Hope everyone is surviving in this heat. We have lots for you this week, from a new events calendar, to some weird and wild things worth a road trip, to reflections from Philadelphians guaranteed to make you feel a bit calmer. And for more where that came from, we’re collecting everything you need to make the most of your summer at inqurier.com/summer.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.

This week is all about how to keep busy and also what to stop doing.
Cynthia Greer
This week is all about how to keep busy and also what to stop doing.

PLAN THIS

We just launched our new events calendar, with a great collection of things to do, whether you want to stay at home or venture out. Each week, Jillian Wilson will bring you a curated collection of the best way to keep busy, and you can add events to your Google calendar or subscribe to ours. Here’s a selection from this week’s calendar to help plan your weekend:

FRIDAY

  • 🤣 Devilish Grins Comedy Show (Comedy / virtual) If there was ever a time when we needed a laugh, it’s now. Luckily, the South Philly bar Devil’s Den is serving Friday-night laughter virtually with its second Devilish Grins show, with a range of comedians and host Alyssa Al-Dookhi. ($5-$30, July 24, 9 p.m. at eventbrite.com, add to calendar)
  • 🎬 Radioactive (Movie / virtual) stars Rosamund Pike as pioneering physicist Marie Curie, who becomes the first woman to snag a Nobel Prize, after being forced to fight for recognition as a scientist at the turn of the 20th century. (Available July 24 on Amazon Prime)

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

» READ MORE: Find more events at inquirer.com/calendar. And our kids calendar is updated every Sunday with ways to keep the kids occupied while you work: inquirer.com/kidscalendar.

DRIVE TO THIS

Need more to do? We’ve got another day trip for you! Nick Vadala, who brought you Pennsylvania craft breweries worth a day trip (and then a NJ selection by popular demand) and 12 drive-in movie theaters near Philly, has found 10 offbeat sites worth visiting. (Got an idea for a road trip story? Email your idea to Nick.) Here are a few unusual selections worth the drive:

  • Diggerland. Known as the only construction-themed amusement park in America, this West Berlin, N.J., spot recently reopened to visitors. There, you can play around on a variety of construction vehicles, hit up more traditional amusement park rides like bumper cars, or spend the day at the Water Main, Diggerland’s new water park. (100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin, 22 miles from Center City, diggerlandusa.com)
  • Cowtown Rodeo. You can get a taste of the Old West without ever leaving the tristate area at Cowtown Rodeo, which is considered the longest-running weekly professional rodeo in the country. Running on Saturdays, the rodeo, now in its 66th consecutive season, features events like bull riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, and barrel racing. (780 Harding Hwy., Pilesgrove, 38 miles from Center City, cowtownrodeo.com)
  • Crystal Cave. About 125 feet underground, you can get a glimpse of the massive calcium crystal formations that have entranced visitors at Crystal Cave for nearly 150 years. The attraction’s one-hour guided tour takes you through the cave, where it is a constant 54 degrees, to see ancient stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations, many of which have names. (963 Crystal Cave Rd., Kutztown, 75 miles from Center City, crystalcavepa.com)
  • Wolf Sanctuary of PA. Out in Lancaster County, there is an 80-acre tract of natural woodland that is a refuge for dozens of displaced wolves and wolf hybrids collectively known as the Wolves of Speedwell. After a break due to COVID-19, the sanctuary recently began offering guided tours again, though reservations are required for a visit. (465 Speedwell Forge Rd., Lititz, 75 miles from Center City, wolfsanctuarypa.org)

» READ MORE: Even more odd and wonderful places to go to in Nick’s full piece.

LET GO OF THIS

Need a moment of calm? More than four months since our lives changed dramatically, Elizabeth Wellington talked to 11 Philadelphians about what they have learned to let go of, and what changes they’re going to hold on to if and when the world shifts back to how we lived before. Here are some highlights:

  • Let it go: Shopping as entertainment: “I used to spend a decent amount of time shopping. We [My family and I] were doing that out of boredom. We would just go to the mall and walk around. I don’t think we will be doing that anymore. It’s just not necessary. There are better ways to spend my time. I prefer to do something that’s enjoyable. For example, we bought bikes at the end of last summer. We didn’t ride them a lot. But now [this summer] we’ve been riding them as a family of four. It’s so therapeutic. I think the kids are able to open up more. We are having better conversations as a family in the car and on our bikes.” — Jessica Byrne, 42, owns an automotive repair shop with her husband, Collegeville
  • Let it go: The idea that things have to be a certain way: “During the time of COVID, I’ve been doing this segment called, ‘Be Encouraged’ It’s the most ‘me’ thing I’ve ever done. I’ve taken a step back and I’m doing the things that are truly me, like wearing my hair curly on air or pulling it back in a bun. I’m doing the things that make me feel good about me.” — Tamala Edwards, 49, 6ABC morning news anchor
  • Let it go: Working too much: “Once I got past the feeling like I was living in a movie and that this was real, I realized that I had time. I noticed I wasn’t always running to the next thing and I found myself writing more [about] thoughts I wanted to keep thinking about [or] snippets of ideas. I realized that I was just working too much, just too much. I’m planting flowers. (I even talk to them.) But it’s the writing that has really helped me. I’m even laughing more. People say funny things and I’m not trying to get to the next thing. I have time to laugh! I’m bringing laughter and writing into my new normal.” — Joan Shepp, 70-something, owner of Center City boutique Joan Shepp

» READ MORE: Read inspiring reflections from people across the city in Elizabeth’s full piece.