Visit the Parkway with the family on St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Many people see St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend before it an excuse to go drink in an Irish bar, get drunk, and…..well that’s pretty much it. But the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation have some family friendly activities planned during the day to keep you and your family busy (and away from those having a bit too much fun).

 The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting a Harry Potter themed Scavenger Hunt on March 16 beginning at 2pm. Search for themes and characters from the magical world in art hanging in the galleries, and enchanted objects from the Harry Potter series. (This scavenger hunt is not an addition to or variation of Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a bridge to wonderful works of art). Children ages 10 and up must be accompanied by an adult. The price for the scavenger hunt is $30 for children, $36 for adults (which includes admission to the museum). If you or a loved one is a Harry Potter fan, you don’t want to miss out. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also has an entire Sunday planned for you and your children full of family friendly activities. Beginning at 10:15am, there is an Early Bird Read and Look that meets in the West Lobby (recommended age group 3-5). Preschoolers and their parents can enjoy picture books and art projects in the galleries of the museum. (Tickets are free with admission, but you do need to reserve them when you enter the museum). From 11am to 2pm there is a Medieval Art Stop in the Great Stair Hall Balcony, where children who love history can learn the secrets behind making armor, stained glass, masonry, and painted panels. (Free with admission). There are also two family tours of the museum beginning at 11:30am. The Family Gallery Tour (recommended age group 6-10) covers the Modern Marvels of the museum, and the Tours for Tots (recommended age 3-5) is a moving tour of the museum, complete with arts and crafts, hands on activities, and designed for preschoolers and their families. Both tours meet in the West Lobby at the Family Cart, and you do need to reserve your free tickets when you enter the museum. And from 12pm to 3pm, families can meet in Gallery 169 for Drawing Together (all ages) to test out their drawing skills or just have some fun. Artists on hand will provide art supplies for you to doodle or create a masterpiece for the fridge.

The Barnes Foundation also has family friendly events on March 16th and 17th. Artsee Activities are fun arts and crafts sessions that will teach your children how to make friendship key bracelets, designing a bag, and assembling an “unlock the mystery” storybook. The Saturday, March 16th session is from 11am to 1pm, and the Sunday, March 17th session is from 1pm to 3pm. Tickets can be bought at the admissions desk. If you have time, take a stroll around the museum as well.

All in all, you can make a full weekend for the family with any of these activities. Get your kids interested in art and culture early, that appreciation lasts a lifetime.

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First Friday, or as it’s now called, First Weekend

The beloved pastime of First Friday in Old City Philadelphia is now extending itself to become First Weekend. Gallery hopping on the first Friday of every month will still happen, but now Saturdays in Old City will be filled with activities such as the Flower Show Scavenger Hunt, (inspired by the Philadelphia Flower Show on March 10), which begins at 11am tomorrow. There are also a few select galleries that will be holding special events tonight, such as First Friday Weekends Old City (Part of the Old City Arts Association) is having an opening reception for First Friday at 301 N. 3rd Street. Bluestone Art Gallery at 142 N. 2nd Street also has a fresh exhibit to check out. And of course, if you’ve never experienced First Friday, just head up 2nd street past Market and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Who can say no to wine, art, and people watching? If you’re busy tonight, here are a list of locations that are participating tomorrow for the Flower Scavenger Hunt, and the prizes you can win if you find the missing flower(s).

Arden Theatre Company — 40 N 2nd St.
ITEM: Name the flower that was in the title of the Arden’s musical last spring
PRIZE: First three correct answers given to the Box Office will receive 2 tickets to the Arden show of their choice. All correct answers will receive a piece of seeded paper they can actually plant to become flowers!

The Betsy Ross House — 239 Arch St.
ITEM: Lily of the Valley
PRIZE: Buy One Get One Free Admission

The Center for Art in Wood — 141 N 3rd St.
ITEMS: Flower Bracelet in museum store / Ron Fleming’s Cerus, Frank Knox’s The Wood Rose, Flower Turnings, and Vase with Flowers all in the museum collection gallery
1ST PRIZE: 3 free books and 20% Off One Reg priced item.
2ND PRIZE: 3 free books and 10% Off One Reg priced item.
3RD PRIZE: 3 free books.

More Than Old — 144–146 N 3rd St.
ITEM: Lily
1ST PRIZE: 20% off next purchase coupon.
2ND & 3RD PRIZE: Merchandise gift.

Old City T-Shirts — 233 Church St.
ITEM: Flower arrangement printed on a white t-shirt.
1ST, 2ND, & 3RD PRIZE: Philadelphia designed T-Shirt

3rd Street Gallery on Second Street
58 N. 2nd St.
ITEM: “High Spirited”
1ST PRIZE: $10 off a selected framed work in Members Gallery.
2ND PRIZE: $5 off a selected unframed work in Members Gallery

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar — 10 S. 2nd St. 
ITEM: Travel to Old Havana where our staff will be adorning themselves with this edible kind of flower.
1ST PRIZE: $50 gift certificate.
2ND PRIZE: $25 gift certificate.
3RD PRIZE: $15 gift certificate.
All correct answers will receive a free dessert with purchase of entrée.

Snyderman-Works Galleries — 303 Cherry St.
ITEM: Placement on Norma Minkowitz’ fiber sculpture (figure)
Prize: Nice mug

Humphrys Flag Company — 238 Arch St.
ITEM: Narcissi in Blue
1ST PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 24 x 16 in.
2ND PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 18 x 12 in.
3RD PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 12 x 8 in.
All correct answers win a 4 x 6 in. USA flag!

Scarlett Alley — 241 Race St.
ITEM: Forget-me-not
1ST PRIZE: 25% off coupon & candy bar.
2ND PRIZE: 20% off coupon & candy bar.
3RD PRIZE: 15% off coupon & candy bar.

Three Sirens Boutique — 134 N 3rd St.
ITEM: Daisy
1ST PRIZE: $25.00 Gift Certificate.
2ND PRIZE: 20% Off One Reg priced item.
3RD PRIZE: 10% Off One Reg priced item

Wexler Gallery — 201 N. 3rd St.
ITEM: Portraits of Post Industrial Americans: Large Bouquet (Flower bouquet made from brass screws, brass and bronze)*
PRIZE: 15% discount

And on Sunday some galleries and shops will be giving discounts to people who had brunch in an Old City restaurant. Sadly I don’t have a list on participating venues at this time, but check it out anyway. Have a great weekend!