Turning 30 is a milestone everyone wants to get just right. There's no place better to celebrate that transition into a new decade of independence than in Philadelphia. That city, after all, is the birthplace of independence, and offers an opportunity to celebrate a 30th birthday in many ways - from small get-togethers with close friends to bigger parties with cake and presents.
Take in Wine Country
Sophisticated 30-year-olds might like to start their independent celebration with a wine tasting at one of the many wineries about an hour outside the city, like the Chaddsford Winery (chaddsford.com). The winery, located in the Atlantic Uplands district, has won national awards for its European-style vintage. Or follow the Brandywine Trail (bvwinetrail.com) through seven local wineries (the Chaddsford is one of them), including Black Walnut Winery and Penns Woods. Each winery offers ample space for a small party group to gather, eat light appetizers, sip great wine and open gifts.
Tour Historic Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a playground for history buffs. If your soon-to-turn 30 loves going back in time, plan a tour around Philly's many iconic American landmarks. Start with Independence Hall, the site where the Declaration of Independence was written, then move on to the Liberty Bell, that famous bell that called all Philadelphians to come and hear the first reading of the Declaration. Then there's Carpenters' Hall, where the First Continental Congress met in 1774. Finish up at Franklin Court, the site of Benjamin Franklin's home, now a steel "ghost structure." Finish with a fabulous party in historic Franklin Square, where you can rent a tented or untented picnic area for your birthday party or gathering. Several packages are available and cake and presents are more than welcome!
Catch a Game
Sure, Philadelphia is home to the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles and 76ers. And at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies play, you can bring your friends for an outing and see your name up on the giant scoreboard wishing you happy birthday. You'll also get a cap and a visit from a Phillies Phanstormer. But before you plan a party at one of those stadium venues, consider something unique; Combat Sports offers an interactive way to blow off steam and celebrate your birthday. The outdoor laser-tag facility boasts 20 acres of "combat play" in wooded acreage and offers several different birthday packages.
If you're from out-of-town and celebrating your 30th, there's no better way to get to know Philly culture than by sampling the food the city offers. Of course that means finding and savoring a Philly cheesesteak, a 12-inch sandwich filled with melted cheese and grilled, shredded beef. You might get that with a side of scrapple, considered the first pork food invented in America. It's made of pork, cornmeal, flour, onions, herbs, spices and seasonings. Finish it off with "water ice" -- what Philadelphians call the frozen treat Italian ice. And here's the unique venue: the bustling streets of the city, where these delicacies can be found from numerous street vendors. More formal? Gather your food and picnic with friends at one of the city's 75 neighborhood public parks, many offering picnic tables and other areas to cut cake, open presents and eat cheesesteak.
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