Visitors could explore Tyler Arboretum for hours and still not see everything it has to offer. For one thing, it's huge?the arboretum covers 650 acres of woodlands and gardens crisscrossed with 17 miles of hiking trails. For another, it's constantly hosting educational programs and special events. And then there's the seasonal variation: the exhibits here?not to mention the flora and fauna?change by the month, week, and day.
Some of the arboretum's most colorful exhibits include a small pond, a 1,400-square-foot butterfly house, and nine interactive tree houses (open April?November) scattered across the property. Tyler Arboretum is open year-round, but some of the best times to visit are in spring and summer, when flowers are in bloom and there are no snowmen around demanding top hats and scarves.
On a scenic, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, 18 PGA TOUR elites will don their finest polos and drive, putter, and electric slide their way to the $5 million purse at the end of the rainbow. The Sherwood Country Club course incorporates a delicate blend of valleys, peaks, waterfalls, and fire pits to challenge a field that includes Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, and Martin Kaymer. Check the schedule to plan your viewing blitzkrieg.
Deep within the Granite Run Mall, a 20-foot-long relative of the stegosaurus battles its nemesis, the monolophosaurus, while onlookers stand back, aghast and enthralled. What sounds like a deleted scene from Jurassic Park⎯a film series that proprietor "Dino" Don Lessem advised using his dino expertise⎯is really one of many sights to behold at the 6,500-square-foot Dino Don's Dinosaurium. Don harnesses his extensive expertise, which includes more than 50 books written on dinosaurs and natural history, to craft the family-friendly museum, which educates visitors through engaging, interactive exhibits. For his scholarly endeavors and incessant stalk-chewing habit, he even has an Argentine plant eater⎯the Lessemsaurus⎯named after him. Museumgoers can excavate fossils from the dig pit, aim a nerf gun at Jurassic Park dinosaurs in the shooting gallery, or learn reasons for dino extinction by spinning the Wheel of Dinosaur Misfortune. Students and teachers can continue making dino discoveries by touching real fossils, meeting visiting paleontologists, and learning how to roar dinner orders. Unlike the extinct species that the museum celebrates, Don assured CBS Philly that Dino Don's Dinosaurium will supply guests with new experiences by changing exhibits every three months.
No part of the 19th, 20th, or 21st Century has touched Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation's 112 acres. Here, the farm and behavior of its workers are straight from the mid to late 1700s, immersing visitors in a living-history book focused on Pennsylvania's past and the United States' earliest days. A tour of the grounds reveals an old farmhouse, a blacksmith, and many animals, including cows, sheep, and horses. Each year might bring new residents?such as young lambs?as well as fresh crops from flax to buckwheat.
Period costumes help workers keep up an atmosphere of authenticity, as does the plantation's lack of heated buildings, which means the whole operation shuts down during cold winter months. When the weather's not chilly, the plantation also hosts educational programs with hands-on activities that let children and adults experience life on a farm from the 1700s.
Helmed by state-certified teachers, KnowledgePoints learning centers mold the minds of those students who have fallen behind–or those students who need an extra challenge–in a comfortable and supportive environment. The organization's teachers take a personal approach to basic skills tutoring, relying on tried-and-true techniques to help students boost grades in math, reading, and writing, and to develop better study habits. Additionally, KnowledgePoints utilizes diagnostic skills assessments in order to identify every student's strengths and weaknesses.
The perfect weapon to stave off a boring afternoon, Maple Sports Arena invites visitors to zip around its inline skating rink, hit up the arcade, or explore its indoor jungle gyms. Kids can glide around the rink during open skate before refueling at the snack bar with personal pizzas and sodas. After that, they're welcome to swap out skates for sneakers to conquer five-story Marple Mountain?a technicolor climbing landscape that's littered with ropes, obstacles, and ladders?or head to the indoor rock wall to conquer vertical space and claim the wall as your own with your family's flag.