Join the Phillie Phanatic (pictured) and the staff of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education as they celebrate the wildlife refuge’s 25th birthday party. Your favorite green wild beast will be there, along with the park’s other inhabitants, like Jackson the great horned owl and Tabitha the black vulture. Guests are encouraged to bring a “birthday gift,” in the form of clinic supplies, with ideas available online. Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-noon at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, Pa., (215) 482-7300, Schuyl-killCenter.org, free
Once Upon a Time
Everybody has a story to tell, and now you have the opportunity to hear a few new ones at the 20th Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival. Dive into the tales from storytellers featured in festivals all across the country, against the backdrop of the always inspiring Grounds for Sculpture. Then, weave your own narrative at the Story Slam, an opportunity for guests to perform their own ad-lib around the theme “20/20 Hindsight.” Sept. 23, noon-6 p.m. at Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, (973) 625-8548, NJStoryNet.org, free with admission
Be a Kid
Held every year, the Help Women and Children Now’s Kidsfest event raises funds to help families by fighting pediatric heart disease and premature births. Head over to Challenge Grove Park to meet members of the Philadelphia Flyers, or try your hand at a selection of carnival games. Complete with live music, crafts and more, this is one fun way to lend a hand in your community. Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Challenge Grove Park, Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, (877) 744-3083, HelpWomenandChildren.com
Get in the spirit of the fall season at the 21st Annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival. Sponsored in part by the Mainstage Center for the Arts, this event brings everything fun and festive about autumn right to your local library, with a pumpkin carving contest, hayrides, a costume contest, and seasonal eats that will keep you warm when the air begins to get crisp. Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Gloucester Township-Blackwood Rotary Public Library, 15 S. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, (856) 227-3091, Mainstage.org, free
Grab a Buddy
Unite with the more than 2,000 people expected to attend the 17th Annual BUDS (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) Buddy Walk and help raise awareness and funds for programs that benefit those with Down syndrome. Along with getting in a little exercise for a good cause, the event will feature a chance auction, rides, games and music. Participants will also enjoy a light picnic lunch. Oct. 7, 10 a.m. at Washington Lake Park, 626 Hurffville Cross Keys Road, Washington Township, (856) 985-5885, BringingUpDownSyndrome.org, $10
A Night in District 12
No teen was immune to The Hunger Games craze during the last year. Join other local teenagers at the Voorhees library in a discussion of the trilogy, followed by a special screening of the movie. “May the odds be ever in your favor” during a raffle to win a copy of the DVD, just make sure you leave the bow and arrows at home. Oct. 12, 6-8 p.m. at the Voorhees Regional Branch of the Camden County Library, 203 Laurel Road, Voorhees, (856) 772-1636, CamdenCountyLibrary.org, free
Your little ones can enjoy the Halloween scene with the Broadway Theatre of Pitman’s not-so-scary performance of Monster Mash. Join characters—dressed in your own costume, of course—like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman as they team up to stop Transylvania’s mad scientist from taking over the world. Oct. 19, 10 a.m., and Oct. 20, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, 43 S. Broadway, Pitman, (856) 589-1911, TheBroadwayTheatre.org, $9
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (September, 2012).
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