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November 2020

Entertaining and Educational E-vents

by Christina Manning

While size restrictions continue for indoor and outdoor gatherings, here’s some fresh ideas for bringing the arts to you and for virtually gathering for fun with socially distanced family and friends.

The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra is a 97-member American symphony orchestra based at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “We know that now, more than ever, music is an incredibly powerful force for good, for inspiration, and for healing.” Search the site for the word virtual or on-demand and results will offer many links to music in video and audio forms, as well as interactive education and enrichment.

Philly Zoo Live and On-Demand Videos
The Philadelphia Zoo, America’s first zoo and home to almost 1300 animals, recently introduced a new series to keep us entertained from home. Halfway down the HOME page on the zoo’s website, click on Discover and Learn, a page from which you can watch videos, complete activities and ask questions about the amazing zoo animals. Some videos are from the zoo’s Facebook Live series. If you attend a live event (weekdays at 2pm), you can write in and ask questions about the animals.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) opened in 2008. It’s an immersive mixed media art environment that’s completely covered with mosaics. Although they are currently closed to the public for tours and exhibitions, they are offering many ways to explore PMG from your home. Their virtual tour lets you view the outside of the space. You can also print out coloring and activity sheets, and connect to their social media channels for more videos, photos, and fun content.

Arts+Culture To Go
Courtesy of The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Arts Alliance supports the growth of arts organizations as well as their audiences. The GPCA offers virtual classes and activities that inspire, educate and entertain kids. Your child can experience, for example, a virtual Betsy Ross House tour, take their pick of books from the library’s Digital Media Databases, and even get their groove on during a live stream dance class! This site’s “Lunch & Learn” page offers dozens of links to online classes, lectures and seminars so kids and adults can use their downtime to get inspired or learn or try something new. For self-guided tours of famous historic and cultural Philly tourist attractions, be sure to visit the “Community Table” page. Wind down the day on the “Snackable Shows” page and watch some of the region’s best dance, theater, and music!

Smithsonian Museum Virtual Tours
Search virtual-tour
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers virtual tours of some of their most famous exhibits past and present. Experience exhibits such as Bone Hall, Butterfly Pavilion, External Life in Ancient Egypt and many more! The website also offers educational information on their various departments, such as Botany, Vertebrate Zoology, and Mineral Sciences. The Smithsonian offers a wide range of topics for the whole family to enjoy!