our local theater! Sometimes the Capitol also shows films during the summer months, so keep an eye out for titles and showtimes.
Kayak Down Wheeling Creek
Spending a day in the creek is a Wheeling summertime tradition! Pack some snacks and rent or bring a kayak, canoe, or paddle board, and spend the day making your way down the creek! With plenty of places to launch, fish, swim, and hang out on the banks of the creek, this is a great way to spend a summer day. Launch information, optimal conditions, and a map of the creek can be found here. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
All summer long, Oglebay activity wristbands are the perfect way to spend several fun-filled days in Wheeling. The park offers 3 and 5-day wristbands that cover all kinds of activities all over the park, including access to the pool, zoo, challenge course, mini golf, paddle boats, trolley rides, and more! Information and pricing can be found on Oglebay’s website here.
See a Fireworks Show
Two main fireworks shows happen each July in Wheeling, one at Oglebay and one at Heritage Port. Back-to-back nights this year, July 3rd and 4th, celebrate Independence Day with fireworks! If you miss either, you can also see fireworks at the end-of-summer Labor Day event at Oglebay.
Eat on an Outdoor Patio
We love that Wheeling has a bunch of great opportunities to dine outside! Patio dining stand-outs include Later Alligator, Sarah’s on Main, Elle and Jack’s, Bridge Tavern, Garden Bistro at Oglebay, and Nicky’s Garden Center. Being able to enjoy the sunshine and ambiance of an outdoor dining patio is a summertime staple!
Hit Up Some Summer Sidewalk Sales
Wheeling is known for sidewalk sales during the summer. Kicking off the season with the Historic National Road Yard Sale in early June and continuing all summer, yard sale season in Wheeling taken seriously. From South Wheeling to Wheeling Island and beyond, each neighborhood generally holds one huge group sale a year, with every weekend having lots of individual sales as well.
Play Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf
Yes, you read that right. Starting this year, Grand Vue park is offering a fun and different way to play this classic game! Fun for all ages, head down to Moundsville for a nighttime event you won’t soon forget! Every other Friday from 9-11 pm, read a bit more about it here.
Subscribe to Weelunk
See an Outdoor Movie
Outdoor movies during the summer months are a fun way to switch things up. Oglebay hosts a “mystery” drive-in movie series at Wheeling Park once a month, as well as “dive-in” movies poolside. Movies are also featured outside at Heritage Port on various Friday evenings throughout the summer. More information about movie screenings in Wheeling can be found here.
Go to a Farmer’s Market
Wheeling has many summertime farmer’s markets that pop up all over the city during the warmer months. The main, city-run market is every Saturday at St. Michael’s on National from 8 am to noon, but other markets include the Warwood Farmer’s Market (Tuesdays from 4-7 pm at Warwood Garden Park), a second city market at Elm Terrace Shopping Center (Wednesdays 3-6 pm), and at the Highlands Farmer’s Market (Thursdays 4-7 pm). With all these days and options, you have no excuse to not head out and support some local farmers and businesses in and around Wheeling this summer!
Spend a day at Wheeling Park
Historic Wheeling Park has so much to offer, from golf courses and tennis courts, to an Olympic sized pool and a waterslide, to a lake, to picnic spots and playgrounds. The 406 acre park is a Wheeling landmark and a great place to spend a beautiful summer day in Wheeling. Take a look here for more information on the park.
Walk Some Local Trails
Get some steps in by walking some of our local trails! Easy options include Heritage Trail and Tunnel Green Trail, and the many good trails at Oglebay and Grand Vue Park. Take your friends, family, kids, or pets and hit the trails this summer so you can see just what makes West Virginia so wild and wonderful!
If you’re hiking anyway, why not choose a hike with a waterfall at the end? The Falls Vista Trail at Oglebay offers a stunning cascade at the end of a short, manageable hike! Details including directions, parking, and a recently discovered additional cascade can be found here.
Play Outdoor Games and Sports
Plenty of fields and parks in and around Wheeling provide ample opportunity to get outside and play some sports. Locations such as Wheeling Park, Wheeling Skate Park, Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park, Oglebay, Grand Vue Park, and the Highlands Sports Complex provide lots of space to kick around a soccer ball, play some football, arrange a game of capture the flag, practice your ollie, throw around a baseball, or any other sport you’d like to enjoy out in the sun.
Wheeling has a concert just about every evening of the week! All you need to do is show up with a blanket or some camp chairs and hang out for a few hours. Most events have concessions and food truck options as well.
Tuesdays: Toe Tappin’ Tuesdays from 7- 9 pm alternating between Wheeling Park Amphitheater and Warwood Garden Park.
Saturdays: Patio Parties at Oglebay’s Lakeview Patio from 7 – 10 pm
Sundays: Sunday Funday at Oglebay’s Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater starting at 7 pm.
So, where will your summer adventure begin? Remember to tag Weelunk on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #WheelingSummerBucketList.
• Ellery McGregor is a Wheeling transplant from Los Angeles, California. She works remotely for a marketing team in LA and now moonlights as an author for Weelunk. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from California State University Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Since moving to Wheeling over a year ago, she has spent her time helping her family restore an Italianate Victorian row house in Centre Market, picnicking at Heritage Port, and marveling over having actual seasons.