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September 2020

Outdoor and Online Ways to Enjoy Life!

by Christina Manning

While limited gathering and travel restrictions are still in place, treat yourself to time outdoors on local circuit trails or online being entertained or learning something new. There’s something here for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Whether you’re a walker, runner or cyclist, these popular circuit trails allow you to enjoy the outdoors while social distancing.

Pennypack Park
1804 State Rte 2009
Huntingdon Valley
Pack a picnic and spend a day exploring this scenic 14-mile trail. Trail-users can experience rich wildlife including birdwatching at Betrayers Swamp. You’ll see the remains of the many water-powered mills from colonial times. Listen to the creek from the Kings Highway Bridge, the oldest continuously used bridge in the U.S., built in 1697.

Heinz Refuge Trail
738-1098 Wanamaker Ave
The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge was America’s first urban refuge. It opened in 1972 and protects the largest freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. The Heinz Refuge has more than 10 miles of interconnected trails made of crushed stone. Explore scenic marsh, meadows and woodlands. This trail provides opportunities to canoe and fish in the Delaware River and is a great place for wildlife and bird watching.

Wissahickon Valley Park Trail
Valley Green Inn
Valley Green Rd
Wissahickon Valley Park offers dense foliage, waterfalls, streams and wildlife, all within a short distance of center-city. Access the scenic route via Forbidden Drive, and follow the 7-mile gravel and asphalt trail along the Wissahickon Creek.

Here’s some online destinations that will enJOY and enLIGHTEN kids of all ages!

Scratch – from MIT
Scratch helps kids think creatively and work collaboratively. A project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch allows kids to program their own interactive stories, games and animations and share them with others around the world. Scratch is available in more than 40 languages. It’s designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by millions of people of all ages in 150 countries around the world, to create projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers.

Cosmic Kids Yoga
Search YouTube for cosmic kids yoga
This YouTube channel offers Interactive adventures that build kids’ strength, balance and confidence — and introduce kids to yoga and mindfulness! Each session (10–15 minutes) will get children moving for a post- or pre-study yoga break, and the poses will also help tell a story the kids will enjoy.

M&Ms Factory Tour
Search YouTube for food network how it’s made M&Ms
This short video by Food Network explains the history of M&Ms and takes you on a virtual tour of the factory, to show you how these delicious little chocolate candies are made. (For more educational videos, search YouTube for how it’s made.)

No-calorie eye candy and ear candy can do wonders for your mood and remind you how creative and talented our fellow human beings are!

American Folk Art Museum
This museum’s collection includes more than 8,000 works of folk art spanning four centuries and almost every continent. Folk artists are self-taught rather than formally trained, and their talents and work are shaped predominantly through their personal experience. Browse the museum’s many collections of portraits and paintings in a variety of mediums, quilts, decorative art, pottery, furniture, and textiles.

Broadway Comes to You!
Search YouTube for The Shows Must Go On!
While theatres across the country are closed due social distancing requirements, Broadway musicals composer and lyricist Andrew Lloyd Webber has graciously made his Broadway shows available free online. Since April 3rd, a stage show such as Phantom of the Opera, Cats, The Wiz, Evita and Hairspray has been streamed at 2pm every Friday and was available for 48 hours. Clips of some show-stopping solos and other melodic moments from those shows are now available for on-demand viewing. A new season was due to start in August, so subscribe to receive updates.

Greenfest, sponsored by Clean Air Council
The region’s largest environmental festival, usually a one-day event, is FREE this year AND online from September 12–27. This 16-day virtual event’s daily activities include film screenings, quizzo matches, and education and advocacy webinars and live streams. There’s also kids’ activities, informative Q&As and countless opportunities for virtual attendees to interact and engage with presenters, climate experts, leaders and groups.