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Cheap Trips: Trees, Tiny Towns and Fun for Kids

Find three local attractions you can visit on one tank of gas.

Want to get out of town and go for a trip, but looking to save money?

Try one of these three trips you can enjoy on just one tank of gas: the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Roadside America in Shartlesville and Chuck E. Cheese's in Springfield.

Chuck E. Cheese's

Address: 381 Baltimore Pike, Springfield
How Far From Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch: Almost 12 miles or about 23 minutes
Admission: Starts at $5, see website for packages and coupons.
Hours: 

  • Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Summary: With three different zones – Toddler Zone, Kiddie Area and Skill Games & Arcades, Chuck E. Cheese is a great place to let kids of all ages run, jump, climb and play on the games, rides and attractions. Chuck E. Cheese's provides children and adults with food and fun. The specialties include pizza and sandwiches. But the main attraction of the restaurant is the arcade games and rides, where players earn tickets to exchange for prizes. Chuck E. Cheese's is a popular spot for children's parties.

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Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Address: 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia
How Far From Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch: Almost 15 miles or about 27 minutes
Admission:

  • $16 for adults
  • $14 for seniors
  • $7 for children aged 3-17, students and active military
  • $7 those who walk, hike or take public transportation to the arboretum
  • Free for members, and children under the age of three.

Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Summary: The arboretum, which was once the estate of Quaker brother and sister, John and Lydia Morris, is now home to more than 2,500 types of plants and trees. The campus features a rose garden, a swan pond, and numerous sculptures and antique buildings. Throughout the year, the arboretum sponsors concerts, workshops and story times that are family-friendly.

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Roadside America

Address:  109 Roadside Drive, Shartlesville
How Far From Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch? Almost 71 miles or about an hour and a half
Admission: 

  • $6.75 ages 12 and older
  • $3.75 ages 6 to 11
  • Free for children under 6

Hours: Winter hours September through June are as follows

  • Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Summary: Billed as the "world's largest miniature indoor village," the 8,000-square-foot display features trains, trolleys and cable cars that wind their way through towns and countryside dotted with 300 miniature buildings, 4,000 tiny people and 10,000 handmade trees. Interactive displays include a circus parade, saw mill and construction site that visitors can activate. The attraction is located off Interstate 78 in Berks County between Allentown and Harrisburg. Roadside America is fully handicapped accessible.

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