Newark Music Makers?a Musikgarten studio?bestows youngsters with a passion for all things music. During the Family Music For Babies class, parents rock, bounce, and sing to newborns and babies as old as 18 months. Kids up to six years of age, meanwhile, participate in classes that feature listening games, instrumental play, movement games, and stories, all aimed at instilling a lifelong love of music and self-expression.
When Cindy Kerr's 12-year-old son, Ryan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, she began making pillowcases for him to brighten his hospital room and his spirits. He was so cheered by the gift that she started creating pillowcases for other children staying in the oncology unit at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Since its early days, Cindy Kerr's pillowcase project has grown into ConKerr Cancer, with a network of thousands of volunteers who make the pillowcases spread across North America and South Africa. ConKerr Cancer has created and delivered more than 600,000 pillowcases to children across the United States, Canada, South Africa and Great Britain in the past five years.
Earning a rating of 46.4/50 skulls on HauntWorld, LuLu’s House of Horrors’ live cast of sinister denizens sends chills down voyagers’ spines as they move through woods, a haunted house, and a creepy cornfield. Hoary rays of moonlight peak through the tree line as guests begin their paranormal journey by boarding a wagon that takes them creakily through the forest, halted periodically by shadowy wayfarers and undertakers who need their hearse’s battery jumped. The wagon drops the group off at a cemetery, where they tiptoe over restless graves before arriving at the doorstep to a haunted house with hair-raising ghouls at every turn. Once they have passed through the depraved domicile, guests step aboard the wagon again, which winds through another forest and lets patrons off at the entry to a haunted corn maze, their leafy escape route to salvation.
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Sensory overload doesn?t begin to describe Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt?s folk-art-inspired installations?assemblages of found objects and recycled materials?and the young artist?s view of the art world changed. ?I didn't know that I was looking at art,? Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat ?copying? Schmidt?s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ?60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace?specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah?s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio?the project would become Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.
Philadelphia’s history fills the pages of textbooks across the world. William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell fill the indexes. But these texts do little to educate people on and preserve the physical history of Philadelphia, specifically its buildings.
Enter the nonprofit Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Its volunteer team of tour guides leads architectural walking tours past downtown Philadelphia’s landmarks, buildings, and cityscapes, and its staff coordinates an array of events each month, which have previously included graveyard tours, concerts, and archaeological digs. Proceeds from these activities, along with various grants, are then used to preserve the Philadelphia region’s historical buildings, subsequently preserving its historical communities and the story of the city's influential past.