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Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2019 Critics’ Choice: Arts & Entertainment


Axe-Throwing Experience

Chop Shop KSQ

Ever on trend, the Creamery welcomes the Chop Shop to its indoor-outdoor space, where friends, families and co-workers can now gather to grind the proverbial axe. Coaches walk you through the process before you have a go at hurling your projectile at a wooden bulls-eye.

401 Birch St., Kennett Square, (484) 732-7160, www.chopshopksq.com.

Community Ambassador

Tracy Davidson

How does she find the time? Whether shining a light on teenage entrepreneurs through Facebook Live, rallying for local charities like Philabundance, or advocating for cancer research, NBC10’s Tracy Davidson is a tireless champion of numerous causes in our region. If you need a serious dose of positivity, check out her Instagram account.

Visit www.tracydavidson.com.

Wayne Ballet & Center for Dance Arts

Wayne Ballet & Center for Dance Arts is this year’s winner for Best Dance Classes for Kids.
Photo by Tessa Marie Images.

Dance Classes for Kids

Wayne Ballet & Center for Dance Arts

Technique, discipline and artistry are this studio’s fundamentals. Classes start with toddlers and advance to a teenage troupe that dances at the center’s new facility.

335 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-3904, www.wayneballet.net.

Dance Fitness Classes

Pop Fit Studio

Want to know how tough it can be to dance for an hour? Try making it through Pop Singles, a cardio-centric full-body workout. Work your upper body with Pound, a drumming class with weighted Ripstix that makes arm muscles scream. And how about barre with trampolines?

1305 West Chester Pike, Havertown, (484) 453-8533, www.popfitstudio.com.

Fitness Combo Classes

REVive Studio

Spinning is tough enough. REVive steps it up a few notches by combining a cardio workout with boxing, TRX bands, dumbbells and more. You’ll be sore and happy.

225 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, (610) 247-8744, www.revivestudiopa.com.

In-Store Book Club

Wellington Square Books

Readers who like to go deep will appreciate the literary passion on hand at any of Wellington’s lively book clubs—and members get 20 percent off each month’s pick.

549 Wellington Square, Exton, (610) 458-1144, www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com.

Mini Golf

Play-a-Round Golf

More like “maxi golf,” Play-a-Round gives duffers all the experience of a real course without the carts, foot traffic or inclement weather. Sample over 60 courses on a simulator that roves the world, from California’s Pebble Beach to Scotland’s St. Andrews. There’s also a league, practice sessions and junior golf.

56 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore, (610) 228-2814; 245 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, (610) 725-9155; www.playaroundgolf.net.

Morning Meteorologist

Bill Henley

In today’s volatile weather world, finding a reliable go-to resource can be daunting. With his measured, no-nonsense approach, NBC10’s Bill Henley makes forecasting a daylong affair, preparing you for the day—and week—ahead as he keeps you updated from the field via social media.


Nature Programs

Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

Scott Arboretum takes full advantage of its 425 beautiful acres with a variety of programs offered throughout the year. More popular options include seasonal garden tours, flower-arranging classes, and educational events like the Botany of Beer and Art in the Garden.

500 College Ave., Swarthmore, (610) 328-8025, www.scottarboretum.org.

Nature Programs for Kids

Tyler Arboretum

Tyler has the great outdoors covered for the little ones, from its Toddlers in Nature program, which explores different parts of the garden, to Tiny Trackers, an educational, exploration-based multi-week program. And its family fun days get everyone involved.

515 Painter Road, Media, (610) 566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org.

New Band (Orginal Music)

Rylan Brooks

Chris Brooks’ and Nate Rylan’s original outlaw country act has been making waves around the Main Line. The locals will soon head to Nashville to record their second album.

Visit rylanbrooks.com.

Professional Theater

Resident Theatre Company

Over the past few years, Resident Theatre Company artistic director Kristin McLaughlin Mitchell has made the most of her New York City connections, bringing classic Broadway scripts and high-caliber talent to downtown West Chester, where shows are mounted at the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, a majestic converted armory. Barrymore-recommended highlights have included Next to Normal, Bullets Over Broadway and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

226 N. High St., West Chester, (610) 356-2787, www.rtcwc.org.

Ranger-Led Nature Experiences

Valley Forge National Historical Park

It’s easy for locals to take Valley Forge for granted. For a fresh look at the impact the 1777-78 Continental Army encampment had on the American Revolution, take a half-mile, ranger-led walking tour. It’s a great way to get reacquainted with this 3,500-acre treasure right in our backyard.

1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1000, www.nps.gov/vafo.

Virtual Reality Arcade

Neverland Virtual Reality

Ever wonder how you’d handle a zombie apocalypse? Or how it would feel to be behind the wheel in one of those Hollywood car chases? Experience that—or another hyper reality of your choosing—at Neverland. Sessions range from 30 minutes to an especially immersive two hours.

209 E. Market St., West Chester, (610) 241-9685, neverlandvr.com.

Year-Round Destination

Longwood Gardens

Every season offers something new and wonderful at this 1,000-plus-acre garden, which sparkles under a half million lights during the holidays, hosts bountiful orchid displays in winter, and boasts blooms by the thousands in spring. The summer offers a host of special events, including Fireworks & Fountains and the Summer Performance Series.

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org.