Archive for Family-Friendly

A Mosaic Masterpiece on Philadelphia’s South Street

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Community News, Local Treasures, Music and Film, Neighborhood Noir with tags , , , , on July 28, 2011 by mariamprh


In the deluge of urban shops that make up South Street is Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. From outside the gates of this public installation, you can see partially into a carefully constructed mosaic labyrinth. Yet, the outsider’s view of this glass garden – which stretches down a half of a city block – does not speak to the magnitude of Zagar’s intricate mosaic sculpture. Every inch of both the indoor gallery and outdoor mosaic sculpture is covered, with bicycle wheels, glass bottles, different sized mirrors, Zagar’s hand-made tiles, and sculptures hailing from Latin America and Asia.

$5 gets you admission into the garden, where visitors can walk through at their leisure.  A now permanent art institution, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens originated in a vacant lot near Zagar’s studio in 1994. Though the previously vacant lot’s owner attempted to sell the land in 2002, the community backed Zagar’s art, which helped to incorporate it as a nonprofit organization. With Zagar’s artwork permanently preserved, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens makes art more accessible to the South Street community, prompting “civic engagement, community beautification, and artistic collaboration.”

PMG’s artistic collaboration extends to its public programs, which include film screenings, artists-in-residencies, concerts, and gallery openings. Every other Sunday, the Garden is home to a variety of themed, hands-on workshops for families. From noon until 4 pm, “Family Jams” can include book arts projects, poetry workshops, paper mosaics, and tile pin-making. Workshops and activities are free with admission.

If you head down to South Street this Saturday, PMG is hosting ART/GAGE: Celebrate Philly Creativity, the Garden’s fourth annual summer festival. With over 30 art and food vendors, and performances and demonstrations from local organizations, the festival is expected to double in attendance from last year. For ticket prices, visit


Taste of Philadelphia Kicks Off Wawa Welcome America!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Food, Music and Film with tags , , , , on June 23, 2011 by mariamprh


Independence Day celebration starts eleven days early for Philadelphians. Starting on June 24th, Welcome America! will kick off a series of events that “showcase what America’s birthplace has to offer.” Sponsored by Wawa, Inc. for the second year in a row, Welcome America! will celebrate the Fourth of July with food, fireworks, and free entertainment.

On Friday, June 24th, Taste of Philadelphia will officially jump start Wawa Welcome America! at Penn’s Landing. From 5-9pm, foodies can enjoy samples of dishes from top Philly restaurants, as well as a performance by jazz musician Gerald Veasley. Admission and entertertainment are free, with samples only costing a few dollars each. Some of the event’s featured restaurants include Chenango, Tiffin, Feast Your Eyes, Marabella Meatball Company, Jamacian Jerk Hut, and Darlings Diner.

On Saturday, June 25th, Taste of Philadelphia starts at 11am for a full second day filled with food and music. Musical genres include jazz, blues, Latin Jazz, and gospel. American Afro-Jazz singer-songwriter Somi is set to play at 8pm, with R&B star Aaron Neville to follow shortly after. Immediately following these performances is one of three Wawa Welcome America! firework displays.

Taste of Philadelphia will wrap up on Sunday, June 26th, with James “JJ” Hairston and Youthful Praise playing the final set of the weekend at 6pm.

After the weekend’s festivities, Wawa Welcome America! continues with a series of events celebrating our Nation’s birthday. If Taste of Philadelphia doesn’t suit you, Wawa Welcome America! is also hosting history-oriented activities for parents and children, as well as multiple film screenings, photo exhibits, and Wawa Hoagie Day.

For a full schedule of events, visit