Wednesday, May 1, 2019

New at the Philadelphia Zoo: 2019

The Philadelphia Zoo has long been known for its leadership in conservation and zoos worldwide, with its reputation as being America's first zoo as well as its cutting edge Zoo360 experience putting it way ahead of others.  This year, they'll be enhancing the visitor and member experience with a few new additions as well as a return of a beloved zoo memory.

2019 is the year that the ZooKey finally comes back to the Philadelphia Zoo, and zoo goers old and young have been rejoicing over its return.  Just like the old ZooKeys from years past (which will still work, by the way!), the new keys allow visitors to learn even more about the animals, their habitats, and the people who take care of them.  Look for the boxes around the zoo (locations can be found on the map), and listen to a zookeeper share interesting information in either English or Espanol (we LOVE that they are bilingual!).

Another addition for 2019 are the special LEGO brick creations in the Creatures of Habitat exhibit.  These 12 life-sized vignettes highlight various animals, the fragility of their homes, and what we can be doing to preserve their environments.  From the mighty African Lion and Polar Bear to the whimsical Golden Lion Tamarin and Humboldt Penguin, each display is fun to look at and fascinating to learn about.  Creatures of Habitat will be on display through September 30, 2019.

The final new experience at the Philadelphia Zoo is a delicious and welcome addition to the eateries located on the premises.  The Urban Green is an open-air place to chow down and chill out with a fun neighborhood vibe. The menu includes Burgers, Salads, Fry Bowls, and Pressed Sandwiches all created with fresh and tasty ingredients.

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, & Mermaids

Myths, legends, and stories passed down over generations.  They span history and cross cultures and vary from place to place in the world.  But where did they begin?  Who were these dragons, giant sea monsters, and fairy tale creatures? The Academy of Natural Sciences takes a look at the scientific origins of these legends with Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, & Mermaids on exhibit through June 9.

Every section of the special exhibit is a fun and fascinating look at the animal inspiration behind the lore and legend of various cultures and countries.  From giant squids and interesting narwhals to dinosaur fossils and bizarre reptiles, there's a cool creature or natural phenomenon behind nearly every tale.  The entire exhibit is interactive and immersive with places to design your own dragon, touch fossils, and even dress up like your favorite legendary creature.

One of our favorite parts of the experience was the look at different cultures and animals from around the world.  It was so interesting to see how the myths of dragons, mermaids, and more varied depending on the nature and history of a culture. It's a good lesson in how humans try to explain a new experience when they see or hear about something that is different than what they have always been accustomed to.

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, & Mermaids will be at The Academy of Natural Sciences until June 9th.  Visitors can save $2 on their ticket by purchasing them online ahead of time at ansp.org.


Monday, February 4, 2019

WTS for Kids: GOOSEBUMPS: Phantom of the Auditorium

This month, Walnut Street Theatre for Kids continues it's tradition of fun and entertaining performances for families with R.L. Stine's GOOSEBUMPS: Phantom of the Auditorium!  Based off of the book series, the show follows two children, Brooke and Zeke, as they try to rehearse for the school play.  Things go a little off script however when they encounter what might be a phantom! The audience will get a kick out of watching the hilarious antics and spooky moments while the cast discovers if ghost stories are true or if someone is just playing a joke on them.

The cast is lead by WST newcomers Leah Senseney and Elias Rivera accompanied by a dynamic group of actors who sing and dance their way through the fun storyline.  GOOSEBUMPS is a great show for all ages with only the smallest bit of spookiness which is heavily balanced out with continuous doses of humor and lots of catchy songs. We always love our experiences at the historic Walnut Street Theatre and GOOSEBUMPS is no exception!

GOOSEBUMPS: Phantom of the Auditorium runs
Saturday, February 2nd to Sunday, February 10th
Visit: www.walnutstreettheatre.org for show times and ticket information.


Upcoming WTS for Kids Shows: 

Pinkalicious: The Musical: March 29-April 13

Fly Guy: The Musical: May 31-June 8




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Matilda the Musical at the Walnut Street Theatre

The Walnut Street Theatre is known for being the country's oldest theater, and while the building is dripping in fascinating history, there is nothing outdated about the energy and vibrancy of it's theatre company.  Top notch shows and professional performers make their live theater experiences nothing short of endless entertainment.

Running throughout the holiday season, adults and children will enjoy a timeless classic set to music in Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical.  Following the ups and downs and eventual triumph of a brave little girl with a huge and magical imagination (a role shared by Ellie Biron and Jemma Bleu Greenbaum), Matilda demonstrates what can happen when you refuse to let the problems in your life dictate who you can become.  It's story of hope that has the audience leaving the theater more determined to see the good and make the good in their own lives.

Running through January 6th, Matilda the Musical is packed full from beginning to end with an unbelievable amount of talent.  From a cast comprised largely of children and teenagers comes singing, dancing, and acting skills that are incredible and almost unbelievable at times! The sheer ability to not break character in moments that keep the audience howling was very impressive.  The adults of the cast also shone as both worthy and unworthy characters with so much comedic energy that even Christopher Sutton and Lyn Philistine as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood and Ian Merril Peakes as a truly unforgettable Miss Trunchbull were beloved to the audience.  Heartfelt, heroic, and hysterical, Matilda the Musical is a must-see in Philadelphia this holiday season!








Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Walnut Street Theatre for Kids: 2018/2019 Season


The Walnut Street Theatre for Kids kicked off its 2018/2019 season with a spirited and fun production of Aladdin Jr. - a version that has all the magic of the original story plus some extra twists and bonus characters.  With a strong cast in both main and supporting roles, the young actors and actresses were able to bring to life the tale of a desperate boy and a determined princess and the ways their lives would intersect and change everything for the better.  


Aladdin Jr. focuses a little bit more on friendship and there is a more clear divide between the intents of the "good" and "bad" characters in a way that translates better to a younger audience. We were impressed with the singing chops of the actors (a stand out being the female harmonies in "These Palace Walls"), and were especially blown away by the added task given to the cast to act as their own stage crew.  Every scene change was done seamlessly and the whole show had a great pace and flow to it. Aladdin Jr. seemed to be extremely well received by the enthusiastic audience, and everyone involved in the production should be very proud to have started off the season with such a bang.


We always enjoy the experience of live shows at the Walnut Street Theater!  It's such a historic piece of Philadelphia and live theatre history in general.  Being there and walking and sitting in a building that has housed such legendary actors and shows is a pure pleasure.  We love that they are able to share this amazing history and passion for the stage with very young audiences through their Theatre for Kids program.  The ticket prices are incredibly affordable and the shows are always highly entertaining for a wide range of ages.  

Walnut Street Theatre for Kids 2018/2019 Season:



Pinkalicious: The Musical: March 29-April 13

Fly Guy: The Musical: May 31-June 8

Head to walnutstreettheatre.org for additional information on
more shows, directions and parking, and ticket prices.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

East Passyunk Flavors on the Ave 2018

East Passyunk Flavors on the Ave is a Philadelphia street festival you do not want to miss!  This exciting afternoon will feature over 20 participating restaurants, live music, shopping, and fun and games for kids and adults. What used to be a private under-the-tent event is now a festival that is free and open to the public! Take advantage of this great opportunity to sample $3-5 bits and specialty drinks, and start planning the list of places you want to revisit.  This area of Philadelphia is full of the hottest authentic restaurants, each with unique flavors and ambiance you can instantly tell are created with passion and care.

Try Le Virtu, authentic regional Italian cuisine that uses cheeses from a small farm straight from Italy. Or Fond, with the perfect mushroom soup. Blood orange margaritas from Cantina los Caballitos, or an ice cream sandwich from Vanilya Bakery, willgive you a taste of what East Passyunk has to offer.  Stop in at any of the fun boutiques and find a treasure for your home, your pet, your child, or you! There is definitely something for everyone is this bubbling pocket of Philadelphia  The community and vibrant culture of this area are worth the visit! 


Sunday, April 29 11-5pm
5 blocks Broad st. to Dickinson St.

--------------------------------------

FOLLOW DAILY VACATIONER:




Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit!


Sid the Science Kid is a very popular PBS KIDS series that focuses on learning and loving science.  The award winning program shares the basics of science in a way that children can understand and relate to with everyday places and problems becoming the basis for a new experiment or concept.  Now the show is headed to the Please Touch Museum with the fun and interactive Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit!



One of the first things that we noticed when checking out this exhibit was how huge it was! Sid the Science Kid is the biggest special exhibit to ever be hosted by the Please Touch Museum. With so much to do and experience, extra space had to be opened up and cleared out in order to fit all the different stations. The entire exhibit is science based, so while the little ones will still love all the sensory play (especially the indoor playground and the reading corner!), older kids will get the most out of the educational parts of the exhibit.




Visitors are invited to explore Sid's world as he turns everyday moments and objects into easy experiments. We really enjoyed all the introductions to the scientific method - especially in the kitchen area where you can make predictions as to which jar will be heavier and then test your theory. While most areas test  pure fun and creativity (like the toy catapult and using non-standard measurement), there is practical application as well like the station designed to demonstrate the importance of seat belts.


We had fantastic time exploring the whole exhibit and definitely recommend multiple visits to get the most out of how much there is to do and learn.  From magnets and momentum to simple machines and pretend play, Sid the Science Kid is a wonderful way to introduce and dive deeper into STEM in a way that both younger and older kids will love.  It's definitely a must-see for Philadelphia families this spring!

Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit will be at the Please Touch Museum through May 6th.
Look for extra exhibit events all season long!

-------------------------------------





--------------------------------------

FOLLOW DAILY VACATIONER: