Posts Tagged “History”
This past weekend, my family and I had the great pleasure of celebrating the Chinese New Year at The Penn Museum in Philadelphia. It was a day full of music, crafts and history. We were transported to another country through demonstrations and hands on activities. In a few words I would describe the Chinese culture as Colorful, Spirited, Traditional and full of exquisite Talent. This annual celebration of 33 years included a complimentary themed menu, intriguing sword and fan dances, an informative Tang Horse presentation celebrating The Year of the Horse and a calligraphy instruction, among many other events and activities.
Our absolute favorite part was witnessing and participating in Chef Joseph Poon’s humorous and extremely talented food carving art demonstration. He created beautiful and intricate art from fruits and vegetables that were truly too good to eat. My daughter was mesmerized by his craft and storytelling. Chef Poon is a terrific entertainer – capturing the entire audience for an engaging performance. See our video below for a glimpse of his presentation.
Please find our short videos highlighting the Eastern vs. Western Music Demonstration and our overall experience at the Penn Museum. This was sure an event not to be missed but in case you have, there are some additional upcoming events and ways that you and your family can celebrate the Chinese New Year and Chinese culture.
Here are some of those upcoming Chinese New Year festivities in the Philadelphia area:
January 30, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Midnight Lion Dance Performance
Fireworks and lion dance parade beginning 10th and Race Streets running through Chinatown.
January 31, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet at Rising Tide Restaurant
Experience Chinese culture tradition through a ten course banquet.
February 1, 2014 – Wilmington, DE
Chinese New Year Celebration
Held at the Delaware Art Museum and Hanlin Chinese Culture Association from 11 AM to 3 PM
February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Martial Arts Performance
Takes place at 10th and Arch Street
February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade
Parade to include martial arts performances and fireworks. It begins at 10th and Spring Streets at 11AM.
February 5th – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet
Place:Located at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House from 6-9 PM. Ten course banquet fully immersed in Chinese culture and tradition.
February 7, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA
14th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration
Held at the International House of Philadelphia at 7PM
February 9, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA
The Tet Festival
From 11 AM to 7 PM at Boat People SOS – Delaware Valley
February 12, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA
Chinese Folk Tales, Dance, Music & Lion Dance
Held at the Philadelphia Free Library – Independence Branch at 12:30 PM
April 25-27, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA
Shen Yun 2014
Elegant and mesmerizing Chinese live production with a live orchestra using ancient Chinese instruments. This is a breath-taking, colorful, extraordinary experience taking the audience through dynasties and into another world.
Whether you partake in any of the above, you can also engage your children with these additional resources. (Disclosure: We are happily partnered with Barefoot Books who offers an amazing line of children’s books and games. We are also affiliated with Amazon.) Lin Yi’s Lantern is a fictional story about a boy who wants a lantern for the Chinese Moon Festival (includes educational notes on Chinese culture and the Moon Festival). Also by Barefoot Books, please find The Great Race, a book about the Chinese zodiac. Little Leap Forward – A Boy In Beijing is a fictional chapter book option discussing the culture of China. Additionally, Exploring Chinatown: A Children’s Guide to Chinese Culture is a great resource with insight on Chinese tradition. For those looking for lessons on Chinese instruments should consider meeting with Kurt Jung and Qin (Nancy) Qian, the musical performers from the Chinese New Year Celebration at Penn Musuem. They can be reached via email: email@example.com and by Ms. Qian’s website www.qinqianerhu.com for more information on classes.
Penn Museum is a great launching pad for any discussion or lesson on world culture, whether your children are learning about a specific country in school or you are exploring as a family. Penn Museum has many upcoming events in addition to their on-going exhibits. Some of these include the Annual Celebration of African Cultures on February 8th and Native American Voices exhibition opening on March 1st from 11 AM to 4 PM. A great friend of mine from Jersey Family Fun had just spent the night at Penn Museum with their 40 Winks with the Sphinx program. I’ll link her blog review here shortly but the next opportunity to participate in this overnight program is on February 28th.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post in that we were compensated or offered complimentary product/tickets for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.
Turning Princesses into Pirates isn’t an easy task… but we managed and had an amazing time at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum’s Pirate and Privateer Festival. All decked out we consulted the map to start our voyage… affordable vendors, dancing, a boardwalk and boat making demonstration were just the start.
We enjoyed demonstrations from privateers and pirates including a very loud cannon firing. They also provided entertainment with sword and dual fighting, photo ops and discussions about pirating. They were so realistic – it was very authentic and entertaining. Inside, children enjoyed crafts, the surf museum and a climb to the lighthouse. Live music and plenty of food options rounded out our experience and we definitely look forward to joining these pirates again in the future.
Tuckerton is located on the Jersey Shore just 30 miles north of Atlantic City. This family friendly resort provides many accommodations including sign language and wheelchairs among other accommodations for programs and events. Please call 609-296-8868 at least two weeks prior to your visit.
They have a full calendar of events planned for this year – so pull out your planner because you’re not going to want to miss these. For a list please refer to our previous Tuckerton Seaport Museum article or their website for more information.
I encourage you to expand your pirate adventures with games, books and role playing. Homeroom At Home will be offering a full segment on pirates for Fall 2013. In the meantime check out our own pirate day activities from last summer with the below videos.
Disclosure: Homeroom At Home is proud to partner with Tuckerton Seaport Museum to support the Stronger Than The Storm initiatives. This post was a sponsored post by which Homeroom At Home was compensated. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly mine.
Check out these other articles from this fun filled day at Tuckerton with Delco Deal Diva, Whatever Works, A Girl Gone Mom and Couponing 4 a Difference. We had a wonderful time hanging out with Kelly, Cindy, Heather and Denise and their families.
Entertain your youngsters this Presidents’ Day weekend with some trivia-filled fun. Kids love pets, so what better way to help them relate to our current and former Commander in Chiefs, than to expose them to some of the adorable (and in some case most unexpected) pets of the White House. Here are six crazy tales of White House animal dominance:
1. Theodore Roosevelt’s son and daughter had a liking for snakes. His daughter would carry her snake “Emily Spinach” in her purse during formal parties. One day Miss Emily Spinach got into a rather large spat with the other snakes in the Oval Office. What a sight!
2. After Abraham Lincoln was gifted a live turkey for a Thanksgiving Feast, his son befriended the feathered creature and the family kept it as a pet.
3. John Quincy Adams had a two-month long visiting pet alligator that resided in the East Room of the White House. More than a few wandering guests were greeted by this toothy visitors.
4. With having over 40 pets, it is no surprise that the Roosevelt family made our list twice. In an attempt to cheer a sick sibling, the Roosevelt brothers sneaked in a pet pony through the White House mirrored elevator, only to find that the beloved pony fell in love with his own reflection. It took quite a doing to pull him out of the elevator.
5. Rebecca, Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon had free roam for the White House and in fact found a hobby in unscrewing light bulbs. She was another intended Thanksgiving meal whose fate was forever changed.
6. Former President Thomas Jefferson was gifted two grizzly bear cubs by explorers Lewis and Clark. Jefferson built them an outdoor cage and often walked them around the White House garden. He also had a favorite mockingbird “Dicky” who was free to fly about the President’s office.
For more stories on the wildest and funniest pets that have roamed the White House, be sure to check out Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis. The examples above came from this delightful book. Learn stories about mice, Zsa Zsa the trumpet playing rabbit, Billy the opossum, goats, cows and of course lots of Presidential cats and dogs.
Yes, it’s true that a lot of kids are super picky eaters – but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy learning of our Presidents’ favorite bites. Take Franklin Roosevelt for instance – his all time favorite was Grilled Cheese – what kids couldn’t relate to that? Not to mention his love for scrambled eggs and hot dogs. For more White House favorites check out this Food & Wine article: “Presidential Food Obsessions“. Before you go… guess which former President enjoyed ketchup and cottage cheese – oh yum!
Silliness is an excellent learning tool. So I wanted to include another favorite book on Presidents – that definitely appeals to the school-aged group. What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven is a personal favorite of mine with amazing illustrations. It’s kinda part puzzle, part abstract art whereby the pictures are portrait compilations of everyday items. Take a look below – I love this book. Each President is featured with a title, a portrait and then just enough wording to briefly summarize. It’s a fun, quick read to keep learning light and easy.
Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are strictly mine. I was not compensated in any way for this post or material.
The Good Kind of TV – Guest Post by Mark Spalding
Our recent trip to Gettysburg has rekindled my passion for all things Civil War. If you’ve never been interested or known exactly where to start to get some good, general knowledge on what it was all about, look no further than Ken Burns’ Civil War series that aired in 1990 on PBS. I saw this series when I was 13 and it kicked off a lifetime passion for all things Civil War which has turned into a passion for all things historical. It’s an amazing tour de force documentary that encompasses as many angles as possible regarding the people, places and events that surrounded the five most bloody years in America’s history. The truly wonderful part of it is the narration, which is done by such luminaries as Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne and many others. The music is at times haunting and heartfelt. I to this day have an emotional reaction when I hear the violin solo that has become the theme for this series (Ashokan Farewell).
Right now you can see the entire 11 hour series on netflix or you can see if your local library has it to check out.
And with the coming 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, there’s no time like the present to dig in deep and really get into the spirit by watching Gettysburg. This movie encompasses the three most horrific days of the war and really gives you a sense of what the men who were involved were thinking and feeling at the time. Based off of Jeff Sharra’s novel “The Killer Angels” it takes an equal look at both sides and how they handled or mishandled the war. While the language can get pretty flowery at times (long soliloquies that I have a feeling weren’t a part of normal conversation) it adds a humaneness to the story that would otherwise be one battle after another.
Currently there is no easy way to view this one online, but again, your local library may have a copy or E-Bay or Amazon could be a possibility for a used copy.
If you’re concerned about how safe it is for children to watch, the images in the Civil War series do show men dead on the battlefield, but nothing too gruesome from what I have seen in re-watching it. Gettysburg has many battles with many men falling dead, but it was a made for tv movie in 1994 for TBS, so no blood.
There are many other options available to help you delve deeper into this most important part of our national heritage. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments and I can add some more.
Sale, Discount, Bargain… Consignment
Easily these signs get me excited because like most, I love a good bargain. Finding toys, books and clothing at a fraction of a price, just makes my day. Naturally, I jumped at the invitation to a presale event with Just Between Friends Consignment earlier this week. Check out my video below for a peek at my sale finds.
Consignments sales are perfect for building your personal library of resources. Creating a lesson plan around animals or pirates, multiplication practice or chemistry… definitely check out the treasures to be unburied at these sales. I like to look for educational puzzles and games, items for teaching geography, tools for learning states & capitals, and period costumes. I picked up some items to round out our Adventure Series: Horsing Around lesson, including an American Girl riding outfit – cap, boots and all. I also grabbed a toddler Renaissance outfit and a microscope, among some other toys and shoes for everyday events. Beyond the learning toys I found, I also came across larger sizes of Renaissance dress-up wear (girls and boys), pirate costumes, 20’s Flapper Dress, arts & craft supplies, science experiments, and building kits. There was such a variety!
Just Between Friends makes shopping (and consigning) easy with two fall events:
JBF Western Main Line (Oaks)
Thurs, Sept 13 – Sat, Sept 15
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center – Hall C
JBF Reading Fall Event
Thurs, Sept 27 – Sat, Sept 29
Greater Reading Expo Center
Saturdays at both sales are Half Off Days!!
You must check out these articles on this event with excellent tips for shopping on consignment and the advantages of becoming a consignor. Super Exhausted with Sherry and Delco Deal with Kelly and A Life In Balance with Barb.
Disclosure: I was invited to a presale blogger event at JBF Consignment and given a shopping credit in exchange for this post. All the opinions and tips expressed here are strictly mine.
Come explore the “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land; The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” exhibit at the National Constitution Center as a temporary but extraordinary showcase. This must see time capsule includes clips of Springsteen’s early music with the band “The Castiles”. Other early exhibit pieces include the band’s scrapbook and record labels. Following the exhibit space through Bruce’s personal collection of belongings tells many stories of the Americans people. Many songs are centered around specific events, like the September 11 attacks or life during the Vietnam War. Album after album, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tell one compelling story after another, even if it is the everyday story of the everyday working class family. That is their charm; their legacy. With artifacts ranging from clothing pieces to concert photos and the large guitar collection, there is something for everyone to reflect on.
As for me, well, if I’m being totally honest, I’d have to admit prior to admission, I didn’t know much about Springsteen’s music or his political views or have the ability to even name more than a handful of his songs. I knew my father, John, could of course. My Dad related well to many of Springsteen’s themes and loves his unique and raspy rock & roll style. I’m glad I asked my Dad to join me. While we toured the exhibit, I got to glance back in time to things that mattered to my father’s generation. While my childhood concerns included learning to ride a bike and cutting gum out of my hair, Springsteen was writing about the working people of America and the everyday struggles they faced; my parents included. Never had I appreciated all this more than walking side by side with my father, reliving some memories and experiencing others for the first time. Springsteen’s talent with words and music simply transcends generations as well as, backgrounds, race and industry. His music simply speaks of the people and it was ever-so fitting that this exhibit sits at the National Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia.
On my tour, I was the child with my parent, learning and appreciating new things around every corner. As a parent, I encourage you to embrace the beauty of Springsteen’s musical ability to tell a story, open our hearts and actually teach a thing or two to your children. The exhibit held several interactive features including musical videos, a trivia game centered around major historical events that he wrote and sung about, musical clips of his earlier performances and his Oscar for “Streets Of Philadelphia”. His “Born In The USA” album cover outfit is available on showcase as well as, many other interesting and engaging items. Be sure to take an extra moment to reflect on the lyrics which are blown up from his original notepad to poster size.
A fantastic addition to a fabulously interactive historical museum. While visiting, be sure to stop by the popular “Six Word Memoir” and “Signers’ Hall”. Inside the main exhibit, you’ll find fascinating facts about our nation’s governing roots and our founding fathers’ struggles to create and sustain the government that is still in existence today. The National Constitution Center offers many hands-on activities, lectures, interactive displays and tools for education. Be sure to pick up the fold-out worksheet on Bruce Springsteen, as it ties his musical legacy to our nation’s constitution in an easy to understand manner. The worksheet has activities for your child to think through while taking in the exhibits, both the main floor and Springsteen exhibits. Additionally, the brochure titled “From Darkness To A Dream” features some of the photography of Danny Clinch and Frank Stefanko as they capture Springsteen’s journey in an artistic manner. Art is available on display in the exhibits and reproductions available for sale through the Morrison Hotel Gallery. And something as simple as the visitor’s guide has a couple of quick tips under the “Top 10” section… for a quick review/highlight.
Enter here for multiple entries to win a family four pack. The family four pack includes admission to the National Constitution Center, live performance of “Freedom Rising”, Signers’ Hall, and “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land; The Life and Music Of Bruce Springsteen” temporary* exhibit. (*Please note this exhibit is open now until September 3, 2012.) Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite Springsteen song and its significance to you. Giveaway entries open until July 18, 2012. Winner will be announced via email and must respond within 3 days to remain eligible.
The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Visit their website at www.constitutioncenter.org for more information, educational tools and museum store items.
In full disclosure, I had been offered a pair of complementary admission tickets to experience the Bruce Springsteen exhibit and tour the National Constitution Center. The ideas and opinions expressed here are solely mine. I was not compensated further for this review.
Opening Weekend Celebration May 5th & 6th
With collaborative excavation efforts between University of Pennsylvania and Instituto Hondureño de Antropologia e Historia of the Republic of Honduras, Penn Museum brings us closer to understanding the myths of 2012’s predicted apocalypse and the origins in ancient Maya culture.
- Mayan 2012 End Of The World Prophecies
I invite you to explore the extraordinary MAYA.2012: Lords Of Time exhibit to take you back to this fascinating and complex ancient Maya civilization. Explore the Maya culture: meet their royalty, the “Lords Of Time”, discover their pictorial language and numerical systems and examine some of their most fascinating monuments and artistic pieces. Stepping into this exhibit totally transports you into another world and time period.
Interactive exhibits enable this experience to be family friendly and extremely engaging. Expect hands-on pieces to better describe the delicate nature of archaeological exploration and offering participation in self-discovery. Some of the interactive exhibits include interviews and videos. Another allows you to experience and experiment with the Maya Calendar, selecting anniversary dates or birth dates.
One of my favorites was the Maya Glyph Writing tool, where I created my own Maya glyph modeled after ancient Maya rulers. These can be printed to create a Maya Glyph identification card keepsake. All in all, the artifacts, more than 150, are outstanding and the artistic abilities of the Maya showcase brilliantly.
Opening Weekend Celebration event being held on Saturday, May 5th through Sunday, May 6th from 10 AM to 4 PM. Join Penn Museum for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and lots of family activities including craft demonstrations, dance and music from Mayan and Central American culture. Obtain tickets through www.penn.museum./2012 or by calling 888-695-0888. Ticket prices are $22.50 for adult and $16.50 for children (age 6-17) and $18.50 for seniors (65+) and military. For membership information, directions, and more please visit Penn Museum at www.penn.museum.
During the MAYA.2012 Media Preview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Simon Martin, a Co-Curator who is delighted
to bring awareness of the Maya believing that we “learn things and then communicate them with other people. We have a responsibility to tell people. “ He also shared that since he was 11 year old he had grown an enthusiasm about the Maya and studied their languages. With plans to write more books, Mr. Martin will also continue excavation efforts as “big finds” are expected from the forests of Mexico.
Excavations took place at Copan, Honduras. Copan was the capital of the Maya civilization and is located in the western part of Honduras and is traveled by hundreds of thousands tourist each year.
The Spring 2012 addition of Expedition from the University of Pennsylvania, titled Maya 2012 Lords of Time offers many fascinating articles and pictures of the excavations. It offers a great overview of the Maya Calendar system with pictorials. This magazine offers a wonderful timeline of the Maya Civilization and can be a great parental teaching tool, in highlighting particular facts of interest. Personally, I found the pictures of ruins to be amazing and enjoyed the information on current Maya culture and I appreciate the instructional diagrams outlining the meanings of the carvings in the sculptures and monuments.
As an additional educational tool, Penn Museum created an interactive role-playing experience for children. Children can pick up the “Calendar Assistant” activity booklet which includes a map of the exhibit, questions to “investigate” and a key code for help along the way at the decoding stations found at certain artifacts. The tour booklet includes a profile from one of four real Scientists who contributed to the Maya 2012 Lord of Time exhibit.
All this exploration would make anyone hungry, so let’s roll out the food! The Pepper Mill Cafe will feature Daily Specials for the duration of the exhibit with Maya inspired cuisine. These tasty (and I mean really tasty) treats includes the following:
Assorted Beers (Horchata) and Monthly featured Cocktail
Yucatan Hot Chocolate for the Fall/Winter only
Corn & Green chile Soup for Spring/Summer
Pumpkin Soup in the Fall/Winter
Fresh Fried Tortilla Chips or Plantains served with Traditional Salsa, Salsa Verde & Guacamole
Pumpkin Bread with Whipped Cinnamon Butter
Marzipan, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (my favorite!)
Weekend Specials will feature menu items to include Maya ingredients. In May, The Pepper Mill Cafe will offer a Chocolate Festival and then each month will feature a different food theme such as Peppers, Herbs & Spice, Tropical Fruits and Corn as examples.
Wednesday nights The Pepper Mill Cafe will host Happy Hour with monthly drink and food specials.
There are some special events coming up (please be sure to visit their website for specific information) but here are a couple that relate to the Maya 2012 exhibit:
May 5 & 6 – Opening Weekend Ceremony
May 10th – Lords of Tequila
May 16th – Members Only event – Maya and Margaritas
June 6th – The Maya and 2012: Fact, Fantasy and Phenomenon
July 19th – Maya’s Dark Chocolate Past
Penn Museum has so much more to offer. They have over 1 million artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits. They cover every continent of our planet and hold something of interest for everyone. Please check out these Penn Museum children’s programs:
Summer Wonder Program (Wednesday mornings 10:30 – 11:30)
Penn Museum Summer Nights (Wednesday evenings 5 – 8 PM)
Anthropologists In The Making Summer Camp (ages 7-13, weekly themed activities)
40 Winks with the Sphinx (ages 6-12, overnight on select evening)
Ticket prices, exhibit information, directions, parking, menu information, events calendar and more is available on their website at www.penn.museum.
Penn Museum granted me access to their Media Preview Event. They provided written material, *photographs and in-person expert exhibit explanations during the event. I was not compensated for this review and all of the opinions expressed here are strictly mine.