A Journey of the Senses

Freedom to See, Hear, Taste

Day One

Morning: The 90-minute American Treasure Tour is a whirlwind tram-car trip through automated music machines, classic cars, advertising icons, and other whimsical pieces of the past. You won't just be peering through glass on this tour: the nickelodeons, music boxes and band organs all spring to life in demonstrations of musical magic and engineering wizardry. The displays of automated figures from former department stores nationwide all dance to life, dazzling the eye and bringing a smile.

Afternoon: Perk up your olfactory senses and your taste buds as you smell and sample the cuisines prepared in the cooking classes at Sur La Table. Chefs lead and instruct you in creating meals from a wide range of delicious and inventive themes. Who wants to go home with mere souvenirs? You can wow the folks with revised dinner and dessert menus.

Evening: Surround yourself with the melodic and harmonious sounds of The Philadelphia Orchestra as it performs at The Kimmel Center: Architecturally, it is one of Philadelphia's most recognizable buildings, and acoustically its cello-shaped house envelopes audiences in rich, emotionally stirring sound. The programs vary from light classical to contemporary offerings from today's avant garde composers.

Day Two

Morning: Explore Adventure Aquarium and stop in at the Stingray Beach Club, where you are invited to dip your hands into the warm waters of a stingray pool and touch the graceful, gentle residents. Feeding opportunities are offered at select times daily, when you can experience the friendly slaps of the rays' fins on the water and feel the gentle "kisses" on your hand as these curious creatures approach to feed. 

Afternoon: It's sensory overload - almost - when you view Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, while floating peacefully over the countryside, hundreds of feet in the air. The aviation adventures offered by The United States Hot Air Balloon Team will leave you breathless. Gaze at miles of lush farmland, set like a patchwork quilt before rising toward distant mountains. Breathe deep! That fresh air will invigorate you, body and spirit. And in that quiet solitude, you might just hear a flock of passing geese on their seasonal migration routes.

Evening: The sounds of lady luck visiting the hopefuls at the Valley Forge Casino Resort are sure to spark excitement: The bells of a slot machine, the flick of a card-turn, the clatter of dice, the cheers of an edge-of-the-seat crowd around a roulette table. Attune your ears and test your skill at the region's only full-amenity gaming resort, featuring 600 of the most popular slot machines and 50 of the best table games. The excitement, sound, decor, and vibe will have you feeling lucky in no time.

Day Three

Morning: Your nose and mouth will thank you for including a stop at Asher's Chocolates, a family-owned and operated business for over four generations. Watch a legion of pretzels pass under a sheet of falling, melted cocoa deliciousness, emerging on the other side as delectable delights. The attached gift shop has shelf upon shelf of candies and other products; there's even a place to pick up chocolates at a significant discount - simply because it's broken, but it's still just as decadent! 

Afternoon: American artist/craftsman Wharton Esherick may not be a household name, but one stop to his whimsical studio-home, the Wharton Esherick Museum, and you won't forget him. Esherick, whose artistry began in painting but evolved into woodworking, a medium in which he fashioned genius out of natural materials. Equal parts designer and dreamer, Esherick brought an interesting aesthetic to everyday items. While in his quaint kitchen, for example, you'll see his practical yet appealing solution to tight storage spaces. While there, take a look at the floor. Its feminine inlay was made from a donation of applewood that was originally headed for the scrap pile.

Evening: The Keswick Theatre may be 83 years old, but she's just as vibrant as ever. The Keswick was recognized by Pollstar (a concert-industry trade publication) as a "Top 50 U.S. Venue." Its original design - by Horace Trumbauer, who also created the Philadelphia Museum of Art - was as a combination vaudeville and movie house. In the mid-1950s, it was refitted to screen Cinemascope epics, but fell on hard times. In 1981, the site was fortunately saved from the wrecking ball and now remains a treasured concert destination for bands, artists, comedians, solo performers and even Broadway-style musicals.