When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Atop bicycles and surreys built for solo riders or entire families, patrons embark on self-guided tours of major U.S. cities. Led by maps and lists of nearby sites of historical or cultural significance, riders zoom down bike paths and safe, lightly trafficked streets. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Presented by Gourmet Shows, the annual Taste Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine, and Spirits showcases hundreds of local chefs, restaurants, and vendors. More than 200 tasting stations pepper the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, including the Taste of Italy Pavilion, where attendees can sample cheeses and wines from Europe’s boot-shaped peninsula. On the expo's stage, meanwhile, local chefs and culinary personalities teach onlookers their cooking techniques and favorite recipes during demonstrations. Attendees will have the chance to watch the likes of Michael Giletto, an award-winning chef whose food is a fusion of international cuisines, and Bethenny Frankel, best-selling author and star of Bravo's Bethenny Ever After, for an additional cost. Other educational events include beer seminars from award-winning writer Gary Monterosso and wine seminars that explain why, despite popular opinion, grape soda doesn’t complement veal as well as chardonnay does.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
For more than a century, Drexel University has built men's and women's athletic programs recognized as the nation's most gender-equal programs in a 2002 U.S. News report. The men’s basketball team faces off against rivals from the Colonial Athletic Association in the Daskalakis Athletic Center in front of the DAC Pack, a raucous student that fills stand along the baseline to rattle opposing players and say hi to their mothers during televised games. The Dragons also compete in field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer, which earned the university its only national championship in 1958.
Golf is a sport of physical precision and aerial dynamics, won and lost upon the pendulum of your swing. Use today's Groupon to brush up on your golf physics and practice blasting balls with your refined stroke. For $30, you get a 30-minute video swing analysis (normally $50) and large bucket of balls ($10) from Par Breakers Golf Academy, a $60 total value. This comprehensive indoor golf facility is a short 30-minute golf-cart trip from Philly in Oaks.
On race day, teams of up to three walk, skip, or run through the little-known nooks of Portland, gathering and solving clues that lead through neighborhoods such as the Pearl District, Hawthorne District, and Twenty-Third Avenue, with one lucky team traipsing its way to a $300 prize. Clues range from anagrams and pop-culture trivia to deciphering graffiti written in pig Latin. Interspersed throughout the race are mettle-testing challenges, molding iron wills to such tasks as building a house from cards or identifying ice-cream flavors. The top three teams with the fastest gams and sharpest puzzle-solving skills will also win free entry in the National Championship race on Saturday, November 5, which has a grand prize of $5,000 and will be held in sunny Las Vegas (top 25 teams qualify for the race). Winners for best costumes, top senior (55 and older), and best tweet will also receive prizes. The competition begins at noon, and check-in runs from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The race takes between three and five hours, and jet packs are strictly prohibited. All competitors receive a CitySolve Urban Race T-shirt.