Endless Summer Fun: With the Kids

Set fireworks

Hey, kids, let’s put on a show! Celebration Fireworks Inc.
will arrange a computerized Fourth of July display that will have all your neighbors agog (and their dogs a-howling), starting from $3,800 — plus a small charge for a permit and the required local fire company standby. Cost: $$$. 610-285-4242, celfire.com

Prefer to do it yourself? Order the Independence City Assortment
for $93.59, and a Phoenix Tail Howl Fountain for $57.49
(because how can you not?), from Fireworks R Us in Douglassville. Cost: $$. 
888-811-BOOM (hah!), fireworksrus.com

Can’t really go all out just now? No worries. The kids will
have just as good a time with a box of sparklers (three for a dollar).
Mom, look — I’m writing my name! Cost: $.

Have a play day

Take the whole gang to the fab new redo of the Please Touch Museum in Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, for $15 per head. Ride the restored carousel for $3 more. Cost:$$$. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, 215-581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org

Or head to Chestnut Hill’s Little Treehouse Play Café, where you and your girlfriends can linger over cups of tea and sandwiches while the kids explore a big, bright play space full of toys. During peak hours (mornings and noon), you’re free, but you pay $7.50 for your kid, with siblings half-price. Cost: $$. 10 West Gravers Lane, 215-247-3637, treehouseplaycafe.com

Get your latte to go, and sip it on the drive to the Smith Playground, whose swings, giant wooden slide, jungle gyms and teeter-totters are all yours, free of charge. Tuesdays are Family Days, with a vibe of less-chaotic-than-usual fun. And don’t miss the annual celebration of the playground’s birthday on July 25th, with party games and cake. Cost: $. Reservoir Drive, East Fairmount Park, 215-765-4325, smithplayhouse.org
Roll on

Segways all around! Segway of Philadelphia will sell you a quartet of on-and-off-road X2s (max speed 12.5 mph) for just $23,400. Cost: $$$. 242 Easton Road, Horsham, 267-282-5774, emobile-pa.com

Outfit the whole family in in-line skates from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Mom and Dad will pay $70 to $400 apiece, and the kids $20 to $150. Cost: $$. Various locations; dickssportinggoods.com

With Millennium Skate World’s Sunday-night Family Package, you pay just $29.99 for admission for four, four skate rentals, four slices of pizza and four sodas. Cheap thrills! Cost: $. 1900 Carman Street, Camden, 856-757-9460, millenniumskateworld.com

Go hunting

Play laser tag at the ne plus ultra Ultrazone in Bensalem.
Saturdays are “Kidzone” days, with ages six through 12 and their parents paying just $5 a game from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $$. 4201 Neshaminy Boulevard,
Bensalem, 215-396-9936, ultrazonebensalem.com

Take in a movie

Shankweiler’s, the region’s last remaining drive-in movie ­theater — open continuously since 1934! — is still showing movies (and hosting hot makeout sessions) at $7.50 for grown-ups, $3.50 for 12-and-unders, and free for two and under. Cost: $$.  4540 Shankweiler Road, Orefield, 610-481-0800, shankweilers.com

Camp out

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: $.

Take off

$  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

Get wild

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

Around the Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.