The guides from Wilderness Rocks help urban dwellers escape to nature with five- to six-hour day trips through the Catskills and beyond. Groups of up to 14 get scooped up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and whisked away from the concrete jungle's hectic routine of hailing taxis and dodging falling coconuts under the Panamanian Consulate. Departing throughout the year, hike options range from the Catskills snowshoe trip on February 11—a 6-mile trek through the snowy sanctum of the Catskill Mountains—to the Pound Mountain trip on April 7, which involves moderate rock climbing and spelunking. Rather than sprinting ahead to nab the freshest, most coveted pinecones, guides make several stops along the way, allowing everyone to catch their breath and take in the serenity of their surroundings. Once hikers have finished each trail, Wilderness Rocks transports the group back to the 86th Street rendezvous point with nothing but their gear, memories, and carefully rehearsed alibis. Before departure, check each trip's page for departure times, clothing requirements, and what equipment to bring.
As America’s first zoo and current home to more than 1,300 creatures, the Philadelphia Zoo hosts a cavalcade of winged avians, furry friends, aquatic characters, and slithering showboats on 42 sprawling acres. Gauge the ferocity of your roar at the Big Cat Falls, or visit the snow-strewn habitats of polar bears, snow leopards, penguins, and the Cheetos-dusted Amur tigers. Exercise your bipedality over to the primate reserve and speak firsthand with the trainers and conservationists working to save and protect endangered primates worldwide from the violence of video games and reckless taxis. The Philadelphia Zoo also features rides and attractions (at additional costs), allowing revelers to twirl about the Amazon rainforest carousel, paddle the swan boats, or take a ride in the iconic Zooballoon, where, from the comfort of the skies, the bearded pig's questionable facial hair is only turning children’s tears into raindrops.
One of the world's leading live-entertainment companies, Live Nation connects millions of fans to thousands of performances across the globe. Today's deal can be used for any Live Nation concert at the open-air Cruzan Amphitheatre, providing fans with aural stimulation of all stripes, filling ears more pleasantly than the aggressively atonal orchestras that roam the countryside. Upcoming concerts at the venue include such diverse performers as Rascal Flatts, Lil' Wayne, and Maroon 5, giving listeners a cornucopia of euphonic options.
Each season grants guests a new excuse to visit Ort Farms, which has been the pride and joy of the Ort family since 1916. Each fall, the family designs a giant 8-acre corn maze, which serves as the centerpiece for the annual Fall Festival, which welcomes guests to visit farm animals, climb a giant hay pyramid, and board a hayride to the pumpkin patch. On weekend, visitors can enjoy rides on ponies, trains, and monster trucks. Winter brings holiday decorations, such as douglas firs and wreaths, and spring blossoms to life as pots of geraniums, annuals, and marigolds spring up inside the farm's five greenhouses. And as the sun dons its giant summer bathing suit, the Orts arrive at local farmers’ markets bearing fresh lettuce, colorful peppers, and other seasonal produce.
Locals can also participate in Ort Farms' share club, which connects consumers and farmers without forcing them to share a studio apartment. Each week during the harvest season, the farmers pick a certain amount of locally grown produce for each individual or family participating in the CSA program.
Established in 1909, the Newark Museum gradually expanded from its two-room origins to the bountiful 80 galleries of today, with a campus comprising a one-room schoolhouse, sculpture garden, and planetarium, in addition to the main museum. Traipse through one of the many ongoing exhibits such as The Glitter and The Gold: Jewelry from the Newark Museum, which displays a glinting anthology of jewelry from the early 1700s to the present, including the "Butterfly Lady" brooch from Newark’s historic jewelry industry and a collection of colonial Rolexes. The impressively curated Tibetan Collection brings to life the Himalayan territory through exhibits such as the 15 biographical, narrative paintings of Tsongkhapa–The Life of a Tibetan Visionary, and Pots of Silver and Gold, replete with traditional Tibetan motifs of lotus buds and dragons.
According to legend, Elias Atrum—a recluse dubbed "Old Eli" by area townsfolk—first farmed the grounds in the 1800s. When locals began disappearing, the authorities’ investigation pointed toward Eli’s farm, where they stumbled upon unspeakably gruesome sights. Now, every October, the farm fills with the sound of screams and Eli’s maniacal laughter.
Creepy Hollow’s Atrum Farm tells the gruesome story surrounding the locale, tracing Eli's grim descent and the carnage that he left in his wake. New this year, Paranoia—a second trail—lures intrepid guests through more of the haunted grounds, highlighting the sinister presence that lingered long after the mad farmer disappeared. This trail maintains a petrifying mood made all the more unsettling by strobe lights, fog machines, and loud noises. For easily frightened guests, Creepy Hollow includes a relaxing moonlight hayride through some of the 1,000 acres of farmland and a 5-acre, family-friendly corn maze. The staff also keeps teeth from chattering with concessions such as hot dogs, hot cider, and hot chocolate.