Howell Farm spins an agricultural story stretching back more than 250 years to the site's initial settlement in the 1730s. Within that time, the land has changed hands from many different families; the years have found it transformed from a grain farm to a dairy farm, with various incarnations in between. Today, it enjoys a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and it invites visitors to travel back in time to experience a taste of what farm life was like in the years between 1890 and 1910.
Depending on the time of year, guests may get to help plant or harvest crops, or shell and grind corn inside the 1800s barn before baking it into cornbread. Visitors often get to help care for the animals, learn to make soap, or churn fresh butter and ice cream––all using authentic, turn-of-the-century methods. Admission is free, but during autumn the farm raises funds by charging admission to a miles-long corn maze that challenges families and friends to navigate winding paths and resist the urge to butter and season their surroundings.
One gym can hardly contain Master Solomon Brenner's martial-arts expertise, which is why his school—Action Karate—has expanded to 13 different locations. Brenner believes that the martial arts are a lifelong pursuit, so he takes on students aged 3–93.
His classes for kids blend fitness with self-discipline, whereas his classes for adults focus on toning exercises and self-defense. Not all of his classes involve combat; some dedicate entire hours to pure strength training or cool-pose striking. He and his staff also host birthday parties for kids, which include fun martial-arts instruction, games, and a ceremonial slicing of birthday cake with a samurai sword.
StudiOMango's trio of certified yoga instructors invites students of all experience levels to unite their minds and bodies in invigorating Vinyasa-flow-based classes. The studio's ample natural light, blond hardwood flooring, and moniker-reinforcing mango-hued walls conjure the inviting atmosphere of one's living room, only instead of catnapping on the couch with Bob Barker infiltrating their dreams, guests move from one strengthening and lengthening pose to the next, pausing to regain slow, even breaths in downward-facing dog. In beginner-friendly classes, the instructors initiate newbies by covering the basics and helping them establish a foundation for the practice with sun salutations, balancing poses, and backbends. More advanced sessions lead yogis in working up a sweat with a continuous series of postures and more challenging poses, but all poses can be modified to accommodate any skill level. Music gently motivates students during every class, helping them channel their focus and steer their minds from daily responsibilities or embarrassment over accidentally calling the instructor mom.
Ever since participating in his first organized game at age 4, Ben Stirt has been infatuated with basketball. From there, he played on teams throughout high school and college, including Carnegie Mellon's 2006 conference-championship team. Afterward, he focused on refining his coaching skills, and even worked with future NBA stars, including Sam Young.
He continues training the game's next generation at Court Vision Basketball Performance. Here, he shapes individualized regimens for players during private training sessions and runs competitive one-on-one and two-on-two scrimmages during small group classes. Coach Ben even hosts courses entirely dedicated to shooting, wherein students learn such techniques as proper hand positions.
Billing itself as a 'mobile art studio,' Pretty in Paint Parties brings all the supplies necessary for creating works of art straight to its clients. After choosing a painting from the vast gallery, groups get to work following easy, step-by-step directions from the instructor to complete paintings of images that range from colorful flowers to Christmas-themed faces plastered with snowballs. Painters are encouraged to bring along wine or other drinks to sip on, or to purchase beverages on Tuesday nights, when painting night is hosted at Amalfis.
Former Philadelphia Inquirer and Associated Press photographer and active Getty Images contract photojournalist William Thomas Cain has skills honed during 28 years of picture snapping. His background includes a degree in illustration from Philadelphia's University of the Arts, work for the Associated Press and Getty Images, and experience teaching at Wilmington University. His classes range from intro lessons for those with newly purchased cameras to advanced seminars that cover such advanced concepts as aperture and framing angles.