What To Do: Beat that cabin fever!

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids

If you have kids and you’re looking for different ways to help them deal with cabin fever, there are several good options.

On February 16, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 215-299-1000, www.ansp.org) is opening its new exhibition – “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids.”

The exhibit, which examines the relationship between nature and legend, will run through Sunday, June 9, 2019.

The world is full of stories about brave heroes, magical events and fantastic beings. The ANS’s new exhibition traces the natural and cultural roots of some of the most enduring creatures of myth.

“Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids” showcases the stories of mythical beings that have been with us for thousands of years and how they were often inspired by real fossils or living animals. The exhibition features dozens of unique cultural objects that illustrate the surprising similarities and differences in the ways people around the world envision and depict mythic creatures.

Visitors will discover how narwhal tusks were believed to be magical remnants of unicorn horns, how dinosaur fossils may have been mistaken for the remains of griffins, and how tales of sea monsters may simply have been fishermen’s tales of real creatures such as the giant squid.

The extended opening weekend — February 16-18 — features unusual hands-on activities for all ages that draw on the nature of discovery and illustrate the difference between scientific fact and fiction. Visitors will be able to make unicorn poop soap slime, examine Academy specimens, practice penmanship with squid ink, watch live sea monkeys in action, and much more.

Highlights of the exhibit include: a vibrant sculpture of the African water spirit Mami Wata; a replica “Feejee mermaid” of the type made famous by showman P. T. Barnum, created by sewing the head and torso of a monkey to the tail of a fish; a “Life-size” model of a European unicorn; and a dramatic model of a kraken, whose tentacles appear to rise out of the floor as if surfacing from the sea.

Mythic Creatures is organized by several main themes — Sea Monsters, Mermaids, Dragons, and Giants, Griffins and Unicorns.

General admission, which is $19.95 for adults and $15.95 for children (ages 3-12).

Just one block west of the Academy of Natural Sciences sits the Franklin Institute – another great museum for kids of all ages.

Vikings: Beyond the Legend

Now through March 3,  the Franklin Institute (271 North 21st Street, Philadelphia, 215-448-1200, www.fi.edu) is presenting an expansive exhibition titled, “Vikings: Beyond the Legend.”

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to Journey back to Scandinavia and experience the Viking Age.

While Vikings engaged in invading and pillaging, their societies were complex and multifaceted—and influential. They were skilled craftspeople, successful merchants, and diligent farmers with significant impact across western Europe and beyond.

“Vikings: Beyond the Legend” reveals the captivating story of the explorers who set sail from Scandinavia centuries ago and brings the Viking Age to life through a wealth of artifacts, multimedia, and interactive elements.

The exhibition features 600 artifacts; three full-size replica Viking Ships; “Augmented Reality” experiences; ornate jewelry, coins, and weapons; authentic Viking games; and background on Norse Mythology.

Fees to view “Vikings,” which include general museum admission are $35 for adults and $31 for children (ages 3-11),

Hagley’s Invention Space Station

From February 16-18, Hagley Museum and Library (Route 141, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) presents a special event called “Hagley’s Invention Space Station.”

“Hagley’s Invention Space Station,” which will run from 1-4 p.m. each day, features “Tinkering Tables,” where visitors can take apart machines to see what makes them tick, and “Create an Invention,” where participants can build their own incredible inventions and apply for a Hagley Patent.

Another popular attraction is the “Spacesuit Selfie Station.” Guests will have the opportunity to climb into the museum’s special spacesuit and take selfies in outer space.

Hagley’s Invention Space Station is included with regular museum admission, which is $15 for adults, $11 for seniors amd students nd $6 for children (ages 6-14). For guests who want to visit only the Invention Space Station, admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children 6-14.

“Hagley’s Invention Space Station” will also be presented on February 23 and 24 and March 2,3, 9 and 10.

The Hands-on House Children’s Museum (721 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster, 717-569-5437, http://www.handsonhouse.org) offers a wide array of activities for youngster.

Curiosity, creativity, and discovery will take children (accompanied by an adult) on an educational adventure in The Clubhouse, where learning and fun go hand-in-hand.

Some of the museum’s more popular attractions are “Right In Your Own Backyard” where guests can climb in a treehouse and crawl into a honeycomb and see what it’s like to live like a bee, and “Marty’s Machine Shop,” where visitors can put on safety gear and learn how to make the world-famous Watchamagiggles.

Other featured attractions are “Facepaint Porch,” “Little Valley Farm,” “The Corner Grocery,” and “Mostly Make-Believe.”

Admission to the museum is $9.50 for adults and children. To make sure that every attendee has a great experience, please have one adult attending for every two children.

Ribstock 2019

“Ribstock 2019,” an all-day music event to benefit Expressive Path, The Bridgeport Little League and Musicopia, will be held on February 16 at Bridgeport Ribhouse (1049 Ford Street, Bridgeport, 610-278-8066, http://ribhouse.net/).

The festivities kick off at 2 p.m. and will feature performances by some of the top local artists along with headliner Brian Quinn from veteran Seattle rock band Candlebox.

This popular event was created by the Bridgeport Ribhouse staff, Philadelphia musicians Kevin Burk, Brian Quinn and Paul Hammond, sound engineer Dave Anderson, and dmk Publicity owner Denise Kovalevich as a way to give back to the community.

This year’s ninth annual staging of the event will feature performances by some of the area’s best artists including: Juliano Brothers, Transistor Radio, Former Strangers, Hot Sauce Junkies, The Boatloads, WMGK House Band Middle Class, The Right Swipes, Paul Hammond (Get The Led Out) and Friends and Danny Beissel’s Featherborn.

In addition to the live music located inside the bar, sandwiches and other food items will be served outside in the tented area in the Ribhouse parking lot.

A $10 entry fee is required for the event and specials will be offered throughout the day and evening.

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976, www.phillyexpocenter.com) is hosting Philly Home + Garden Show from February 15-17.

If you’re considering projects that deal with working on or around your house — doing repairs, renovations, improvements or expansions, you should visit this weekend’s informative event.

The popular annual show features a large number of exhibits representing the home renovation and decorating industry. Featured products and services include roofing, windows, flooring, decking, landscaping, spas, contractors, designers, water, swimming pools, doors, gutters security systems, cabinetry, entertainment systems, appliances, furniture, vacuums and more.

Six of the region’s top landscaping companies are coming together to help visitors escape the winter and start planning for spring. There will be more than 7,500 square feet of inspirational gardens showcasing new gardening techniques, ideas and must-have products for 2019. This year the garden area will include wine and beer tastings and live music.

There will also be an open-market style area featuring vendors with antiques, home-made, finely crafted items and original art and a “Make-it, Take-it” area where homeowners can get their hands dirty with our new hands-on workshops. Visitors will learn from the experts, discover new DIY project tips and ideas plus walk-away with their own creation.

Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for children (12 and under).

Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show

There will be a lot of model trains and a lot of toys on display and for sale when Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show visits the area for a two-day stop at the Chase Center on the Riverfront (815 Justison Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 630- 279-4087, www.greenbergshows.com).

The show, which is scheduled for February 16 and 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days, will have a wide variety of toys for sale — space toys, Thomas the Tank Engine items, dolls, collectible bears, Barbie, Matchbox, action figures, die-cast models, wrestling stars, Pokemon figures and much more. And, there will be an amazing array of toy trains.

The event will feature a number of operating train displays, including First State Model Railroad Club’s HO Scale Layout, Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division’s O Gauge Layout, New Jersey Southern N-Trak’s N Scale Layout, and Northern Delaware Model Railroad Club’s HO Scale Layout.

Other special attractions will be the “Roaming Railroad”, which is a riding train for kids and adults, Roaming Raceway’s “Interactive R/C Car Racetrack”, which is one of the country’s most advanced model racing tracks.

This weekend’s show will also offer free clinics on a wide variety of topics, including track work, using accessories and using a digital command control. There will be a large number of dealers with toys, trains, accessories and hobby publications. Other features include hourly door prizes.

Tickets for adults are $10 for Saturday and $9 for Sunday. Tickets are good for both days. Children (12 and under) are admitted free.

If full-sized trains are more interesting to you, there is another train-related event this weekend just for you.

The Strasburg Rail Road (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running a special train on February 16 – the “Long John Limited” at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Riders on the “Long John Limited” might get a break with this weekend’s forecast of mild weather.

According to the rail line’s website, “Passengers are invited to don their long johns and winter attire, brave the weather aboard our Open Air Car, and enjoy complimentary Long John donut and coffee as we kick off our 2019 season.”

Not to be confused with the long undergarment worn on cold days, Long Johns are rectangular, yeasted doughnuts that are either filled or unfilled and topped with a variety of icing flavors.

Strasburg Rail Road’s Long Johns will be provided by Achenbach’s Pastries Inc and available while supplies last to those customers purchasing a ticket for the Open-Air car. They can pick up their Long John donut and coffee at the Station before boarding the Open Air Car.

Tickets for either train ride are $17.50 for adults and $10.50 for children (ages 2-11).

Fire & Ice Festival

Now through February 17, the town of Lititz is hosting its annual Fire & Ice Festival (lititzfireandicefestival.com).

On February 15, it’s time for the “Friday Night Block Party” at Main and Broad streets from 5-9 p.m. Featured attractions will be live ice carvings around town and sculptures out for view all over Broad Street and Main Street (which will be closed to vehicular traffic).

The will be live music presented on stage located at the intersection of Broad and Main Streets. Food trucks will be located around town and retailers will be open late for shopping.

Ice sculptures are available for viewing from dawn to dusk in the Lititz Springs Park and throughout downtown Lititz.

Saturday’s events will feature the Chili Cook-off, the Winter Wonderland Carnival and the Vendor Fair — all taking place at Warwick High School from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Activities include charities, rides, games, food, and various vendors.

Additionally, the historic Mary Dixon Chapel, built in 1833, will be open at 3:30 p.m. for self-guided tours to learn more about the history of this unique Lititz landmark.

On Sunday and Monday, visitors are invited to walk around downtown Lititz and enjoy the ice sculptures, dine at local restaurants, and shop at the local stores.

Full Moon Tour

If you find yourself being affected by a full moon, you should consider attending a “Full Moon Tour” at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania (465 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz, 717-626-4617, http://wolfsanctuarypa.org).

The Sanctuary offers this tour once a month on the closest Saturday to the full moon. This month, the date is February 16 and the full moon is known as the Snow Moon. This is an event in which participants are invited to create their own experiences.

Instead of following a tour guide from pack to pack at a regulated pace that fits within a 45-minute time line, you get to go at your own pace from pack to pack. There is also the option of talking to a tour guide who is stationed at each pack. You can listen to what they have to say about the wolves when stopping at a station or you can ask questions.

With this tour, you move at whatever speed you find comfortable. If you get tired, you can go over and sit next to a roaring bond fire (weather permitting) and just relax. Visitors are requested to bring a blanket, a flashlight, a chair and maybe some hot dogs and marshmallows.

The tour starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, and no reservations are required. The next “Full Moon Tour” this year will be Worm Moon on March 23.

On February 19, there will be a “Full Moon Hike”  at Bellevue State Park (800 Carr Road, Wilmington, Delaware, https://www.destateparks.com/History/Bellevue).

Guests at the scenic state park a few miles south of the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line are invited to take an hour-long nighttime hike through the park with a Naturalist under the light of the full moon.

Participants can look and listen for nocturnal animals as they enjoy the park in a whole new way.

Hikers are instructed to wear comfortable shoes as the hike will venture into the woods.

The hike is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m.

Providing visitors with an opportunity to get a break from winter each year in February and March, Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000,www.longwoodgardens.org) celebrates the one of the world’s most popular plants – the orchid.

At the beginning of every year, Longwood Gardens turns its focus to the ultra-popular plant during “Orchid Extravaganza” — an annual event that is running through March 24.

The celebration of the orchid species features thousands of orchid blooms along with a variety of displays and special exhibits throughout its four-acre conservatory. “Orchid Extravaganza” will also feature stunning displays of orchids in planting beds, containers and innovative exhibits.

The largest family of flowering plants in the world is the orchid — a flower that is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful, delicate and graceful flowers in the world. The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew list over 20,000 accepted species with about 800 new species added each year. Additionally, horticulturists have more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.

The celebration of the orchid species features thousands of orchid blooms along with a variety of displays and special exhibits throughout its four-acre conservatory. “Orchid Extravaganza” will also feature stunning displays of orchids in planting beds, containers and innovative exhibits.

As one of the first plant collections at Longwood, orchids have held a place of distinction since 1922. The site’s talented horticulturists celebrate the beauty and variety of orchids with an artful display that includes a towering 12-foot-tall archway, a spectacular orchid curtain, and hundreds of vibrant Vanda orchids adorning the Silver Garden.

Approximately 5,000 colorful orchids hang from baskets, create inspiring arrangements and adorn unique forms throughout “Orchid Extravaganza.” Those who visit the floral extravaganza in March will have the opportunity to see Longwood Gardens’ rare sky-blue poppies in bloom in the Conservatory during Longwood’s inaugural Winter Blues Festival.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for students.

Kreuz Creek Vineyards (553 South Guernsey Road, West Grove, 610-869-4412, www.kreutzcreekvineyards.com) will present “Valentine in the Vineyard” on February 16.

On this special Saturday, visitors can enjoy chocolate fondue made with Bevan’s dark chocolate and the winery’s Ruby “K” Port. There will be live music performances from 2-5 p.m.

“Valentine in the Vineyard” is a sweet event for sweethearts made even sweeter by free admission.

The Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is hosting Wine & Chocolate Pairings every Saturday and Sunday in February from 1-5 p.m.

The event features a walking wine-and-chocolate tour of Chaddsford Winery. Visitors can explore several areas of the historic property as they visit five stations featuring artisan chocolates carefully paired with the winery’s award-winning wines.

The “Wine & Chocolate Pairing” line-up, which features gourmet chocolates by Éclat Chocolate and Gemelli Gelato, includes Passion Fruit Chocolate with 2017 Presage, Star Anise Chocolate with 2016 Artisan Series Traminette, Aleppo Chili Chocolate with Sunset Blush, 73% Dark Chocolate with The Red Standard and Gemelli’s Single-Origin Dark Chocolate Gelato infused with Chaddsford Red.

Tickets are $25 per person.

The Chaddsford Winery is also celebrating wine on Presidents Day.

February 18 is National Drink Wine Day and the Chaddsford Winery wants to raise a glass with you.

Visitors are invited to stop in at the Winery anytime from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and enjoy a Traditional Wine Tasting – on the house.

Participants -will be able to taste seven one-ounce samples of wine from across the winery’s portfolio.

The “Wine and Chocolate Pairings” at Penns Wood Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, 610-459-0808, http://www.pennswoodsevents.com) are being held every Saturday and Sunday in February from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition to its regular tastings, the winery is offering special tastings to celebrate February because February is the month of wine, chocolate, romance and fun.

Penns Wood is adding new and exciting items to its wine and chocolate pairings this year featuring four of its wines and one beer selection carefully paired with local chocolate treats.

Some of the featured wines will be Chardonnay Reserve, Chambourcin, Traminett and Penns Woods Gruner Veltliner.

Tickets cost $25 per person in advance and reservations are required. Cancellations must be made within 72 hours or ticket holders will be charged the full amount of the tasting. Reservations are made and kept on the hour.

Black Walnut Winery (3000 Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyville, 610-857-5566, www.blackwalnutwinery.com)  will have “February Wine and Chocolate Pairings” on February 16, 17, 23 and 24.

The special days will feature a pairing of five of Black Walnut’s wines with gourmet chocolates from Bridge Street Chocolates of Phoenixville. Wine and Chocolate pairings will take place at the top of hour at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

The sessions will also be held same dates and same times at the winery’s location in Phoenixville at 260 Bridge Street.

Cost is $25 per person and includes a Black Walnut logo wine glass. Guests can choose to upgrade their pairing to include a Port tasting as well (two port style wines) for $30 per person.

The Berks County Wine Trail (www.berkscountywinetrail.com) will present “Chocolate & Wine Pairing Event Weekends” to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The event is scheduled for February 16 and 17 from noon-5 p.m. each day.

Visitors can toast Valentines’ Day during two sweet weekends on the wine trail sampling sumptuous chocolates and confections paired with featured wines of the region. They can visit each of the 10 participating wineries along the Berks County Wine Trail to determine their favorite pairing combo.

Stone Barn Cellars (Spring City) Love is in the air with an oh-so decadent chocolate mousse creation paired with Morning Glory white wine. Deerfoot Winery (Shoemakersville) will offer whimsical chocolate and vanilla cake balls with pairings of two of this winery’s wines — Six Point, a red wine and Comfy Couch, a white wine.

Long Trout Winery (Auburn) features chocolate wines paired with homemade chocolatey cakes and confections. Weathered Vineyards (New Tripoli) is featuring brownies infused with Merlot and a drizzled grenache topping. Ridgewood Winery (Birdsboro) offers Underground, a semi-sweet blackberry and Merlot wine blend, paired with chocolate cordials filled with peanut butter and Underground wine.

Manatawny Creek Winery (Douglassville) will be doing chocolate cheesecake with blueberry wine reduction paired with Happiness, a blueberry grape blend wine. Kog Hill Winery (Morgantown) offers a red pairing of Chocolate Torte paired with Strawberry Harvest Wine, and a white pairing of mint-chocolate with Gewertztraminer.

Calvaresi Winery (Bernville) presents Chocolate Merlot Mini Cupcakes and Ultimate Malted Milk Balls alongside Autumn Rose. Setter Ridge Vineyards will have a mini chocolate cupcake topped with a Pinot Gris buttercream frosting and served with their Pinot Gris wine. Stoudt’s Winery (Shartlesville) will be pairing Strawberry wine with chocolate covered strawberries.

Tickets are $15.

A great way for chocoholics to satisfy their chocolate cravings is to take a trip to Hershey during the month of February. This month, it’s time for “Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey” (various locations around Hershey, 800-HERSHEY, www.chocolatecoveredfebruary.com).

It is only natural that Hershey, the town that bills itself as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” hosts a month-long celebration in honor of all things chocolate. Hershey has decadent chocolate events planned throughout the month of February.

This weekend, visitors to the Hershey Store can try their hand at making their own heart-shaped milk chocolate confections and hand-made truffles. Other activities are a “Chocolate Tea” at the Hotel Hershey and a “Chocolate and Spirits Pairing Class & Chef Demonstration” at the Hershey Lodge.

The “Hersheypark Chocolate Parade” will be held at the amusement park every Saturday and Sunday in February beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day. There will also be an “Interactive Story Time & Hot Cocoa” session at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. at Hersheypark every Saturday and Sunday in February.

Other activities throughout the month include “Chef Demonstrations” at the Hotel Hershey, “Hershey’s Chocolate Dessert Journey” at Hershey’s Chocolate World, “Hershey’s Character Breakfast” at Hershey Lodge, “Wild Treats” at ZooAmerica, and “Old Chocolate Balsamic Tastings” at the Hotel Hershey.

An all-you-can-eat Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet — complete with live musical performances — will be held on February 16 from 7 a.m.-noon at Historic Joanna Furnace (Route 10, Morgantown, 610-286-0388, www.haycreek.org).

Visit to the historical site Saturday morning will be able to savor the delicious breakfast foods Joanna Furnace is known for, indulge in a chocolate-enhanced menu and learn about the history of Joanna Furnace. Many of the dishes served at the event will be reminiscent of the breakfasts served in the historic furnace homes.

The 12th annual all-you-can-eat Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet will feature bacon, creamed chipped beef, eggs, fresh country sausage, ham, scrapple, pancakes, hash browns, toast, coffee, juice and fresh strawberries accompanied by a fabulous chocolate dip.

The “Lovers’ Day” ambiance will be enhanced by live music performed by Phyllis Hummel. The veteran musician from Berks County will play acoustical guitar and sing a variety of romantic ballads throughout the breakfast time.

Tickets for the breakfast are $9.50 for adults and $5.00 for children (ages 5-11). Reservations are not required for breakfast.

Historic Odessa (201 Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org) is hosting a different type of special event this weekend called “Workshop: Ladies 18th Century Caps.”

On February 16, the historic site will welcome Lynne Tolton for a fun and information-filled cap making class at Historic Odessa.

Guests will hand sew their own caps in the style of 18th-century ladies.

Traditionally, a cap should take more than 4 hours to construct. This workshop will be held in the meeting room at the Corbit-Sharp House, 118 Main Street.

The $30 fee covers the cap making kit and materials.

From February 15-17, the Pennsylvania Convention Center (10th and Arch streets, Philadelphia, 800- 541-8239, https://www.worldtattooevents.com/philadelphia-tattoo-arts-convention/) is hosting the 21st Annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention.

The convention runs from 2 p.m.-midnight today, 11 a.m.-midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. The main focus of the convention will be hundreds of booths hosted by top-flight tattoo artists.

The event features a huge roster of special guests including Anwon Boneface Johnson, Kyle Dunbar, Black Ink Crew, Alli Baker, Shanghai Kate, Gian Karle Cruz, and James Vaughn.

Other attractions include a video game tournament, free samples, raffles and kids’ activities. There will also be opportunities for show attendees to have pictures of their tattoos taken by a number of magazines.

Tickets are $22 per day or $45 for a three-day pass. Kids under 12 are admitted free.

The Big Philly Beerfest just keeps getting bigger and better each year.

The Fourth Annual Big Philly Beerfest will be held on February 15 and 16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia,http://bigphillybeerfest.com).

The Beerfest, which is scheduled to run from 8-11:30 p.m. each night, will host more than 90 breweries and feature unlimited sampling of more than 300 craft beers. Obviously, naming it the “Big” Beerfest was no exaggeration.

Some of the participating breweries will come from thousands of miles away while others will come from as close as Downingtown (Victory Brewing), Emmaus (Funk) and Adamstown (Stoudt’s Brewery).

The festive and lively event is a fundraiser for Animal Rescue Partners, an organization dedicated to supporting numerous animal rescues, pet adoption groups and community spay/neuter programs.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door and include unlimited samples in a five-ounce souvenir acrylic mug.

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