BIG DEAL EVENTS
Birds of Paradise
Look out, Mummers. The 39 spectacular avian species on display in the photos, film and specimens of this traveling National Geographic exhibition are upping the ante on spectacular plumage and complicated dance moves. Sans predators in their native New Guinea home (north of Australia, east of Indonesia), these brilliant birds have evolved into the animal kingdom's most fanciful, fabulous living sculptures.
Academy of Natural Sciences, Saturday through Sept. 1, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, $13-$15 (under 3 free), 215-299-1000, ansp.org.
on the Parkway
Yes, there will be robots. And slime. And a petting zoo. And a CSI-type crime scene. And DIY extraction of DNA. With 150-plus exhibitors, this free, daylong geek-out has something for everyone - especially curious kids. And, yes, hungry, hungry Philadelphians: There will be food trucks.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway (at 20th Street), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, free, 215-448-1346, philasciencefestival.org
Imagine you, on a car-less Walnut Street, grabbing inexpensive succulent bites from some of the city's top chefs - you and 49,999 of your closest friends, that is. Also on tap: fashion shows, a family zone, cooking demos and a PLCB tent.
Walnut Street, between Broad and 19th streets, noon-6 p.m. Saturday, free, rittenhouserow.org.
Across town, South Street shuts down for an eight-block-long party. On the 700 block, Brauhaus Schmitz brings back the gut-busting German Maifest with brats, beer, flower headbands and - oh, ja - the Maipole. Kids Zone offers face-painting and other free fun.
South Street from Front to 8th Street, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, free admission, pay-as-you-go food and drinks, 215-840-9216, southstreet.com.
Sister Cities Park International Festival
Learn about a smorgasbord of world cultures in an afternoon of free song and dance performances. Wait! Did someone say smorgasbord? Cuisines from around the world will also be served. For those, you'll pay as you go.
Sister Cities Park, 18th and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, free, 215-440-5547, centercityphila.org.
QUIRKY BUT WORTHY
Tournament of Bands Indoor Championships
Relive that one time at band camp during this competition in Wildwood among student bands from seven states. Categories include marching bands, indoor guard, majorettes, percussion, dance teams and jazz bands. Performers range from middle school to college age.