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Weekend Planner: Sept. 13, 2013

This weekend in family fun, little conductors can move full steam ahead, young archaeologists will dig up some good dirt and paddlers of all ages will find themselves up a creek for a great reason.

Philly & the 'burbs

Train your eye on Strasburg, PA for the ever-popular Day Out With Thomas at the Strasburg Rail Road. Hop on board a train that's pulled by a full-sized steam engine emblazoned with the friendly face of Thomas the Tank Engine and meet the always-punctual station master Sir Topham Hatt. Through Sept. 22.  

Kids can uncover the past at the Newlin Grist Mill in Glen Mills on Saturday as they excavate, clean and process artifacts from the early 1700s, part of the mill's cool Community Archaeology Program.

South Jersey 

Watch as the Westampton sky bursts into a rainbow of colors this Sunday as the Rancocas Nature Center says adios to its Monarch butterflies, released for their seasonal journey south to sunny Mexico. Take a meadow hike and learn about the Monarchs' fascinating metamorphosis, their host and nectar plants, and how to tag these delicate creatures so their trip can be tracked and recorded.

The Man in the Yellow Hat hasn't RSVPed, but you can meet Curious George at Johnson's Corner Farm in Medford Saturday, from 10am-12noon. All little monkeys can meet-and-greet the mischievous multimedia star, then take hay rides and climb around the Discovery Barnyard & Animal Farm. Young attendees who become a WHYY Kids Club member play for FREE; pay only for what you pick. 


Starting Friday, cruise the waters off Wilmington on the Kalmar Nyckel, a re-creation of the ship that brought Finnish and Swedish settlers to the Delaware Valley. The tall ship offers public sails and pirate sails on weekends this fall, from Sept. 13 through Sept. 29 and again Oct. 19 and 20.

Canoe the Brandywine Creek this Saturday for the Annual Brandywine Creek River Clean-Up that helps keep the waterway beautiful and safe for the 140,000 residents who rely on it as a source of drinking water. Given that the forecast promises a sunny day in the low 70s, it should be perfect weather for a day of fun environmental stewardship.

If Grams and Gramps have the kids this weekend, send them over to Milburn Orchards in Exton, MD, where they'll receive free admission during Grandparents Weekend, the kickoff to the popular farm's Annual Fall Festival.

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