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FunTimes Magazine

Non-Holiday Things To Do & Philly Places To Go for Family Fun in Our Hip and Historical City!

From carousels in the park to plays about swimming with mermaids, here is a variety of upcoming free or low-cost in-person family activities to thaw out the winter blues and avoid the holiday-focused crowds. So if you’re looking to celebrate, don’t hesitate! 

(But be sure to contact the event organizers for their updated in-person visiting pandemic-related precautions and protocols.)


Non-holiday but just as much fun….



Now through April 17, 2021. 

What makes up two-thirds of the earth? Water. So, it is no surprise that the Academy of Natural Sciences, the nation’s oldest natural science museum (founded in 1812), would bring us Invisible World of Water, which chronicles the ebb and flow of our water systems through the eyes of scientists and artists. No need to bring your umbrella. Free for members. 

Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway, 215-299-1000,


Now through November 28, 2021

Enter a spectrum of color on the Ben Franklin Parkway at the Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition. Test your creativity and problem-solving skills to think outside the crayon box with educational exercises in “Idea Workshops” and “Colorverses.” 

For ages 5+ recommended. 

The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., 215-448-1200,



Now through January 2, 2022. 

Escape into the sea with the production of The Little Mermaid, starring Diana Huey as Ariel. The theater is billing the play as a “must-sea.” So, go “sea” it! 

There are strict COVID-19 protocols. 

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., 215-574-3550,



Now through February 27, 2022. 

Hustle over to Winter in Franklin Square for a kid-friendly day on the colorful carousel that looks like a lit-up golden crown, miniature golf, and tasty hot chocolate. There is a glittering holiday show of 100,000 lights as well, but if you want to keep things low-key, there are plenty of other activities to chill out (or maybe thaw out). 

7th and Race sts., 215-629-4026,



November 28 & December 2, 2021

Explore the east coast underground music scene with Safe X Sound, a local documentary focusing on underrepresented voices and the value of live music, by Brian Walker and producer Brianna Spause. Screenings (7 p.m.) with a performance by Space Ghosties are on Nov. 28 at the Grape Room, 105 Grape St. in Roxborough, and a Novel Idea, 1726 E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philly, December 4. 

Tickets in advance or at the door range from $5 to $10. Register here.

Read All About It…

Interested in a nice read? Cuddle up with Music Is History by musician/filmmaker/food entrepreneur (and now author), Ahmir Questlove Thompson. Questlove is no stranger to Philly and comes back often to his roots for annual events and promotions. His prose is a solid exploration of modern music since 1971. He does it all, but he does music best! Questlove comes from a musical family after all. His late father was 1950s doo-wop singer Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts.

Abrams, ($29.99). In bookstores and online and available as an audiobook with music.