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Introduction to an aquatic organism

Kids get a close-up look at diatoms on Science Saturday.

This weekend, children can learn about aquatic organisms called diatoms, algae that help scientists determine the quality of the water.
This weekend, children can learn about aquatic organisms called diatoms, algae that help scientists determine the quality of the water.Read moreFairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

Kids can learn about aquatic organisms and catch a movie this weekend at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center as part of the Science Saturdays and Matinee Sundays program.

On Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m., guests can learn about diatoms, the microscopic algae that help scientists determine the quality of the water each day. Guests will develop an understanding of diatoms by looking at a presentation with photos and videos and then learning about the ones that are common to the Schuylkill. Children can also look at a sample of water from the Schuylkill through a compound microscope between 40x to 100x magnification. During the workshop, children will trace a diatom on number 6 plastic and then bake the tracings, which will cause the plastic to shrink proportionally into a diatom keychain to take home. The Science Saturdays program, which is featuring diatoms for this month, will also take place on Dec. 24 and 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The following day as part of the Matinee Sundays program, the center will screen at 2 p.m. the animation film Surf's Up, which follows Cody Maverick, a teenage penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica, on his journey to become a famous surfer. Both programs are free.

'Dinosaurs' at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center

On Friday evening, hang out with a blue dinosaur and enjoy a prehistoric puppet show at Jim West's


show at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

Master puppeteer Jim West will entertain with his four-part interactive show co-hosted by blue puppet dinosaur Fossil. During the production, which also features giant dino-puppets, children will hear stories about dinosaurs such as the Oviraptor and Brachiosaurus, against a background of classical music by composers including Mozart and Beethoven. Between the shows, Jim interacts with Fossil to help him find his dino identity and discover dino facts. The show will also give kids dino-puppet-making ideas as Jim constructs dinosaurs on stage. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and is appropriate for ages 4 to 12.

Santa Days at the Zoo

On Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., are the last days for meeting and parading with Santa and watching him give holiday treats to animal residents during the Philadelphia Zoo's Santa Days.

On Saturday at 9:45 a.m., Santa will start the day off by giving orangutans in the Peco Primate Reserve special holiday treats; visitors can watch the animals open their presents. On Sunday at 9:45 a.m., he will give the tigers in the zoo's First Niagara Big Cat Falls their gifts. On both days at 11, kids can parade with Santa from the Treehouse to Bear Country to feed the polar bears. At 1, guests can parade along with Santa to the Tortoise Trail. At 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in the Treehouse, children can tell Santa what's on their wish list and have their picture taken with him. Other activities include the zoo staff singing carols to the primates, tigers, and other animals at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30.