The Radical Little Library unveiling on Armat Street at the May Day celebration. (GIH/Rasheed Ajamu)

It’s officially summer, meaning the kiddos are out for the summer. Check out these events below for parents and caretakers looking for low-cost and free fun for the family this summer around the neighborhood.

Sunday Fundays at Awbury Arboretum

Every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., The Farm at Awbury (6336 Ardleigh Street) hosts a “Sunday Funday” for the whole family. While The Farm is regularly open to the public during the week, Sundays include extra activities. Families can tour The Farm, take a wellness class, take a gardening workshop, shop for artisan goods, and even see goats and chickens.

The last Sunday Funday will be October 30. There is no registration required for this event.

The Mappening is Happening at Maplewood Mall

Every last Saturday of the month, the Friends of Maplewood Mall hosts six hours of fun for the community. Every Mappening features live music, vendors, and arts & crafts from noon to 6 p.m. Past Mappenings have included a two-hour open mic slot from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At the same time, families can support the businesses that inhabit the strip. Families can access Maplewood Mall on Armat Street from either Greene Street or Germantown Avenue.

Movie Screenings in the Park

Families can gather their snacks, blankets, and lawn chairs and head to a local park this summer to watch a free movie screened by the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. The movie titles and their respective locations include:

  • Encanto (Thursday, June 23 at 8 pm at Loundon Park at Abbottsford Avenue & Germantown Avenue)
  • Encanto (Thursday, July 2 at 8 pm at Fernhill Park at 4600 Morris Street)
  • The Wiz (Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 pm at Gilbert Stuart Park at 5132 Germantown Avenue)

There is no registration required for this event.

Take the Kids Swimming

While the city announced a lifeguard shortage which will limit how many public swimming pools around the city can operate, some in the area are opening for the season. Before visiting any site, check the city’s web tool that will tell you if the pool is open and the hours of operation. Here’s a list of neighborhood pools offering a place to cool down this summer and when they start.

  • Pleasant Playground at 6720 Boyer Street (June 23)
  • Awbury Playground at 6101 Ardleigh Street (June 28)
  • Lonnie Young Recreation Center at 1100 E Chelten Avenue (Week of July 4th)

Make a Trip to the Community Fridges

Whether you are taking from the fridges or putting items in them, the community fridges are a great way to teach children mutual aid and community care. There are currently three fridges in Germantown, and they all have their own guidelines for what items you can give to the fridge. Each fridge is accessible 24/7. Locations for the fridges include:

  • 5424 Lena Street
  • 20 W. Armat Street
  • 19 E. High Street

Check out the Joseph E. Coleman Library

The Coleman Library is a kid-friendly space as much as it is a book haven. The library hosts a variety of activities throughout the year for children and youth of all ages, and the summer is no exception. You can visit their website for a complete list of activities and specific details, but some activities include:

  • Baby (newborn to age 2) Storytime at Vernon Park on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Preschool (ages 3 to 5) Storytime at Vernon Park on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
  • Board Games and Puzzles on most Fridays starting at 11 a.m. (ends August 12th)
  • Tween (ages 8 to 12) Book Club reading of “Mañanaland” by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Tap into the Philly Children’s Movement

The Philly Children’s Movement is based in the Northwest section of Philadelphia and is a collective of families and educators centering on racial justice through talking, playing, and learning. PCM has an online toolkit of activities and resources like books, music, and more that help you explore race and identity with your kids. PCM also launched the Radical Little Library, a community library for youth that centers on content by people of marginalized backgrounds.

Visit www.phillychildrensmovement.org for the toolbox, other resources, and possible upcoming events.

Visit one of many Historic Germantown sites and attractions

Germantown holds some of the earliest tales of American history, dubbing it “Freedom’s Backyard.” A partnership among 18 historic houses, museums, and other destinations in Northwest Philadelphia makes Historic Germantown. According to their website, they work collaboratively to protect, preserve, and share some of Philadelphia’s prized historical assets. What better way to celebrate the summer than to celebrate the historical value of your neighborhood?

Germantown Avenue holds many of these sites within walking distance, like the Cliveden House, the Ebenezer Maxwell House, the Johnson House, and the Wyck House. Make a day out of visiting them or split up the fun learning experience throughout the summer. Check out the website for hours and operations of the different sites and destinations.

Go to the Jabali Jungle Celebration

Later this summer, on Saturday, August 27, Black & Planted is hosting another year of Jabali Jungle, a celebration of Black & POC-owned plant & flower shops and urban farms. There will be tons for adults to do, like take some classes, shop for plants & flowers, and a bloom bar. And while the adults have fun, there’s a kids’ corner planned with activities for all the little ones.
Jabali Jungle will happen at the Wyck House at 6206 Germantown Avenue. Visit www.blackandplanted.com to learn more about the event.