Endless Summer Fun: With the Kids
Rent a 31-foot Winnebago Chalet Class C Model 31J, with microwave, fridge, freezer, AC, a TV, DVD player and a queen-size bed, for $2,199 a week. Freedom Rentals picks you up at the State College, Altoona or Blair County airports and takes you straight to the RV you’ve always yearned for. Cost: $$$. 800-474-8110, freedomrentals.com
Maybe you’re the cabin-in-the-woods sort? At French Creek State Park, a “modern” cabin that sleeps six costs $421 a week for Pennsylvania residents, $507 for the un-local. They also have yurts! Cost: $$. 843 Park Road, Elverson, 610-582-9680, dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/frenchcreek.aspx
More the city type? Try urban camping, a.k.a. squatting. There are many, many urban camping spots here in town. Cost: $.
$ Maybe you just need to let go. Spectrum Scientifics sells 40 rocket balloons, plus a hand pump, for $9.95. Blow them up out back and let them loose. 4403 Main Street, Manayunk, 215-667-8309, spectrum-scientifics.com
Book the family for the Six Flags Wild Safari VIP Off-Road Adventure Tour. You’ll chase down lions, elephants, rhinos and giraffes in your own private all-terrain vehicle with personal safari guide. The near-three-hour tour will set you back $149.99 per guest — and you get free t-shirts all around. Cost: $$$. 1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson, 732-928-2000, ex. 2076, sixflags.com
Or get in on the fun as the Philadelphia Zoo celebrates its 150th birthday with a “Roar and Snore” sleepover on July 24th-25th. BYOT (that would be “tent”), and pitch it on Impala Lawn for a campout you’ll never forget, at $50 apiece. Reservations required. Cost: $$. 3400 West Girard Avenue, 215-243-5254, philadelphiazoo.org
Just $70 buys a year of family visits to the delightful Elmwood Park Zoo, with more than 150 critters spread across 16 acres: bison, elk, alligators, prairie dogs, turtles, snakes, mountain lions, jaguars, the Tennessee fainting goat and more. Cost: $. 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, 610-277-3825, elmwoodparkzoo.org
Put on a picnic
The “Steaks and Chops Family-Style Plated Dinner” from Stephen Starr Events gets you tiered royal shellfish platters (shrimp, oysters, clams, Alaskan king crab, jumbo lump crab and curried shrimp salad), wedge or tomato-and-roquefort salad, and entrée choices that include Premium Gold Angus filet mignon, sustainably sourced Alaskan king salmon, Colorado lamb chops, and prime wet-aged New York strip. Have it all for $110 per guest — staff, rentals and beverages not included. Cost: $$$. 267-238-3677, starr-restaurant.com/events
If that sounds too rich, pack up at the Italian Market — fresh mozzarella from Claudio’s, sopressata from DiBruno’s, warm bread from Sarcone’s, melon and grapes courtesy of Giordano’s, and cannoli — or cookies —from Isgro’s. Or go whole-hog — literally — with a roast pig (30 to 100 pounds) from the Hollywood Meat Market. You can do the deal — even the pig — for between $30 and $50 a head. Cost: $$. 9th Street from Wharton to Fitzwater.
Wawa does a really nice chicken salad sandwich for around $4 (but let it warm up a little). Throw in a 99-cent bag of Herr’s chips, an iced tea ($1.19) and Tastykakes ($1.29), and you’ve got a bag lunch Yogi Bear would kill for, at less than $8. Cost: $. Various locations; wawa.com
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