Art, music, movies and resources online for parents and kids in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

This week’s edition is obviously altered as we band together to come to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Our beloved arts and cultural communities have been devastated by this crisis, as have so many others. For those who are moved to do so, please consider donating to your favorite cultural institutions.

Here are links to ones that we have covered in the past: 

These are just a few examples of organizations in our community that have shuttered and are provided as an example of some of the many that have been impacted. Please check individual websites for your favorite cultural organization if you want to support them.

 Status of major Philly events this spring

The Penn Relays, the nation’s oldest track meet that has been put on for the last 125 years, has been canceled.

The Devon Horse Show, scheduled for May 21 – 31, is still on as of this writing, but they will monitor developments as this crisis goes on.

The Dad Vail Regatta, scheduled for May 8 and 9 is still on but again, pending new developments. 

Philly Wine Week, scheduled for March 30 – April 6 has been postponed, with no new date yet.

The 2020 African American History and Culture Showcase originally scheduled for April 11 and 12, has been rescheduled for April 3 and 4, 2021. 

Bucks County Food and Wine Festival scheduled for April 17-18 has not officially announced a cancellation but has suspended ticket sales. The Parx Casino, where it was scheduled to be held, is temporarily closed as are all Pennsylvania casinos and all casinos in Atlantic City.

Philly Black Pride, scheduled for April 23- 26 has not announced their plans.

Philly’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration,  Carnival de Puebla, scheduled for April 26, has not announced any changes yet. 

The Philadelphia Zoo is now closed.

Outdoor spaces still open

The city’s parks – Love, Dilworth, Cret, Sister Cities, Fairmount, Clark Park and Bartram’s Garden, among other public city parks, are open, but there are no events scheduled. 

The city’s 50 rec centers are open as well as six senior centers. 

The Woodlands, the historic cemetery in West Philadelphia, has cancelled all events, but the grounds are open. 

Delaware state parks are open and will not charge entrance fees through April 30. New Jersey parks and forests are open but events are canceled and bathrooms, offices, nature centers and historic buildings are closed.

Trails and parking lots will remain open at Valley Forge National Park. However, offices will be closed and bathroom access limited. 

Schuylkill Banks and the Schuylkill RiverTrail are open. Because different portions of the Schuylkill trail are run by different partners, click here for specifics on different sections.

While all buildings in Independence National Historic Park are closed, the outside spaces will remain open and you can access digital content, including photo galleries and other historic and educational content here.

Resources for parents

As parents are reacting to children being home unexpectedly and figuring out both educational and recreational activities, here are some helpful resources:

Live fitness classes and on-demand videos are available via Class Pass (and video comes with even the cheapest membership option) as well as several now-shuttered fitness and yoga studios including City Fitness, Dhyana Yoga, Alexis Rose Xperience, City Fit Girls and more. You can see the full list here. The YMCA also has a wealth of resources for parents and kids for online resources and workouts.

And here is where you can still buy adult beverages. You’re welcome.

Follow your favorite artists on Instagram as some of them are reacting to canceled gigs and the full work stoppage for most live entertainment by providing their talents via social media, as Keith Urban did here.

And you can check out the adorable, viral penguin couple at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium here.

Five TV dramas to watch

Five albums to check out

Jay Electronica – “A Written Testimony” (2020)

Jay Electronica and Jay-Z combine for what was billed as Jay Electronica’s debut album, but sounds more like a collaboration between the two.

Brittney Howard – “Jaime” (2019)

The lead singer of the Alabama Shakes released her eclectic, intriguing and gorgeous debut.

D’Angelo and the Vanguard – “Black Messiah” (2014)

The reclusive musician has only released three albums in his almost two-decade career, but they are all classics. This is a look at race, love and life set to accomplished musicianship.

Chaka Khan – “Homecoming (Live) (2020)

R&B icon Chaka Khan just released an album of her 2019 live concert from Chicago that includes her big solo hits “Ain’t Nobody and “I’m Every Woman” along with her classic songs with Rufus like “Sweet Thing.”

Billie Eilish – “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” (2019)

If you’re wondering why your children or grandchildren were inconsolably upset when Eilish’s Wells Fargo show, one of the first dates on her debut tour, was canceled, check out the 5-time Grammy winner’s debut album.

Also, the streaming apps Mixcloud and Funktopia are great for music lovers of all genres.  Funktopia is particularly great if you’re a Prince fan – as I am.

Movies and shows to watch in honor of Women’s History Month

If celebrating feisty heroines appeals to you, here are the movies to watch.

Late Night (2019)

Second Act (2018)

Hidden Figures (2016)

The Color Purple (1985)

Self Made: Inspired By The Life of Madame C.J. Walker (Debuts on Netflix Friday, March 20)

Iron Jawed Angels (2004)

Keep checking in with Things To Do and we’ll continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our COVID-19 updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.


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