The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team's commercially certified balloonists captain sightseeing flights over Lancaster County or Philadelphia's countryside. Each balloon has been maintained, inspected, and twisted into animal shapes in accordance with FAA regulations, setting sky-borne passengers' minds at ease as they drift among the clouds. On the Lancaster County trip, passengers soak up views of the Susquehanna River and the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, and peer down at the area's Amish population dotting the farmland far below. Before alighting as gently as a moth with a sore toe, balloonists take in the skyline of Reading as well as the nearby towns of Intercourse, New Holland, Strasburg, and Ephrata.
At Markie's Mini-Golf, flowing brooks meander through rocky outcroppings and pristine greens that span 26,000 square feet across 18 holes. The course's nature-inspired layout snakes through caves and around a central waterfall, which flows into a fountain that summons thirsty golf balls. Groups putt around the pintsized course before lapping up sweet, hand-dipped scoops of Nelson's ice cream in an air-conditioned snack area. The frosty treats can be consumed around indoor tables or outside at picnic tables.
Have some fun with your friends by recreationally hunting other humans (a sport made popular by Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles) with today's Groupon: $20 gets you entry, a full day of play, rental equipment (semi-auto paintball marker, hopper, face mask, goggles), and free CO2 and N2 refills (a $30 value), as well as 200 paintballs (a $12.80 value) at Poco Loco Paintball in New Hanover. Your Groupon is good for Sundays in October and November, and Saturdays and Sundays from December on. Fulfill fantasies of expertly evading crossfire as you infiltrate enemy territory and annihilate the opposition faster than Reverend Johnson threatened to leave town after discovering that the sheriff has been murdered. Or just spatter strangers with neon splotches. Poco Loco is designed with both novices and expert players in mind, so you don't need years of mercenary training or a Blu-ray copy of Blazing Saddles to try it out.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Going against convention, the staff of Skydive Collegeville prioritize first-time jumpers over established divers. That's because their main focus is giving novices the best possible introduction to the sport, providing a laid-back atmosphere free from pressure or intimidation. During introductory lessons, their male and female certified tandem instructors walk clients through the basics of their jump on land before taking to the sky. Once they're harnessed into their parachute, the student and teacher duo both leap out of a plane for an exhilarating tandem free-fall, achieving speeds of up to 120 mph before leisurely drifting back to earth over suburban Collegeville. Guests can also request a record of their descent, which can be filmed with a camera on the instructor's wrist or captured by a videographer who skydives while simultaneously sitting in a director's chair.
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.
After undergoing renovations in 2007, Jay Lanes Bowling emerged with 24 freshly resurfaced lanes, brand-new furniture, and electronic scoring monitors. Patrons slip into bright-orange and highlighter-yellow bowling shoes before hurling three-holed balls conveniently color-coded by weight—6 to 16 pounds—and body mass index. Jay Lanes Bowling also hosts Friday- and Saturday-night glow bowling and houses a pro shop with for-sale balls and shoes.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.