Children crawl, climb, and careen through The Little Treehouse's sprawling wonderland, pausing only to dine with their parents at a café that Main Line Today named one of 2011's Best Restaurants for Kids. Socked feet scale sophisticated play structures and scream sonnets into pillow piles under colorful mobiles while high-quality wooden toys sow new synapses. Guests can stretch imaginations and limbs during yoga and movement classes, somersault through tumbling classes for different age groups, and schmooze with peers during seasonal and private events. Between romping sessions, tots can don bibs for a helping of organic, sugar-free applesauce at the café, where parents sip fair-trade coffee whilst navigating free WiFi and reminiscing about the steam-powered web browsers of their youth. The kitchen is open for lunch every day and for dinner Wednesday–Sunday, filling a wholesome menu with pasta, paninis, and brick-oven pizzas wrought with whole-wheat dough and local ingredients whenever possible. In clement conditions, adults can bring a bottle of wine to the outdoor terrace to watch their children play with bubbles and write chalk prescriptions for cootie remedies.
Step foot onto the lush landscaped grounds of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, and you're instantly transported to the Victorian era—a time when ladies toted lacy parasols, gentlemen sported tall silk hats, and children played with coal-powered Game Boys. Beyond the stately mansion's immaculately manicured lawns and brick façade lie 17 restored rooms, replete with lavish Rococo and Renaissance revival furnishings, elaborate ceiling designs, and Victorian-era appliances such as cast-iron stoves and gas-lit chandeliers.
This museum of Victorian architecture and culture hosts weekly tours, as well as a monthly Upstairs Downstairs tour that explores the lives and challenges of women in Victorian-era Philadelphia. The mansion also stages theater performances throughout the year, featuring the works of Victorian-era greats including Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, and Louisa May Alcott.
The natural-light-bathed Retro City Studios features one of the best live rooms in the city and a host of customizable isolation rooms. In the main recording room overlooking the entire space, you'll be able to play and fiddle with board after board of high-end tuning technology. Taught by working professional musicians (the founders of Retro), classes will help you quickly pick up the fundamentals of recording and audio production, using your hands and your mad sense of beat to manipulate and therefore familiarize yourself with the core properties of sound. From there, you'll handle all the obscure pieces of equipment and the latest Pro-Tools and MIDI programs before giving it your grooviest shot at mixing your own track. Even the least aurally talented can always slam the Auto Auto-Tune button, and everyone gets a free T-shirt at the end of the session, even if the koalas can't shake it to your custom dub.