Summer boredom may have its upside, but it doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion. The region has plenty of ways to keep families entertained — and brains engaged — this season. The Seaport Museum is putting on mini-cruises; the zoo has erected an obstacle course. Kidchella is back, along with Art Splash, Bug Fest, CultureFest, animatronic dinos, the Barnes’ block party, and the Wiggles. Everyone seems to be celebrating the moon landing’s 50th.
From Here to There (through Sept. 8, Mercer Museum). The Mercer marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, extrapolating the occasion to include all sorts of travel — hovercraft, hot-air ballooning — in an interactive science exhibit. The museum’s second display, Making Astronauts: Bucks County to the Moon, explores local connections to the historic journey. There’s a family festival on Saturday, July 20 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), 50 years to the day the Eagle landed. (215-345-0210, mercermuseum.org)
WildWorks (ongoing, Philadelphia Zoo). You know about the Zoo Key. Your kids know about the Lego animals. And the zoo’s summertime trifecta is complete with a 34-feet-high obstacle course and zipline. Guests under 4-feet tall can try out the tykes course. (215-243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org)
Battle of Fort Mifflin Cruise (June 9 and 15, Independence Seaport Museum). A bit of splurge for historians-in-the-making, this (nearly) three-hour tour follows the same path the British took along the Delaware River — from Penn’s Landing to the spot where the Continental Army unpleasantly surprised them. (215-413-8655, phillyseaport.org)
UrbanEco Cruise on the Delaware River (June 9-Sept. 28, select dates, Independence Seaport Museum). One-and-a-half-hour morning trips along the river extend the Seaport Museum’s River Alive! exhibit onto the actual water, explaining the role of the watershed — and how passengers can contribute to its health. (215-413-8655, phillyseaport.org)
Kidchella (June 14, July 12, and Aug. 9, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse). Cooler than ever this year, Smith’s three-part concert series is where North West would be, if only her parents knew best. Opening show features Moona Luna and funky Johnny Shortcake. July brings kindie rockers the Pop Ups and Lolly & YoYo. For August, it’s the Not-Its and family jazz Grammy winner Lucy Kalantari. (215-765-4325, smithplayground.org)
CultureFest! (June 22, Penn Museum). Flower crown-making, drum circles, and outdoor yoga are part of a daytime demo of world summer solstice celebrations. After that: soul music and a “healing bazaar.” (215-898-4000, penn.museum).
Dinosaurs Around the World (June 30-Jan. 20, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University). The Academy has dubbed this summer “Dino-Mite” and is recreating the earth circa 100-plus million years ago, when Antarctica was beach, Australia was in polar darkness, and North America had inland seas. A feathered velociraptor, vegan iguanodon, and 10 more breathing, habitating animatronic life-size beasts star in this Jurassic world. (215-299-1000, ansp.org)
Art Splash (July 5-Sept. 2, Philadelphia Museum of Art Perelman Building). The art museum’s always awesome summer program deepens kids’ connections with new exhibitions Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South and the Art of Collage and Assemblage. Art Splash’s four artists-in-residence stay two weeks each, beginning with Brian “BCASSO” Bazemore, working with found objects (July 5-21), and ending with textile artist Joy Ude (Aug. 20-Sept. 2). (215-763-8100, philamuseum.org)
Bring It! Live (July 11, Merriam Theater). Mississippi’s dauntless dance battlers (and reality TV stars) hit Broad Street for one night only. Expect flash, sass, and drop splits galore from “Coach D.” and her Dancing Dolls. (215-893-1999, kimelcenter.org)
Barnes on the Block ( July 14, Barnes Foundation). First Sundays at the Barnes always mean free family programs, but this early-evening block party is bigger than those, spilling its “GLBL VLLG jam” from the museum’s parking lot into Target’s with communal performances and art-making. There will be food trucks and a beer garden, too. (215-278-7000, barnesfoundation.org)
Moon Landing Anniversary Week (July 15-20, Franklin Institute). Marvel may still have top billing, but this week, the Franklin Institute gives props to the Apollo 11’s golden anniversary. Special exhibits, speakers, Night Skies sessions, and films lead up to the 50th itself, featuring fancy parties for donors and skyward fun for all. (215-448-1200, fi.edu)
Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna (July 24-Aug. 25, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center). The spectacle that is Cirque unravels a love story with a focus on strong women — mostly goddesses — as if Cirque produced anything else. Forty — 40! — performances make this one hard to miss. (877-924-7783, cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna)
JoJo Siwa (July 27, Mann Center). The YouTube phenom and all-around commercial sensation brings her unicorn cheer and side ponytail to West Fairmount to belt over-the-top pop hits kids love: “Boomerang,” “Kid in a Candy Store,” and “Hold the Drama.” (800-982-2787, ticketmaster.com)
The Wiggles: Party Time Tour (July 31, Merriam Theater). Like Barney, the Wiggles are still a thing, and, although most of their names have changed (see: Shirley Shawn the Unicorn), the eternally smiling and singing goofballs are, amazingly, most kids’ first connection to down under. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org)
Bug Fest (Aug. 10 and 11, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University). They hop, scurry, amble, spin webs, inspire wonder, incite shrieks, make for a tasty snack — and furnish the reason for one of the city’s most fun science festivals. (215-299-1000, ansp.org)