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Cheap Trips: Trails, Trains and Monkey Joe

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 Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Bala Cynwyd, Monkey Joe's in Pottstown and the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern rail line in Kempton.

Cynwyd Heritage Trail

Address: Bala and Montgomery avenues, Bala Cynwyd
How Far From Ardmore Patch: 3.2 miles or 10 minutes

Cost: None

Hours: Dawn to dusk

About: This two-mile trail opened in fall 2011 along a former rail line from Bala Cynwyd to Manayunk. There are trailheads at Bala and Montgomery avenues (south end), Belmont Avenue and Levering Mill Road (middle), and Belmont Avenue and Rock Hill Road (north end). Hikers, bikers and runners are welcome, but not motor vehicles. Officials are trying to extend the trail over the Schuylkill River into Manayunk and are now assembling funding to renovate the Manayunk Bridge for that purpose. The trail's first 5-K race will take place May 6, raising money for trail upkeep.

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Monkey Joe's

Address: 84 Glocker Way, Pottstown
How Far From Ardmore Patch:
36 miles / 46 minutes
Admission: $9.99, $5.99 (2 years and under, if playing), Adults are free.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday

About: If you’re looking for a fun place to spend a few hours with a child under the age of 12, then bring them to Monkey Joe’s fun-filled inflatable play center. Monkey Joe’s has wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps and obstacle courses that will keep the kids active and happy for hours. There is also a Mini Monkey Zone in a separate toddler play area that will keep your little ones safe and secure. And for those special occasions, Monkey Joe’s offers a variety of party packages.

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Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Rail Line

Address: 42 Community Center Drive, Kempton
How Far from Ardmore Patch: 67 miles / 1 hour, 26 minutes
Admission:

  • $8 Adults
  • $4 Children ages 3-11
  • Free for children 2 and under

Hours: Trains depart at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. on Sundays in May and June. Same times on both Saturday and Sunday in July and August. Check the rail line website for special events.

About: Kempton's "Hawk Mountain Line" runs six-mile round trip train rides along scenic Ontelaunee Creek in Berks County on the tracks of the former Reading Railroad. The rail line is pet friendly. Bring your leashed pet for a ride. Visit the snack bar and gift shop before or after your ride. Check for special events such as murder mystery train rides, kids' fun weekend, harvest moon special and a wine and cheese excursion.

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