Get your science on: Stargazing at Woodlands, USP and science festival at Clark Park

April 26, 2013

stargazingIt looks like it will be a perfect night for some stargazing. Tonight from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. two West Philly locations, the Woodlands Cemetery and the University of the Sciences, are inviting neighbors for Astronomy Night where you can check out the night skies and meet Philly-area astronomers. At the Woodlands (40th & Woodland), stargazing will be in the Center Circle, the highest point in the cemetery. You are also welcome to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic with your friends and family.

Stargazing at the University of the Sciences will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Quad area on Woodland Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

On Saturday, families are invited for Discovery Day at Clark Park that begins at 11 a.m. Kids can meet local scientists and science students, explore the park and its inhabitants and enjoy hands-on activities, such as sun gazing and creepy-crawly creatures.

Both events are part of the Philadelphia Science Festival.


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Buy locally grown plants, support Parent Infant Center. Update: pre-sale deadline extended

April 17, 2013


Update (Apr 17): The pre-sale deadline has been extended until Friday, Apr 19 and orders can be picked up at  PIC (4205 Spruce St) during sale days on May 3 and 4.

Thursday, Apr 4: The annual Parent Infant Center (PIC) plant sale is back and better than ever! There is an enormous selection of annuals, perennials, herbs, veggies, hanging baskets, and more, all supplied by local growers, so it’s a great chance to help West Philly go greener this spring and also support PIC that has been in the neighborhood for 35 years. Every penny raised from the sale will go to the PIC Scholarship Fund, established in 1986 so that more neighborhood families could afford high-quality child care.

The success of this event depends on pre-sales that are going on right now. Orders can be placed online at

If you would like to learn more about the sale and what it supports, visit or email

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Update on Minor Threats chess team: two trophies won at SuperNationals!

April 10, 2013


The Minor Threats at the PA State Scholastic Chess Championships in March.

Members of the Minor Threats, a chess club comprised of 2nd-6th graders from four West Philly schools, have just returned from the SuperNationals that took place this past weekend in Nashville, Tenn., and have some good news: the team won two trophies! Mitchell Elementary finished 28th place in the team K-5 U900 division. A team member, Tahvon Hughes, finished 35th among individuals. There were 393 kids playing in the division.

The Philadelphia Chess Society returned from SuperNationals, a tournament that only happens once every four years, with a total of nine trophies and it’s great to know that the Minor Threats, the team that so many of our readers supported with financial contributions and words of encouragement, contributed to this success (read our first story about the club and its fundraising efforts here).

Jason Bui, the Minor Threats coach, has sent us an email thanking everyone who supported his club and the Philadelphia Chess Society:

“It was truly an awesome and adventurous experience for us. On behalf of all the participating PCS clubs, students, parents and guests, THANK YOU!”

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Two big family events at Penn Museum this month

April 9, 2013

2 SphinxGalleryPenn Museum is organizing two great family events this month and inviting West Philly kids and their families to attend.

Philadelphia READS! community night (free):
On Wednesday, Apr 10, Penn Museum celebrates literacy with a free community night and kickoff to a month-long book drive, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event, co-hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Groundswell Initiative, will include storytelling in the galleries, dance performances, a poetry workshop, and a hieroglyph-writing workshop. Guests are asked to bring a new or gently used children’s book to contribute to Philadelphia READS, a program that provides books to educators in the city.

For more information go here.

4 Roman BattleRome’s Birthday:
On Sunday, April 21, “All roads lead to Rome,” as the museum celebrates the founding of Rome (753 BCE) with an afternoon of gladiatorial bouts, toga wrapping, ancient hairdressing, arts and crafts, a pasta demo, pop-up poetry readings in the galleries, and a talk about Rome. This event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. and is free with Museum admission.

For more information visit this page.

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Eat some great chili on Sunday and keep the hand-made bowl

April 5, 2013

chiliHere’s another great event for the whole family happening this weekend in the neighborhood. The University City Arts League (4226 Spruce St) invites friends and neighbors to their 4th annual Chili Bowl event that will be held on Sunday, Apr. 7, from 1 – 5 p.m.

As always, the UCAL staff will fill up bowls made in their pottery studio with different versions of delicious warm chili, veggie and meat, provided by nine local restaurants: Atiya Ola, Distrito, Gold Standard Café, Green Line Café, Guacamole Mex Grill, Harvest, Honest Tom’s, Milk and Honey, and Powelton Pizza. Once again, Greg Salisbury, head of SOOP catering, will be creating meat and vegan chili and Yards Brewing will be supplying beverages.


The annual Chili Bowl event raises funds for the University City Arts League’s Pottery Studio. (Photo courtesy UCAL).

Sounds great, right? All you have to do is to buy a beautiful hand-crafted chili bowl and you can eat all the free chili you want. And if you bring your kids, they all will eat free when their parents purchase a bowl! After you try all the chili you can vote for the best chili-maker in the neighborhood.

“This is a really fun event,” says Noreen Shanfelter, Arts League executive director. “It’s great for the whole family. We’ll have music and face painting for the children to enjoy.”

This event benefits the UCAL Pottery Studio. It will help cover the expenses of a new, third kiln that was recently added to increase capacity at the studio and new lighting.

Pottery is the most popular of all courses at the Arts League and is available for children, aged 5 to 12 after school Monday to Friday, and for adults on the weekends and on several weeknights.

For more information contact the Arts League at 215 382 7811 or visit


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Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunts 2013 (updated)

March 30, 2013

easter-egg-huntAs always, we are publishing information on upcoming Easter egg hunts in West and Southwest Philadelphia. If you know of any other Easter egg hunts, please drop us a line at: or post in the comments below.


Saturday, March 30


Easter Egg Hunt and Crafts & Fun in Clark Park

Where: Next to the toddler playground (43rd and Chester)

When: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine!)

Who: Age 1 – 8

The event is being hosted by the Renewal Presbyterian Church (47th and Cedar). Participants should sign up for the egg hunt at the beginning of the event. Contact information:  e-mail:, phone: 267-564-5105.


Spring Egg Hunts at Walnut Street West Library

Where: 40th & Walnut

When: 10:30 a.m.

Who: Preschool age kids


When: 1 p.m.

Who: School age kids

The Spring Egg Hunts are sponsored by the Friends of the Walnut West Library. Contact information: Phone: 215-685-7671.
Eastwick Library’s Spring Egg Hunt

Where: Free Library of Philadelphia Eastwick Branch, 2851 Island Avenue

When: 1 p.m.

Join the Friends of Eastwick Library for a Spring Egg Hunt inside the library. Contact information: Phone: 215-685-4170.


Woodland Presbyterian Spring Fling and Egg Hunt

Where: Woodland Presbyterian Church, 42nd and Pine

When: 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Come out this Saturday to the Easter Spring Fling at Woodland Presbyterian at 42nd and Pine. Hot Dogs, lemonade, basket making, egg decorating, balloon animals, face painting, egg hunt and more! The Egg Hunt begins at 1 p.m. Enter a raffle to win some delicious honey bunny bread. Make a Easter Egg Race Car with the Build-It-Bus.


Sunday, March 31


The Great St. Mary’s Easter Egg Hunt

Where: St. Mary’s Church, 3916 Locust Walk

When: after Easter Sunday service, approximately at 1 p.m.

All children and their families are welcome. BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket).

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