Day Trips: From arts to action sports

Take a day and check out one of these regional events

  • X-tink-shun is an interactive puppet show at the Philadelphia Zoo.
X-tink-shun is an interactive puppet show at the Philadelphia… (Philadelphia Zoo, Baltimore…)
July 21, 2011|By Sean Varner, The Baltimore Sun


"X-tink-shun" exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo

Featuring puppets by the Jim Henson Company, "X-tink-shun" has characters of endangered or extinct species stationed throughout the zoo, educating visitors about the plight of their particular species and encouraging the passers-by to make their voices heard.

So while you shouldn't expect to see Miss Piggy throwing herself at Kermit or Statler and Waldorf guffawing on a balcony somewhere, you should expect characters like Didi the Dodo and Leo the Golden Lion Tamarin. And, more importantl you should expect to walk away with the feeling that you can change the world. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31.

If you'd rather skip the exhibit in favor of something more, say, adult-friendly, check out the Summer Ale Festival, which runs 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. July 23 at the zoo.

Tickets for the festival are $30-$90. The zoo is at 3400 West Girard Ave. in Philadelphia, Pa. For more details, call 215-243-1100 or go to

Richmond, Va.

Virginia Food and Wine Festival

This promises to be a really relaxed affair — ideal for a family outing. For the grown-ups, wine sampling will be offered — and for the kids, fishing games, crafts and access to the Children's Museum of Richmond are available.

There will be food, in the form of Virginia barbecue sampling, and live music will be playing throughout the day. Additionally, a large indoor farmers' market will be operating.

The Virginia Food and Wine Festival is noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the Meadow Event Park, 13111 Dawn Blvd. in Doswell, Va. Admission is $10 per car.

Ocean City

Dew Tour

Let's be honest: People attend action sports for the same reason that they watch automotive racing — partly for the stunts, but also for the crashes.

Now, for the first time in its six-year history, the Dew Tour will be making a stop at the beach July 21-24. Granted, that's not as close as it was a couple years ago when it came to Camden Yards, but it's another reason to spend some time at Ocean City.

Head up there this weekend to witness some of the world's most exceptional talent in action sports on the first stop of the 2011 Dew Tour circuit, as they take to skate-boarding, BMXing, surfing, and, occasionally wiping out.

While general admission ranges from $24 to $29, access to the Festival Village — where Shaun White and other action athletes will be signing autographs — is free.

The Dew Tour takes place on the beach's south end, near Dorchester Street. For more information, go to


'Christmas in July' at Six Flags America

It's never too early to spread good cheer. Six Flags America's "Christmas in July" festival adds splash to the concept of celebrating Christmas in the middle of the year. On Sunday, Santa Claus will be on deck at the amusement park's Hurricane Harbor Water Park to help the holiday spirit float on.

While you're there, take a slide on Hurricane Harbor's newest attraction, ZoomAzon Falls, a half-mile of wild, wet fun. Choose one of four twisting and turning body slides, each enhanced by a waterfall, tropical decor and an authentic jungle soundtrack. (You have to be at least 4 feet tall to ride the attraction.)

Visitors who bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive 50 percent off a one-day admission ticket.

Manassas, Va.

150th anniversary celebration

A century and a half ago, the First Battle of Manassas, also known as the First Battle of Bull Run, became the Civil War's first serious land battle. Now, the city is remembering the fight with a weekend of activities.

Events are scheduled to run from Thursday to Sunday and will include re-enactments, parades, exhibits and "Camp Manassas," a living-history site featuring about 2,000 re-enactors.

The camp will offer period children's games, demonstrations in period cooking, telegraph operation and Civil War triage, and a full re-enactment of the battle. The "Journey Along the Underground Railroad" exhibit" by artist Joseph Holston will also be on display, as well as an 1860s-period gas balloon.

Admission is $20 per person. For more information, call 703-361-6599 ext. 103 or go to


Arts and Jazz Festival at the Freeman Stage

Friday and Saturday, the Freeman Stage, halfway between Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, plays host to a slew of art- and jazz-related activities. Artwork from Delmarva artists will be on display on the green, and the stage features a lineup of performances from artists including Joe Baione, PROJECT Trio, the Delmarva Big Band and Matt Wigler.

And, to top it all off, the Arts and Jazz Festival is free.

Freeman Stage is at 31570 Lake View Drive in Selbyville, Del. For more information, go to

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