First came the themed 5Ks — the Warrior Dash, the Color Run. Then came goat yoga. Now I wouldn’t be surprised to see an ad for surfing in Center City. As communal, outdoor fitness has become downright trendy, it’s also gotten plain weird.
I’ve rounded up a few ways to spice up your exercise routine this summer, with some truly out-there events, and others that might just be new to you. There are some high-energy activities for kids, and a few standard outdoorsy summer pleasures. Because sometimes just going to the pool is adventure enough.
The Inflatable Run
June 23, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Citizens Bank Park
This fun run is like American Ninja Warrior took place on bouncy castles. The main competition takes place on a mile-long inflatable obstacle course ready for adults and kids to jump, scramble, and slide across. There are a few slots left to compete, but tons to do on the sidelines too. The stadium will also be filled with other zany activities,including pedal cart racing and a huge water-balloon fight. Ticket prices vary based on activities.
WTF Beginner Mountain Biking Ride
June 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Gloucester Township Community Park, Sicklerville, New Jersey
Free, $20 with bike rental
Mountain biking can be a bit of a macho sport, so Brewerytown Bicycles’ WTF (women/trans/femme) series aims to make it more accessible. Women, trans, and gender-nonconforming folks can try going off-road for the first time in this beginner ride. Easy trails, supportive leaders, no experience necessary. If you don’t have a mountain bike of your own, Brewerytown Bicycles is offering half-off rentals, and it will even transport it to the park for you.
Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
West Fairmount Park, Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia
For those not in the know, a pump track is a circuit of dirt banks, turns, and features that bicyclists ride entirely without pedaling. Instead, they “pump” their bodies up and down. Think BMX. The pump track in West Fairmount Park is free to all, and some free BMX bikes and helmets are available for people looking to try it out. Special events are planned throughout the summer just for kids under 5, and for women, trans, and femme folks.
Treetop Quest Zipline and Ropes Course
Open every day through the end of August, limited hours through November
West Fairmount Park, 51 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia
Entry: $17-$49, depending on age
New to Fairmount Park this summer, Treetop Quest offers five ropes courses, ranked from easiest to hardest, and 18 zip lines. You’re harnessed in, up to 60 feet above the ground, for a surefire but safe adrenaline rush. There’s a kiddie course for children as young as 4, and challenges for all ages.
The Delaware Geocaching Trail
Various locations, any time
Geocaching turns walking in the woods into a treasure hunt. Geocachers hide waterproof containers in public places, then post either GPS coordinates or clues online for other seekers to hunt them. Delaware’s got an entire trail of caches, promising a trip along the state’s gardens, rivers, and other cultural treasures. You can try to follow along using the official Geocaching app, or check out caches in Delaware State Parks.
June 24, 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.
The Logan Hotel
$25 charitable donation to Morris Animal Refuge
Tired of the same old downward facing dog? How about practicing alongside actual dogs? If you’re a puppy lover — or if you’ve found the goat yoga phenomenon amusing but a little gross — this may be the class for you. All the dogs are up for adoption through the Morris Animal Refuge, so you could end up falling in love with a faithful companion before you make it to corpse pose.
Acro-Yoga on StandUp Paddleboards
June 24, July 19, Aug. 1, Aug. 14
Penn’s Landing Marina
$20 per person
I’d heard of acro-yoga — that’s a combination of yoga and acrobatics that’s done in pairs and typically involves one person lifting the other in the air. And I’d heard of yoga on standup paddleboards: large, floating surfboard-like craft that really test your balance. But this is the first time I’ve seen them combined. Sounds super hard, really fun, and like a surefire way to end up in the water. I hope you trust your partner.
Rowboats, kayaks, and fishing at Bartram’s Garden
Free kayaking or rowboating every Saturday
Free evening rowboating every full moon
Free fishing every Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m.
If you’re looking to appreciate the city’s waterways without going for a swim, Bartram’s Garden has plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing. This Thursday, to celebrate the summer solstice, they’ve got a special twilit event. Go for a paddle in one of their illuminated rowboats — built by Philly middle-schoolers — or stay ashore to make your own sundial and enjoy strawberry ice cream from Little Baby’s.
This article is part of a new effort recommending things to do in the Philly region. Tell us what you think.