When school breaks for summer – Philadelphia will be ushering in a season of new family-friendly activities and exhibitions.
For domestic and international visitors alike, Philadelphia will be the place to be if little ones are tagging along.
For the little pirates there will be a gathering of Tall Ships which will congregate on Philadelphia’s waterfronts—and not to forget one giant 20-story-high floating rubber ducky. We all know kids love a bit of “icky and stinky”, so the Animal Grossology at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will definitely delight. And the magic behind the new light show at Longwood Gardens will have everyone ooohing and aaahing. But there is much more on offer – here’s a look at what families should add to their summer must-do lists:
WHAT: Let’s Go see the LEGO at The Art of the Brick exhibition. [learn_more caption=”Let’s Go LEGO” state=”open”] It took a staggering one million-plus LEGO bricks to create The Art of the Brick, on view at The Franklin Institute and comprised of more than 100 works of art all made using the popular toy. All ages will appreciate the LEGO re-creations of acclaimed artworks such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, a 20-foot-long T-Rex, a Liberty Bell created especially for the Philadelphia iteration of this exhibit and much more.[/learn_more]
WHEN: Through September 6.
WHERE: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
CONTACT: TEL:(215) 448-1200, fi.edu
WHAT: Second Nature Art Installation [learn_more caption=”Second Nature at Philadelphia Zoo” state=”open”] Recycling is second nature at the Philadelphia Zoo, so, of course, their new art installation Second Nature is fashioned from recycled materials. A dozen artists have reused and repurposed unexpected materials to draw attention to the plight of endangered animals. The exhibit includes a 13-foot-tall blue gorilla sculpted entirely of recycled car parts, two giant nine-foot-tall pink rabbits fashioned from recycled plastic and a menacing five-foot-long alligator molded from chewing gum and more. April 11-October 31. One month later on May 16, the zoo opens its Gorilla Treeway, the newest addition to its first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration trail system called Zoo360. The treeway gives the zoo’s Western lowland gorillas the ability to enjoy long-distance travel in a mesh passageway positioned overhead.[/learn_more]
WHEN: April through October
WHERE: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
CONTACT: TEL: (215) 243-1100 WEB: philadelphiazoo.org
WHAT: Animal Grossology [learn_more caption=”Animal Grossology” state=”open”] It’s slimy, stinky and downright yucky, which means kids will love Animal Grossology, an exhibition about the ickiest creatures on earth. Based on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology, the interactive exhibit on view at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University oozes with disgusting science and entertaining learning games that explain why the dung beetle is called nature’s pooper scooper, why cows chew cud and how snail and slug slime could potentially become medical treatments.[/learn_more]
WHEN: May 16-August 30.
WHERE: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
CONTACT: TEL: (215) 299-1000 WEB: ansp.org
WHAT: Nightscape [learn_more caption=”Nightscape” state=”open”] Come for the flowers, stay for Nightscape: A Light & Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens. As visitors wander through the evening gardens, they will encounter moving images that originated in the studios of the Klip Collective, but use the plants, trees and landscape as the canvas. Enhancing the visual images will be choreographed lights, specially commissioned soundscapes and scores by composer John Barthmus, Julian Grefe and Justin Geller.[/learn_more]
WHEN: July 1-October 31.
WHERE: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
CONTACT: TEL: (610) 388-1000 WEB: longwoodgardens.org
WHAT: The Art of Bernard Waber Exhibition [learn_more caption=”The Art of Bernard Waber” state=”open”] Fans of Lyle, the city-dwelling crocodile that lives in a Victorian brownstone with the Primm family, will be delighted with the Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile And Friends: The Art Of Bernard Waber exhibition coming to the National Museum of American Jewish History. Original illustrations and writings reveal how Waber created the lovable hero of the classic children’s picture books and also highlight his work as a designer. Special activities and programs are also in the works.[/learn_more]
WHEN: August 27-November 1.
WHERE: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall West
CONTACT: TEL: (215) 923-3811 WEB: nmajh.org
Events, Openings & Anniversaries:
WHAT: Sesame Place turns the big 3-5 this year and celebrates with a new birthday themed parade, birthday décor throughout the park and three new seasonal rides. Even Elmo’s Eatery gets a makeover for the occasion. And, as always, everyone’s favorite, furry monsters pop up to greet their adoring fans of all ages.
WHEN: May 2-December 31.
WHERE: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne
CONTACT: TEL: (866) GO-4-ELMO (464-3566) WEB: sesameplace.com
WHAT: Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden Festival [learn_more caption=”Tall Ships Festival” state=”open”] Led by a 20-story-tall giant rubber ducky, the billowing sails of 15 majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked along both sides of the Delaware River waterfront will be elegant tall ships from France, Brazil, Canada and all around the globe. Visitors can tour the ships, including the L’Hermione, a replica of the French naval ship that brought General Lafayette to America to help fight the British. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities, games and a spectacular fireworks display that will close out the weekend.[/learn_more]
WHEN: June 25-28.
WHERE: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street; Camden Waterfront
WHAT: The Observation Deck at One Liberty Place [learn_more caption=”One Liberty Place” state=”open”] Instagram lovers, rejoice! The Observation Deck at One Liberty Place (still to be named) is set to offer breathtaking, picture-perfect skyline views 57 stories above the ground starting this summer. Montparnasse 56 (M56)—a Parisian-based company that operates observation decks in Chicago’s John Hancock Tower and Paris’ Montparnasse 56 Tower—is building the stunning attraction on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia.[/learn_more]
WHEN: Late summer 2015.
WHERE: 1625 Chestnut Street
For more information on these and many more attractions and events visit the VISIT PHILADELPHIA® website.