Techs arrive on time and skip the "Main Line upcharge" some companies tack on. They'll handle emergencies, rewire your 1930s home, or just install a new chandelier. And their receptionist is so sweet. 9015 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082, allphaseelectricco.com/.
A warning: The first time you walk into one of Miss Marilyn’s music classes, you’re going to be overwhelmed. Babies are squealing and toddlers are dancing (the age-bracket sweet spot is newborn to about five years), and Miss Marilyn is bouncing around wildly and playing guitar, and you’ll come out wanting either a coffee or a cocktail. But loosen up and lean into it, and you’ll see what everyone else in Bucks County already knows: Miss Marilyn is the most fun person your kids will ever meet, and the single best way to get them to love music. (You might walk away with some cool new mom friends, too.) Follow her Facebook page for info on virtual class offerings. missmarilynkmr.com/.
Chances are you've passed this year-old salon nestled upstairs inside Old City's Sweat gym without even knowing it. No more. The former Bang is now home to Adrienne Rogers, longtime color instructor for Product Club, and her husband Carlos. The duo, recent migrs from NYC who have celeb heads like Rachael Ray on their joint rsum, are turning out some of the best, most natural-looking color jobs in the city with sleek cuts to match. And they're doing it in a bright space worth finding, without the pomp or painful prices of some higher-profile spots. 45 North 3rd Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106, hushsalon.com/.
You get pizza, lemonade or cider, cake, coloring books, a hayride, animal feeding, and an entrance to Linvilla's all-wooden playground. Season allowing, ask for a pick-you-own add-on, so each kid gets to go home with some handpicked fruits and veggies. 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA 19063, linvilla.com/.
Aside from being one of the best-dressed and best-named business owners in the city, Voltaire Blain has an unusually welcoming store — a historic Chestnut Hill home where the shoes are displayed not on racks, but on a pool table — and an equally impressive collection: Styleshoes by Alden, Paraboot, and Gaziano and Girling, some of which he designed himself. 8433 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, stylebyblain.com.
Readers' Choice: We told our nominees to bring their best. The diversity was exciting rare Peruvian cacao, caramel highlighted by salt and pretzels with peanut butter. Shane's Confectionery's Whirly Berley Bars (chocolate nougat with salted chocolate caramel and Mast Bros. Nibs) took home the top honor but it came down to one vote! 110 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, shanecandies.com/.
Jinxed’s newest location is also its largest — a giant warehouse stuffed with piles of quirky bric-a-brac that will make those shelvies (selfies of your shelves, duh) worthy of sharing. Just clear your afternoon: It’s easy to spend hours here. 2858 Memphis Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134, jinxedphiladelphia.com.
Every day, more than 6,000 followers race to claim the vintage home goods this South Street vintage shop posts on its Instagram feed. The items range from antique treasures to kitschy curiosities (rattan peacock chairs, velvet paintings and Victorian settees have all cropped up), and all are priced to sell, well, instantly 508 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, retrospectvintage215.com/.
At first glance, this surprisingly palatial vintage shop appears to stock an anything-goes assortment, but look more closely: Nearly everything—velvet swivel seats, hexagonal end tables, the constellation of look-at-me chandeliers dangling from the ceiling—is a real treasure. 410 Fitzwater Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, rarecovintage.com/.
At some point in the evening at Dr. Thunder's karaoke events, the following three things will probably happen: Dr. Thunder will strip down to a cape and shiny shorti-shorts with DR. THUNDER emblazoned across the butt in bright green letters; someone will sing Journey; and you will put on some ridiculous outfit and wig from his huge crate of costumes. Just know that those photos Dr. Thunder is taking of you while you're singing (read: making a fool of yourself) will wind up on Facebook the next morning. Mercifully, he rarely takes video. Find his busy schedule at facebook.com/thunderkaraoke. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, facebook.com/thunderkaraoke.
The siren call of the ice-cream cone isn't any less enticing just because your body can't cope with lactose. Thanks to the nearly two dozen almond- and coconut-milk-based ice-cream options here—from chocolate salt malt to lime-toasted coconut to chocolate teriyaki (!)—you can finally answer it, fret-free. Multiple locations | , 00000, littlebabysicecream.com/.
Homing in on your tee game is probably the last thing you thought you'd ever be doing near Chinatown, but the HD simulators in this inconspicuous building allow you to "play" some of the world's most prestigious courses, while the high-tech swing analysis, private lessons and beginner workshops keep the yips away no matter the season. 211 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, golfsciencecenter.com/.
You’ll find an eclectic mix of Americana objects that look like they might have come from an antiques dealer (mid-century furniture, vintage metal signs) or a dumpster (two-foot-tall chess pieces, old Hot Wheels). Both are, in fact, accurate. 3101 West Glenwood Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19121, etsy.com/shop/sandrdrygoods.
Sometimes it can feel like there’s too much art, both vintage and new, with which to decorate your house. How to decide? The Modern Republic, a mid-century modern retailer in Fairmount, is a great place to start: With vintage Alexander Calder and Herman Miller prints at reasonable prices, there’s something for every kind of house (plus great vintage furniture, to boot). If your walls could talk, they’d be thanking you. 1600 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130, etsy.com/shop/TheModernRepublic.
Shop in this quirky, crazily eclectic subterranean emporium of vintage curiosities and accessories, and youre guaranteed to run into most of Phillys creative class. That pretty much sums it up. 1724 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, stadler-kahn.com.