51 summer activities to enjoy around the main line
All vaccinated and ready to enjoy some freedom this summer? Here are some activities to try in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Savor a single-track …
on one of the most difficult mountain biking trails in our region. Visit traillink.com
With over 1,000 acres to explore, as well as the conservatory and an assortment of food and drink options, the famous Kennett Square Longwood Gardens is a great place to experience summer in all its glory. While you’re at it, you’ll likely see evidence of its $ 250 million expansion to 17 acres, which is slated for completion in the fall of 2024. The Festival of Fountains season runs through September 26. Visit longwoodgardens.org
A bird’s-eye view
This year Chester County Balloon Festival will take place September 10-12 at the Willowdale Steeplechase, Kennett Square. If you prefer something with an engine, West Chester’s American Helicopter Museum is expected to bring back weekend helicopter rides this summer. Visit ccballoonfest.com and americanhelicopter.museum.
Kiss an alpaca …
at a local farm. Visit gristmillfarmalpacas.com, sugarsbridgefarm.com and trotterhill.com
Paddle Marsh Creek …
or explore Chester County’s sprawling 1,705-acre State Park by other means. Ride a horse at Hope Springs Farm, hike the forest trails, rent a sailboat, go fishing, or have a picnic with family and friends on one of the many grills. Visit dcnr.pa.gov.
You know that life is returning to its normal course with the reopening of the theme parks. After the 2020 season was interrupted by COVID, Dorney Park open to the general public this year. Kingdom of wild waters launched the beach-themed multi-level Seaside Splashworks, with over 75 play elements suitable for the whole family. The Dorney Park Grand Carnivale also returns in July. Visit dorneypark.com.
Be one of the first to climb the heights at Philadelphia Rock GymMalvern’s new 10,000 square foot facility, which features bouldering, top rope and lead climbing. Visit philarockgym.com.
Do you grow on a rainy day
The recently renovated Brandywine River Art Museum reopens June 20 with the 1940s War exhibit Ralston Crawford: Air & Space & War. Also in Chadds Ford, the Sanderson Museum is open by appointment only for a glimpse into the life of Christian C. Sanderson and a collection of American memorabilia spanning 200 years. Visit brandywine.org/museum and sandersonmuseum.org.
In addition to the many attractions dedicated to sweets, Hersheypark has several roller coasters and water slides. And his ZOOAmerica is home to more than 200 animals. visit hersheypark.com.
To take some fresh air
They said it was a fad, but it looks like indoor skydiving is here to stay. AT I fly in King of Prussia, you will be trained in “bodyflight” before testing your skills with a pro. Visit iflyworld.com.
Sip the day
Start your visit at Grace Winery at Glen Mills, which offers tastings almost daily (reservation required). In nearby Chadds Ford, Penns Woods Winery has an outdoor wine bar in the summer and just up the road, Chaddsford Vineyard offers tastings and flights. End the day in rustic style at nearby Kennett Square Vineyard and cellar of the Galer estate. Visit gracewinery.com, pennswoodswinery.com, chaddsford.com and galeresate.com.
Related: Local breweries, vineyards and distilleries to discover on the main line
Keep the kids busy
Let the little ones burn some steam at Jumpers Family Fun Zone in Newtown Square, with its multitude of moonlit bounces and frequent opening hours. Or plan a day trip to Please touch the museum, which features a river adventure, maze, and tons of other interactive experiences, plus a century-old carousel. And LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Plymouth Meeting never fails to impress avid builders with its miniature town Miniland, 4D cinema and more. Visit funatjumpers.com, pleasetouchmuseum.org and legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
Do your part in America’s favorite pastime by improving your swing at Baseball and softball training center on the bridge in Newtown Square. The 8,000 square foot facility offers everything from batting cages to pitching machines. Visit ondecktrainingcenter.com.
Running a beer (garden) …
to one of the many summer options, including Highland Orchards, Levante Stables, Longwood Gardens, Linvilla Orchards and the Dairy. Visit highlandorchards.net, levantebrewing.com, longwoodgardens.org, linvilla.com and kennettcreamery.com.
Bike from Phoenixville to Philly
It is a scenic 26 mile ride on the Schuylkill River Trail. Visit schuylkillriver.org.
Catch up on your reading
Spend an afternoon exploring the endless shelves of Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester. The 18th century structure houses over 300,000 rare and used books, maps, engravings and more. Visit bookbarn.com.
Go with the flow …
on the Brandywine River by tube, kayak or canoe Brandywine Outfitters or Northbrook Canoe Co. Visit canoepa.com or northbrookcanoe.com.
Go wild …
at Elmwood Zoological Park in Norristown. Visit elmwoodparkzoo.org.
Put on your Mike Schmidt swimsuit
It couldn’t be a better time to cheer on Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola and the rest of the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. At the time of going to press, COVID’s capacity limit was 11,000 fans – enough to make noise. Visit phillies.com.
Go hiking or biking to go back in time …
at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Visit nps.gov.
In the saddle
Explore the Brandywine Valley on horseback with a trek Cloverleaf Stables to Chadds Ford. Unpack a picnic in the designated dining room after your adventure. Visit cloverleafstablestn.com.
Discover Chanticleer’s morning glory …
on select Saturdays this summer. On June 5, July 3, August 7 and September 4, Wayne’s iconic “Garden of Pleasure” opens early in the morning at 8:00 am Visit chanticleergarden.org.
Order two scoops …
at Chester Springs Creamery, where you’ll find over 48 sublime flavors including Melody’s Mocha Chip, Belle’s Blueberry Cheesecake and Beau’s Brownie Bliss, all named after the dairy cows. Visit milkywayfarm.com.
Buy fresh and local …
at one of the many farmers’ markets in the region.
Chesco and Delco Hike in One Day
Accessible from Route 3 in the Township of Willistown, Okehocking ReserveThe 155 rolling acres of these lands were part of the first grant of Native American lands in the American colonies, made by William Penn to the Okehocking Band of Lenni Lenape Indians. Its seven miles of trails cover a variety of terrain, from grasslands to highlands to wetlands. Right across the road in Delaware County, Ridley Creek State Park has 21 miles of trails winding through its 2,600 rugged acres. Visit willistown.pa.us and dcnr.pa.gov.
Follow the bouncing ball …
at Philadelphia Union Thu Professional football season is in full swing at Subaru Park on the Delaware River waterfront in Chester. Among the top five teams in the power rankings at the start of the season, this talented group has a legitimate chance of winning a title this year. Visit philadelphiaunion.com.
Become one with the Schuylkill
Paddle in Port Providence will ensure you are well equipped for a day on the river, taking in the scenery while guiding your choice of canoe, kayak or paddle boat on the water. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, egrets, herons, beavers, and eagles along the way. It’s Phoenixville’s version of the Schuylkill, after all. Visit canoëandkayak.biz.
Fly to the hills (with Fido)
For two great animal-friendly hikes at either end of the mainline area, try Rolling Hill Park to Gladwyne and Natural area of the Hill of Harmony downtown. Visit lowermerion.org and eastbradford.org.
Be consumed by Kitsch
Museum of popular culture? More like an explosion of popular culture. the Visit of the American treasure in Oaks is a breathtaking sensory overload of circus props, classic cars, old nickelodeons, model airplanes, record collections, dolls and more. Visit americantreasuretour.com.
Play (at) the market
Fill up on Philly delicacies and sights and sounds of commerce in the historic Reading terminals market. The options are endless, from Italian pork cheesesteaks and sandwiches, locally roasted coffee, endless candy, to meats, cheeses and other Amish specialties from Lancaster County. Visit readingterminalmarket.org.
Watch an independent film
After a complete renovation, the beloved of Old Philadelphia stock Exchange the theater is now the property of the Philadelphia Film Society, which will host in-person screenings there starting in June. Here, on the main line, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute is also open to moviegoers. Visit filmadelphia.org and brynmawrfilm.org.