The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team's commercially certified balloonists captain sightseeing flights over Lancaster County or Philadelphia's countryside. Each balloon has been maintained, inspected, and twisted into animal shapes in accordance with FAA regulations, setting sky-borne passengers' minds at ease as they drift among the clouds. On the Lancaster County trip, passengers soak up views of the Susquehanna River and the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, and peer down at the area's Amish population dotting the farmland far below. Before alighting as gently as a moth with a sore toe, balloonists take in the skyline of Reading as well as the nearby towns of Intercourse, New Holland, Strasburg, and Ephrata.
A totem pole shaped like a four-scoop ice-cream cone stands as a beacon in front of Jim Mack's Ice Cream, beckoning passers-by to experience the nostalgic establishment's homemade ice cream, 24-hole miniature-golf course, and resident black bear, Ricky. The ice-cream stand and snack shop, which opened in 1958, crafts a menu of ice cream, malts, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and other specialties. The outdoor picnic area allows guests to enjoy their treats to the sounds of chirping birds and whistling winds, which also serve as the mini-golf course's full-time commentators. The expansive, family-friendly facility also features a pinball arcade and a miniature zoo. Llamas and goats roam the petting-zoo area, grazing from the delicious pellets that grow in children's hands. The facility's mascot, Ricky the bear, also greets guests from inside of her large enclosure where she climbs on logs and tells jokes for nickels.
Inside Cinema Centers, moviegoers are enveloped in a state-of-the-art film-viewing environment to enjoy the latest Hollywood flicks. Bring a friend or frenemy to catch a new release, such as The Dilemma, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, or The Green Hornet, a quirky take on the superhero genre starring Seth Rogen. Indulge eardrums with the mellifluous luxury of digital surround sound while Cinema Centers theaters’ stadium seating ensures clear sightlines and good angles for not throwing popcorn.
With 13 paintball fields spanning 39 acres, Linglestown Paintball provides a diverse landscape that accommodates both beginners and experienced dye-jobbers. Woodsy war zones stand side by side with urban-inspired combat fields, recreating any typical office environment. Safety is a top priority at Linglestown, with individual referees provided for each group and players matched based on experience levels, reducing the threat of harm to novice competitors and fast-moving mannequins. For those ready to stock up on gear, the paintball pro shop is chock-full of 12-ounce CO2 cylinders ($15.95), paint pods ($6), T-shirts ($10), and a starter package ($150).
In the world of athletic training, Robert Taylor, Jr.’s resume speaks for itself. In addition to stints as the strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division I programs, his expertise also landed him gigs with professional baseball, football, and basketball franchises. Now, along with the other experienced coaches at SMARTER Team Training, Robert shepherds high school athletes toward their full potential at training camps and clinics. Whether they’re honing game-specific skills for field hockey, soccer, or lacrosse, or increasing overall athleticism during the school’s signature Speed, Agility, and Conditioning Camp, students always find a challenging itinerary designed to bring skills to a more advanced level. There's even a college prep training program, which gets high school players ready for the increased intensity and remorseless, cold-eyed referees found at the college level.
Hillcrest Racquet Club serves up immersive instruction of tennis fundamentals for racquet wielders of all ages and levels of expertise. In Fundamental Tennis 101, new players and one-time volleyers perfect basic strokes such as the forehand, backhand, serve, and desperate lunge. Net novices receive additional tutorials in keeping score, simple strategies, and celebrating victories without sullying their capris with grass or clay stains.
Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar quells burning appetites for elegant flavors and family-style eating with an expansive dinner menu of shareables. Anchor incisors into The Meatball, a 12-ounce specialty studded with provolone cheese and three saucy dipping pools ($9.50), or prepare taste buds for scrumptious entrees with a variety of leafy delights, including the tuscan tossed salad with candied walnuts, goat cheese, and dried figs ($8.50+). Grain-grinding molars can chomp on mascarpone lasagna bolognese, built like an earthquake-ready skyscraper with secure layers of mozzarella, ricotta, and provolone cheeses ($13.50+). While soothing tongues with hugs of sophisticated flavors, enjoy live piano performances, including new-artist spotlights, open-mic nights, and group sing-along sessions of classic Beethoven sonatas.