5 Kid-friendly art shows

The Franklin Institute

When it comes to family-friendly entertainment, Philly’s arts scene has you covered with the perfect mix of hands-on education, gigantic spiders and Buzz Lightyear. Here’s what we’re excited to bring the little ones to this spring:

The Science Behind Pixar
March 12-Sept. 5, The Franklin Institute, Fi.edu

Featuring more than 40 interactive elements, the Franklin Institute continues to do what it does best with The Science Behind Pixar: trick kids into learning with a top-notch mix of science, technology and fun. Aspiring Spielbergs will get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of popular Pixar movies, as well as meet characters including Buzz Lightyear, Dory and WALL-E. (You let your kids see “WALL-E”? Really? How’s that mid-kindergarten existential crisis going?) Before you leave, let them run off any remaining energy in the infamous Giant Heart and enjoy that quiet car ride home.

“Sesame Street Live: Let’s Dance!”
April 14-17, The Liacouras Center, Liacourascenter.com

Elmo, Cookie, Abby and Ernie are throwing a party, and you’re invited as “Sesame Street Live!” swings through Philly. For heavily discounted tickets ($12-$14), consider checking out one of the 10:30 a.m. matinee performances.

Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close
Through May 30, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Ansp.org

As an adult, you might be horrified to know that the Academy of Natural Sciences is currently crawling with almost 20 types of tarantulas, as well as a bonus selection of scorpions and assorted spiders. Kids, though? For whatever reason, kids are delighted. In addition to meeting the creepy crawlers, little ones will learn about tarantulas’ habitats, their role in human medicine and, with the help of live feedings, their eating habits. Whatever you do, don’t leave without getting a photo in a tarantula costume!

“The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Stupid Fairy Tales”
April 6-June 12, The Arden Theatre, Ardentheatre.org

Based on the Caldecott Award-winning book, this stage production for theatergoers ages 5 and up puts a silly, smart spin on the classics with plenty of music and mayhem to keep everyone entertained. If they catch the acting bug, check out the Arden’s Drama School, which offers classes for students pre-K through 12th grade taught by professional local artists.

Spring Celebration at The Please Touch Museum
March 19-20, Pleasetouchmuseum.org.

Welcome the season at the Please Touch with a weekend-long celebration featuring storytime, kid-rock band The Plants, kite flying, crafts and, for good naptime measure, an end-of-day dance party.

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