The flavor-savvy guides of Chew Philly Food Tours acquaint both visiting and veteran Philadelphia taste buds with the dishes that encapsulate the city's culinary heritage. During each 2.5-hour journey, groups visit family-owned restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores— many of which have been around for decades—where merchants show off their specialties to curious palates.
Tidbits about local architecture, city history, and the philly cheesesteak's historic boxing victory against Chicago-style pizza spring from tour guides as tasters proceed with their 1.5-mile jaunt, which keeps feet moving at a moderate pace to accommodate guests of all ages and fitness levels. Once the last morsel has been devoured, groups disembark with a cache of coupons garnering discounts at the shops and eateries visited on the tour, so customers can return to toss pebbles at a bakery case to attract the attentions of the cupcake they have a crush on.
Showing a blend of current and classic cinematic entertainment, The Oaks Theater has remained Oakmont's only for-profit single-screen movie theater since its opening night in November 1938. The Junior Chamber of Commerce Players accompany a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dancing, singing, and assembling popcorn monuments to the unfolding onscreen action. Seven feature-length films entice adrenal glands, letting viewers pick their poison from films such as Jonathan Demme's Academy Award–winning The Silence of the Lambs, the fang-centric Let the Right One In, or Halloween 4 featuring lovable loser Michael Myers. After sinking into one of The Oaks Theater's 430 seats, petrified patrons can cower behind a large soda or superstitiously squeeze the earlobe of their moviegoer companion.
Though they begin their adventure at Skydive Deep Creek’s home base, visitors won’t really remember the facility. That’s because most of their time will be spent hovering above the airport at 13,500 feet. Beginners take to the sky safely attached to an experienced diver during tandem jumps, and serious enthusiasts can fly through the air while training for skydiving certification.
Instructor Neil Porter orchestrates all the site’s jumps, using know-how earned during his time at Airborne school in the army and while obtaining his skydiving instructor certification. At Skydive Deep Creek, Neil guides beginners through the process of learning to skydive, from tandem diving to individual jumps.
For clients who just want a taste of the adrenaline-pounding sport, Neil performs tandem jumps, during which a guest is attached to him with a secure harness. While they jump together, Neil controls the parachute, which allows guests to relax and enjoy the thrill ride. The company’s optional videography and photography services capture every whoop, flip, and freefall. Visitors who want to learn to pull the strings themselves can take classes in the four levels of skydiving certification, in which they learn all the skills necessary to jump on their own or finally be in charge on parachute day in gym class.
HappyFeet founder Andy Barney boasts a lengthy resumé: the Oxford, England, native was a semipro soccer player by the age of 16, studied physical education in college, and coached youth soccer for 10 years before moving to the U.S. In America, he coached at Avila University and wrote the book Training Soccer Legends, but one day he found his extensive experience challenged by an unlikely group—preschoolers. He had agreed to spend what he thought would be an easy afternoon leading tots in a soccer workshop, only to end up exhausted yet inspired to design a curriculum specifically for younger kids.
His research eventually led to HappyFeet, where instructors play with kids aged 2–6 using a proprietary lesson plan the company dubbed “story time with a soccer ball.” Each kid receives a ball, and beyond practicing basic skills such as dribbling, striking, and autograph signing in a noncompetitive setting, the incorporation of stories, nursery rhymes, and songs enables kids to exercise both physical and mental faculties. The 45-minute indoor classes, which were reviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune, are held onsite at preschools and sports facilities such as PISA. Little ones can also be enrolled in HappyFeet’s leagues, where a 15- to 20-minute mini class precedes a 30-minute game.
Hillcrest Racquet Club serves up immersive instruction of tennis fundamentals for racquet wielders of all ages and levels of expertise. In Fundamental Tennis 101, new players and one-time volleyers perfect basic strokes such as the forehand, backhand, serve, and desperate lunge. Net novices receive additional tutorials in keeping score, simple strategies, and celebrating victories without sullying their capris with grass or clay stains.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
At Top Gear Bicycle Shop’s two locations, a team of master technicians tends to road and mountain bikes while a staff of avid cyclists outfits shoppers with appropriate gear for their riding surface of choice. Trek, Look, and Felt bikes stand out among the shop’s collection, which includes mountain, cyclocross, and pro-level road bikes.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.