Category Archives: Within 50 Miles Of Norristown

One of the Beautiful Morris Gardens

Morris Arboretum Germantown Pike Philly Review

Morris-butterflies

Many Butterflies at Morris in the Summer

For years en route to Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia I had passed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum.  I always figured it was just some big park loaded with a bunch of boring trees.  So a few weeks ago during a trip to Cape May, New Jersey I was surprised at how green this beach town was and how little I recognized the names of all those wonderful plants.  Figuring the Morris Arboretum to be my botanical salvation, albeit a boring botanical salvation, I jumped in my car and visited Penn’s Arboretum.  I loved it.  It was way, way, way better than I ever thought it would be.

Arriving at the Parking Lot

There is plenty of parking at the Morris Arboretum but your experience will start much quicker if you are able to park in the limited spaces at the very top of the lot. If not, you’ll park a couple thousand feet further down hill and have to walk up like a Tibetan Sherpa or take the shuttle a few minutes up the winding road to what is essentially the entrance to the whole experience.

The Arboretum

Pretty cool. Your trip pretty much begins at the museum gift shop where you can pick up a map for free, buy some cool stuff (I bought some delicious, locally produced wildflower honey) or grab a snack at the cafe.  From there, you walk a short distance to a really interesting observation deck about 30 feet or so in the air (don’t worry, you don’t have to climb up, you are already that high when you park, you’ll see what I mean) and you more or less get to experience what seems like a giant tree house in the canopy in the trees. Pretty neat and unexpected.

Gorgeous Lake For Swans at Morris

Swan Lake at Morris

From there there are several really neat gardens to walk through with various flowers, herbs and plenty of butterflies. Again really neat (and, trust me, I a totally bad – a$$’d guy so don’t take what I say lightly ;-) and quite educational too.  Most of the trees and plants are identified by placards along the way.

There is a short but sweet greenhouse filled with tropical plants  (more on this here )…. and tropical weather too…. it’s only about a two minute walk through but pretty hot and steamy so if you are prone to heat stroke, you might want to just poke your head in the door.  Actually it wasn’t that bad, I’m sure the dead guy outside was just sunning himself… kidding.  Here’s a picture of the greenhouse

There are miles of paved trails and some wide open spaces that would make for a very nice picnic (only on summer Thursday nights as of the date of this post).  There are also some wonderful little shaded trails that take you back along tiny streams, fountains, and other pleasant nooks and crannies of the park.

On thing that surprised me about the park was how small it seems from the outside but how utterly massive it is on the inside.  The park, if you’ve ever driven by it along Germantown Pike looks big for a suburban Philadelphia park but when you get inside I assure you that you can not see from one end of the park to the other. The rolling hills filled with plant life and paved trails takes up a wonderfully deceptive amount of space that you can really lose yourself in (but without actually getting lost)

The Trains

I never thought I’d like this but I loved it. Not sure if this is a year round exhibit or not but the Morris Arboretum train set is pretty impressive too.  To my surprise, I like it.  They are miniature trains not large enough to ride on but probably slightly bigger than what you would put around the living room.   Each set had a little theme that would take the trains by famous places both locally and around the world.  Check it out. I thought it would be dumb but I enjoyed the whimsical nature of the set up.

Visitor Center at Morris Arboretum

Visitor Center at Morris Arbor

Amenities and Admission

There are public bathrooms, a cafe, gift shop and free parking.  There is admission to the museum $16 for an adult when I went but check out there website below for up to date info.

Penn’s Morris Arboretum website  -  U of P Arboretum Near Norristown 

 

 

 

 

Morris-in-the-trees

At Morris Arboretum You Can Spend Time in the Tree Top Canopy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out The Location of the Morris Arboretum below.  Very easy to get to. (If you are still interested in the great outdoors consider reading my review of Valley Forge Park

 

Where is It

 


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IronPigs Manager Over Looking Field

Go To Lehigh Valley IronPigs Phillies Minor AAA Baseball Game

IronPigs Manager Over Looking Field

IronPigs Manager Over Looking Field

It doesn’t matter if you like baseball or not, you’ll still love watching an IronPigs (aka IronPigs as I’ll spell it both ways in this post) baseball game.

 

The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are an affiliate baseball team of the Philadelphia Phillies.    Affliate teams of Major League Baseball ( MLB ) teams  are referred to as minor league teams.  MLB teams are of the highest element of talent. Each MLB team has minor league affiliates that range from the most talented AAA ( triple A ) level down to A (single A) level.   Players in the ‘minors’ are working for their respective affilate teams for the opportunity to play professional baseball and hopefully be promoted to the major league.

 

Where Do The IronPigs Play?

 

The Iron Pigs play in a roughly 8,000 seat stadium called Coca Cola Park in Allentown, PA.  It is a great park.  I’m going to say something that might get some boos here but I ask you not to bust on my opinion here until you have actually been to Coca Cola Park.  Ready?  OK, I’ll quote myself “Coca Cola Park is actually as nice if ironpigs-stadium-game-baseball 023not a better park than Citizens Bank Park (where the Phillies play).  I know, I know, strong words but the IronPigs’ stadium is simply gorgeous.  It is clean, easy to get around, the landscaping is gorgeous, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  There are also tons of spots to get a drink or a bite.  The park also has a giant screen phanavision-esque screen similar to the ones big league parks have.

 

The staff at Coca Cola park are super nice too.  There’s not an ounce of Philly-attitude when it comes to the employees here. You can tell they really want you to have a good time.

 

OK, But How Good Are The Games ?

 

Iron Pigs players

IronPigs Baseball Players Take the Field

The IronPigs play at the highest level there is in the MiLB (Minor League Baseball league) so the games are of the highest quality you can imagine without seeing a major league team.   The play is snappy, professional and a lot of fun to watch.

 

I Don’t Like Baseball So Should I Still Go To A Game?

 

Yes! The tickets are wicked cheap and so is the cost of parking.  The last time I went you could get into the park easy for about nine bucks a ticket and parking was something like three dollars.

 

The stadium as I mentioned is beautiful and all of the games are of a highly family-oriented production.  There is entertainment, contests, and prizes between every inning.  Each between inning activity is intentionally light hearted and occasionally hilarious.  One thing I took note of was how much the kids love the games. They really get into it.  Plus the IronPigs have two really great mascots, Ferrous and FiFi.

Iron Pigs Mascots

One of The Great Iron Pigs Mascots “Fifi”

Two fun loving Phillie-Phanatic-esque mascots that you just want to run up to and hug.  You’ll love them as much as the children do.

 

They do some oddball stuff too.  I was at one game where they had professional wrestling matches (G rated wrestling matches of course) on the concourse during the game. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, between one of the innings Ferrous and FiFi jumped in the ring and did a tag-team against the pro-wrestlers.

 

What Do The Tickets Cost?

 

Well, I have to be careful to say I can’t promise this will be the same price as when you attend, but tickets on the ground level cost $9 each.  That is a lot cheap than the nine-gazzillion dollars the Phillies hit you with (though I do love my Phillies).  Upper level are about $15 or something like that.  I love the ground seating but since there are only two levels of seating at Coca-Cola park the upper level seats are considered more premium than the lower level.

 

How Do I Buy Tickets?

 

Go to the IronPigs Website  

Parking?

 

Parking is only a few bucks.  Close to the stadium.  If you are getting there right before the game or leaving right after then you might find it hard to get in and out.  There are only two ways in and out of the lot.

 

How To Get To Coca Cola Park

 

 Coca Cola Park isn’t too far off the PA NE extention if you are travelling from Norristown, Lansdale, etc.


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Bottom Line

This is a really fun family event.  All ages will enjoy a visit to Coca Cola Park to see the IronPigs play.  This really is a great product of Philadelphia Phillies Minor League Baseball (MiLB)   The views are great, the ticket prices are reasonable, the baseball is pretty good, the food and drink are plentiful, parking is cheap, and everyone in general seems pretty happy to be at the game.  Oh, and as I mentioned, the staff there are a lot of fun to deal with too.

 

About This Site

 

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my website Things To Do Near Norristown. This isn’t some static website. I post new great things to do near Norristown articles regularly so bookmark us and stop back often.  My goal is to always be able to give you great ideas for the family, a date or a day out with your friends or even a day alone by yourself.  Stuck for a new idea for something to do in the Montgo, Delco, Chesco,Bucks, Philly and nearby surrounding areas?  Visit here and hopefully I’ll have some great idea that you’ll really take a shine too.

 

Here are some other posts that might interest you:

 

Do You Enjoy Art?  There is an Art Museum Near Norristown, check out my review.  This isn’t a place as large as say the Philly art museum but it might be a nice, quick, free way to hang out in the area and pass a little time.

 

How About Some Local Division Ia College Football? Check out my post on this great, low-cost, local sporting event in a pretty nice 12,000-plus seat stadium