School’s out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning! Greater Philly offers many interesting educational experiences, both indoors and out, and the bonus is that most of them are completely free. Whether you’re in the mood to learn about plants and nature, fresh local foods, or the history of the city, Philly has some type of tour or event to offer for every kind of learner this summer, both in the heart of Philadelphia and in surrounding towns.
PECO Green Roof Tours
When: Tuesday, June 16, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Where: PECO Headquarters, 2301 Market Street Cost: $10
PECO has a 45,000 square foot green roof located on the roof of their headquarters in Center City. Completed in 2009, PECO works with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to maintain the green roof and the plants, as well as offering public tours and educational showings on the top of the 8-story building. The roof helps keep rainwater out of Philly’s aging sewer system, and includes a paved observation deck and an “intensive” that holds native grasses and perennials. This scenic tour can teach you about plants as well as the environmental importance of green roofs, for a low cost.
Evening Garden Tour
When: Wednesday, June 17, 7 p.m. – 8:30pm. Where: Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore Cost: Free!
If you’re interested in learning more about plants and nature in a picturesque environment, this is the perfect tour for you. Staff from the Scott Arboretum will take visitors up to the green roof and gardens to show and teach the groups about the different types of plant collections they hold. This tour is geared towards both beginner and expert planters, as well as anyone interested in learning more about plants. The tour group will meet at the Scott Arboretum Offices and then embark to the gardens.
Eating on the Wild Side: Selecting, Storing, and Preparing Food for Taste and Nutrition.
When: Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m. – 8pm. Where: Free Library of Northampton Township, 25 Upper Holland Road, Richboro. Cost: Free!
The Free Library of Northampton will host an educational talk with expert Susan Pierson about the importance of proper storage and preparation for your food. Pierson is an environmental educator and the President of the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. If you want to learn where to buy the freshest locally-grown foods and how to get the most nutrition out of your food, don’t miss this informative experience!
Delaware Canal Festival
When: Friday, June 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 20, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Where: The Delaware Canal (near the Calhoun Street Bridge), Morrisville Cost: Free!
Delaware Canal Festival is a two-day event filled with outdoor fun and friendly competitions. Events will include food trucks, games, art exhibits, the Bucks County Folk Song Society in concert, the River Drivers in concert, and short kayak rides up and down the canal given by the park staff. Make a day trip out to Morrisville to participate in the fun! There will also be a Cardboard Boat Float contest, a Duck Decorating contest, and the annual Decorated Boat Parade, where prizes will be awarded for the most humorous boat, the most beautiful boat, and the most creative boat, as well as Judges Choice boat and Best of Parade boat. Individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to enter the race, even if their boat is just for fun!
Historic Philadelphia Puzzling Adventure
When: Everyday for the rest of the summer, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: Franklin Square. Cost: $50 per group
Puzzling Adventures holds these fun events, described as a mix between a scavenger hunt and an informative guided tour, in major cities across the country. In Philly, the Puzzling Adventure is held in Old City and takes participants on an educational and interesting walking tour around Independence Mall. The tour will give your team a series of directions and questions to get you to the next location, where you can sightsee and enjoy the area before solving your next puzzle or instruction to get to the next location. Participate in a team, as a couple, or individually, and take as little or as long as you want to complete the tour. Use the discount PHFUNG for a 20% discount for your team.