Head to the Art Museum at 6:25 on Wednesday mornings or Franklin Field at the same time on Fridays, and you'll see a fitness flash mob: more than 100 (crazy?) people doing burpees and squats in unison. It's all part of the Facebook-and-Twitter-fueled fitness movement, now in 17 cities, that came to Philly earlier this year. The 40-minute boot-camp-style workouts are open to all and totally free. november-project.com.
You wouldn't think a couple of hours with a drink and a paintbrush would be such a hilarious experiment in bonding, or such an oddly satisfying creative release, but there you have it. The increasingly popular Paint Nite franchise, which sends local artists and teachers to bars all over the city every single night, is a happy respite from the ubiquitous sauv-blanc-and-pommes-frites routine. You might even go home with a painting you're proud of. (Okay, probably not. But still.) paintnite.com/pages/home/index.
In 2007, New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni declared that Roberts, a spot inside the Penthouse gentlemens club, had some of the very best steaks in New York City. Well, Roberts has now expanded to Atlantic City, and the steaks here reach that rarely achieved level known as utter perfection. And no, you dont have to go to a strip club to enjoy them. But you do have to go to the Taj. 100 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08041, robertsatlanticcity.com.
Per Lei Boutique
The haute women's clothing boutique has initiated a Buy Now, Wear Now, Pay Later program: Spend $1,000, pay half, bring it all home, and pay your balance within 30 days. When your significant other asks how you scored so much for so little, just shrug and tell him you're a savvy shopper. 2 East State Street, Media, PA 19063, perleiboutique.com.
Fishtown Beer Runners
Intimidated by the pace-obsessed, -spandex-clad enthusiasts who populate some running clubs? This once-a-week group (Thursdays at 7 p.m.) is for you. The runs are short (usually three to five miles), the atmosphere is welcoming (all levels attend), and the post-workout refreshments (enjoyed at a different bar each week) are more than motivating. Starting point: 2346 East Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownbeerrunners.com.
Wine not hitting you quite right? Want the full story on how chef Eli Kulp makes his alt-Peking duck? Lose an earring on the way to the restroom? All these things happened to us this year at Ellen Yins revitalized Old City institution and out came a fresh glass, a masterful description, and our recovered jewelry to boot. Yin sets the gold standard for engaged ownership, and her servers go above and beyond to make everything right. 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, forkrestaurant.com.
One of Philadelphia registered dietician Krista Yoder-Latortues staff of 25 registered dieticians will meet with you (or the whole fam) at your home to tackle your health objectives, whether they include weight loss, sustaining energy, blood-pressure regulation or cancer prevention. From the foods you need to eat to a customized phone app to help you track your goals, they'll have you thinking about food in a whole new way. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, familyfoodllc.com.
So you can spend roughly $425 to drop some water weight on Gwyneth Paltrow's 21-day cleanse (mmm ... fiber powder) or you can hire Healthy Bites founder and registered dietician Katie Cavuto Boyle to remake your pantry, help plan meals, teach you new recipes, and offer small but life-altering insights into your eating habits. Hmm, tough call. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, healthybitesdelivery.com.
Okay, so not the sexiest category. But we all talk about being eco-friendly, and these folks are actually making it easy. For $15 a month, they provide you with a special receptacle, pick up all of your compostables weekly, and help make the world a better place. In the spring, theyll even return some mulch to you for your efforts. 1511 Latona Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, bennettcompost.com.
Terrence Feury, Fork
You won't find him on the Food Network or pressing the flesh in the dining room, but that doesn't mean Feury isn't a star. He just shines where it counts: on the plate. After making a splash nearly a decade ago at Striped Bass, Feury moved from project to project before landing at Old City's Fork in 2009. It's a match made in foodie heaven Feury's cooking up some of the city's best food and breathing new life into a beloved institution. Everybody wins. 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, forkrestaurant.com.
Philadelphia natives Don and Kate Applebaum spent seven years in Louisiana before bringing their N'Awlins specialties back home. We're sure happy they did. Fridays and Saturdays, the longest lines at the Booth's Corner Farmer's Market are at Cajun Kate's, where Don's in charge of the gumbo (shrimp and sausage, duck, or slow-roasted pork, depending on the day) and Kate provides the sweets (fresh-from-the-fryer, dredged-in-powdered-sugar beignets). 1362 Naman's Creek Road, Boothwyn, PA 19061, cajunkates.com.
Harvest Local Foods
The only thing that beats a farmers market is having one delivered to your door. Owners Pam Nelson and Mary Ann Ford work with 60-plus local farmers and food artisans to bring weekly deliveries of fruit, veggies, meat, dairy and pantry items to homes throughout the Philadelphia area. Order through the website, pay a delivery fee (up to $10), and get homegrown goodness on demand. 305 Windermere Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050, harvestlocalfoods.com.
The Story Coffee & Bookstore
With its whimsical wall installation made out of books and a cozy coffee-shop ambience (try a cortado), this new shop feels more like a work of fiction than a place that sells it. While the shop has a spiritual bent (it specializes in nonfiction focusing on history, faith and culture), it also houses new and used tomes from the likes of James Patterson and Robert Louis Stevenson. Proceeds benefit the Helping Hand Rescue Mission. 45 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, thestoryardmore.com.
Care Package Bakes
Elisa Ludwig is an author and mom who, relatably, had no peace and quiet in which to write during lockdown. The hobby baker started Care Package Bakes to bring a little joy in the form of small-batch goodies like graham mallow blondies and brown-butter-glazed banana pudding bites. Ordering a box is an easy way to send some frazzled friend a little love — and proof that at least one good thing has sprung from the pandemic. Carepackagebakes.com.
Unless you’re really going to make use of that palace in Avalon all summer, buying a slice of one using Pacaso will save you a bundle. A one-eighth ownership stake in an Avalon vacation home will likely run you less than a million bucks, and you get to use it for up to 44 days a year. Want more time? Buy more shares. And Pacaso handles scheduling and maintenance for you and your fellow owners. pacaso.com.