How to Have Fun

War. Recession. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas. And four whole months until the election. We’re not suggesting anybody fiddle while Rome burns. But, damn, you deserve a little fun. Remember laughing till it hurt? Here are 49 ways to get back to that place, just when you need it most

30. Ride a camel.

Really. Four cud-chewing Ships of the Desert — Max, George, ­Benny and Taz — are waiting to swing and sway you high above the African Plains at the Philadelphia Zoo. 3400 West Girard Avenue, 215-243-1100,

31. Eat exotic ethnic.

Way beyond Big Macs. Golden Gate Restaurant, Philmont Shopping Center, 11058 Rennard Street, 215-677-9337. Russian banquet-style meals and dancing. On Saturdays, the fun lasts till 4 a.m.! Zahav, 237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800, Real Israeli, with meats cooked over hot coals. Rajbhog, 1900 Green Tree Road, Cherry Hill, 856-751-0257, For Indian treats like rose-flavored ice cream.

32. Play Skee-Ball.

The funnest game ever invented in Philly. No bells, no whistles — just you, your balls and the holes. Dave & Buster’s, 325 North Columbus Boulevard, 215-413-1951, The Oasis Family Fun Center, 35 LaCrue Avenue, Glen Mills, 610-358-3501, Jilly’s Arcade, 1168 Boardwalk, Ocean City, 609-399-2814,

33. Find a swimming hole.

Somehow, knowing you’re not supposed to be there makes it that much more fun. Try Devil’s Hole on the Cresheim Creek, near where it empties into the Wissahickon in Fairmount Park. Or look for parking areas that indicate swimming spots along the Brandywine Creek as you drive north on Route 100 from Chadds Ford. And there are a couple of swimming holes along the Mullica River in the Wharton State Forest near Batsto in the Jersey Pine Barrens, including Constable Bridge just off Route 542.

34. Go to an outdoor concert.

Hot weather demands cool tunes. Festival Pier, Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, 215-928-8801, Summer-long concert series. Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, Blues and jazz at the vineyard. Pastorius Park, Lincoln Drive and West Abington Avenue, Chestnut Hill, 215-248-8810, Wednesday nights throughout the summer.

35. Take a pub crawl.

St. Patty’s Day’s Erin Express ( and Christmastide’s Running of the Santas ( attract the ­masses — but it’s more fun to set up a drinking challenge yourself. Split 10 friends into teams of two. Dish out a list of six to 10 bars to hit, with cameras to document the “tasks” teams compete to complete, like the bourbon-shot-plus-Pabst-Blue-Ribbon $3 special at Bob & Barbara’s Lounge (1509 South Street, 215-545-4511).

36. Fly a kite.

It’s been too long. Slow down, let out the line, and soar. Choice spots: Belmont Plateau, Belmont Mansion Drive in Fairmount Park. Cross-breezes and an impressive view of the city. Wildwood Beach, Wildwood. Plenty of room for you to impress the kids. Penn Treaty Park, 1199 North Delaware Avenue. Catch the cool river breeze.

37. Buy yourself a cookie, Cookie.

There’s one out there to make everybody happy. Go find yours. Reading Terminal Market. Cookie Mecca, with the Flying Monkey (oatmeal cranberry raisin with cream-cheese filling!), Termini ­Brothers (buttery Italian cookies packed with nuts and fruits), Famous 4th’s (butter almond, fresh-dipped chocolate chip), Le Bus (chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter) … 12th and Arch streets, 215-922-2317, Di Bruno Bros. Fancy little Italian specialties for sharing … and big, thick, celestial butterscotch bars and walnut chocolate chips to hide just for you. 1730 Chestnut Street, 215-665-9220, Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream ­Parlor. Sugar cookies, holiday butter cookies, Old World German cookies … 8126 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, 215-247-7374, The Night Kitchen. Lemon bars, jumbles, shortbread, poppy seed and much more, in the cutest little shops ever. 7725 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, 215-248-9235, and 45 East State Street, Doylestown, 215-348-9775;
Can you tell we love cookies?