Friday, September 12, 2014

Local Destination: Adventure Aquarium

Whenever we have conversations with people looking for suggestions on things to do in the Philadelphia area, the Adventure Aquarium comes up every single it.  It's doesn't matter if you're looking for things to do with adults or kids, winter or summer, on a weekday or on a weekend - the Adventure Aquarium is always recommended as a place to visit.  And there's a reason for that.  Not only is so interesting and fun that people always remember it (even years and years later!), but it always seems to be the right answer about where to visit no matter what the question is.
 
Personally, we've been going to the Adventure Aquarium for years now.  Counting back it seems that we average about one trip every month!  Even for Daily Vacationer, it seems to be the perfect answer every time we're deciding where to go.  The Aquarium is not a "huge" aquarium when compared with other ones throughout the nation, but it's also not a "small" one.  It's the kind of size where you can easily "see" the whole thing in a couple of hours, but if you want to stop and read and experience everything, it can take a whole lot longer (like 12 trips per year apparently).  It's also mostly an indoor venue, open year-round, and entirely handicapped and stroller accessible, so on those hot days in summer and cold days in winter, it's still a great place to go (and don't rule out spring and fall either - we like to duck outside on nice days and spend time with those penguins!)
 
The Adventure Aquarium is broken up into fours zones.  Follow the map and the signs to get through the zones in a way that makes sense (and makes for less clogging up in the smaller areas of Zone A).  If you are arriving in the earlier hours of the day, it makes sense to do Zone A first and Zone D last. Zone A gets the most crowded as the day goes on and some people never even find Zone D (it's across the café by the way - just look at your map!), plus it's much bigger, making it easier to get through at the more crowded times of day.  If you arrive later in the day, work your way backwards (but still follow the walking directions on the map, for those of you who take things literally) starting with Zone D and waiting for Zone A to clear out a little toward the end of the Aquarium's day.
 
Zone A begins with the Irazu Falls.  Having a irrational fear of big fish in smaller bodies of water - rivers, streams, public pools, our bath tub - these giant monsters floating by in that small space creeps us out every time.  Judging by the comments from others (especially about that really long one!), we are not the only ones who get a closer look just cause it gives us the willies.  Zone A continues with turtles, crocodiles, and a cool hallway with some pretty crazy sea creatures from seahorses and lobsters to eels and barracuda.  You then come around the corner to discover the Ocean Realm.  Set up like a theater, this giant window into one of the Aquarium's largest tanks looks like it just can't be real with giant sea turtles, massive stingrays, fascinating sharks, and countless fish going by.  Pretty much every time we go, we hear a child point out the "giant tv" and then freak out in excitement when they discover that those are real animals going by.  The Aquarium has daily live shows with volunteer divers interacting with and speaking to the audience from inside the tank (and if you're looking for Scuba Santa at Christmas time - this is where he's going to be).
 
Zone A continues on with a replica of a giant Megalodon jaw and then a closer look at sharks in the Shark Lab.  Stop and climb into the middle window in this space - it bubbles out right into the giant tank!  Exit the Shark Lab for one more look at the Ocean Realm.  The sea turtles seem to love hanging out right here (plus they are the only things moving slow enough for clear pictures), and the divers will also make a stop here after their show.  Touch-A-Shark is also in Zone A, and really needs to visited by everyone.  (Nothing quite says Aquarium experience like touching a real shark).
 
Zone B consists of the Rotunda (look up!), Stingray Beach Club, the penguins, and the 4D theater (this is also where special exhibits are sometimes set up).  In the Stingray Beach Club, visitors can touch giant stingrays (and even feed them!), while the littler visitors (children under a certain height) have their own section with little stingrays.  You are never too old or too young to interact with the sea creatures at the Adventure Aquarium.  Don't forget to head outside to see Penguin Island.  Check the schedule for daily feeding times and Q and A sessions with biologists.  (Next to the penguins is the discounted admission entrance to the Camden Children' Garden).
 
Upstairs, Zone C has been remodeled in recent years as a fun and interactive space for kids.  With something for everyone, we've seen kids of every age exploring this area from crawlers up to older school aged children.  But just because it says "Kids Zone" doesn't mean adults should miss seeing Zone C.  This is where they keep the "prettiest" fish - eye catching vibrant colors in just about every tank.  Plus if you're looking for the amphibians (stop and read about the Suriname Toad - whoa!), the dwarf crocodile, want to touch the lobster, horseshoe crab, and starfish, and experience other things only in this area, you really won't want to dismiss it at the "kids area".
 
Zone D (remember go ACROSS the café) is probably our favorite area (but we love the Ocean Realm too....and the penguins and stingrays....and the crocodiles....and... everything else).  You start off with a bang inside the newly renovated Hippo Haven.  Music, lights, and color add that little something that the hippo area was looking for.  Button and Genny can usually be seen hanging out in the water.  If you want to see some real entertainment, stick around for feeding times and ask the staff when the hippos are the most active.  One of the most memorable things you can experience at the Adventure Aquarium are the hippos gliding gracefully right on the other side of the glass.  Zone D continues into the Jules Verne Gallery (love this spot!) with giant porthole like windows filled with ocean oddities from jellyfish and eels to sea dragons and the octopus.  Look up to see what myths and legends have been inspired by these underwater creatures.
 
Now the music changes.  You're getting closer to the sharks (or are they getting closer to you?)  You've entered the Shark Realm, and it's truly a mix of fascination and fear.  Silently they glide by with their rows of teeth.  First you see one, then another, then there's another, and some more, and wow - that's a lot of sharks!  Muster your courage, because you're about to enter the most famous area in the entire Adventure Aquarium: the Shark Tunnel.  Going straight through the Shark Realm, the tunnel is one of the coolest things we've ever seen at an Aquarium.  Sharks are going by every where you look, and you get to see it all.  We especially love it with they swim right over us.  If you're looking for the best place to take an aquarium selfie - this is it.  Now that you've braved the Shark Tunnel, give the Cage Match a try.  And if you're real brave, you can also schedule a session to swim IN the Shark Realm.  No tunnel, no cage - just you and the sharks!
 
Don't forget to stop at the Gift Shop to pick up a memento of your trip (psssssst - someone get us one of those stuffed stingrays!).  And if you get the munchies or need to stay for a meal, the café has great options, as well as a Philly Pretzel stand and ice cream off to the side.  Pick up tickets to experience the 4D theater and stop for some facepainting in the Rotunda.
 
The Adventure Aquarium always has something fun and exciting going on.  It's never the same experience twice.  With new renovations constantly taking place, special traveling exhibits (likes last year's Frogs: Natures Messenger or the upcoming Dinosaurs of the Deep), new animals arriving, being born, and growing, and seasonal events (like the Rudolph-themed Christmas Celebration), you're going to want to come back again and again.  Do yourself a favor and purchase a membership.  Discounted parking, free admission, and complimentary 4D Experience tickets are just some of the benefits.  The Aquarium is also available for event rentals from birthdays to corporate events.
 
So as an answer to: What is there to do in the Philly area?  What should we do this weekend?  Where should I bring my grandkids?  Where should I bring my grandparents?  What can we do now that it's so cold/hot out?  What place is worth a membership?  Where should we go today? - the Adventure Aquarium is always the right answer!


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Local Destination: The Honor, Sacrifice, and Freedom Tour


Daily Vacationer is always looking for new things to do in the Greater Philadelphia area, so whenever we come across a brochure display, we usually go a little nuts.  During one of our frenzies, we picked up a brochure for a FREE self-guided tour put together by the Independence Seaport Museum, highlighting Philadelphia's Delaware Waterfront memorials.
 
The Honor, Sacrifice, and Freedom Tour takes visitors through centuries of America's heroes, heroines, and pioneers.  You begin at the country's beginnings at Christ Church reflecting on the determination of the founding fathers (and by the way, it's free to go inside, so go take a peek).  Then travel down Market Street to where Chief Tamanend is honored as the leader of the Lenni-Lenape who promoted peace between his clans and William Penn's settlers.
 
The tour continues, reminding us of the European immigrants who came to America looking for a better life.  Bravely leaving their homes and heading across the sea, the haunting Irish Memorial and hopeful National Scottish Immigrants' Memorial sculptures give visitors an idea of how different each immigrant story is.  And right near the Philadelphia docks where these newcomers would have landed is a plaque for the famous Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the United States Marine Corp.
 
From that point, the tour jumps into reflecting on more current struggles and conflicts, beginning with the Philadelphia Beirut Memorial which bears the inscription: "If you forget my death then I died in vain", remembering the Marines who lost their lives in 1983 during a peace-keeping mission.  Then, right near each other, the Korean War Memorial and the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial honor those from Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley who fought and died during those wars.  The memorials are fantastically interesting from a historical point of view and heartbreakingly moving from a human point of view.  Give yourself some time here.
 
The tour continues its solemn tone with the Purple Heart Memorial dedicated to the Pennsylvania troops wounded during all of our nation's wars.  Then you find yourself headed directly to the waterfront to the WWII Submariners Memorial - The Becuna, remembering the Navy officers and men who went down with the 52 lost submarines during that war.  The Becuna and the next stop on the tour, the Warship Olympia, are both a part of the Independence Seaport Museum and can be toured for a discounted pass through the Museum.  The Warship Olympia is the world's oldest floating steel warship and the last naval ship from the Spanish-American war.
 
The Christopher Columbus Monument is a hard-to-miss towering obelisk honoring the famous explorer and all the Italian immigrants who would follow.  To see the next stop on the tour, visitors need to take a look across the Delaware River to the USS Battleship New Jersey, the nation's largest and most decorated battleship of all time.  (We recommend actually going over the river and experiencing the Battleship NJ at some point as well.)  The tour comes to an end at the Jane Johnson State Marker.  Jane Johnson escaped to freedom in 1855 and her case became the focus for precedent-setting legal cases in the 19th century.
 
The tour comes to an end right outside of the entrance to the Independence Seaport Museum, making it easy to purchase discounted passes to go back and explore the Becuna and the Warship Oympia.  You may also just want to go inside and thank the Museum for putting together such a wonderful and thought-provoking tour.  The monuments and memorials are open to the public year-round, making this self-guided tour FREE and convenient.  All the locations are stroller and wheelchair accessible to view, and the whole tour is an easy walking distance.  Group tours with a guide can also be arranged though the Independence Seaport Museum for $15 per adult and $10 for students, seniors, military, and veterans.
 
Each Honor, Sacrifice, and Freedom Tour brochure comes with a map, a description of each location, and ideas for other memorials to visit throughout Philadelphia.  You can pick up a brochure at any of the Philadelphia Visitor Centers or from the Independence Seaport Museum.  Reminding us that freedom comes with sacrifice and heroes can  be anyone, the tour encourages visitors to reflect, honor, and never forget.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Local Destination: Battleship New Jersey


In the capacity of Daily Vacationer, we get to see and do a lot of things.  Everything we do is definitely fun and interesting, and we love all of it, but every now and then we come across something that just blows us away.  This summer we had the privilege of going on a tour of the USS Battleship New Jersey anchored along the Camden Waterfront.   The biggest takeaway from our experience?  Everyone MUST do this, because it's just incredible!

If you've ever seen the Battleship NJ, you know that it's big, but until you're right up beside it and exploring it, you really have no idea how BIG this ship is.  Constructed in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard during World War II, she is the longest battleship ever made at almost 3 football fields long (slightly longer than her sister ships due to the cleverness of the women from Camden who built her) and a towering 11 stories high!  Give yourself a lot of time when you visit - you're going to need it, and you're really going to want it.

There are a few ways to go about seeing the Battleship New Jersey.  The "Firepower" Tour is self-guided with a choice to follow the route with or without an Audio Guide.  This tour takes you 5 levels up and 2 decks down with live guides stationed in the Captain's Quarters and CEC to answer questions.  You can also just stick to the main deck if climbing and stairs aren't really your thing (the view is AMAZING!).

The tour that Daily Vacationer highly recommends is the Turret II Experience.  This fully guided tour takes you from the top of the gun tower all the way down to the bottom of Turret #2.  Once you're down there, get ready to join the crew! Not only do you get to see how loading and firing the guns works, but you're the one actually hoisting the projectile, loading the powder bags, and oh yes, firing those massive guns (we LOVED that!).  From that point you can still take the Audio Tour if you wish and see the other decks and displays.  (And stay tuned as a new exciting interactive tour - this one of engineering - is in the works!)

The Battleship New Jersey is a massive, floating, interactive museum where you not only get to learn about an incredible warship, you get to see firsthand what life was really like on it.  Along with a look into the Berthing Areas, the Crew's Galley and Mess, and countless other spaces, the Battleship also has some fantastic exhibits, covering a huge variety of topics from the history of the ship and the day to day life on it to Bob Hope visiting during a USO tour and the ship surviving a plunge into a giant typhoon.

You can't help but be moved by the stories of the men who served on board.  The Battleship New Jersey fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and was reactivated for operations again during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1980s.  She has the honor of being the most decorated ship EVER in the history of the United States Navy.  The ship is often visited by former crewmembers and some volunteer to help maintain its amazing condition.  Running into a veteran taking their own tour of their old ship makes you understand how real it all is.
 
The Battleship New Jersey is actually open for tours most of the year, and is constantly hosting special events from historic celebrations and patriotic ceremonies to music concerts and festivals (and it's the best seat in the house for the Freedom Festival Fireworks Show each year).  As always when we visit some place we love, we recommend purchasing a membership - there's just too much to see on one trip.  "The Big J" is also available for private functions (weddings, celebrations, birthdays, corporate events, and more), and believe us, they have the room to accommodate any size group (we love how the helicopter pad has been turned into a dance floor)!  Groups can not only register for tours, but can also arrange to sleep overnight on the Battleship New Jersey, taking the experience from unbelievably cool to one of the most memorable things they've ever done. 
 
Daily Vacationer absolutely loved the visiting the Battleship New Jersey.  From walking and climbing all over the vast ship to the fascinating information and stories shared along the way to our experience "loading" and "firing" the big guns - it was amazing!  We can guarantee that this is a Local Destination we will return to, and that you really (REALLY!) need to go see for yourself.



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(Active military in uniform with ID, former BB-62 crew, and children under 5 are FREE)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Local Destination: Camden Children's Garden


In our tour of the Camden Waterfront, Daily Vacationer was finally given a reason to visit the Camden Children's Garden.  And now that we've been there, we can tell you that no one should be waiting for a "reason" to visit this place! Dwarfed by its waterfront neighbors, the Garden is often forgotten by visitors.  If you're like us, you've caught glimpses of what's inside and thought: "That looks cool - we should go in there sometime.....", and then never do.  Well, it's time to make some definite plans, because it IS cool and you SHOULD go!
 
The Camden Children's Garden was opened in 1999 by the Camden City Garden Club - a non-profit that assists Camden residents in community gardening.  Since its formation in 1985, the CCGC has expanded to include the in-school Grow Lab Program and the Youth-at-Risk Job Training and Employment Program, as well as community greening and beautification projects and urban farming.  The Children's Garden was designed to be both a "horticultural playground" and a hub for the CCGC.  So if you're still looking for that "reason" to visit, hopefully knowing you're supporting a fantastic organization gives you that final push you need.
 
The Children's Garden is whimsical and fun, but still functional and fascinating.  Broken up into numerous themed gardens with various activity stops and points of interest along the way, this place is chocked full of discovery.  Some of the gardens are even comprised of smaller gardens inside.  The Storybook Gardens cover the classics including Alice in Wonderland, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, and The Secret Garden.  Other favorites of ours were the Picnic Garden, where food grows right out of giant plates and cups, and the Dinosaur Garden, which we included last year as a "must see" for our Dino Week Jr series.
 
Slides, treehouses, mazes, tunnels, digging areas, and giant sculpture turn the Children's Garden into a fully interactive experience.  Visitors can "build" the houses of the Three Little Pigs and head over to the Potting Shed to see through play how gardens, grocery stores and farm stands, and what they eat all connected.  Walk carefully in the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House and Education Centre as butterflies circle the air around you, taking rests on the plants, the floor, and sometimes you!  Another fun indoor experience is the Plaza de Aibonito.  Made to look like the tropical "City of Flowers" in Puerto Rico, this gorgeous spot can be easily missed.  And don't forget to pay Mr. Walt Whitman a visit back by the Butterfly Stop.
A trip to the Children's Garden would not be complete without experiencing the fun rides!  The Butterfly Spring Ride gives you a "butterfly's view" of the gardens taking riders to 30ft in the air as it springs up and down.  The best way to see the interwoven model trains in the Railroad Garden is to hop on board the Arrow River Express  - quite the crowd pleaser.  And we were delighted to discover another carousel on the Camden Waterfront (there's also one at Campbell's Field).  Majestic horses are mixed in with a rabbit, a rooster, a pig, a cat, a shark, a hummingbird, and even a sea dragon.  (Ride tokens are $2 each or 6 tokens for $10, with the proceeds going toward maintaining the Children's Garden, the Garden Club’s Programs, and employing Camden youth.)
 
Still looking for a "reason' to visit?  The Children's Garden hosts wonderful events two weekends each month - each dedicated to its own theme.  From holidays and special harvests to trains and fairies, the event schedule is varied, exciting, and included in the price of admission!  The events at the Garden aren't always strictly kids events either (such as the Fall Harvest & Wine Festival coming up in October).  The space is fantastic to use for private functions from children's birthday parties to corporate events.
 
Admission for the Children's Garden is only $6 per person (2 and under are FREE) or $4 through the Adventure Aquarium entrance by the penguins.  Memberships begin at $25 for an individual, and a Family of 6 membership is still only $70!  We highly (HIGHLY) recommend getting a membership.  Not only does it get you back inside the Children's Garden to do more exploring and see how the gardens change for different seasons, but you're also enrolled in the American Horticultural Society's reciprocal program, giving you FREE or discounted admission to other member gardens (including locally the Morris Arboretum, the Tyler Arboretum, and others!).  If you're really looking to get a good bang for your buck, consider purchasing the Garden Combo Membership which gets you membership to the Camden Children's Garden AND the Garden State Discovery Museum (which we also love!).
 
So finally make those plans and come.  And then come back.  And then come back again.  We love everything we discovered in the enchanting and beautiful gardens.  We're just a little embarrassed that we waited for a "reason" to go see it.  The Camden Children's Garden is its own reason to visit.
 
 
 
 
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(Hours are Seasonal)
 
 
 
 
 
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Local Destination: Camden Riversharks


We love attending live sporting events.  From tennis practices and pick up hockey games to professional teams and stadium events, seeing athletes play in person is always a treat, and we believe there's almost nothing more fun in sports than heading to a minor league baseball game.  You get to root, root, root for the home team for a much friendly price and often a more entertaining game.
 
As part of our Camden Waterfront Tour, Daily Vacationer headed out to Campbell's Field to see the Riversharks play, and we had a great time!  The team and the stadium have been around since 2001, and they couldn't have picked a better spot to play ball.  Right at the base of the historic Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the stadium overlooks the Delaware River and gives an unbelievable view of the Philadelphia skyline.
 
Campbell's Field is big enough for a great ball game, but it's more compact size puts bathrooms, elevators, and concessions all within a quick, easy distance, so you won't have to miss a big chunk of the game if hunger or duty calls.  And everyone is going to want to walk over to the third base concourse to get a look at the great view and to take a ride on the carousel.  That's right, Campbell's Field has its own custom-made carousel - and it's quite a ride!
 
Besides the carousel, little fans will have a great time at the United Way Fit and Fun Zone (hosted by team mascot: Finley) where they can play with bouncy inflatables and take a turn climbing the rock wall.  Campbell's Field is also a great place to host a birthday party.  For those a bit older, it's a wonderful spot for corporate events or private functions (like the wedding that was going on the day we went to the game).  20 luxury suites and over 400 club level seats allow plenty of space for any size party.  The Riversharks also make great fundraising partners.
 
Campbell's Field hosts a huge variety of fun events and theme nights all season long (most made possible by Wawa), making each experience unique.  From Heritage Nights and Military Appreciation Nights to Bark in the Park and Riversharks Overnights, there's always a special reason to come out to a game.  Make sure you bring the family often as kids 12 and under get in for FREE at any home game when they wear their own uniform, athletic jersey, or activity club t-shirt.  For only $15 (or FREE with a purchase of a large pizza from Pizza Hut), they can also join the Kids Club with perks all season long.  Weekly promotions (Munchkin Monday, Dollar Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Fireworks Friday, Kids Run the Bases Saturday, and Family Funday Sunday) as well as giveaways also add to the experience.  Make sure to get to at least one fireworks night (every Friday and Saturday home game).
 
Watching the game itself is a treat, with a great team and loyal fans cheering them on.  At a Riversharks game everyone is much closer to the players and the action, which we think makes the spectators a little more invested in the game.  And the home crowd was certainly proud of their team's victory the evening that Daily Vacationer was there, giving the Riversharks players a standing ovation as they headed back to the dug out.  This team is definitely a winner - not just in baseball, but in making the pastime unbelievably entertaining and fun for everyone. 


The 2014 Riversharks home season ends on Thursday, Sept 18


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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Local Destination: Glen Foerd

Discovering an amazing place in Philadelphia that no one else seems to have heard of is like discovering a great band that hasn't hit mainstream radio yet.  You feel a bit smug and proud of yourself.  And once they hit it big, you can brag about how you always knew they were amazing.
 
Glen Foerd on the Delaware River is just such a place.  Just inside the city limits, along the river, this historic estate has been right there waiting for you to visit for a long, long time - you just haven't realized it yet.  We didn't realize it either until this summer when we went for a visit, and then promptly made plans to return again!  One of our new favorite spots in Philadelphia, Glen Foerd absolutely needs to be on everyone's list of places to visit.
 
The estate was established in 1850 by a business man and broker from Philadelphia named Charles Macalester.  In 1850, he built the house as well other various structures on the property (such as the stone water tower) and named the estate Glengarry.  The summer home remained in the family until the death of Charles' daughter, Lily, in 1891.  In 1895, Robert and Caroline Foerderer were able to purchase the estate with Robert's success in the kid leather business.  They added onto the home and grounds in the Classic Revival style that was popular at the time.  Additions included the Haskell pipe organ, grand staircase, porte cochere, and the art gallery (an amazing room still displaying pieces of the family's collection).  Robert passed away in 1903 leaving behind his wife and two grown children, Percival and Florence, to move into their new home, now renamed Glen Foerd. In 1915, Florence and her husband, William Tonner moved back to Glen Foerd to assist widowed Caroline, who then passed away in 1934.  Florence was a great lover of art and continued adding to the estates private collection until her death in 1971 at the age of 89.
 
Glen Foerd has a story to share about the family and the staff who served them in each room of the house and corner of the grounds. It's fascinating on a historical level, but also relatable on a human level.  As opposed to tours of other locations, here you feel like your walking through someone's actual house instead of a museum.  It's easy to imagine yourself staying in a guest room and having your morning coffee in the front room looking out over the river.  Glen Foerd has a personal quality to it that makes it warm and inviting.

It must be that relatable factor that makes it such a great location for special occasions and events.  We had the privilege of attending two Riverside Concerts this summer and seeing first hand how joyous Glen Foerd is with lots of people having a good time.  The house and the grounds combined (not to mention the new venue tent complete with dance floor outside) make it the perfect location for private events like weddings and parties, as well as fun, public events - picnics, concerts, festivals, etc.  Glen Foerd also hosts their own events throughout the year from photography and tai chi to children's programs and big events like the Garden Gala in October. 
 
Even without an event to attend, Glen Foerd is still an amazing place to visit.  The grounds are FREE and open everyday to the public.  Walking the gravel path with only the sounds of nature makes us feel like we're down in the Carolinas.  Our favorite spot is looking out over the river next to the statue of Charles' loyal pup, Little Ugly, watching ships of all sizes go by.  A place in Philadelphia that somehow remained frozen in time - not cold like a museum, but still alive and welcoming and waiting to be discovered by everyone.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Academy of Natural Sciences: Birds of Paradise




One can always expect to see amazing things at The Academy of Natural Sciences.  Running until September 1st, the Birds of Paradise exhibit is no exception as it highlights the beautiful dances performed by the winged residents of the rainforests in New Guinea.  Watch and listen as exotic birds puff-up, prance, and sing to stand out from the crowd.  Join in the fun with your own moves at this exciting and interactive exhibit - FREE with admission.
 
Birds of Paradise is an absolutely stunning exhibit with gorgeous visuals and fun, interactive sections (Dance, Dance, Evolution anyone?).  Interesting for both adults and kids, it teaches and entertains in a way that never fails at the Academy of Natural Sciences.  History, science, and the natural world are unveiled in the form and movements of undeniably some of the prettiest members of the animal kingdom.
 
Enter the exhibit with a stroll through the New Guinea rainforest.  You can't see the birds yet, but you start to hear them.  They're out there - among the leaves and the trees - and they're gearing up for a show.  Then you get your first glimpse of these exotic birds.  As you travel around the exhibit you discover more and more about them, and what it takes to study them in the wild.  They're bright and colorful, they move with a rhythm all their own, and humans are fascinated by them.  But why do they do this.....?  Daily Vacationer highly recommends getting to the museum to find out before this exhibit is gone!
 
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