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Earth Weekend

Friday though Sunday, April 21-23, 2023
Free with museum admission

earth weekend graphic with trees and flowers on top of globe

earth weekend graphic with tree and flowers on top of earth

Celebrate Earth Day with a weekend full of activities for naturalists of all ages.

During Earth Weekend, visitors can:

  • Watch Live Bee Presentations with Don Shump of Philadelphia Bee Company 
  • Meet some of the Academy's animal ambassadors at our Live Animal Shows
  • Enjoy a Science Story Time
  • Participate in the Bird Beak Challenge Family Workshop
  • Attend a Bird-Puppet Making Workshop and Parade with artists Yvonne Lung and Eurhi Jones
  • Hear climate-related original songs at Anthems for the Anthropocene
  • Make a unique upcycled make and take at What was THAT?
  • Get up close to live invertebrates
  • and more!

Friday, April 21

Anthems from the Anthropocene
6-8 p.m. 
Academy Auditorium 

Addressing the climate crisis requires us to mobilize all our society's expertise and resources: science, engineering, policy, environmental activism, citizen engagement, and, not least of all, artistic expression. Anthems for the Anthropocene is Drexel University's climate song contest. We have challenged our students to write and record an original song in response to a climate-related prompt. This year they have 12 days to create and submit their songs, which will be judged by a panel that includes several high-profile music industry professionals. During our final showcase event we will share the songs and give awards to the top three songwriters as well as to the winner of the People's Choice category. All are welcome to attend. 

Saturday and Sunday, April 22–23

Live Animal Auditorium Show: Animal Adaptations  
12 p.m. each day

Meet some of the Academy's animal ambassadors and learn all about their habitats and how they survive using their amazing adaptations.  

Live Bee Presentation with Don Shump
11 a.m. & 2 p.m each day

Join Don Shump of Philadelphia Bee Company for live bee presentations in our Outside In exhibit. 

“Where’s Rodney?” Science Story Time
11-11:45 a.m. each day

If you’re like Rodney, you always want to be outside. One day, Rodney gets to go to a very special park where he can run, climb and be himself, and it changes him forever. Join us for “Where’s Rodney” by Carmen Bogan (recommended by Social Justice Books) and make binoculars to take home.

“Bird Beak Challenge” Drop-In Family Workshop
2-4 p.m. each day

Do you know what birds eat? And can their beaks help them find better snacks? Drop in to learn the answers to these questions and much more about our fine, feathered friends. Be amazed at how a human’s tools are an awful lot alike to bird beaks and bills. Find out how survival is truly a feeding frenzy. Explore real ornithology specimens, and craft your own special blend of bird treats to take home for your backyard buddies. Discover the most successful strategies for finding food and savoring snacks with hands-on activities. Space is limited, so be sure to arrive early for a time slot. This program will run every 20 minutes.

Bird-Puppet Making Workshop and Parade with Artists Yvonne Lung and Eurhi Jones
1-4 p.m., Saturday Only

From 1–3:15 p.m. inside our exhibition Conversations With Birds, Artists Yvonne Lung and Eurhi Jones will guide visitors in hands-on artmaking, creating paper-bird puppets, stars, moons, clouds, and a banner about the importance of caring for birds! The workshop will teach participants about bird migration patterns and ways to help birds in your community.  

At 3:30 p.m., Lung and Jones will gather workshop participants into a puppet flock for a celebratory Earth Day Bird Migration parade procession around Swann Memorial Fountain (or throughout the museum in the event of inclement weather). The event is great for all ages, and all supplies to participate in the workshop will be provided. We encourage you to bring cardboard (shipping boxes, cereal boxes, etc.) from home to practice upcycling for the program. 

What was THAT? Weird Recycling and Garbage Art

Recycling goes beyond sorting your glass bottles and soda cans. What other waste can find a new life as a notebook, frisbee, fork or pencil? Why is “precycling” an important step in choosing what you buy? Learn how you can apply “reduce, reuse, recycle” to your everyday life, and let your creativity come to life with a unique upcycled make and take.

Avian Adaptations: Wing and Egg Demonstrations

There are 10,000 species of birds, and each one has adapted to its environment to ensure its survival. Swoop by to learn how birds' wings enable them to soar, hunt, escape and dive by crafting wing models and testing different designs. Get cozy as you examine replica nests and puzzle through your own experimental egg shape to see if you can crack the code to keep it safe. Learn about the birds that call Philadelphia home and how we can help protect them while you explore specimens from our collection.

Living In the Watershed

Everything’s connected! Our water cycle is an intricate and delicate system that needs to be considered and protected every step of the way. See why and how at this demonstration, and then consider how we can have a cleaner environment. Come up with some of your own solutions for watershed health and test your creativity with a hands-on investigation. How can you make a difference in your home and neighborhood’s water usage and management? Experiment with different building materials and make a hypothesis about the cleanest and greenest method. Try your hand at making a greener rowhome and discover what slight changes can make a substantial difference.  

Live Invertebrate Investigation

Bugs need a little love on Earth Day, too! How can we be inspired to make the world a better place for even the smallest creatures on the planet? How does examining the finer details of an invertebrate, through photography and microscopy, enable us to uncover an invertebrate’s true nature? Check out live arachnids, insects and myriapods and learn how every living thing on the planet fits into the bigger picture. Learn how you can help invertebrates in your everyday life.

The Big Dig
10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day

Try your hand at “digging” up some dinosaur bones and feel like a real paleontologist. Uncover a Lambeosaurus skull or an Ornithomimus arm and claw, and learn about the bones you find.