There are times when dad just wants to hang out and watch a game rather than being dragged to yet another "must-see" tourist site. But what if there were things that even a cantankerous father might be interested in visiting? Here are a few museums and attractions nearby that will get him off the sofa:
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum: Instead of watching an auto race on TV on Sunday, spend the afternoon at this hidden gem near the Philadelphia Airport. The museum owes its existence to the passion of one man, neurosurgeon Fred Simeone. Over a half-century, he's collected more than 65 of the world's greatest racing cars, all of which still run. One of the highlights is a 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. 6825 Norwitch Dr., Philadelphia 19153. www.SimeoneMuseum.org.
Carpenters' Hall: Does Dad love to spend hours in the aisles of Home Depot? Then he'll appreciate this circa-1770 Georgian-style structure in Independence National Historical Park, still the home of the oldest trade guild in America: the Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia. Carpenters' Hall houses a display of antique carpentry tools along with a scale model highlighting the structure's architectural features. Even though the First Continental Congress met there in 1774 to begin airing grievances against the British king - making the building arguably the place where the concept of a United States of America began - it gets far fewer visitors than nearby Independence Hall, so you can step right in without waiting in a long line. 320 Chestnut St. Philadelphia 19106. www.CarpentersHall.com.
The Stoogeum: Fans of the Three Stooges will delight in the only museum in the U.S. devoted to this wacky comedy team. Exhibits include thousands of rare movie posters, props, costumes, and artwork dedicated to the Stooges. Of course, there's also a theater showing Three Stooges comedy shorts. Despite its obscure location in an office park just off Bethlehem Pike, it's difficult for any knucklehead to pass this up. 904 Sheble Lane, Ambler 19002. www.Stoogeum.com.
Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum: On the grounds of the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station, plane geeks (like us) will find an inspiring museum devoted to flight. Seventeen military aircraft are displayed, indoors and outdoors, some of which are being restored. One of the highlights is a Pitcairn Aviation PA-8 Mailwing biplane. 1155 Easton Rd., Horsham 19044. www.WingsOfFreedomMuseum.org.
Grilling tools and golf gadgets make nice gifts, but an afternoon spent with Dad at a site that holds his interest will create a memory for both of you that will last a lifetime.
Larissa and Michael Milne are the authors of "Philadelphia Liberty Trail," a guidebook to the city's historic district.