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Do Something: See the zoo differently

This week, combine art and zoo animals, get to love insects and spend some time in the city's parks.

Every Monday we round up a handful of ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better and have fun doing it. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email us tips. Now get out and do something!

See the Zoo in a New Way

Photo: Pixabay

Who doesn’t love to get up close to a lion at the zoo? What about a lion made of… bricks? The Philadelphia Zoo is displaying its exhibit Creatures of Habitat: A Gazillion-Piece Animal Adventure, more than 30 life-size animal sculptures created by artist Sean Kenney, a Lego Certified Professional. The art is meant to educate viewers about the dangers of extinction as well as the role zookeepers play in keeping endangered species alive. Stop in for the Legos, stay for the real thing. August 6-September 30, $24 per adult, $19 per child, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave.

Get Your Sip On

What’s one surefire way to get over Hump Day? Center City Sips, the annual Wednesday night Happy Hour at restaurants downtown. Until August 28th, that includes three outdoor locations offering $6 cocktails, $4 beer and half-off appetizers from 5 pm to 7 pm: Sister Cities Park, Cret Park and Dilworth Park. To find the full listing of participating restaurants, check out the Center City District webpage. Don’t miss out before the summer ends. August 7, Free, Many Participating Locations.

Catch a Movie Under the Stars

The phenomenon of Crazy Rich Asians elevated lesser-known actors into stardom, sparked many conversations about inclusivity in Hollywood, and was just a really good time. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is your chance: Stop by the Schuylkill Banks trail at Walnut Street for a free outdoor screening. Come early for a good spot, a chance at first-come-first-served snacks and to take part in a raffle for nearby shops. Be sure to bring a blanket for sitting on the grass—and friends who won’t drop spoilers. August 8, Free, East Schuylkill Banks Trail, 2401 Walnut St. 

Finish the Week with Franklin Fridays

In recent years, Franklin Square drawn tourists and Philadelphians alike to its summer Chinese Lantern Festival—if they could afford the high priced tickets. Now, Franklin Square’s “Summer Splash on the Square” is opening the display to everyone. There will be different themes for the weekend, including “Throwback Thursdays,” “Franklin Fridays,” “Super Movie Saturdays” and “Fun in the Sun-days.” Franklin Friday will include a game night and special appearance by the one and only Benjamin Franklin. Franklin Square also recently renovated its fountain and will be showing off its new fountain show, complete with brand new colorful lights, nozzles and geysers. The fountain show will run every 30 minutes from 12 pm to 2 pm and 6 pm until closing. August 9, Free, 6th & Race St. 

Learn to Love Bugs

Photo: Flickr

How often do you say “eww” when you see a bug? If the answer is a lot, you may be underestimating the importance of insects in the world. The Academy of Natural Sciences is setting out to remind us just how great bugs are by celebrating all things creepy and crawly with their annual Bug Fest on August 10th and 11th. There will be a mix of new events and events from years past, back by popular demand. Some can’t miss events include a roach race, a chance to talk with entomologists, a presentation by an urban beekeeper and a discussion of bug urban legends. Brave visitors can take part in the Bug Appetit event, tasting many different bug-based treats, including crispy crickets and chocolate “chirp” cookies. Who knows, they may taste even better than regular chocolate chip! August 10, $22 per adult, $18 per child, Free for children under 2, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

Rock Summer Recess

Sundays at Eakins Oval’s summer extravaganza are made for families. From 2 pm to 7 pm every week, kids and parents can join in “Let’s Rock Recess,” a free family dance party. The party will feature prizes, face painting and a DJ. Kids will also be able to learn yoga, with instruction provided by Roots 2 Rise and City Fitness. After all that movement, make sure to grab an ice cream cone from one of the food trucks parked around the Oval. Then, come back sans kids, during the week, for Wednesdays through Saturday programming throughout August, including free exercise classes, movie nights and games of Quizzo. August 11, Free, Schuylkill River Banks. 

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