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Time with dad, cultural festivals & a museum birthday

Franklin Square mini-golf

Don't miss these great events for families in June!

Time with Dad in Pennsylvania

With Father’s Day approaching on June 20, area attractions are offering special opportunities for children to honor Dad.

Kids can craft a handmade coffee mug with their dad at Darlington Arts Center in Garnet Valley, June 4 (either 5pm or 6pm, based on your kids' ages) or make a mug or beer stein to give him at The Mud Shack in North Wales, June 6. $15-$25.

Spend Father’s Day weekend in Philadelphia’s historic district for free mini-golf for fathers at Franklin Square with a $6 child ticket, 6th & Race Sts. At the National Constitution Center, 5th & Arch Sts., families can learn about our nation’s Founding Fathers and Rome’s emperors during programs at 11am, 1pm & 3pm, in conjunction with the exhibit Ancient Rome & America. Free with admission, $8-$20.

Other historical experiences on June 20: Graeme Park in Horsham hosts a lunch and a program that teaches about jobs in the 18th century. (Reservations required, call 215-343-0965.) The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation in Media offers half-price admission for dads who visit the site with their kids: $4 for dads, $8 other adults, $6 for kids.

See antique cars on display at the annual FatherFest at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center in West Chester, June 20. The family event also features a motorcycle show, food & kids’ activities. Helicopter rides available for $40 per person.

Greek Festival in Wilmington, June 1-4

Cultural Celebrations in Delaware

Thanks to lively cultural festivals this month, your family can experience the world without leaving Delaware.

First stop: Greece. At Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s Greek Festival, Tues., June 1-Fri., June 4 in Wilmington, you can sample homemade Greek delicacies including the eggplant-rich moussaka and doughnut-like loukoumades. Traditional dances and Greek music will be performed nightly at the free-admission event, which also offers entertainment and games just for kids.

Up next in Wilmington is St. Anthony’s Italian Festival. The week-long extravaganza runs Sun.-Sun., June 6-13 with musicians performing on four different stages, bocce games, several outdoor food courts and a chance to win a family vacation to Rome and Florence. $12 pass covers admission for eight days.

Transport to China at the Chinese American Community Center’s annual Chinese Festival, Fri.-Sun., June 18-20 in Hockessin. An Oracle exhibition displays carvings of ancient Chinese characters said to predict the future. You can also enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine and live performances. Free admission, $5 parking per car.

Finally, come home to America and celebrate African cultural roots. An African American Festival in downtown Dover on Sat., June 26, 10am-8pm, features music and dance spanning several genres: jazz, blues, traditional percussion and gospel. Other highlights of the day include the “Grand Marche” parade, a marketplace and international foods.

Discovery Museum's Birthday in South Jersey

While most museums celebrate their 15th anniversaries, the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill held off on the party until this year’s 16th.

“A 15th anniversary is a more common milestone, but it’s not as kid-friendly as a Sweet 16 celebration,” explains museum director Kelly Lyons. “Our interest in relating to a kid’s world convinced us to put our party on hold until we hit the 16-year mark.”

Families are invited to Sweet 16 parties at the Museum the weekend of Fri.-Sat., June 11-12. Kids & parents can come for a slumber party on Friday night and camp out at the museum for movies, stories, games and snacks.

On Saturday, join the museum’s mascot, Kaleiodosaurus, in singing “Happy Birthday” at 2pm, followed by cake and ice cream for everyone. All day, kids can play party games and make crafts.

Everyday exhibits at the Museum feature hands-on activities and educational lessons, including pretend doctor’s and vet’s offices, a fitness zone and Jersey-themed diner and shore areas. An appropriately “sweet” show, Willy Wonka, runs June 5-26 in the Discovery Theater.

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.

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