We love the library of more than 800 games. And the beer list. But we adore the staffers who referee disputes. Is “qi” really an acceptable Scrabble word? Yes, yes it is. 1642 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
This glorious new addition to East Fairmount Park has a gentle hiking path that winds around the placid Strawberry Mansion Reservoir, where more than 150 species of birds flutter. 3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Quizzo, live music, dollar taco nights, weekend DJs, Skee-Ball and shuffleboard — a.k.a. things that are better than studying for midterms. 129 South 30th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
The upcoming season is one helluva barn burner, with opera great Placido Domingo kicking things off in September; the new series WomenNOW, featuring female composers, conductors and instrumentalists; and the entirety of Bach’s majestic Mass in B minor. Totally subscription-worthy.
Creative programming meets an industrial cool indoor/outdoor space — with food trucks and cocktails. Yet another winner from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which is slowly turning our waterfront into what it should have been all along. 121 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Philly’s funniest love trying out new material at this monthly party at Tattooed Mom’s. With $1 food specials and $2.50 beers, it may be the finest frugal night out in the city. 530 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Philly DJ legend King Britt and muralist Joshua Mays collab-ed on this experimental ode to Afro-futurism. To hear and see Philly’s first augmented-reality mural, just download an app, wave your phone, and watch as the colorful display comes to life on your screen. 53rd and Media streets in West Philly.
There's only one rule at these roving events put on by this new grassroots entertainment group: If you are on the rug, you are going to participate. And that's not a threat, that's the point, because wellness comes in many forms, including letting your inner soul out. Keep reading here.
The current social and political climate has made everyday conversations strained and kicked burnout into high gear. At these classes, you’ll remember how to loosen up and be silly and, if your life involves public speaking, how to make people laugh again. Imagine that. 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Women hiking, kayaking and yoga-ing in the wilderness. Sometimes with wine. Name a better combination.
You can now legally bet on games at nine A.C. casinos, but the best is the Borgata’s new $12 million sports book, with its giant LED video wall, a 35-foot-long bar and a VIP lounge. Because if you’re going to put a grand on the Eagles to win it, you might as well be comfortable. 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Away from the crowds in front of the casinos lies this quiet sunbathing spot just a few blocks before Ventnor. You’ll find plenty of space and well-maintained bathrooms, and the Ventnor Sack ‘O Subs will deliver hoagies right to your beach chair.
A.C. has been building out the northern end of its boardwalk for the past several years to provide relief from the bustle of casino central. The stretch that extends past Ocean Casino Resort and then banks to the left along Gardner’s Basin is serene, commercially undeveloped and postcard-perfect.
There’s still plenty of libidinous activity at the Pool at Harrah’s, but the young and tanned crowd at this open-air beach bar on the sand has it beat. 3001 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
It trumps Ocean Casino Resort on every level. Much better shows. Superior restaurants. And an always-fun crowd. 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
The locus of A.C.’s comeback can be found in the Orange Loop, a collection of restaurants and bars plus a music venue, a yoga studio, and a hip cafe along the beach blocks of Tennessee Avenue, St. James Place and New York Avenue (a.k.a. the orange properties in Monopoly). Many additional projects are in the works, including a shipping-container hotel!
Views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Delaware — plus winter cabanas for spiked hot cocoa warm-ups.
Kill a wintry afternoon on these beginner-to-moderate slopes less than an hour from Philly. Yes, there’s a lodge … with a bar. 757 Spring Mount Road, Spring Mount, PA 19478
Who knew that one of the world’s earliest disc golf courses is right here in Fairmount Park? 33rd and Oxford streets.
The month that things really start to bloom at this one-of-a-kind outdoor sculpture museum in Jersey. Simply gorgeous. 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Admission is always free — and on Saturday mornings, the kayaking is, too. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19143
So much more than bowling: SB recently debuted outdoor batting cages, shuffleboard, horseshoes and, because we’re in deep South Philly, bocce courts. 19 East Oregon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Thespians take over “the Bowl” section of Clark Park for several days of edgy but family-friendly (and free!) takes on the Bard. It’s a bring-a-lawn-chair-and-sneak-in-a-bottle-of-prosecco (or sixer of PBR) kind of affair. Chester Avenue and 43rd Street in University City.
The temp at this old-school, admission-free amusement park in the mountains (pierogies at the snack bar!) is always cooler than in Philly. 391 Knoebels Boulevard, Elysburg, PA 17824
Real beach pros know to wait until after Labor Day. No crowds. No traffic. Start off with a hike — and a lighthouse climb — at the southernmost tip of New Jersey. Light House Avenue in Cape May Point.
You haven’t tasted an apple until you bite into one just seconds after you pick it off a tree. (Don’t forget to pay for it!) Bonus: a bonfire with s’mores. 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA 19063
Awe-inspiring fall foliage. Plus: November marks the peak season for spotting many of the hawk, eagle, and other migratory raptor species that fly through. 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529
Yes, there’s a huge holiday display inside the big greenhouse, but it’s outside — with zillions of Christmas lights painstakingly wrapped around each branch of a zillion trees, a garden railway and blazing fire pits — that gets us in the spirit. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Grab some friends, snag one of the 102 climate-controlled bays, hit drives to your heart’s content, and order another round every time the server comes by. 104 Centerton Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
This steampunk-esque contraption can print and bind almost any book in existence — or your very own creation — in mere minutes. 1632 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Every other month, you can sip just-made brews and eat pizza by the slice at Dock Street Cannery while local writers take turns pouring out their souls. 705 South 50th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
She’s a sober Jewish lesbian, and most of her comedy is about being all of those things. Very feminist. Very funny.
They’ve been putting on city-worthy productions in the western suburbs for 45 years, and this season is totally inspired, with disaster drama The Children (a 2018 Tony nominee), gut-wrenching Mary Jane, and an adaptation of the 1999 Oscar-winning movie Shakespeare in Love. 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355
Artisan pizza and craft beer? Check. The city’s best farmers’ market? Yep. Countless used-book sales on stoops? Uh-huh. Add to that good vegan eats, sword-fighting classes in Clark Park, hookahs in the backyard of an Ethiopian restaurant, and offbeat theater productions inside a grand old church, and it’s easy to see why we love this stretch of West Philly so damn much.
Contact the museum to set up a time, then let the guide wind you through the three-story Germantown home, where an intimate collection of art, literature, scents and sounds will open your eyes to something often overlooked or altogether erased: the everyday experiences of black and brown girls. 4613 Newhall Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
This black-owned establishment that pays homage to Philly’s music history has a fantastic breakfast spread and historic touches. (So yeah, you’re gonna want to book a second night at this newcomer.) 3709 Baring Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
The unofficial HQ of Philly’s burlesque resurgence is this funky back-alley Gayborhood bar at which tassels and ostrich fans abound. 1320 Chancellor Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you’ve always thought the kids kick-flipping at Paine’s Park look really cool but worry that you’d break your neck, the answer is the four-week beginners’ course for adults at this rad indoor skatepark. From $78 including skateboard, pad and helmet loaners. 894 North 40th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Most rinks in the region rent out old-school roller skates, but this Delco spot offers in-line skating, which means you’ll go a lot faster. $7 including skate rental. 611 South Park Way, Broomall, PA 19008
If you haven’t been on a dirt bike in years, don’t worry; there’s a beginners-only section of this city-owned BMX-style bike track. There are also days set aside for kids five and under and “WTF” slots open only to those who identify as women, trans or femme. Cost: free, and they provide the bike and helmet. Parkside Avenue, next to the Parkside Evans playground.
There’s no better way to get around at the Jersey Shore. All you need is a regular driver’s license. Well, and a helmet. $150 for a full day. 4000 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Third-party companies like Cloud 9 Living and Rusty Wallace Racing Experience show up with really fast cars — sometimes Ferraris, sometimes NASCAR — at this South Jersey racetrack. The cost varies, but expect to pay $498 for three laps in that Ferrari. 8000 Dividing Creek Road, Millville, NJ 08332
Many shows would be stale after all these years, but this band of WMMR misfits still manages to make the world more bearable with their wacky stunts, irreverent comedy, and entertaining studio guests.
This Delco watering hole attracts all types at its every-other-Friday events, so you might hear Guns N’ Roses followed by Whitney Houston followed by Miley Cyrus and — since we are in Delco — a little Sinatra. 129 South State Road, Upper Darby, PA 19082
As co-director of groundbreaking theater company Lightning Rod Special, this 33-year-old South Philly actress conceived 2019’s highly controversial abortion musical (yes, an abortion musical) The Appointment, which picky New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called a “profoundly imaginative … remarkable phantasmagoria.”
At their white-walled space overlooking the Schuylkill, bons vivants Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar bring any theme you dream up to life with an extensive collection of dishware, antique furniture and decorative props. (Yes, that’s a gold-plated palm tree in the corner.) 501 West Washington Street, Suite 3, Norristown, PA 19401
Always wanted to fly around the Earth? Get in a ring with a heavyweight boxer? Drive an Indy 500 car? Snap on one of this arcade’s high-tech headsets and you’re anywhere but here. (Pack Dramamine if you’re prone to motion sickness.) 209 East Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382
Two hours northwest of Center City are a handful of yurts (with kitchens and electric!) that sit among the trees in this pretty state park. And the bathrooms are a one-minute walk away, which is merciful, considering that there are bears in these parts. Bring a flashlight. 687 Tuscarora Park Road, Barnesville, PA 18214
Finally, a music venue figured out how to not have us stand in line for 20 minutes to pay $13 for a domestic beer. The answer was quite simple: Have lots of bars. 858 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
This two-person cabaret act describes itself as “classic cabaret realness mixed with hoagie-mouth hotness,” which pretty much sums them up much better than we could.
This monthly group battle at Mifflin Tavern, hosted by a beloved drag queen, is never boring. And the fact that it takes place in deep South Philly at what used to be Johnny Doc’s bar makes it even more delicious. 1843 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Downstairs is the iconic Irish pub that’s been pouring Guinnesses for nearly 25 years. Upstairs is a lesser-known hideaway with all sorts of no-cover shows, like live-band karaoke, non-sucky comedy open mics and Fringe performances. You never know exactly what you’re going to get — and that’s part of the fun. 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
For $1,000 (and up) per night, you can party in the 7,000-square-foot Tuscan-style villa that the Champ occupied during the early 1970s. There’s a huge deck, a bar, a pool, a tennis court and, of course, a hot tub. It’ll be the backyard barbecue of the century. 1121 Winding Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
With the brand-new ropes course and soaring zip line, the beer garden, and the rebirth of the famous Zoo Key, it’s a good time to ask yourself: “When was the last time I was at the Philly Zoo?” For something a little more VIP, book a behind-the-scenes encounter with your favorite animal. (Two words: giraffe selfie.) 3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Know how you can tell that a nonpartisan organization is actually nonpartisan? They’ve booked CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta and former Trump confidant Steve Bannon in one season.
Prominent black Philadelphia architect Julian Abele designed this Beaux Arts gem in the 1920s, and library staffers are happy to show you around — for free. The hour-long tour starts at 10 a.m., but definitely stick around for the 11 a.m. tour of the rare books department, too. 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103