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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike the competitive environment of a testosterone-stuffed gym or mixed-martial hopscotch tournament, boot camp encourages all ages, skill levels, and abilities to motivate each other in a comfortable group setting. The certified trainers at Doylestown and Great Valley constantly challenge participants to achieve higher levels of fitness. Classes take you through different workout routines each day, with a variable variety of body-blasting, calorie-pulverizing exercises, including jogging, strength training, core conditioning, yoga, Pilates, and obstacle courses. You'll shed inches, pounds, and existential funk. Classes run five days a week starting at 5:30 a.m. at the Doylestown and Montgomeryville locations, with Doylestown also offering 9 a.m. sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. From November to March, winter sessions take place in Lahaska at Buckingham Friends School. Great Valley Boot Camp offers a similar booty-busting program with both co-ed and women's-only classes offered most mornings.