Festive Weekend in West Philly: Baltimore-Lancaster Avenue Shoppers’ Trolley, UCAL Craft Show, ‘Peace around the World’, and more events

Posted on 04 December 2015 by

There are tons of festive events happening in the area this weekend, including one of the biggest local shopping events of the year, a new restaurant grand opening party, a craft show opening, a big FREE holiday family event, a dance party supporting a local non-profit, and more. More information about these and other upcoming events is below. If you want to buy a Christmas tree or holiday wreaths, greens and decorations this weekend, check out this post. For local gift ideas and more holiday shopping opportunities, visit our “Buy Local for the Holidays” page.

Friday, Dec. 4

craft-show1-575x235 University City Arts League Holiday Craft Show Opening Reception, 6 – 8 p.m., 4226 Spruce St.

Thirty local artists will present their wares—just in time for the holidays! This is a great opportunity to shop for hand-made gifts for you and the whole family, such as cards, pottery, soaps, t-shirts, and more! Complimentary drinks and eats will be offered while you shop during the opening reception this Friday. The Craft Show is open daily Dec. 4-20. Monday-Friday, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12-6 p.m. Closing reception will take place on Dec. 20, 4-6 p.m. The list of 2015 vendors is available here.

• Clarkville Grand Opening Party, 5 p.m., 43rd and Baltimore

New Baltimore Avenue bar and restaurant, Clarkville, is opening this Friday. The grand opening party kicks off at 5 p.m.

West Philly jeweler Amy Neukrug presents her holiday collection at Hello World, 5 – 9 p.m., 3610 Sansom St.

 The Bald Soprano opens at Curio Theatre, 8 p.m., 48th and Baltimore  Continue Reading

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New after-school programs at UC Arts League, Curio Theatre

Posted on 15 September 2015 by

UCALTwo West Philly long-standing arts institutions are offering new after-school programs. University City Arts League (4226 Spruce St.) is offering new classes for every age group, with a whole new set of classes just for middle-schoolers (grades 5-8). New classes include Animation, African Dance, Tai Chi, Mixed-Media 2D Art, and Poetry, and registration is still open. The following classes have already filled up: For K-2: Puppet Making, Tumblehop, Escultura; for grades 3-6: Beginner Digital Art. For more information and to register, visit this page.

CurioSchoolCurio Theatre, which is housed in the historic Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue, is offering a new after-school opportunity for neighborhood schoolkids. Beginning in October, Curio Theatre Company is launching an after-school program for students in grades 1-8 for $100 per week. This service will end at 6 p.m. each day. This new program employs professional theatre educators who will offer the following services: prompt pick-up at the end of the school day, individual tutoring for assignments, and theatre lessons following every school day. Healthy snack options will also be offered. Currently, walking service is being offered to students from Penn Alexander School, the City School – Spruce Hill, and St. Francis de Sales schools. Please call 215-525-1350 or email: for more information and registration. Also check out Curio Theatre School on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

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Directory of 2015-2016 Philadelphia after-school programs released

Posted on 08 September 2015 by

After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) has released its 2015-2016 directory of Philadelphia after-school programs, which includes printed and online directories. The directory connects parents, youth and caregivers with extended-day programs and after-school resources throughout the city. This year’s printed ASAP Directory will be included in all editions of The Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Additional copies will be made available at libraries and transit hubs. The searchable online version of the directory is already available and is continuously updated.

Parents and caregivers can search the online directory by activity, such as arts and crafts, sports, writing, computer training, music, drama, and many more. An online map will help find programs in your area. Users can also browse directory listings by name. After-school care providers can submit information about their programs to be included in the directory.

As an example, we searched for programs offering arts and crafts, and here’s what the screenshot with the results looks like.


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Back 2 School Extravaganza at Malcolm X Park this Sunday

Posted on 28 August 2015 by


The Nehemiah Davis Foundation presents its 7th annual Back 2 School Extravaganza on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2-6 p.m., at Malcolm X Park (52nd and Pine). Kids and families are invited to enjoy some fun activities at the park, such as moon bounces, games, pony rides, live music and more. The organizers are also planning to provide 1,000 book bags to the kids who will attend (300 backpacks will go to those kids who were first to pre-register for the event). The event is free and includes free food. For more information, visit:

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Community Science Carnival this Saturday

Posted on 31 July 2015 by

Families are invited this Saturday (Aug. 1) to participate in hands-on activities and have fun at the 3rd annual Community Science Carnival organized by White Rock Baptist Church and the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., and guests are asked to arrive by 11:30 for registration and lunch.

This is a free event to expose 2nd-6th graders to hands on scientific activities led by graduate and post-doctoral scientists. For parents, there will also be hands-on experiment workshops and poster sessions with scientists.

The location is 5240 Chestnut Street, at the White Rock Baptist Church Gym. See the flier below for more information.


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Overcoming illness, breakdowns and lost bags in Ohio, Minor Threats chess team brings home some metal

Posted on 18 May 2015 by

Minor Threats Chess Club’s coach, Jason Bui, sent us an update on the latest achievements by his students, who recently returned from the Elementary National Championships in Nashville, Tenn. and also participated in other chess championships this spring. We wrote about the club and its fundraising efforts earlier this year. The Minor Threats Chess Club is based at Mitchell Elementary School and its members are West Philly schoolchildren in grades 3 through 8.

It has been a loooong month for the Minor Threats Chess Club. We spent a total of 16 out of 32 days on the road from April to May. We had three very long bus rides. We had our bags lost in Ohio (don’t worry, we got them back). We broke down along the side of the turnpike on the way back from Louisville (everyone got home safe and sound). We had sick kids and parents. The kids never complained.

Syair was sick on Sunday in Nashville. He threw up before his first round. He went in and won and then came out and still couldn’t eat, took a nap, went in and won the last round of the day. He won his first Nationals trophy that weekend.


Derrick Moore, a 4th grader at Mitchell Elementary School, with a trophy. (Photo courtesy of Minor Threats Chess Club)

Junior High Nationals was Derrick’s first Nationals. He won his first individual trophy there.

The Philadelphia Chess Society (our super group consisting of Paul Robeson Chess Club, Minor Threats Chess Club, and Enon Connected Pawns) won 7 trophies at Elementary Nationals. Not bad for only having 13 kids playing.

These trips are amazing opportunities for our kids. They learn so much about the world, chess, and themselves. They get to see that there is a whole big world out there. They get to see that if they are brave and they are willing to work hard that nothing can hold them back.

I would not be able to take these kids on these trips without the support of people like you. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

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