School is going great, right? Just another year. Same old same old. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Let’s face it: We could use a dose of the usual right now — activities that seem normal, that make us feel normal, or at least more normal.
As we sigh through the school week, let’s look to next weekend, when Peddler’s Village and Rancocas Woods are making traditional DIY scarecrows. Elsewhere on the calendar, Diggerland — a delight on cooler days — moves to its weekends-only fall schedule, Sister Cities Park gets back to business with a hip-hop performance and class for kids, and the Brandywine invites us all to take a Revolutionary hike.
Hiking Through History
Anytime, free, download at brandywine.org/conservancy/greenway or pick up at the main entrance of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, (all ages)
The Brandywine Conservancy has made hiking (and biking and road-tripping) an historical experience with its new, easy-to-follow map of sites tracing the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign. The map highlights battle-significant farmlands, homes, trails, encampments, and meadows — including the newly acquired Birmingham Hill — in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It’s a way for Revolutionary War fans to nerd out, while the rest of us bliss out to the scenery.
Peddler’s Village Scarecrow-Making Workshop
10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 26, $35, reservations required at peddlersvillage.com, (ages 3 and up; kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult)
Crafting scarecrows at Peddler’s Village goes so far back that signing up for the activity on the village’s website requires answering how many years you’ve been doing it, from never to 30-plus. As with everything else this year, the tradition will take place a bit differently: Participants will need to wear masks and keep at safe distances as they check in at the red barn field and get to stuffing hay into pants at tables of six.
DIY Scarecrows at N.J.'s Rancocas Woods and Shops
10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, $25, reservation details on the Rancocas Woods Facebook page @rancocaswoodseventsandshops (ages 3 and up)
Mount Laurel’s Rancocas Woods and Shops hosts its very first scarecrow-making fest. The crafty co-op’s ready-to-roll setups include t-shaped wooden frames, burlap bags for heads, and used clothes (or, you can BYO flannel shirts, overalls, straw hats, etc.). You can make scarecrows there or to take supplies home to make a mess all over the kitchen. Meet behind the Hot Dog Shack in the picnic area.
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday through November, $40, reservations required at diggerlandusa.com (for riders 36 inches and taller)
Heaven for kids who’d ogle an active construction site all day if they could, this West Berlin, Camden County, theme park is all about heavy equipment to ride and play around in. Mini excavators let kids dig for treasure, drop duck decoys into water, and knock down pins. Bigger rides take families off-road, into dump trucks, and 130 feet into the air. There’s a new water park, too — the Water Main — while temperatures still allow. Masks and social distancing required throughout. Starting Sept. 26 (through Nov. 14), Diggerland hosts a fall festival with carnival games, ax throwing, pumpkin launching, a corn maze, hayrides, bonfires, and s’mores.
Hip Hop Fundamentals for Kids
Noon–1 p.m. Saturday, free, details at centercityphila.org/parks/events (ages 5 and up)
It’s been a minute — six months, actually — since Philly’s Hip Hop Fundamentals has given a real, live, in-person performance. Group leader Mark Wong and his mini breakers are revved up and ready to pop, lock, and freeze during their old-school break-dancing demo at Sister Cities Park as part of Parkway Pals. Beginner to advanced dancers all welcome to join in, keeping a six-foot social distance. Masks required for everyone over age 2.