What To Do: Carnival and Valentine’s Day events fill out local events schedule

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Get ready for an unprecedented stretch of partying, bacchanal, sweet food treats and celebrations.

The party starts with the Lunar New Year on February 10 followed by Super Bowl on February 11. It continues with Mardi Gras and Carnival (and Fastnacht Day) on February 13, and concludes with Valentine’s Day on February 14.

The biggest celebration is Valentine’s Day which arrives on Wednesday.

That means that married couples, lovers, boyfriends and girlfriends, boyfriends and boyfriends, engaged couples, girlfriends and girlfriends, sweethearts and even pet owners and their pets will be celebrating the annual romantic holiday this weekend – and celebrating some more on February 14.

“Lincoln Mill Haunted House” (4100 Ridge Avenue, Manayunk, www.lincolnmillhaunt.com) was Philadelphia’s newest haunted attraction back in 2022.

Now, the site is hosting a one-night only special attraction – “Viktor’s Valentine: A Dark Love Story.”

Equipped only with a candle, guests will venture through the hidden chamber in the darkness. With a Valentine’s Day twist, this blackout experience will heighten your senses as you encounter the mill’s inhabitants and the ghost of Viktor’s Valentine.

In the 1930s, Viktor Kane had several accomplices that helped him carry out his evil acts. One of them loved Viktor but developed a deep resentment towards him. She wanted the pain to stop and so she came up with a plan to take down his operation.

On February 14, 1939, she left a trail of hearts inside the hidden chamber.

At the end of the trail, she revealed herself, greeted Viktor with a kiss, and then stabbed him in the heart. She then took her own life, wanting to be free of her guilt, her body, and to be with Viktor forever.

According to Lincoln Mill Haunted House Co-Founder Jared Bilsak, “Valentine’s Day is about romance and spending time with your significant other. In addition to taking your date out to a restaurant or bar, what other night-out options are there in the Philly region? There’s something romantic about walking through a haunted house with your date in the dark, holding hands, side by side.

“We wanted to offer something unique and not offered anywhere else in the region. Our team has created a dark candlelit experience that wasn’t just about the traditional idea of love and romance. Instead, we wanted to combine the emotions of love and fear while walking through a haunted mill in the dark. The idea for Viktor’s Valentine was born.

“The Legend of Lincoln Mill is an evolving story, and we want to continue telling that story throughout the year. In the story of Viktor’s Valentine, Viktor’s death is revealed and we learn that he was killed by someone close to him back in the 1930s. Love and fear are the strongest human emotions and have become the key inspiration for this event.”

The attraction takes guests on a journey through an interactive living story featuring more than 40 live scare-actors, production quality sets, props, animatronics, and breath-taking special effects.

“The Legend of Viktor’s Valentine: A Dark Love Story” runs from 6-10 p.m. on February 14.

Tickets are $35 per person or $65 per couple.  All tickets include access to the deck overlooking the Schuylkill River.

Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will have two special events this weekend.

On February 10, Laurel Hill Cemetery will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” walking tour at 10 a.m. and the “’Til Death Do Us Part: Love Stories of Laurel Hill Walking Tour” on from 1-3 p.m.

Visitors on February 10 can celebrate the “spirit” of Valentine’s Day with their soulmates in one of Philadelphia’s most romantic and mysterious locations. Laurel Hill East’s love stories walking tour was inspired by the little-known story of Mary Peterson whose heart – and only her heart – now lies buried beneath the cemetery’s earth. Learn about her symbolic, final gesture, and other tales of love as varied as the souls from which they transpired.

Tour Guide will be Gwen Kaminski.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $20/General Admission, $18/Seniors (65 & up) and $10/Students with ID.

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead?

The “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories about Laurel Hill.

“Hot Spots and Storied Plots” is the perfect introduction for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history. An experienced graveyard guide will offer a unique perspective. No two “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” are alike.

The tour will take place on February 10 from 10 a.m.-noon. The Tour Guide will be Rich Wilhelm.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $15/General Admission, $13/Seniors (65 & up) and Students with ID.

Valentine’s Day and chocolates have been a match made in heaven for a long time. Not surprisingly, Valentine’s Day is in the top four for holiday candy sales.

If you’re wondering how the top four fare against each other, you might be surprised at the answer. Easter is first followed by Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

The romantic holiday is just a few days away and wine-loving chocoholics have been – and will be — celebrating all month.

Valentine’s Day arrives in the middle of February and that’s a holiday that is a natural for gifting and consuming chocolate delights and fine wine.

Many wineries around the area have found a way to elevate moods – and get a Valentine’s Day vibe going — by presenting events that feature wine and chocolate tastings.

Every Saturday and Sunday in February, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Reserve Tastings – Wine & Chocolate.”

Guests will join the CFW Crew for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the Barrel Room. The trained staff will guide them through a pre-selected tasting of five widely diverse and award-winning wines from across the portfolio. The selections will be paired alongside seasonal local cheeses and other accoutrements to enhance your tasting experience.

The staff will also discuss topics such as grape growing conditions at our partner vineyards and the onsite winemaking process from production to aging and bottling.

The 2024 Pairing Line Up is: Sparkling White paired with Spiced Pear Bonbon; Dry Rosé: Redux paired with Passion Fruit Bonbon; Harbinger Red Blend paired with Star Anise Bonbon; Good Vibes Only paired with Pennsylvania Dutch Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bar; and Revolution (fortified, port-style wine) paired with Bolivian Nacional Bonbon.

Reserve seatings are $35 per person.

Wine & Chocolate Pairings at Penns Woods

The “Wine & Chocolate Pairings at Penns Woods” at Penns Wood Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, 610-459-0808, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) provide a nice way for visitors to enjoy a winter weekend day.

Penns Woods Winery is featuring a pairing which includes a tasting of four wines perfectly paired with four handcrafted chocolates from Good Good Chocolates.

The mouth-watering tastings will be held every weekend in February from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets cost $36 per person and reservations are required.

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 10, 11, 17 and 18 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.

The list of wineries and featured tastings includes: Deerfoot Winery (Shoemakersville); Manatawny Creek Winery (Douglassville); Kog Hill Winery (Morgantown); Long Trout Winery (Auburn); Stoudt’s Winery (Shartlesville); Setter Ridge Vineyards (Kutztown); Stonekeep Meadery (Fleetwood); Bouchette Vineyards (Bethel); Lily’s Winery & Vineyard (Reading); Blue Mountain Winery (New Tripoli) and Ridgewood Winery (Birdsboro).

The ticket price includes a wine and chocolate pairing at each of the participating wineries.

Tickets are $15 and are good for all four event days.

Glen Foerd

Just over a month ago, Glen Foerd (5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, www.glenfoerd.org) had a special.

After a year-long restoration project, Glen Foerd’s 121-year-old pipe organ came back to life on January 6, when Mark Loria, principal organist for the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, commemorated the occasion with a free live concert performance.

On February 14, Glen Foerd will present its “Sweethearts Pipe Organ Concert and Happy Hour.”

Guest organist Luke Staisiunas, organist-choirmaster at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Roxborough, will perform romantic melodies including Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebesfreud” (Love’s Joy), Edward Elgar’s “Salut d’Amour.” He will also perform the 1931 hit, “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” along with other popular tunes.

The exquisite pipe organ is nestled in the grand stair hall of the Gilded Age mansion on the Delaware, ornamented by carvings of winged cherubs and floral garlands. Powered by a motor in the basement, the organ resonates beautifully in the adjoining art gallery and speaks to all parts of the home.

It was built in 1902 by Philadelphia’s one-time C.S. Haskell company and installed in the Main House by industrialist Robert Foerderer, who had the custom organ built for his wife Caroline, an accomplished organist; he did not live to hear her play it.

Glen Foerd is an 18-acre public park and historic site located along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Built in 1850 and enlarged in 1902-03, the estate—consisting of historic gardens, an Italianate-Classical Revival style mansion, and multiple additional structures—was saved from potential development through the activism of dedicated neighbors in 1983.

Today, Glen Foerd focuses on welcoming a diverse community through a wide array of programs for all ages. As one of the only cultural sites located in Northeast Philadelphia, a rapidly changing area of the city, Glen Foerd aims to connect audiences from different backgrounds by offering unique and affordable experiences to engage with the arts and the environment.

Attendees of Glen Foerd’s first Valentine’s Day pipe organ concert will have a chance to explore the historic mansion while listening to the performance. There will be vendors and activities to explore, including love-inspired tarot readings. Some seating will be provided in the first-floor drawing room and second-floor art gallery.

There will be a cash bar, and light bar snacks will also be for sale.

Due to limited capacity, registration is required. To register, visit https://www.glenfoerd.org/events

If you’re looking for another out-of-the-ordinary way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you might want to consider taking part in the “Sweetheart Skate” at the Blue Cross RiverRink (Market Street at the Delaware River, Philadelphia, www.riverrink.com).

“Sweetheart Skate” is slated for February 14 at the outdoor rink with skating sessions from 7-11 p.m.

The event’s focus is providing a suitable atmosphere for guests to skate with their special someone and RiverRink features one of the most romantic settings in the city.

Participants in “Sweetheart Skate” will be able to enjoy flowers, slow jams by DJ Reddz, boardwalk games, rides, cozy cabins, firepits and “favorite lovey-dovey films” in the Lodge.

Tickets, which are $27 per person, include skating admission, skate rental, a single rose, and a keepsake photo Old City Photo Booth.

Unlike most of the suburban ice rinks, RiverRink features public skating. Ice skating is the only use of this ice rink.

This winter, RiverRink takes the ice-skating experience on the Delaware River waterfront to another level by once again transforming the annual rink into a bona fide winter wonderland.

For three decades, Winterfest has been Philadelphia’s favorite Winter tradition on the Delaware River Waterfront, inviting visitors for a chance to indulge in flights of fancy under thousands of sparkling lights in a winter wonderland with spectacular views of the Delaware River, complete with comforting warming cabins, physically distanced fire pit stations, games for the young and young-at-heart, delicious food and refreshing drinks, the signature holiday tree and — of course — ice skating on an NHL-sized rink.

Another ice-skating option in downtown Philadelphia is Center City Parks District’s Rothman Orthopaedics Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park (1 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, http://ccdparks.org/dilworth-park).

It is an unparalleled entertainment experience on Philadelphia’s center stage in a wonderfully urban and unique setting. Open seven days a week, the rink offers wintery fun for all ages, with a full slate of programs.

The Colebrookdale Railroad (South Washington Street, Boyertown, www.colebrookdalerailroad.com) is running its “Valentine’s Day — Romance on the Rails” excursions on February 10, 11, and 14.

The Edwardian splendor of the Secret Valley Expedition will surely kindle romantic fires as the train journeys into the night. The rail line has taken care of all of the details so that you and your love can sit back, relax, and let the world fade away as you focus on each other. This Valentine’s Day do something different — get aboard a 1920’s era train and enjoy a hand prepared meal as you leisurely wind your way through the Secret Valley.

The specials excursions will run on February 10 at 5 p.m., February 11 at 4 p.m. and February 14 at 6 p.m.

Ticket prices are $40 for adults, $36 for seniors and $25 for children.

The New Hope Railroad (32 West Bridge St, New Hope, 215- 862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) offers its annual “Valentine’s Excursion” on February 10, 11 and 14.

Riders can take a step back in time and experience the romantic luxury of America’s railroads in premium turn-of-the-century Parlor cars for an intimate 60-minute excursion through the foothills of beautiful Bucks County.

During the trip, they can enjoy table-seated comfort while sampling light fare served by knowledgeable Parlor Car attendants. Each couple will receive a lush sweet and savory charcuterie spread, a long-stemmed red rose, and a takeaway to share later. Guests over 21 years of age will also receive a flight of hand-crafted demi cocktails to sample and pair with the spread.

Fares start at $109.

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its “Sweetheart Brunch Excursion to Ale Craft Brewery” on February 11 at 11 a.m.

Riders can join Brewery Tours and their fun and knowledgeable Beer Guides aboard Northern Central Railway of York for a pretty sweet craft beer experience!

The ticket includes a guided tasting of 10 five-ounce craft beer samples from South County Brewery with a special cheesecake pairing, a keepsake tasting glass, as well as complimentary water and snacks.

Tickets are $59.99.

The Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (Reading Outer Station, Reading, www.rbmnrr-passenger.com) is running its 2023 “Valentine’s Special Train Excursions” on February 10 and 11.

Trains will depart Reading Outer Station and travel to the scenic riverside town of Jim Thorpe.

There will be a layover in Jim Thorpe for riders to check out the quant town and dine in one of the many fine restaurants.

Each passenger will be given a chocolate treat to enjoy.

Round trip tickets are $39.

Chinese New Year is the first day of the New Year in the Chinese lunisolar calendar (Chinese traditional calendar). It is also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival. The first day of the festival begins on the New Moon sometime between January 21 and February 20. The holiday/festival lasts 16 days from New Year’s Eve to the 15th day of the New Year which also happens to be the Lantern Festival.

The lunisolar calendar uses the location of the sun and the moon relative to the earth to determine dates on the calendar. The Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely used calendar in the world today uses the location of the sun relative to the earth to determine the dates on the calendar.

The Chinese zodiac is a rotating cycle of 12 years in which each year is represented by a specific animal and its characteristics — rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

2024 is the “Year of the Dragon” according to Chinese zodiac.

Dragon is powerful, endlessly energetic and full of vitality, goal-oriented yet idealistic and romantic, and a visionary leader. They know exactly who they are and possess the keenest sense of self among the 12 zodiacs of Chinese astrology.

Many communities recognize Lunar New Year, including those who identify with Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tibetan cultures. The holiday traditionally begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on the first full moon.

This festive holiday originated as a time to rest from farm work and be with loved ones. The diverse customs of Lunar New Year include feasting, exchanging gifts, lighting exquisite lanterns, and making offerings to gods and ancestors.

There will be an array of Lunar New Year activities over the next few days.

Philadelphia’s Chinatown will be a hotbed of activity this weekend when the Philly Suns perform the highly acclaimed Lion Dance in the Midnight Parade on Friday night at 10 p.m. and the Lunar New Year Parade on Sunday at 11 a.m.

On February 10, the Pearl S. Buck House (520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, pearlsbuck.org) will host its “Lunar New Year Celebration.”

The event will feature Dragon Dance, Ganzi Tap Dance, Sound Ladder, The Vast Grassland, Our Land, Korean Fan Dance, Chinese Zither Ensemble, Peking Opera – “Mu Guiying Takes Command,” Chopstick Dance – The Mongolian, China in the Light,

Chinese Zither Quartet, and Chinese Classical Dance Dunhuang “Kalavinka.”

The celebration will run from noon-3 p.m. Admission is “pay what you wish.”

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, philamuseum.com) will present its “Family Festival: Lunar New Year” on February 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Special activities include Zhejiang Province Artist Takeover, Tea-Whisking, Sugar Painting, Spring Couplet Writing, Taishun Puppets, Taizhou Embroidery, Longquan Celadon, and Rice Sculpture Art (rice dough food modeling).

Admission is $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and $14 for youth.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is celebrating the new year with one of its annual special events – “Winter Wonder.”

“Winter Wonder,” which runs now through March 24, celebrates the beauty of winter. It’s all about outdoor spacious, indoor oasis, and the power of story.

Outside, visitors can find a sense of peace and tranquility as they walk past textural grasses, seed heads and the dramatic silhouettes of trees that stretch up into the sky.

Inside, they can bask in a world of warmth that features an overhead garden of hanging baskets adorned with such vibrant beauties as jasmine, cape-primrose, and lipstick-plant.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a paradise of flowers and foliage, bursting with color — all in a beautiful indoor winter wonderland with a tropical twist.

Inside Longwood’s Conservatory, visitors can check out nearly 300 blooming orchids on display in the site’s Orchid House. There will also be rare blue poppies blooming in March but for only about 10 to 15 days.

Another popular attraction this year is Longwood Gardens’ “Science Saturdays” series.

Topics for Science Saturday events are “Plant Exploration in Tanzania” on February 10, “Longwood Research, Down to a Science” on February 24, “Managing Our Natural Lands” on March 9 and “Seed Science” on April 20.

Longwood custom grows a staggering 1,300 (and counting) types of plants each year for seasonal indoor displays and outdoor gardens … and each type has its own needs. While Longwood’s team utilizes its horticulture expertise to grow this diverse palette of plants, its innovative greenhouses further the capabilities to grow them precisely and efficiently, all while attending to each plant type’s individual needs.

The gardens are open from Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, March 31. Hours change in the spring.

As always, admission by “Timed Ticket” — tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed ticketing limits the number of people in the Gardens at any given time and allows guests to enjoy minimal lines and a better viewing experience.

You may enter the Gardens up to 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after your designated time. Make every effort to arrive at your designated reservation time. Earlier or later arrivals may not be accommodated.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students, $18 for active military and veterans and $13 for youth (ages 5-18).

Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org), a 230-acre historical village on the site of the original du Pont Company gunpowder mills in northern Delaware, has a popular attraction – “Nation of Inventors.”

“Nation of Inventors” celebrates the American spirit of ingenuity by taking visitors on a journey from the early years of the patent system, in the 1790s, through the “golden age” of American invention, in the late 1800s. The exhibit features more than 120 patent models from Hagley’s unique collection highlighting the diverse stories of inventors from all walks of life.

Patent models are scaled representations of inventions and were part of the patent application process for nearly 100 years. “Nation of Inventors” showcases patent models representing innovations in a variety of industries from transportation and manufacturing to food preservation and medical devices.

In the exhibition, visitors will enjoy engaging experiences around every corner, testing their knowledge of innovation and hearing personal accounts from inventors.

The patent models in “Nation of Inventors” were created between 1833 and 1886. “Nation of Inventors” not only features patent models submitted by inventors from the United States, but also models from inventors in England, France, Ireland, Russia, and Spain, demonstrating an international interest in America’s intellectual property system.

“Nation of Inventors” includes patent models from well-known inventors and companies like Ball (Mason Jars), Jim Beam, Bissell, Corliss, Steinway, and Westinghouse. The exhibit presents important topics and timely themes including women inventors, Black inventors, immigrant inventors, improvements in urban living, and the ways Americans learn about and understand progress and change.

“Nation of Inventors” is located on the first two floors of Hagley’s Visitor Center. Visitors can plan to spend about 30 minutes on their self-guided tour of the exhibition.

Admission to Hagley is $20 for adults, $16 for students and seniors (62+) and $10 for children (6-14).

The American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776, www.americanswedish.org) will have a special event this weekend.

“Semlor and a Movie” will be held on February 10 starting at 11 a.m.

Participants can treat themselves to a rich semla (a cream and almond paste-filled Swedish pastry) with a cup of hot coffee and a Swedish movie.

Semlor are often eaten before the start of Lent on the Swedish version of ‘’Fat Tuesday’’. This is a highly celebrated day in Sweden, so come join the celebration of semlor.

Event tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Ticket price includes one semlor with additional semlors available for purchase at $6 each.

The Philadelphia Zoo has been a habitat for an amazing array of animals ever since its opening day in July 1874. Now, for the next two-and-one-half months, the Zoo will be home to a sextet of Trolls.

Now through April 15, the Philadelphia Zoo (3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia) is hosting the East Coast debut of Thomas Dambo’s “TROLLS: Save the Humans,” produced by Imagine Exhibitions. This represents the first-ever winter feature experience at Philadelphia Zoo.

The world’s leading “recycle” artist has created these six, folklore-inspired Trolls using repurposed wood. The Trolls are on a mission to inspire humans to take better care of nature. The Trolls, ranging up to 15 feet tall, will be located throughout the Zoo’s 42-acre campus.

“TROLLS” were created by artist Thomas Dambo, who currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Born in Odense, Denmark in 1979, Dambo’s mission is to create art that inspires people to explore, have adventures in nature, and show that recycled goods can be turned into something beautiful.

Before embarking on the path of building larger-than-life troll sculptures, Dambo led a multi-faceted life that allowed him to express his creativity via music, street art, and scenic design. After graduating from the Kolding Design School in Kolding, Denmark, with a master’s degree in interactive design, Thomas began his journey of using recycled materials to create colorful art installations, building the foundation for his artwork today.

Dambo’s colossal troll sculptures range in height from 16-50 feet and ‘live’ as permanent or semi-permanent installations in parks, greenspaces, industrial parks, and in other site-specific locations around the world. Each folklore-inspired sculpture is imbued with expression and character and is built entirely from reclaimed materials.
In the Spring of 2018, Dambo unveiled a temporary exhibition of “TROLLS” at The Morton Arboretum just outside of Chicago, IL. The exhibition was an enormous success, leading to the garden’s two highest attended years in its nearly 100-year history. During the run of the exhibition, 1.26 million people visited the arboretum.

Each Troll has a unique name and story.

They all believe rethinking how we live our daily lives will help save the planet for all animals, including humans, and they want to share their ideas. They want all humans to reduce trash, reuse everything, and recycle when they can. The Trolls believe that these actions and others to protect wildlife and wild places are important steps to help save the planet for all animals, including humans.
There are six Trolls who will be taking up residence at the Philadelphia Zoo through April 15.

Ronja Redeye is The Trolls’ fearless leader who is ready to welcome guests to Philadelphia Zoo. Her mission is to encourage guests to rethink ways to minimize trash.
Rosa Sunfinger is the Troll with a green thumb. She wants guests to find ways to renew the habitats around them and plant native plants wherever they can to create habitats for pollinators.
Sofus Lotus is the Troll who loves to listen. He likes to get down on the ground to hear the sounds of all wild things. His mission is to inspire guests to reconnect and learn from nature.
Ibbi Pip is the Troll in charge of finding new uses for old things. Her passion is reusing old wood to create bird houses, providing a home for these animals to feel safe and raise their chicks.
Kamma Can is the Troll who’s a pro at recycling. She created her beautiful jewelry from plastic that would otherwise pollute wild places.

Basse Buller is the Troll who refuses to give up on protecting the planet. He is on a mission to motivate guests to refuse the habits humans have that hurt nature.
“TROLLS” are stomping through the Zoo through April 15. The exhibition is included in admission to the Zoo. Admission prices start at $19 for adults and children. Tickets are now available on philadelphiazoo.org.

If you’re looking for a fun family activity – an indoor activity unaffected by the weather — Linvilla Orchards (137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com) has something just for you — the miniature golf course “Fore! the Planet.”

Linvilla Orchard’s “Fore! The Planet” is a highly interactive and playful museum exhibit created by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. This exhibition pairs important environmental issues with the fun of miniature golf.

It features nine unique educational holes — explore butterfly metamorphosis, a tropical rain forest, evolution, dinosaur extinction, food chains, and more. It’s perfect for kids of all ages. The entire family will enjoy playing miniature golf while learning about our environment – every step of the way.

The mini-course is open daily from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. through April 1. Tickets are $8.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) may be closed for park rides and activities but there’s still furry fun to be had.

This weekend’s special event will be “My Fuzzy Valentine Dine,” the final edition of five themed dining experiences throughout January and February.

“My Fuzzy Valentine Dine,” which will be held on February 10 and 11, runs approximately one hour from scheduled start time.

Advance dining reservations are required. Park admission is not required and there is no parking fee.

Tickets for the dining events are $39.99 (ages 10 and older) and $19.99 for children (ages 2-9). Advanced dining reservation is required.

Ghost Tour of Philadelphia (215-413-1997, www.ghosttour.com), Ghost Tour of Lancaster (717-687-6687, www.ghosttour.com) and Ghost Tour of Strasburg (717-687-6687, www.ghosttour.com) operate throughout the winter and offer an eerily entertaining evening of true ghost stories and real haunted houses.

The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, which is based on the book, “Ghost Stories of Philadelphia, PA.,” is a candlelight walking tour along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence Park, Society Hill, and Old City, where ghostly spirits, haunted houses, and eerie graveyards abound.

Participants can discover the ghost lore of America’s most historic and most haunted city with stories from the founding of William Penn’s colony to present-day hauntings.

The activity is open year-round – weekends, December-February; every night, March-November. Tickets are $24.

The Ghost Tour of Lancaster and the Ghost Tour of Strasburg are based on the book, “Ghost Stories of Lancaster, PA.”

Participants in the Ghost Tour of Lancaster explore the long-forgotten mysteries of one of America’s oldest cities, with haunting tales of otherworldly vigils, fatal curses, and star-crossed lovers. The tour provides the opportunity to experience 300 years of haunted history from the Red Rose City’s thorny past. Tickets are $20.

The Ghost Tour of Strasburg is a candlelight walking tour of the quaint and historic town of Strasburg in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Visitors will experience an entertaining evening with a costumed tour guide spinning tales of haunted mansions, eerie graveyards, and spirits that roam the night … in a town lost in time. Tickets are $20.

Grim Philly’s “Dark Philly History Tour” (www.grimphilly.com) will be held every evening throughout the winter.

Participants can walk with tour guides from the grounds of America’s first White House, Congress, and Liberty Bell to homes and sites of Hamilton, Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and more than 10 other Founding-Fathers. The surprising dirt of espionage, murder, sexual license and blackmail highlight the secrets of 1776 with a ghost story or two along the way. This tour is highly researched. And your guide is a historian.

Tickets are $35.

Wonderspaces at the Fashion District (27 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, philadelphia.wonderspaces.com) is an experiential, interactive arts venue.

Building on the success of annual pop-up shows in San Diego, and its first permanent location in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wonderspaces opened a 24,000 square foot gallery space in Philly a year ago.

Wonderspaces features 14 art installations that all play with the idea of perspective.  The artwork ranges from award-winning virtual reality short film about a dinner party-turned-alien abduction, to a room where visitors digitally paint the walls with the movement of their bodies.

New artworks rotate in every few months, creating an ever-evolving, year-round show.

Tickets are for entry at a specific date and time. Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they please during operating hours. The average time spent experiencing the show is 90 minutes.

A few installations contain flashing lights, images, and patterns that may trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. All visitors must sign a waiver prior to being admitted into the space. Adult supervision is required for visitors under 16.

“TreeTrails Adventures Trevose” (301 West Bristol Pike, Trevose, treetrails.com/trevose-pa) is an adventure park full of fun challenges for outdoor adventurers of all ages.

Participants can experience the rush of TreeTrails Adventures as they swing through the trees of the new adventure park. They will be able to discover the excitement of climbing and zip lining above the forest floor with family, friends, co-workers, or teammates.

The park, which is based at Phoenix Sport Club in Bucks County, offers two ways to experience climbing – TreeTrails Adventure Park and KidTrails Park. Young explorers can enjoy miniaturized courses in the adjacent KidTrails Park.

General Park Admission prices are: Main Park Adult Tickets (Ages 12+), $59; Main Park Youth Tickets (Ages 7–11), $51; KidTrails Tickets (Ages 4–7), $12.

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