Events and activities for kids and families

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Planning activities and outings for children can be challenging, particularly in March when the weather transitions between late snow and early spring. But the good news is that there are fun activities that challenge kids their friends and families too.

The following is a sampling of activities for children — and families — in the region.

 Abington-based Storybook Musical Theatre will present an original adaptation of the Grimm Brothers’ tale of “The Frog Prince,” the story of a selfish princess who must kiss an enchanted frog for him to transform back to a prince. The family musical plays from March 10 to March 22 at the Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park. Tickets are $12 for children, $14 for adults with school and group discounts available.  For reservations and more information call (215) 659-8550 or check  www.storybookmusical.org.

 The Franklin Institute at 222 North 20th Street, on the Parkway, in Philadelphia, invites kids from about 3 to 15 to build LEGO brick towers, castles, whatever they like, in a 2,500 square foot space called Ben’s Brick House on the main floor of the science museum in Philadelphia.
The activity for children was developed to accompany The Art of the Brick, the current exhibit at the Franklin Museum featuring more than 100 brick creations made of LEGO bricks by artist Nathan Sawaya.
In the children’s Ben’s Brick area, LEGO bricks are provided in their classic shapes and sizes for older children and large DUPLO blocks are available for younger ones. Science advisors are on hand to show children how to build a variety of things from bridges or catapults to cantilevered buildings.
Feats for budding engineers in the Ben’s Brick area include learning to use LEGO bricks to build objects that can travel on a “zip line” that act like a ski lift or suspended rail line with the help of the science advisors.
Ben’s Brick House is available daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $14.95 for children three to 11, $19.95 for adults, and free for children younger than three. Admission includes touring the museum. Call (215) 448–1200 for more information.

 The Museum of The University of Pennsylvania at 3260 South St., invites children from 5 to 12 and their parents or chaperones to an overnight called “40 Winx with the Sphinkx” near the Egypt exhibit; on the second Saturday of each month.
Participating children bring their pajamas and an evening snack and then take turns at arts and crafts, touring the museum with flashlights. They also participate in a scavenger hunt and experience sleeping under a large granite sphinx, the largest one in the Western Hemisphere. In the morning, everyone is treated to a light breakfast. Afterwards overnight guests can explore the museum for the rest of the day.. The event costs $50 each and is limited to 175 people who must make their reservations by visiting www.penn.museum/40winks. Call (215) 898-4000 for more information.
 The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, offers views of 150 different types of helicopter. The exhibit is open to children 3 to 12 and kids can be seated on some of the helicopters. Admission is $7 per person.,
On Saturday, March 28, the museum will host the annual Girls Science Expo from 2 to 5 p.m. The event will be presented in conjunction with the Women in Aerospace and Technology Program.
Girls in grades 3 through 12 will present their science projects. There are only 150 places so registration must be completed by March 14. There are three categories for participants grades 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12. Call (610) 436-9600 for more information.
 The Elmwood Zoo at 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As a smaller zoo, its main advantage of that it offers children and adults a chance to see the animals at a closer range than larger parks. In March toddlers from 3 to 5 will have a chance to learn about “Prickly Porcupines,” at a monthly special for pre-schoolers. Call (610) 277-3827 for more information.

— Compiled by correspondent Diane Fiske; Digital First Media staff contributed to this report.

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