It’s Saturday and it’s beautiful outside. Sounds like the perfect day to venture through Philadelphia with a friend. But before you depart, take a look at this suggested itinerary.
First, head to Sedgeley Woods at 33rd and Oxford streets. A component of Fairmount Park, Sedgeley Woods is the oldest disc golf course on the East Coast.
“It’s great for beginners,” said Chris “Topher” Oxnam, executive director of the Friends of Sedgeley Park Disc Golf Club.
The Friends was first formed in 1991 to replace stolen course equipment. Now, they are an avid band of disc golfers who also look after the course’s upkeep.
“We’re the most competitive group of slackers you’ll ever meet,” Oxnam said.
Disc golf is similar to traditional golf. At each of 18 “holes,” players try to land a compact disc (like a regular Frisbee except heavier and flatter) in a metal basket. Players might have to throw over valleys, through trees, up hills or any combination of the three to reach the basket. Each throw counts as a stroke and, like traditional golf, players strive to minimize their total number of strokes. Like its mutant cousin, mini-golf, disc golf is a hoot.
“It’s not a stuck-up sport like the ball-and-stick golf,” Oxnam said. “The No. 1 rule is to have fun.”
Bring golf discs – you can purchase them at a general sporting goods store. But the word is that most disc golfers will happily lend out an extra disc in a bind.
Disc golfing is free at Sedgeley Woods. But the Friends also sponsor weekly competitions in which eligible (i.e. paying) golfers can participate. All proceeds from these events go towards course maintenance.
Too much exposure to sun is generally unhealthy, so retreat indoors after the game, perhaps to the Tuttleman IMAX Theater. At 222 N. 20th St. and attached to the Franklin Institute, the theater runs a deal on Saturday evenings – admission is a paltry $5 for students with ID.
The IMAX will be featuring Bugs! on its gigantic screen (nearly eight stories high) through July 9. Although Bugs! is 3D-ready, 3D is unfortunately not available at the Tuttleman IMAX.
But don’t expect paper cutouts. Set in Borneo, an equatorial island in Southeast Asia, Bugs! is an orientation in tropical fauna. It documents the lives of Hierodula, a praying mantis, and Papilio, a butterfly, highlighting action like Hierodula’s escape from a hungry lizard, and Papilio’s metamorphosis. A steamy scene between Hierodula and his lover (a bug three times his size) is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Bugs! is sponsored by Terminix, the well-known exterminating company. Terminix’s commandos, however, do not appear in the film. Bugs! will be shown every Saturday evening at 5 p.m. through May 9. Call ahead to confirm show times.
A perfect end to a perfect day? Escape the tropical heat to Scoop DeVille, on 18th Street, just south of Chestnut Street. It is one of the most charming, unconventional dessert boutiques in Philadelphia.
Scoop DeVille serves the traditional double-scoop and cone, of course, which may placate simple appetites. But the shop’s Blends are its most prized features. Choose the Blends’ ingredients from a flavorful assortment of bases and toppings. These are then pureed in the shop’s mini industrial ice cream drills. The result is usually transcendent.
“The Blends separate us from all other ice cream businesses,” said Sue Shore, owner of Scoop DeVille.
A giant chalkboard lists Scoop Deville’s flavors and toppings. For bases, there are ice creams (regular and sugar-free) and fat-free yogurts. Toppings include varieties of candies, nuts, fruits and cookies.
“It can be a little overwhelming,” Shore said.
Scoop DeVille also offers previously tested Blends like Pumpkin Pie and Crazy Carrot Cake, which are recommended to newcomers. Many of these Blends were originally dreamt up by customers to tickle their particular tummies.
When designing a blend, be careful that the base rate of $.30 per topping does not accumulate out of control. The Deluxe toppings are $.55 each and, of course, beckon the individual unhesitatingly.
“You’ll leave here with really good ice cream,” said Shore.
For alternatives, Scoop DeVille also has smoothies and coffee-drink derivatives.
By now you are probably weary, so park yourself in nearby Rittenhouse Square and enjoy.
Jacob Yeager can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org