It's Betsy's birthday!

The annual party that celebrates America's most celebrated flagmaker is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St. The fete marks her 260th birthday celebration with storytelling by Betsy Ross, make-and-take crafts, and a balloon artist. Birthday cake will be offered at 1:30 p.m., and an audio guide will be free with regular admission of $4; $3 for students, seniors, children, and military. Information: 215-686-1252 or


Friday-Feb. 3

Toys under construction

The Philadelphia Center for Architecture is offering its most popular exhibition for a third year. The free show explores the history of toys such as Lincoln Logs, Legos, Erector Sets, and K'Nex. Several of the displays show Philadelphia-area buildings in miniature. There is also information on how structures stay up and how toy designers gain inspiration from the past to create today's most popular building toys. There is also a chance to do creative building. The Philadelphia Center for Architecture is at 1218 Arch St. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: 215-569-3188.


Happy birthday, General!

The annual General Meade Birthday Celebration, at noon Saturday at Laurel Hill Cemetery, will mark the 196th anniversary of the birth of Gen. George G. Meade, commander of the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. A parade of Civil War reenactors, civilians in period attire, special dignitaries, heritage groups, and participants will advance to Meade's final resting place and memorialize his services to his nation. A 21-gun salute and champagne toast will cap off the program at graveside and will be followed by a reception at the Cemetery Gatehouse. After the festivities, a tour of historic Laurel Hill will be offered (weather permitting). This year holds special significance as the nation commemorates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia. Information: 215-228-8200.


A familial web

Families can enjoy a series of special events this weekend and through Jan. 8 connected to the Arden Theatre's production of

Charlotte's Web,

adapted by Joseph Robinette from the book by E.B. White and directed by Whit MacLaughlin. Show-related acting classes will be conducted Friday for students in grades K-2 from 9-10:30 a.m. and for Grades 3-5 from 3-5:30 p.m. For $40, the theater company will take kids onstage and backstage of the Arden production, with registration available online at


. Pajama parties are scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday for children and adults who wear their pajamas to the theater. P.J.-wearers will have a free storytime with hot chocolate one hour before select performances. Information and tickets are at 215-922-1122,


. The theater is at 40 N. Second St.


It's not science, it's comedy

A multicultural, stand-up comedy event will be hosted at 9 p.m. Friday by actor Paul Campbell (

Shottas, Dancehall Queen,


First Sunday

). In the scheduled lineup are comedians Toronto Marc Trinidad of Trinidad and Trixx of Africa, Ruperto Vanderpool of Dominican Republic, Owen "Blakka" Ellis of Jamaica, and A.G. White of Brooklyn. Also on the bill is Jamaican warbler Tessanne Chin, singing her hit "Hideaway." The night includes a party until 2 a.m., all at the Starlight Ballroom, 460 N. Ninth St. Tickets are $45 at or Talk of the Town, 7804 Limekiln Pike; Rio Cobre, 524 S. Fourth St.; and Frank & Frank Grocery, near 54th and Berks Streets. Information: 215-908-2063.