A traditional 18th century Surry. An old Victorian era sleigh. A sparkling white pumpkin-shaped carriage, just like the one that escorted Cinderella to the ball. The elegant escorts at Trinity Carriage Services don't just take passengers on trips; they ferry them over land on romantic journeys back in time. Indeed, the carriages lend a whimsical air everywhere they travel whether escorting passengers to prom or a holiday party or ferrying them home from the laundromat. And, for the littlest passengers, there's also a pony-drawn princess cart that can make appearances at birthday parties and other fairy-tale-themed events.
Mainline Magazine escorts its readers down an upscale avenue of cultural happenings, unveiling pages of recommendations for dining, design, and shopping, as well as profiles of local personalities. While perusing the Early Summer 2011 issue, follow the tastemakers to the Pennsylvania Dutch region or learn how to spruce up a home with a few well-considered interior tweaks and one prominently displayed life-size-doll collection. High-quality paper stock and vibrant, stylish graphics make the bimonthly magazine's full-color spreads of interiors and events burst off the page like a pop-up book filled with active fireworks.
Designed in the late 19th century as a playplace, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse sprawls over 16,000 square feet, nestled amid more than 6 acres of fields, woods, and hills. When it opened in 1899, building a house specifically for playtime was unheard of.
Today, the property entertains kids age 10 and under, who can explore the attractions on all three floors and the outside grounds. They can careen down the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide, just one of the 50 pieces of outdoor playground equipment. Inside, kids converge on age-specific play spaces, where they can put on shows with puppets or cruise on tricycles in Smithville. The play kitchen allows future chefs to pretend their making dinner. Though the house is over a century old, attractions have been updated to today's safety standards and kids of all abilities can play.
The Franklin Institute brings hands-on science fun at Pennsylvania's most visited museum. Spanning three floors, the Institute gives a voice to human ingenuity—past and future—with hundreds of interactive exhibits such as The Giant Heart, Changing Earth, and Sports Challenge, as well as explosive live science shows, an indoor SkyBike ride, and the city's tallest IMAX theater,which is 5 stories high. Though now filled with a range of space-age attractions, the Institute began with single purpose.
Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating established The Franklin Institute in 1824, to honor the life and achievements of Benjamin Franklin. In the following decades, the Institute hosted forward thinkers such as Nikola Tesla, who gave a demonstration on wireless telegraphy in 1893. In 1930, the board decided to expand the space into a new science museum—and raised the funds in 12 days. The museum opened to the public in 1934—and in the same year hosted the first public demonstration of an all-electronic TV system.
A visit to The Franklin Institute’s includes access to three floors of permanent interactive exhibits including the iconic, two story tall Giant Heart. Other exhibits include Space Command, which invites visitors to recover an unmanned space probe and examine real astronaut equipment. At Changing Earth, visitors create their own weather patterns, play with steams of water, and build structures that can stand up to earthquakes or all-elephant 5Ks.
At various daily showtimes, the Franklin Theater’s high-contrast screen displays 3D films on animals, earth ecosystems, and human history. In the recently renovated Fels Planetarium, the second oldest in the nation complete with a rooftop observatory, audiences witness projections of weather and space spread across a 60-foot seamless aluminum dome. Daily live science shows draw an enthusiastic crowd, and interactive science carts invite visitors to observe a live heart dissection or try their hand at paper-making.
The National Museum of American Jewish History's core exhibition traces more than 350 years of American Jewish history, documenting their triumphs and struggles since first settling in 1654. Spread across 25,000 square feet on five floors, the exhibition's historical objects and lifelike environments cover subjects such as the late 19th-century Jewish immigration and the involvement of American Jews in the Civil Rights Movement. As the exhibition moves into the present day, visitors can share their own stories and opinions in two of the museum's interactive stations: It's Your Story and the Contemporary Issues Forum. After sharing their own journeys, guests can explore the Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame, where multimedia displays and original artifacts highlight the lives of prominent Jewish Americans, including Irving Berlin and Estée Lauder.
Cups of Old City Coffee, baked goods from LeBus, and vegetarian and dairy cuisine from Di Bruno Bros. reenergize museum-goers at the Pomegranates Café; kosher fare is also available. Additional museum programming includes educational opportunities for adults and kids, as well as live events such as lectures, discussions, and concerts.
Children crawl, climb, and careen through The Little Treehouse's sprawling wonderland, pausing only to dine with their parents at a café that Main Line Today named one of 2011's Best Restaurants for Kids. Socked feet scale sophisticated play structures and scream sonnets into pillow piles under colorful mobiles while high-quality wooden toys sow new synapses. Guests can stretch imaginations and limbs during yoga and movement classes, somersault through tumbling classes for different age groups, and schmooze with peers during seasonal and private events. Between romping sessions, tots can don bibs for a helping of organic, sugar-free applesauce at the café, where parents sip fair-trade coffee whilst navigating free WiFi and reminiscing about the steam-powered web browsers of their youth. The kitchen is open for lunch every day and for dinner Wednesday–Sunday, filling a wholesome menu with pasta, paninis, and brick-oven pizzas wrought with whole-wheat dough and local ingredients whenever possible. In clement conditions, adults can bring a bottle of wine to the outdoor terrace to watch their children play with bubbles and write chalk prescriptions for cootie remedies.