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.
Just weeks before his wedding in 2006, Vaughan Lazar sat down with his college friend Michael Gordon. They weren’t fine-tuning toasts or planning the bachelor party, but rather intently discussing what they could do to make a difference in the lives of others. After a round of brainstorming, they realized that there was a lack of organic restaurants with quick dine-in, pickup, or delivery options, and thus, Pizza Fusion was born. Their menu features pizzas with regular, multigrain, and gluten-free crusts made from scratch and crowned with local produce, free-range chicken, and vegan toppings. Wine, gluten-free beer, and all-natural soft drinks from Honest Tea and Boylan accompany salads tossed with pear and gorgonzola or sandwiches stacked with portobello mushrooms and pesto. In addition to their organic pantry, the restaurant franchise keeps the environment clean, taking measures such as supplying a fleet of hybrid delivery cars for each store, constructing LEED-certified buildings, and purchasing renewable energy certificates to offset 100% of its power consumption. The pizza place is also home to the Organic Kids Club, which teaches children lessons in basic organics and rewards them with Pizza Fusion diplomas and early registration privleges for future semesters.
Despite its name, The Waterfall is no ordinary watering hole. Couches dot the interior of the laid-back bar, inviting patrons to lounge while downing pints chosen from 24 draft beers or admiring pieces by local artists. In the back, hookahs puff out fragrant smoke, adding an air of mystery to good-natured games of beer pong. The bar stays traditional where it counts, though—its liquor shelves only house top-brand vodkas, whiskeys, and bourbons, and its selection of beers draws brews from both big-name producers and innovative craft breweries. Flat-screen televisions situated above the bar also err on the side of familiarity, broadcasting television favorites such as South Park and games from around the sporting world. The Waterfall also plays host to the Reno Beer Crawl on the fourth Saturday of every month, bringing out drink specials and maps for the tour’s raucous groups of wanderers.
Born in Avellino, Italy, and raised in Brooklyn, Pasquale Ciampa and his two brothers shared a love of great fare and culture instilled in them by their parents. All three now exercise that love of Italian cuisine in their own culinary endeavors, with Pasquale bringing authentic Italian recipes to Las Vegas by way of Spaghetti and Company. Homemade beef meatballs, simmered in marinara, and freshly baked italian bread set the tone for the expansive menu, filled with Old World delicacies topped with ricotta and parmesan, alongside New World buffalo wings and New York–style pizzas and cheesecake. A rustic dining room and light-strung terrace surrounds guests as they toast with Sicilian-style pies, and kids clamor to the kitchen to craft their own masterpieces during pizza parties.
Groups whisper together in dimly lit, red-leather booths, underscored by the tinkling notes of a nearby grand piano. This isn’t the set of the latest mafia movie, but the main dining room at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse. The restaurant cheerfully embraces the city’s scandalous past, from its wood-paneled walls accented with movie posters to a menu of Italian classics sporting snap-brim fedoras and colorful names. Whether diners delve into Wise Guy alfredo by the fireplace or sample Goodfellas piccata on the patio, Capo’s atmosphere invites them to experience the mystique of old Vegas.
For its more than 20 types of golden-brown pancakes and plentiful selection of omelets, waffles, and other hearty American breakfast dishes, The Original Pancake House has gleaned accolades ranging from a Zagat rating and a feature on The Food Channel to being named one of the nation's top 200 franchises in 2009 by Franchise Times. It's no wonder why. Since 1953, every one of the family business’s morning specialties have been prepared from scratch daily with a commitment to real ingredients such as pure whipping cream, hard-wheat unbleached flour, and butter made from fresh sweet cream. Powdered sugar lines the soufflé-styled rims of oven-baked german pancakes, which The Food Channel lauds for their "ever so-slightly crispy" edges and calls "just the right balance between a crepe and a pancake." Apple pancakes—with granny-smith apples in the batter and sinkiang cinnamon glaze on top—are another favorite, and those tart apples also share the menu with fresh blueberries and toasted Georgia pecans for a turn to simmer in belgian-waffle squares like actual grannies in syrup-filled jacuzzis. Unique ingredients add distinction to house specialties such as oven-baked mushroom-sherry-sauce-topped omelets and gourmet fruit-filled crepes garnished with sweet cherry-wine sauce. To accentuate the flavors of each meal, The Original Pancake House brews its own signature coffee blend.