Now called Western Learning Center, this center offers fulltime care for toddlers and preschoolers plus before- and after-school and summer care for elementary school children. The teachers are highly trained and run fun and educational classrooms. The center is NAEYC accredited and a Keystone Stars level 4 program- both indicators of high quality care. The staff is friendly and truly invested in the development of each of the children in their care.
I have been to Eastern State Penitentiary several times to take both the Halloween tour and the regular one. Both are terrifying in their own regards. The regular tour is a self-guided one. You walk through the grounds by following an audio presentation provided by headphones. Corresponding numbers on areas of interest direct you through the prison. The stories are chilling and the descriptions so clear that you can imagine what the place was like when it was used as a working jail. The history behind the penitentiary and its unique use of self reflection, though it was a failure, is remarkable.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art should be a destination for locals and visitors to the city alike. The steps have become famous for the scene from Rocky, but if you're one of those people who just run up the steps, jump up and down and then leave, you're missing the whole point! The museum is a real treasure, featuring works of art from many different time periods and cultures. My personal favorites are the Japanese Tes House and the display of photographs. Local artists like Eakins are prominantly featured, and the travelling exhibits are so memorable. I recently saw the Dali show and was so amazed. I have been a museum member for two years and visit frequently.
The Please Touch Museum is an absolute "must visit" for families with young children. Everything in it is really geared towards its youngest visitors who are encouraged to play and learn all day long. The supermarket is especially popular. It is a large space set up just like a supermarket where kids can fill their carts and check out- just like the grown-ups! The Septa bus display is fun and special for any Philly kid. The museum also offers a quiet space to curl up with a book with your child.
The Philadelphia Zoo is an institution in the city. Many will complain- and rightfully so- about the high prices. However, if you live close by, the family pass is a wonderful alternative. Parts of the zoo do seem to be showing their age and may soon be in need of repairs. The new monkey habitat and the reptiles are favorites of my family. The staff are very informative, and the special programs they offer- such as making toys for the animals- are terrific. The treehouse activties are perfect for younger children- and are inside in air conditioning for relief on those hot summer days.
Dutch Lanes offers two types of entertainment- a quality miniature golf course and a bowling alley. The miniature golf course is fun with a lot of unique challenges. Kids seem to enjoy trying to make their golf ball make it through the loop on one of the first holes. The bowling alley is one of the best in the county. However, it is frequently used for tournaments, which means the lanes are closed to the public. I would recommend calling before visiting to check availability, especially on a Saturday. They offer frequent coupons to local school children.
I have been to Rocky Springs Lanes many times over the years, sometimes with family and friends and sometimes as a camp counselor. The benefits are the wide selection of balls in many different weights and the availability of bumpers, which are great for kids. They also have automatic scoring. Among the negatives is that, the last time I went, we had trouble with the pins resetting. We had to ask for help from staff numerous times. They seemed annoyed by this, but it wasn't our fault. The lane was obviously broken but they did not move us.
Raceway is located in the Bon-Ton mall at Park City shopping center and is home to all things NASCAR. They carry merchandise from many of the drivers but seem to focus mainly on the most popular ones. Merchandise includes clothing, flags, diecasts, signs, and novelty items. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful to customers, whether they are familiar with NASCAR or not. The only negative thing about this store to me is its lack of smaller sized clothing, as most are Large, XL, and XXL.
I have been buying sports cards from Don's for about 15 years. The prices are competitive, and the staff is very knowledgebale about the inventory. They seem to enjoy talking about collecting and sports in general with loyal customers. The store is a great place to buy both sets and individual sports cards. They also have novelty type items such as trash cans and pennants. The store markets equally well to the serious collector as well as to the person who casually follows a team or player. The cards are almost always in mint condition, and the staff handles any problems competently. Parking can be difficult, as the shop is located right along main street.
Why Be Board... well, who could possibly be bored in this wonderful little place? You will feel like a kid again just by walking through the door. They offer traditional games, books, and puzzles, as well as some more unique ones. I found a book of mad libs there and gave it to a friend's son for a gift. He had never seen them before and thought they were wonderful. The prices here can seem a bit high, but the store experience is just so much fun!