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The Main Line's Best Events for Summer

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We know, we know. The Shore beckons. But when sand, surf and (ugh) beach tags aren’t on the agenda, you’ll find plenty to do locally. Take it from us …


Longwood Gardens’ Wine and Jazz Festival.
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June
July
August

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June


"Magical Habitats" at Tyler Arboretum.Ongoing: You’re never too old to be enchanted—and your kids are never too young to appreciate a good fairy tale. The Magical Habitats Exhibition at Tyler Arboretum is a fantasy come to life, with elves, gnomes and wizards occupying a brand-new neighborhood on the arboretum grounds. Kids can create their own whimsical mini-dwellings using natural materials that are, of course, fairy approved. 515 Painter Road, Media. Call (610) 566-9134 or visit tylerarboretum.org.

Last sunday of the month thru summer: The Concerts Under the Stars series in King of Prussia is a foolproof way to enjoy top-notch touring folk and rock acts on the cheap. Bring your own lawn chairs and picnic dinners; the great live music will do the rest. $5, under 12 and over 62 free. 7 p.m. 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia.
Call (610) 265-1071 or visit uppermerionparkandrec.org.

 

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June 4-July 30: Though the Main Line’s a little ways away from the real Sherwood Forest, you’d never know it once you’re immersed in Media Theatre’s rendition of Robin Hood. The classic tale of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is sure to please wee Maid Marians and Little Johns alike. $10/kids, $12/adults. 104 E. State St., Media. Call (610) 891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.

June 4: Dog lovers take note: The Bryn Mawr Hound Show delivers all the sophistication and excitement of high-profile competition in a more intimate setting. One of the oldest shows of its kind in the country, the event attracts more than 500 foxhounds, beagles and Basset hounds—and their owners, of course—to Radnor Hunt. It also features professional and amateur competitions that serve as qualifiers for the North American Horn Blowing Championship. $15-$60. 826 Providence Road, Malvern. Call (610) 793-2041 or visit bmhoundshow.org.

Longwood Gardens’ Wine and Jazz Festival.June 4: Longwood Gardens’ Wine and Jazz Festival combines two favorite summer distractions: tunes and tasting. Nearly 20 Pennsylvania wineries participate in the annual event, which this year features the Tony Miceli Quartet, the Kenny Barron Trio and others. If you’re looking for something to pair with your vino, purchase a picnic basket with cheese, salad, bread, hummus and water. Noon. $21-$40. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square. Call (610) 388-1000 or visit longwoodgardens.org.
 

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The International Great Beer Expo in Philadelphia.June 4: More than 50 domestic and international breweries will have upwards of 100 beers on hand for sipping at the International Great Beer Expo. And be sure to bring your appetite: Feast Your Eyes Catering will have some top-notch snacks up for grabs. $45-$60, $10/designated drivers. Noon and 5 p.m. Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at the Navy Yard, 5100 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Call (631) 940-7290 or visit greatbeerexpo.com.

June 5: Super Sunday kicks off street-festival season in West Chester with a fun-filled day of food, crafts, music, games and rides. Kids will have a tough time choosing among the myriad face-painting options, while art lovers have their pick of countless artisan stalls up and down Gay Street. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Gay Street between Matlack and Darlington streets. Call (610) 738-3350 or visit downtownwestchester.com.

Alex’s “Original” Lemonade Stand event.June 11: The perfect summer always seems a whole lot sweeter at Alex’s “Original” Lemonade Stand. Thousands flock to the annual event, with its food, fun and games. It typically raises more than $100,000 to fight pediatric cancers. A $25 raffle ticket is your shot at a new Volvo SUV, sedan or convertible. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Penn Wynne Elementary School, 250 Haverford Road, Wynnewood. Call (610) 649-3034 or visit alexslemonade.org.
 

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The Gary Papa Father’s Day Run.June 19: Lace up your running shoes for Prostate Health International’s Ninth Annual Gary Papa Father’s Day Run. Participants will enjoy a pre-race workout led by Mix 106.1’s celebrity fitness trainer, Donna Storm, who’s got some pretty sweet incentives up her sleeves. As the group fitness director of Philly’s Sweat Fitness, Storm is offering a free 30-day gym membership to fathers, sons and everyone else who stays the course on Father’s Day. 7 a.m. registration, 8:30 a.m. race. $25-$30. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Call (215) 732-2300 or visit garypaparun.com.

Manayunk Arts Festival.
June 25-26: Artists from 22 states flock to the Manayunk Arts Festival to participate in the largest outdoor, juried arts festival in the region. Now in it’s 22nd year, the event features a stunning variety of artisans, with an emphasis on local talent like Sandra Webberking, Rosalie Sherman, Joe Barker and others. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Main Street, Manayunk. Call (215) 482-9565 or visit manayunk.com.
 

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July
 

The Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival.
July 2-4: Finally, a good-for-you reason to dig into bowl after bowl of ice cream. The Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival, part of Wawa’s Welcome America! celebration, benefits the Joshua Kahan Fund’s fight against pediatric leukemia. A $5 donation buys your ticket to more than 20 ice cream vendors, including Häagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, Turkey Hill and Bassetts. Noon-5 p.m. daily; 6-9 p.m. July 2. Walnut Street and Columbus Boulevard at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia. Call (215) 683-2200 or visit welcomeamerica.com.
 

BlobFest at Phoenixville’s Colonial Theatre.July 8-10: It lives! BlobFest is back again at the Colonial Theatre, delivering three days of thrills, chills and laughs for fans of the classic 1958 horror flick, The Blob, which starred Steve McQueen and was filmed in Phoenixville. Festival highlights include the ’50s-themed BlobBall, an antique car display, and the tinfoil hat contest—to protect against alien mind control, of course. 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville. Call (610) 917-1228 or visit thecolonialtheatre.com.
 

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July 9: Thirty-five miles per hour might not sound that fast—until you witness the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium. Since 2004, the streets of downtown West Chester have buzzed with the sounds of wheels whizzing by and crowds taking part in both the pre-race community festival and the Market Street block party. The race isn’t just for grown-ups, though—the Dental Art Kids’ Race gives teeny bikers a reason to put the pedal to the metal. Festival and block party: 4 p.m. Races: 5 p.m. Gay and High streets. Call (610) 696-4046 or visit ironhilltwilightcriterium.com.

July 6-19: If you can’t get to Wimbledon this year, catch the Philadelphia Freedoms at the Villanova Pavilion, where some of tennis’ top athletes will make guest appearances on rival teams. Venus Williams kicks off the season July 6 on the Washington Kastles, followed by Lindsay Davenport (July 12) on the St. Louis Aces and John McEnroe (July 13) on the New York Sportimes. Each evening includes a pre-match block party with live music, food, games and more. 7 p.m. $8-$85. 800 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova. Call (610) 896-2890 or visit philadelphiafreedoms.com.

July 17: A must for local music fans, the Turks Head Music Festival in downtown West Chester features some of the finest acts from the Tri-State area. Craft booths and food from Peace A Pizza, Primo Hoagies, Chipotle Mexican Grill and more round out the day. Noon-8 p.m. Rain date: July 24. Everhart Park, 100 S. Brandywine St. Call (610) 436-9010 or visit downtownwestchester.com.
 

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July 17: You won’t find the area’s best cars at the dealership this summer. Instead, see which cruiser reigns supreme among classic and vintage vehicles at the Media Downtown Car Show—it’s a contest, after all. Live music on three stages sets the pace throughout the day, and don’t miss the selection of restored antique Beamers from Otto’s BMW. Local restaurants will offer specials, so come hungry. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Rain date: July 24. Call (610) 566-5039 or visit visitmediapa.com.

July 21: It may be the winter of discontent for King Richard, but the Shakespeare in the Park series, presented by the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, will have theater buffs reveling in summer. Grab your seats early for Richard III, one of the playwright’s greatest works. 7 p.m. Everhart Park, 100 S. Brandywine St., West Chester. Call (610) 202-7878 or visit commonwealthclassictheatre.org.

July 25-30: Think you have what it takes to be a pie-eating champ? The 2011 Kimberton Fair is looking for you, along with the best log-sawing, cow-milking and tractor-pulling locals to roll up their sleeves for some serious fun. Ladies can strut their stuff in the Fair Queen contest, or simply hop on some rides and enjoy the best chicken barbecue this side of the Chester County line. 6-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday. 762 Pike Springs Road, Phoenixville. Call (610) 933-4566 or visit kimbertonfair.org.
 

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August


Aug. 5: Explore local cinematic history with Movie Making in Historic Yellow Springs, a tour that highlights the 1959 sci-fi hit, 4D Man. Not exactly a Hollywood set, the studio grounds and buildings were the backdrop in films starring some of Old Hollywood’s elite, from Robert Lansing and Lee Meriwether to a young Patty Duke. Light refreshments and a VIP screening will follow in the Black Box Theatre of West Pikeland Township’s Cultural Center. 5:30 p.m. 1685 Art School Road, Chester Springs. Call (610) 827-7414 or visit yellowsprings.org.

The Philadelphia Union.Aug. 6, 13, 28: Get your “football” fix this summer at a few Philadelphia Union games. Our home team will battle against the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and the New England Revolution, so come prepared to cheer on Philly’s finest. $25-$150. PPL Park, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester. Call (610) 859-3100 or visit philadelphiaunion.com.

Aug. 6, 20: Is there anything better than farm-fresh produce in summer? All those in favor will love the Peach Festival (Aug. 6) and the Tomato & Pear Festival (Aug. 20) at Linvilla Orchards. After the train and pony rides, face painting, and other activities, tuck into some of the freshest juices, pies and more that nature has to offer. 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media. Call (610) 876-7116 or visit linvilla.com.
 

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Aug. 11-13: Reading Terminal Market’s 22nd annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival celebrates the traditions, foods and crafts of the state’s first settlers. The event takes place Thursday-Friday in the market’s Center Court, and then moves out to Arch Street on Saturday for an open-air country fair that features Amish buggy rides and live bluegrass music. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia. Call (215) 922-2317 or visit readingterminalmarket.org.

Aug. 13: The Chester County 83rd Old Fiddlers’ Picnic features some of the best acts you’ve never heard of. Banjoes, acoustic guitars and the eponymous fiddles make appearances as musicians strum folk and traditional tunes for hundreds of music lovers in Coatesville’s Hibernia County Park. The afternoon mansion tours make for a nice intermission, too. Parking $5. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (610) 344-6415 or visit dsf.chesco.org.

Aug. 14-15: Looking to get away in your own backyard? Indulge in Penns Woods Winery’s Brandywine Bounty, a two-day wine class where you can explore all that Brandywine Valley farms and wineries have to offer. After gathering fresh, local ingredients, students head back to Hamanassett Bed and Breakfast to prepare fabulous meals for Sunday evening and Monday morning. $225-$700. 115 Indian Springs Drive, Media. Call (610) 459-3000 or visit hamanassett.com.

Aug. 27: We may not always associate botanicals with beer, but a few experts would like to change your mind. The Botany of Beer Workshop at Swarthmore College covers everything that happens to beer before it meets your lips, plus how wheat, barley, spices and hops shape a flavor profile. Learn about the different styles of beer, from wheats to lambics, and get help picking just the right glass for savoring your favorite brew. $30-$40. 3-5 p.m. Wister Center at Scott Arboretum, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore. Call (610) 328-8025 or visit swarthmore.edu.
 

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