"Summer experiences for children should be fun, enriching and affordable." That's the overarching philosophy that Greenhill Day Camp runs by, and it's no surprise that it puts children's needs at the top. Connected to the exploration-centric Plymouth Meeting Friends School, the camp builds those experiences for kids each day with educational summertime activities. Camp sessions are grouped both by age and by theme, giving children the chance to choose a preferred camp week—perhaps one based on learning culinary skills or the wonders of science. In between the daily morning assembly and the campers' sleepy evening commutes home, they spend time splashing at the indoor pool, crafting sculptures from recycled finds, and figuring out which counselor might be the one who's cool with a surprise puppy visitor.
What might look like walls dotted with large wads of bubblegum to beginners, soon transforms into a network of pathways after students complete indoor rock climbing courses at Elite Climbing. The experienced staff are always onsite to lend a hand, even outside of class time, and demonstrate a sport that requires both physical and mental agility. With bouldering and top roping walls, both amateur and expert climbers can find an adequate challenge as they master 120 climbing routes from 19 stations. Kids can also get in on the action, during classes and summer camps that keep them from getting grounded for rappelling off the neighbor's roof.
Tilt Studio's tenure as a family fun center dates back to 1972, a time when the menacing Pac-Man ghosts were still very much alive. Today, the 27,000 square-foot facility greets gamers with scores of arcade and ticket-redemption games plus spacious private-event rooms for corporate gatherings and birthday parties. Visitors receive a game card that works like a debit card, replacing cumbersome quarters that could otherwise be used to enter speed-drying competitions at the laundromat. In the arcade, up to four players can experience high-octane Formula One action, careening down a simulated Indy Motor Speedway, or land strikes on four lanes of virtual bowling, with backdrops depicting Rome, Japan, and Yosemite National Park.
Philadelphia Rock Gyms challenges climbers of all skill levels with 2,000 square feet of climbing terrain, 1,500 square feet of bouldering plains, and more than 30 top ropes. Initiates to the vertical sport can get the hang of climbing basics during the gym’s variety of lessons, which impart skills such as proper technique, safety, and the ability to tell which rocks open a supervillain's secret lair. The gym also features a variety of team-building opportunities and private room rentals, as well as a pro shop that outfits patrons with the proper climbing equipment available for rent or purchase.
More than 12,000 square feet of indoor rock-climbing surfaces greet climbers at Doylestown Rock Gym, where they can test their scaling acumen on a network of bulges, overhangs, chimneys, and cracks. As climbers scramble over the massive facility, an alert staffer remains ready to assist when needed and remind nervous beginners that there are no mountain lions around. The space presents suitable challenges for all skill levels and facilitates advancement in the sport through individual and group instruction by on-staff experts.
Night falls, and Spring Mountain Adventures' forests transform into a dark labyrinth of unseen obstacles. A group of explorers navigates the darkness, relying on headlamps as they cross a bridge through the treetops and rappel to the forest floor. They hike just a short distance before ascending a cargo net back into the forest canopy. The group then soars over ziplines at speeds approaching those of cars on a highway.
This mountain adventure, appropriately titled The Heart of Darkness Tour, is the most challenging of Spring Mountain Adventures' canopy tours. Visitors can traverse the same set of obstacles amid the clear light of day, or they might opt for a completely different adventure, such as geo-caching. This high-tech sport uses GPS systems, which send players out into the forest in search of hidden treasure, or "caches."
Spring Mountain Adventures remains open year-round, and the mountainside brims with skiers, snowboarders, and sporty yetis during winter months. While you're here, feel free to spend some time relaxing at the Woodside Lodge or enjoying grilled food and drinks at the Tiki Bar.