(Other posts here: Week One / Week Two / Week Three)
West Chester Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade: This was surprisingly entertaining. The streets and restaurants were crowded, but not impossibly packed. We found a great restaurant after seeing lines in the street into downtown restaurants by looking for something a few blocks from the parade route. We didn't have trouble finding sidewalk space to watch from. The parade moves in a rectangle so it's possible to stand at the intersection where the parade both starts and ends to see everything twice.
Even stormtroopers celebrate Christmas!
Evil elves attack!
Dancing with bells on their legs
Jazmine Restaurant (West Chester): Typical Thai offerings with untypical presentation and quality. Decent prices and beer selection. You want fried rice? They'll serve it in the shape of a heart with all types of pizazz on the side.
Independence Seaport Museum: These boats are a couple blocks from our house, so we had to go. We went for the tour of the submarine and cruiser, but the main museum itself also contains a number of interesting interactive exhibits on everything from disasters on the Delaware to the physics of how a boat floats. Great for kids, worth checking out for adults.
Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna
Inside the Becuna
The deck of the Olympia
CopaBanana Restaurant: Maybe a fun place to stop for a snack after the club, but during the day-- meh. Service was friendly but inattentive; food was overpriced and not particularly good. With the number of options available on South Street, I won't go back.
Fairmount Park and Water Works: Fairmount Park is huge and the Fairmount Park system is huger yet. There is debate as to whether it is the biggest urban park in the world due to the acreage covered by the Schukyll River and how much of the park consists of museums, zoos, and other properties like the Water Works pictured below. Either way, worth dedicating a few sunny days to in addition to days spent on the Museum of Art. If you're visiting during spring or summer, check out Shofuso Teahouse.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Water Works, and City Skyline
Water Works, Dam, and Boathouse Row in distance
Boathouse Row: We walked behind the boathouses and stopped near the cafe but didn't spend too much time on these old houses. They're interesting to read about and nice to see all lit up from I76, but not so much a destination as a decoration (unless, of course, you row) "The boathouses are seen as centers of the rowing community around the United States. Rowers from the boathouses compete at every level, including local clubs, high schools, colleges, summer racing programs, and international-level athletics." (Wikipedia)