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51 Summer Activities to Enjoy Around the Main Line

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All vaccinated and ready to enjoy a little bit of freedom this summer? Here are some activities to try throughout the Philadelphia suburbs.

Bike Riding

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Savor some single-track…

on one of the more challenging mountain-biking trails in our region. Visit traillink.com

Garden

Courtesy of Longwood Gardens

Do some gardening

With over 1,000 acres to explore, plus the conservatory and assorted eating and drinking options, Kennett Square’s world-renowned Longwood Gardens is a great place to experience summer in all its glory. While you’re there, you’ll likely see evidence of its $250 million 17-acre expansion, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2024. Festival of Fountains season runs through Sept. 26. Visit longwoodgardens.org

Hot Air Balloon

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Get a bird’s-eye view

This year’s Chester County Balloon Festival will be held Sept. 10–12 at the Willowdale Steeplechase grounds in Kennett Square. If you prefer something with a motor, West Chester’s American Helicopter Museum should be bringing back weekend helicopter rides this summer. Visit ccballoonfest.com and americanhelicopter.museum.

Alpaca

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Hug an alpaca …

at a local farm. Visit gristmillfarmalpacas.com, sugarsbridgefarm.com and trotterhill.com
.

Paddle Marsh Creek …

or explore Chester County’s expansive 1,705-acre state park in other ways. Ride a horse at Hope Springs Farm, hike forest trails, rent a sailboat, go fishing, or picnic with family and friends at one of the many grills. Visit dcnr.pa.gov.

Dorney Park

Courtesy of Dorney Park

Do Dorney

You know life is getting back to normal when the theme parks reopen. After it’s 2020 season was cut short by COVID, Dorney Park opened to the general public on time this year. Wildwater Kingdom debuted the multi-level, beach-themed Seaside Splashworks, with more than 75 play elements fit for the entire family. Dorney Park’s Grand Carnivale also returns in July. Visit dorneypark.com.

Rock Climbing

Get vertical

Be one of the first to scale the heights at Philadelphia Rock Gym’s new 10,000-square-foot facility in Malvern, which features bouldering and top rope and lead climbing. Visit philarockgym.com.

Plane

Ralston Crawford’s “Plane Propeller Tarmac.” Courtesy of Brandywine River Museum of Art

Get cultured on a rainy day

The newly renovated Brandywine River Museum of Art reopens June 20 with the ’40s-era wartime exhibition Ralston Crawford: Air & Space & War. Also in Chadds Ford, the Sanderson Museum is open by appointment only for a glimpse into the life of Christian C. Sanderson and an American memorabilia collection that spans 200 years. Visit brandywine.org/museum and sandersonmuseum.org.

Hershey Kiss

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Cruise Chocolatetown

Aside from the numerous attractions devoted to the sweet stuff, Hersheypark boasts multiple coasters and waterpark slides. And its ZOOAmerica is home to over 200 animals. Visit hersheypark.com.

Skydiving

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Catch some air

They said it was a fad, but it looks like indoor skydiving is here to stay. At iFly in King of Prussia, you’ll be trained in “bodyflight” before testing out your skills with a pro. Visit iflyworld.com.

Sip the day away

Kick off your tour at Grace Winery in Glen Mills, which offers tastings on most days (reservations required). In nearby Chadds Ford, Penns Woods Winery features an outdoor wine bar in the summer, and just up the road, Chaddsford Winery offers tastings and flights. Finish the day in rustic style in nearby Kennett Square at Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery. Visit gracewinery.com, pennswoodswinery.com, chaddsford.com and galeresate.com.

Related: Local Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries to Check out on the Main Line

Keep the kids occupied

Let the little ones burn off some steam at Jumpers Family Fun Zone in Newtown Square, with its multitude of moon bounces and frequent open-play hours. Or plan a daytrip to the Please Touch Museum, which offers a river adventure, a maze and tons of other interactive experiences, plus a century-old carousel. And LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Plymouth Meeting never fails to impress avid builders with its Miniland miniature city, 4D Cinema and more. Visit funatjumpers.com, pleasetouchmuseum.org and legolanddiscoverycenter.com.

Crush it

Do your part for America’s favorite pastime by brushing up on your swing at On Deck Baseball & Softball Training Center in Newtown Square. The 8,000-square-foot facility provides everything from batting cages to pitching machines. Visit ondecktrainingcenter.com.

Beer

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Make a beer (garden) run …

to one of several summer options, including Highland Orchards, Levante Stables, Longwood Gardens, Linvilla Orchards and the Creamery. Visit highlandorchards.net, levantebrewing.com, longwoodgardens.org, linvilla.com and kennettcreamery.com.

Bike from Phoenixville to Philly

It’s a scenic 26-mile ride on the Schuylkill River Trail. Visit schuylkillriver.org.

Catch up on your reading

Spend an afternoon exploring the endless shelves at Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester. The 18th-century structure houses over 300,000 rare and second-hand books, maps, prints, and more. Visit bookbarn.com.

Kayak

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Go with the flow …

on the Brandywine River in a tube, kayak or canoe from Brandywine Outfitters or Northbrook Canoe Co. Visit canoepa.com or northbrookcanoe.com.

Giraffes

Courtesy of Elmwood Park Zoo

Get wild …

at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown. Visit elmwoodparkzoo.org.

Baseball Game

R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia

Don your Mike Schmidt jersey

It couldn’t be a better time to cheer on Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola and the rest of the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. At press time, the COVID capacity limit was 11,000 fans—plenty to make some noise. Visit phillies.com.

Bike Ride

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Hike or bike your way back in time …

at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Visit nps.gov.

Saddle up

Explore the Brandywine Valley on horseback with a trail ride at Cloverleaf Stables in Chadds Ford. Unpack a picnic in the designated dining area after your adventure. Visit cloverleafstablestn.com.

Garden

J. Fusco/Visit Philadelphia

Experience Chanticleer’s Morning Glory …

on select Saturdays this summer. June 5, July 3, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, Wayne’s iconic “Pleasure Garden” opens bright and early at 8 a.m. Visit chanticleergarden.org.

Ice Cream

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Order two scoops …

at Chester Springs Creamery, where you’ll find over 48 sublime flavors, including Melody’s Mocha Chip, Belle’s Blueberry Cheesecake and Beau’s Brownie Bliss—all named in honor of the dairy’s cows. Visit milkywayfarm.com.

Tomatoes

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Shop fresh and local …

at one of the region’s many farmers’ markets.

Hike Chesco and Delco in a day

Accessible from Route 3 in Willistown Township, Okehocking Preserve’s 155 rolling acres were part of the first Native American land grant in the American colonies, made by William Penn to the Okehocking band of the Lenni Lenape Indians. Its seven miles of trails cover varying terrain, from meadows to uplands to wetlands. Just across the road in Delaware County, Ridley Creek State Park boasts 21 miles of trails winding through its rugged 2,600 acres. Visit willistown.pa.us and dcnr.pa.gov.

Soccer Game

R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia

Follow the bouncing ball …

at a Philadelphia Union game. Pro soccer season is in full swing at Subaru Park on the Delaware River waterfront in Chester. Among the top five teams in the power rankings early this season, this talented bunch has a legit shot at a title this year. Visit philadelphiaunion.com.

Become one with The Schuylkill

Port Providence Paddle will make sure you’re well-equipped for a day on the river, taking in the scenery as you guide your choice of canoe, kayak or paddleboat through the water. Keep your eyes out for deer, egrets, herons, beavers and eagles along the way. This is Phoenixville’s version of the Schuylkill, after all. Visit canoeandkayak.biz.

Take to the hills (with Fido)

For two great pet-friendly hikes on either end of the Main Line region, try Rolling Hill Park in Gladwyne and Harmony Hill Nature Area in Downingtown. Visit lowermerion.org and eastbradford.org.

Be consumed by Kitsch

Popular culture museum? More like a popular culture explosion. The American Treasure Tour in Oaks is a head-spinning sensory overload of circus props, classic cars, old nickelodeons, model airplanes, record collections, dolls and tons more. Visit americantreasuretour.com.

Nature

Courtesy of Morris Arboretum/Visit Philadelphia

Play (at) the market

Get your fill of Philly specialties and the sights and sounds of commerce at the historic Reading Terminal Market. The options are limitless, whether it’s cheesesteaks and Italian pork sandwiches, locally roasted coffee, endless sweets, or meats, cheeses and other Amish specialties from Lancaster County. Visit readingterminalmarket.org.

Catch an indie flick

After a complete renovation, Old City Philadelphia’s beloved Bourse theater is now the domain of the Philadelphia Film society, which will be holding in-person screenings there starting in June. Here on the Main Line, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute is also open to moviegoers. Visit filmadelphia.org and brynmawrfilm.org.