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Summer activities for kids and families | Week of July 27

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.


Come to World Cafe Live to give kids a chance to see other kids’ talent in action at the School of Rock AllStars performance. The show is made up of young music students who have performed multiple concerts and who their school plugs as “simply some of the best young musicians in the country.” The show starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday night in Gorgas Park is filled with fun for kids. First, there’s a kid-friendly concert by Philly band The Plants. Then, at 7 p.m. snacks and activities will be available while kids wait for the sun to go down and the screening of Big Hero 6 to begin.


This summer, Shakespeare in Clark Park is presenting The Winter’s Tale every day from July 29 to Aug. 2. The free show will entertain audiences with the comic and tragic story about royals Leontes and Polixenes. The show features established Philadelphia actors alongside blossoming child actors.

P.M. @ P.M. comes back to the Penn Museum on Wednesday for a night of dancing and music from El Caribefunk, a band from Colombia that blends Caribbean music with funk and salsa. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and is free for kids under 6 and museum members, $10 for older non-members.

World Wonders: Journey to the Middle East will be from 11 a.m. to noon at the Penn Museum. Percussionist Joe Tayoun will lead children in an exploration of Middle Eastern drumming traditions. Afterward, kids can check out the museum’s galleries, and at 1 p.m. there will be a themed storytime there, too. The event is free with admission.

Briar Bush Nature Center hosts Hot S’mores Nights on Wednesdays, where kids can make s’mores around a campfire and explore nature in a different way each week. This week the theme is Summer Night BioBlitz: Kids will hike around the center’s trails and survey the living creatures that can be found. The event urges kids to bring their observation skills! Register in advance here, cost is $5-$10 per participant.


Mount Airy Park Before Dark at Lovett Library Park will host a showing and sing-along of Frozen. The event is free, but guests are asked to pre-register here. Food vendors will also be in the park — this week, it’s Curbside Cremerie and Luscious Bakery. The event starts at 6 p.m.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is playing a free neighborhood concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Verizon Hall. Tickets can be found here.


Christmas in July at the Oval will feature a pop-up synthetic ice-skating rink, Santa in beach attire, a screening of the movie Elf, and carolers singing traditional winter holiday songs at Eakins Oval. The ice rink will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Friday. Elf will be screened at 7 p.m. The ice rink will also be open from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday is Franklin Square’s 9th birthday. The park will celebrate with free activities and Ben Franklin, who will blow out candles in the Square at 11 a.m.

Come to the Schuylkill Center from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for the Saturdays @SCEE, where kids will explore a nature theme in the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. The event starts off with a story in the Discovery Center, then takes kids on an exploration of the trails, led by one of the center’s naturalists.

It’s Seafarin’ Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum. There will be nautical activities for kids and parents that appeal to a range of tastes, from making pirate battle rattles to creating sailor valentines.

The Franklin Institute is putting on Mess Fest, which promises to excite and educate kids as “Science turns slimy, oozy, gooey and explosive.” Saturday is Splish Splash day, where kids can play with all sorts and sizes of bubbles, and make a mess with a bubble monster at the end of the day. On Sunday, the theme is Gross Anatomy, where kids will get hands-on with questions like: Why do we have mucus? What does a horse heart look like and how is it similar to yours? There will also be a Body Bop-It game, and other human- and critter-themed anatomy activities.

For a special one-time event, archaeologists from AECOM Burlington at the Public Archaeology at the Japanese House, part of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, will explain their excavation of the first Japanese garden in North America, located behind Shofuso’s waterfall. The event also promises that archaeologists will lead a search for Shofuso’s grandfather: the remains of Japan’s exhibition structure and garden from the 1876 Centennial Exposition buried beneath West Fairmount Park. The free event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The 2nd Street Festival will bring a free block party to North 2nd Street, between Germantown Avenue and Green Street. The family-friendly event from noon to 10 p.m. will be filled with music, vendors, street food, and other shopping.

The ACANA Africa Festival, hosted by the African Cultural Alliance of North America, is also happening Sunday. The outdoor concert event brings performers from all over Africa to Penn’s Landing, along with African food sold by vendors, and arts vendors. The festival is from 2 to 8 p.m.

From 2 to 4 p.m., the Barnes Foundation is hosting Storytime Sunday, an arts and nature-themed storytime and activity for kids in the museum. The reading is free.

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