The Hay Creek Festival at Joanna's Furnace

Joanna’s Furnace, owned by the Hay Creek Historical Association, was a charcoal iron furnace from 1791-1898 in Berks County, PA. The 37th Annual Hay Creek Festival on September 5-7th, 2013 featured early American crafts, vintage machinery, apple pressing at the cider mill, a petting zoo, and much more…

Soup Making

including hearth-made soup,

Soup Hearth

candle making,

Candle Making

and a pit saw demonstration.

Pit Saw

You can read more about the festival in this newspaper article.

Hay Creek Festival

The Hay Creek Apple Festival will take place at Joanna’s Furnace on October 12-13th, 2013.

Joanna's Furnace





The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum Steps Back Into 1944

Every June, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum hosts World War II Weekend, the nation’s largest living history event to celebrate the ‘greatest generation’. The 3-day extravaganza includes airplane rides, air shows, radio shows, vintage cars, big bands, the boogie-woogie, the jitterbug, special guests, and over 1700 re-enactors.

yellow plane front

Radio Show

 blue plane wings


yellow plane side view

picnic between old cars

blue plane

plane in sky



Brooklyn's New Squibb Park Bridge

The Squibb Park Bridge connects Squibb Park to Pier One in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, passing over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Furman Street. Views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge make this bouncy, pedestrian bridge something to experience. The bridge opened on March 21, 2013. A New York Times article described the bridge here: A Zigzag Offers a More Direct Route to a Park

bridge and Manhattan skyline


Squibb Park

bridge view from Pier One

 Park Sign explaining bounce

Squibb Park Plaque top

Squibb Park Plaque bottom half

Manhattan skyline from Peir One

View of Manhattan from Pier One in Brooklyn.



Philadelphia's Franklin Institute: The Giant Heart

Ben Franklin Sculpture

The Giant Heart: A Healthy Interactive Experience is an icon at the Franklin Institute.

Giant heart

Children can walk through it as if they were blood traveling around the heart.

Giant heart close up

Built in 1954 and renovated in 2004, the giant heart is 2 stories tall.

Giant walk-through heart

In the same exhibit, the heart spiral shows the different sizes of animal hearts. At the top is a model of the beaked whale and at the bottom of the spiral is a model of a canary’s tiny heart.

Animal heart models

You can press the buttons to listen to the animals’ heart rates. The beaked whale has a heartbeat of 20 beats per minute, and the canary has a heart rate of 800 beats per minute.

animal heart rates

At the blood fountain, you can learn about red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.

red blood cells

Another display shows how blood can be different colors. Iron gives fish and humans red blood. Copper gives octopuses blue blood. Nickel gives butterflies green blood, and vanadium gives sea cucumbers yellow blood.

nickel gives caterpillars green blood

The Franklin Institute is expanding with a new building scheduled to open in the summer of 2014. The new pavilion will include an exhibit on the human brain.

 Ben Franklin close up sculpture



A Poetry Garden in the Woods

Moss and trees

April is National Poetry Month, and poetry rocks!

live now poem

Anonymous poets, or perhaps woodland fairies, left poetry in this forest.

rock garden

rock poem

poetry garden of rocks

rock poem


Click here for more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.



The United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden was the vision of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It was established on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1820 and opened to the public in 1850. The exhibits include medicinal plants, cacti, rare and endangered species, a jungle, orchids, and a children’s garden. Its plant collections number over 60,000. The USBG rescues plants confiscated at U.S. borders. Three plants on display date back to Lieutenant Charles Wilkes’ U.S. Exploring Expedition from 1838 to 1842.

amarylis blossoms

The jungle exhibit…

jungle tree trunks

A Theobroma Cacao tree…

cocoa tree

Otherwise known as the chocolate tree…

chocolate tree with label

The orange pods contain seeds that become cocoa beans.

purple blooms

orange flower

A cactus from Bolivia

big cactus

A papaya tree…

papaya tree

The World Deserts exhibit…

world deserts cactus

The Garden Court…

pink blossoms

Also the Garden Court…

garden court

The East Gallery…

East Gallery plants

Also the East Gallery…

 East Gallery plants and trees

The Children’s Garden…

 children's garden

Upcoming programs include Dig into Reading: Story Time at the Garden and Science Saturday’s for kids ages 7-12. A Family Field Journal activity guide is available at the entrance. Admission is free.




The Philadelphia Flower Show

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia International Flower Show began in 1829 and now covers 10 acres in the Philadelphia Convention Center. This year’s show is called “Brilliant” for its British theme.

Big  Ben

British floral insignia

palace gates


British icons

yellow submarine


double decker bus



floral crown



white floral dress

office scene

Flower arrangement

purple arrangements

Unusual bouquet

flowers in vase

 white wedding table and flowers

egg shell arrangement

colorful tree branches

fairy flowers

 wheel barrow sculpture

British flag

The Flower Show runs through March 10, 2013.



Views from the Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan view with blue umbrellas

Manhattan view with grasses

 Statue of Liberty

 Manhattan View

 Lower Manhattan skyline viewed from Pier 1.



MoMath Museum in New York City

MoMath, or the National Museum of Mathematics, is a new museum in Manhattan geared towards 4th to 8th graders. But plenty of younger and older mathematicians are enjoying the exhibits, too. There are puzzles and games and a Wall of Fire (a laser light that will outline you in red if you cross its path), the Human Tree (it turns your image into branches of fractal images which move as you move), and the Math Square (it lights up the shortest path to connect everyone standing on the square).

floor square

floor light game

The Harmony of the Spheres lets kids make music.


Kids and adults can take turns riding on the square-wheeled tricycle.

Bicycle with square wheels

Or just monkey around.

Monkey Around


MoMath interior 2

math educator

pink momath shirt

MoMath entrance

 MoMath building

 MoMath is located on 26th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.



The Reading Terminal Market

The Reading Terminal Market is a farmers market in Center City Philadelphia that began in 1893. The market has over 80 vendors in an indoor area of 1.7 acres.

You can get pretty much anything there from sausage

sausage counter

 to candy,

candy counter

like marzipan money makers


 and chocolate ladybugs,

chocolate ladybugs

even a chocolate-covered onion!

chocolate covered onion

Or lungs

chocolate lungs

and hearts.

chocolate heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!