50 Things to Do Around the Main Line This Summer

Sure, the Shore is swell. But the Main Line region holds its own when it comes to warm-weather fun.

Float the Brandywine

In summer, river trips at Northbrook Canoe Co. start as early as 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. seven days a week. “Canoe and Dine” events begin with a float down the river in a canoe and wrap up with a barbecue dinner and bonfire. 1810 Beagle Road, West Chester, (610) 793-2279, northbrookcanoe.com.

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Lori Franzke and Kate Philips-Kaiser started Bonnie Purl Ice Cream Co. out of their Gladwyne homes. Kits are available in a variety of flavors, and each includes detailed instructions and pre-measured ingredients. bonniepurl.com.

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Sip a Margarita (and Enjoy the View)

At Más Mexicali Cantina’s seasonal rooftop bar, you get amazing views of downtown West Chester and $5 margaritas from 4 to 6 p.m. during happy hour. 102 E. Market St., West Chester, (610) 918-6280, masmexicali.com.

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Night tour of Marsh Creek
Photo by Meredith Rider

Take a Night Tour of Marsh Creek

Marsh Creek State Park is a whole different experience after dark. Bring a flashlight and hop in a kayak for a 90-minute guided night tour of the lake to see what you can uncover under the moonlight. 700 Park Road, Downingtown, (610) 458-5040, marshcreeklake.com.

Goat Yoga
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Get Your Yoga on

Try one of these unique options.

For a detoxifying experience, brave the 105-degree heat at The Bridge Hot Yoga. 33 N. Narberth Ave., Narberth, (610) 633-2934, thebridgehotyoga.com.

Stretch out in the lavender fields of Coatesville’s Mt. Airy Lavender Farm. 123 Mt. Airy Road, Coatesville, (610) 620-5621, mtairylavender.com.

Try balancing on a stand-up paddleboard during a morning yoga session on the water at Marsh Creek State Park. 700 Park Road, Downingtown, (610) 458-5040, marshcreeklake.com.

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Enroll in one of the traveling sessions with Horse and Goat Yoga and have a rescued goat climb on your back while you pose. 1537 Dillon Road, Ambler, (262) 391-1466, horseandgoatyoga.com.

At Sugars Bridge Farm, you can find your Zen among the alpacas. 839 Sugars Bridge Road, West Chester, (610) 203-4141, sugarsbridgefarm.com.

Suspend from the ceiling as part of an aerial yoga class in Purenergy Studio. 21 Plank Ave., Paoli, (610) 993-9933, purenergystudio.com.

Kitchen Workshop
Courtesy of Kitchen Workshop

Meet Your Inner Chef

Learn a new specialty at Paoli’s Kitchen Workshop, where classes are offered in a variety of cuisines, from Italian and Mediterranean to Thai and Caribbean. You can even learn baking and basic knife skills. Summer camps are offered for kids and teens. 21 Plank Ave., Suite 204, Paoli, (610) 993-2665, kitchen-workshop.com.

Make It Permanent

Cement your bond with a romantic partner, close friend or family member with matching permanent bracelets, necklaces, anklets or rings at True By Kristy. 16 S. Church St., West Chester, (484) 787-5800, truebykristy.com.

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Courtesy of Terrain

Craft a Colorful Garden Creation

The Terrain locations in both Glen Mills and Devon offer monthly hands-on workshops. The themes change monthly, so be sure to check online. Toast your new creation at Terrain’s Wednesday happy hour series, with drinks, bites and live music. 914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 459-6030; 138 Lancaster Ave., Devon, (610) 590-4671; shopterrain.com.

Photo by Ed Williams

Practice Mixology…Minus the Alcohol

Wallace Dry Goods offers rotating samples and craft mocktails, all served at their tasting bar. Bring a few of your favorites home by the bottle. 1 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, wallacedrygoods.com.

Take a Class on Glass

Visit Ivystone Studio to craft a glass ornament or paperweight. The one-day experience teaches you glassblowing basics and the science behind it. 138 Moore Road, Downingtown, (610) 458-2184, ivystonestudio.com.

iced coffee
Photo by Ed Williams

Grab an Iced Coffee (and Your Next Beach Read)

The Story Coffee & Bookstore combines freshly brewed beverages and a range of fiction and nonfiction titles. The shop runs on donations, so bring back your favorite books for others to enjoy. 45 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 649-1235, thestoryardmore.com.

Take a Self-Guided Brewery Tour of Chester County

The beer scene in the western suburbs has exploded in recent years—and ground zero is Chester County, home to no fewer than 15 breweries. Hit them all in a weekend with help from our handy map—and Uber or a designated driver. Here are six you won’t want to miss, along with essential info on nine others.

Chester County
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1. Levante Brewing Company. One of the pioneers of the microbrew industry in our area. Signature sip: Cloudy and Cumbersome New England-style IPA. 208 Carter Drive, Suite 2, West Chester, (484) 202-0622, levantebrewing.com.

2. VK Brewing. One of the newer additions to Chester County’s suds ranks, this veteran-owned venture recently took over the historic Ship Inn.Signature sip: VK Orange Shandy. 693 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton, (484) 873-3199, vkbrewing.com.

3. Locust Lane Craft Brewery. A foamy, hidden oasis along the Route 30 corridor on the way to Frazer.Signature sip: Fluffy Sunshine Pale Ale. 50 Three Tun Road, Suite 4, Malvern, (484) 324-4141, locustlanecraftbrewery.com.

4. La Cabra Brewing. Another member of the (sort of) old guard that continues to impress with its inventive flavor profiles. Signature Sip: Hipster Catnip IPA. 642 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 240-7908, lacabrabrewing.com.

5. Victory Brewing Company. Victory has become more of a national phenomenon in recent years, but its beers are still first-class. Signature sip: Golden Monkey Belgian-Style Tripel. 420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown, (610) 873-0881, victorybeer.com.

6. Artillery Brewing Company. Our region’s miltary history takes a front seat at this newish brewery in downtown West Chester. Signature sip: Militia German Helles Lager. 333 Granite Alley, West Chester, (484) 999-5976, artillerybrewing.com.

Also Check out…

7. Stolen Sun Brewing & Roasting Co., 342 N. Pottstown Pike, Suite B, Exton, (484) 879-4161, stolensun.com.

8. Wrong Crowd Beer Company, 342 Hannum Ave., West Chester, (484) 983-3003, wrongcrowdbeer.com.

9. Suburban Brewing Company, 3041 Horseshoe Pike Suites 120 and 130, Honey Brook, (484) 514-9550, suburbanbrewingco.com.

10. Iron Hill Brewery, 3 W. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 738-9600, ironhillbrewery.com.

11. Kennett Brewing Company, 109 S. Broad St., #2, Kennett Square, (610) 444-0440, kennettbrewingcompany.com.

12. Braeloch Brewing, 225 Birch St., Kennett Square, (610) 612-9242, braelochbrewing.beer.

13. Root Down Brewing Company, 1 N. Main St., Phoenixville, (484) 302-5407, rootdownbrewing.com.

14. Animated Brewing Co.,255 Mt. Airy Road, Coatesville, animatedbrewing.com.

15. Stable 12 Brewing Co., 368 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 715-2665, stable12.com.

See an Outdoor Concert (or Four)

From May to September, you can catch outdoor shows a few times a week in Bryn Mawr, King of Prussia, Exton and Malvern.

Kathleen Edwards performs in King of Prussia on June 19.
Kathleen Edwards performs in King of Prussia on June 19. Photo courtesy of Dualtone Records

The Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert Series has become a regular summer stop for popular folk acts like Tom Rush (June 1), Livingston Taylor (June 15), Dar Williams (July 13), Trout Fishing in America (July 14), John Gorka (July 27), Lucy Kaplansky (Aug. 10) and David Wilcox (Aug. 17).

A big draw at KOP’s Upper Merion Township Building Park, the Concerts Under the Stars series has outdone itself with an impressive lineup featuring alt-rock legends Cracker (June 9), acclaimed singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards (June 19), new wave elder statesman Nick Lowe (June 30), groove-heavy surfer/troubadour Donavon Frankenreiter (Aug. 16) and alt-country diehards Old 97’s (Sept. 15), among others.

Also expect some great live music at Exton’s Eagleview Summer Concert Series (June–August) and the East Whiteland Summer Stage in Malvern’s Valley Creek Park (May–September). And mark your calendar for the annual Wayne Music Festival on June 8. This year’s headliners include Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers and SNACKTIME, Philly’s ultimate horn band. Visit risingsunpresents.com.

Influencer Alert!

Check out these Instagrammable brunch spots.

A visit to Roots Cafe in West Chester is a great thing to do this summer.
Roots Cafe in West Chester. Photo by Ed Williams

Roots Cafe: Start with the cinnamon-sugar-coated French toast bites for the table. You won’t want to share your eggs Benedict, with scrapple, pork belly or crispy polenta. 133 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 455-0100, rootscafewc.com.

Rivertown Taps: Sunday brunch is an all-day affair at Rivertown. The Phoenixville Hot Chicken and Waffles are a must. 226 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (484) 924-9112, rivertowntaps.com.

Amada Radnor: High-profile chef Jose Garces offers sangria pancakes, a potato-and-onion omelet with salsa, and more. 555 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (484) 429-2158, amadarestaurant.com.

Blondie: Lobster Benedict and a cheesesteak omelet round out the savory side of this tasty menu. Sweeter dishes include a fried PB&J sandwich and peaches-and-cream French toast. Try a mimosa flight. 4417 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 253-3833, blondiephilly.com.

Sabrina’s Cafe: At this popular eatery along the eastern Main Line, whimsically themed brunches are the norm—and the bowls, sandwiches, salads and traditional breakfast options never disappoint. 50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, (484) 412-8790, sabrinascafe.com.

Daniel’s Restaurant + Bar: This weekend brunch highlights seasonal local ingredients. The shakshuka is a hearty favorite, served with a tasty grilled bread and a rich tomato sauce. 16 E. First Ave., Conshohocken, (610) 941-4652, daniels-conshohocken.com.

Go Garden-Hopping

Nature is never far from your doorstep in the Main Line region. Set aside some green time at one or more of these natural beauties.

Barnes Arboretum at Saint Joseph’s University: Home to over 2,500 species of plants, the grounds of this 12-acre arboretum serve as an educational resource for students and community members. 50 Lapsley Lane, Merion Station, (610) 660-2802, barnesfoundation.org.

Chanticleer: The former Rosengarten estate is now a colorful contemporary garden enhanced by its historic setting. 786 Church Road, Wayne, (610) 687-4163, chanticleergarden.org.

Haverford College Arboretum: The school’s arboretum honors William Carvill’s 1834 landscape design, preserving its many trees. 370 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 896-1000, haverford.edu/arboretum.

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens: Wander the woodland trails and see rare species of plants on this 48-acre property. 631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, (610) 647-8870, jenkinsarboretum.org.

The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College: Educational and horticultural programs are plentiful at this 425-acre arboretum. 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, (610) 328-8025, scottarboretum.org.

Stoneleigh: Once a family home, Stoneleigh is a public garden that celebrates the beauty of native plants and the importance of biodiversity. 1829 E. County Line Road, Villanova, (610) 353-5587, ext. 200, stoneleighgarden.org.

Tyler Arboretum: This 650-acre arboretum boasts an impressive collection of heritage and champion trees, 17 miles of hiking trails, and kid-friendly structures. 515 Painter Road, Media, (610) 566-9134, tylerarboretum.org.

A visit to Longwood Gardens is a great thing to do this summer.
Summer green at Longwood Gardens. Adobe Stock.

Longwood Gardens: The big news at this world-renowned destination is the new $250 million renovation project set to debut Nov. 22. Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience enhances 17 acres of the conservatory and grounds, with new buildings, indoor and outdoor gardens, guest experiences, and more. In the meantime, there’s plenty of the usual Longwood beauty to be had this summer. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org.

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Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!