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Spotlight On... Earth Days

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, but you can go green and promote eco-awareness with your kids all month long.

Pennsylvania

Learn new ways to experience the great outdoors with your kids during the free program “Nature: Everywhere, Easy, Fun and Free” at Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington on Sat., April 10. Briar Bush also hosts a free Earth Day Celebration on Sun., April 18 at 1pm, where you can reuse items to make new crafts, such cereal box notebooks. There's also an Earth Day Celebration on Sat., April 17 at Silver Lake Nature Center in Bristol, with animal shows, crafts, educational exhibits, a concert & giveaways.

Outdoor volunteer projects encourage environmentally responsible habits. During the third annual Philly Spring Cleanup: Keep Up the Sweep Up on Sat., April 10, join Mayor Nutter for citywide beautification projects. You can also participate in volunteer cleanup projects at Churchville Nature Center & Fort Washington State Park this month.

Join Mayor Nutter for community cleanup projects, April 10.

Environmental education is the focus of Earth Day activities at Philadelphia attractions. Kids can get up-close with environmental scientists at The Academy of Natural Sciences on Sat.-Sun., April 17-18. And you can learn simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint at the National Constitution Center, Thurs., April 22.

Zoos go wild for Earth Day on Sat., April 24. The Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown hosts a Conservation Celebration with tree seedling giveaways, crafts & stories. Bring sneakers to donate to Nike’s Reuse A Shoe and receive $1 off admission. That night, the Philadelphia Zoo hosts a Slumber Party for the Planet. The overnight program features a Zoo tour & eco activities.

South Jersey

Kids can participate planting activities at Camden Children's Garden.

Through April 20, Haddon Township Library hosts a recycled art contest. Kids ages 12 & up can submit work made from recycled materials to be displayed on the library bookshelves. The top 3 entries will win prizes.

An Earth Day Festival at Plainsboro Preserve in Cranbury on Sat., April 17 features birding programs in the morning, followed by outdoor animal discoveries in the afternoon.

Celebrate Earth Day down the shore the weekend of April 17-18. During a Party for the Planet at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach on April 17, kids can learn ways to help the environment. An Earth Day Celebration on April 18 at the Bayside Center in Ocean City features entertainment, exhibits & other eco activities for families.

On April 20, kids ages 4-8 can enjoy an Earth Day story & make a recycled art project at the Camden County Library’s South County Branch in Winslow Twp.

An Earth & Arbor Day Family Festival, April 24-25 at the Camden Children’s Garden, includes planting activities, a ladybug release, crafts & educational activities for all ages.

You can play instruments made from recycled materials & sing “Songs of the Earth” at the Medford Arts Center, April 25.

Delaware

Elmo's Green Thumb in Newark, April 1-4

Elmo & friends take center stage at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark during Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb, April 1-4. An eco-focused adventure helps Sunny the sunflower find a new home.

On April 17, the Brandywine Zoo goes wild for Earth Day with a Party for the Planet. Also on April 17: explore topics in green technology, energy alternatives, wildlife and food & waste management during a free Kids’ Greenfest at the NCCL School in Newark.

The children’s book It’s Not Mean to Be Green by local author Jamie Kleman gets adapted for the DuPont Theatre stage, April 18-20. In the story, a boy discovers the concepts  —  and misconceptions — of being environmentally responsible. The play is best for preschoolers through 5th graders.

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.

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