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Philly Black History Month Events for Kids

From museum celebrations to storytimes, here's where to celebrate all month.

In February, Philadelphia institutions have special programming to celebrate and educate about the role that African-Americans have played and the innumerable contributions they have made to our nation. From museum events to an extensive schedule of activities from the Free Library, there is so much to learn, see, and do. We will be updating this post as more places announce their plans, so be sure to check back throughout the month!

My General Tubman

Through March 1

Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second Street

 

A world premiere by acclaimed Philadelphia author Lorene Cary, My General Tubman is a beautiful and exciting new play about the complex journey of Harriet Tubman and the impact she continues to have today.

African-American History Month at the National Constitution Center

February 1–29 (Free admission on February 17)

525 Arch St., Philadelphia


The National Constitution Center will honor the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment all month long with special educational programs and performances in conjunction with the new Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, including “The Road to Freedom” show, the “Four Harriets” program, and theatrical performances of Frances E. W. Harper: The Great Problem to Be Solved and FOURTEEN

 

You can also pick up a flyer at check-in to take a self-guided museum tour highlighting important moments in African-American history. Visitors can also test their knowledge of African-American history at the Constitution Center’s giant game board activity. The museum is also offering free admission on February 17 for the Presidents Day holiday.

African American Children’s Book Fair

February 1, 1—4 pm

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St.

 

One of the oldest and largest single-day events for African-American children’s books in the country, this fun-filled afternoon is packed with activities that promote the power and joy of reading. Authors and illustrators will make presentations and sign their books, and there will be a wide selection of affordable literature available to purchase.

Black History Month Matinee Series: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

February 1, 2 pm

South Philadelphia Library, 1700 S. Broad St.  

 

Every weekend of Black History Month, the South Philadelphia Library will be showing a movie to celebrate. First up, it’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the stunning animated feature introducing Miles Morales to the big screen.

Family Festival: People, Places, Paintings

February 2, 10 am—3 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Celebrate Black History Month with a painting party featuring local artist Patricia Thomas, who leads a studio project inspired by the art of Horace Pippin. Free with pay-what-you-wish admission.

Black History Month Artist Showcase

February 4, 4 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd Street

 

Children will learn about black artists and make their own art pieces.

Art X History Freedom Posters for Teens

February 6, 3:30 pm

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.

 

In honor of Black Heritage, reflect on the history of global oppression and rejoice in the legacy of Black Freedom fighters through art! Teens aged 12-18 are welcome to come to experience cultural music, a short documentary, and a graphic design lesson.

African American Artists Series for Children

February 6, 13, and 20; 5 pm

Logan Library, 1333 Wagner Avenue

 

Each week will explore the works of a different African-American artist, and then kids can and create artworks of our own inspired by them. Artists to be discussed are Horace Pippin, Clementine Hunter, and Faith Ringgold.

Student Black History Trivia Challenge

February 8, 11 am–3 pm

The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

 

Help raise funds for The Franklin Institute’s youth-focused programming and initiatives and support local students as they compete in a game-show style trivia contest. Cheer on the student-led teams as they answer questions celebrating the rich history of African-Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Plus, test your own knowledge during audience-only challenges for a chance to win special prizes and giveaways!

Storytelling with Queen Nur

February 8, 11 am–noon

East Passyunk Community Recreation Center, 1025 Mifflin St.

 

Nationally-known, award-winning storyteller, Queen Nur exuberantly presents the African Oral Tradition, accompanied by Dwight James, international jazz drummer.

AAMP Family Fun Day: Black History is Now!

February 8, 11 am–3 pm

African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.

(And stop by Reading Terminal Market at 11 am and 1 pm)

 

Enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of African-American culture and culinary traditions. The first 250 people will get free admission to the museum, and can participate in Black History Month trivia, a scavenger hunt, and watch a drum procession and performance. Plus, stop by Reading Terminal Market at 11 am and 1 pm for cooking demos! Perfect for ages 5 and up.

 

 

Black History Month Mural Tour

February 9 and 23

Starts at 128 N. Broad St.

 

Mural Arts Philadelphia is planning a special mural trolley tour that highlights prominent African-American figures within Philadelphia’s “visual autobiography,” and explores topics of civil rights and freedom. A tour guide will discuss each mural, the artists, and the mural-making process. Tickets are available online, and are discounted for students and kids under 12.

Black History Month 3-D Art Display Project Series

February 10, 4 pm

Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave.

 

Join artist and staff member Ethel Funches to create a new 3-D art display for Wynnefield Library in commemoration of Black History Month. Refreshments will be served.

Storytime and Activity: Celebrating Mae Jemison

February 11, 4 pm

Oak Lane Library, 6614 N. 12th St.

 

Storytime about the first Black woman to travel in space: Mae Jemison! Afterwards, do a fun, educational activity about space. This program is for school-aged children.

‘Parker Looks Up’ Storytime and Activity

February 11, 5 pm (Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Avenue)

February 20, 11 am (Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Avenue); and 3:30 pm (Falls of Schuylkill Library, 3501 Midvale Ave.)

February 22, 2 pm (Falls of Schuylkill Library, 3501 Midvale Ave.)

 

After reading Parker Looks Up, explore the importance of representation and the art of the Michelle and Barack Obama portraits. Then, kids will make their own inspirational portraits.

Black History Month Inventors Showcase

February 12, 4 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 South 52nd Street

 

School-age children will learn about African-American inventors and their inventions.

African American Poets Series for Children

February 12 and 19, 5 pm

Logan Library, 1333 Wagner Ave.

 

Children will explore poetry by Langston Hughes, Eloise Greenfield, and Maya Angelou, and respond by writing their own poetry. This program is especially for children in grades 2-6.

Multimedia Book Talk for Teens: ‘She Came to Slay: The Life and Time of Harriet Tubman’

February 13, 4:30 pm

Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Ave.

 

More than a book talk, this program incorporates passages from a book, as well as historical and contemporary insights, audio and video clips, and more for a richer understanding of She Came to Slay. 

African and Diasporic Cultures Celebration

February 15, 10 am–5 pm

Penn Museum, 3260 South St.

 

A celebration of traditions from places throughout the African continent and passed along through the African Diaspora. Gather with family and friends to explore cultural connections and continuities through art-making, mask making, live performances, drumming and other musical demonstrations, film screenings, a storytelling circle, an African-inspired marketplace, and workshops for all ages.

Storytime: ‘We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song’

February 15, 2 pm

Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Ave.

 

After hearing this inspiring story, children will explore what change they would like to see in the world through an activity. For school-age children.

Black History Month Scavenger Hunt

February 19, 4 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

 

Explore the library and learn about well-known Black authors and illustrators during this children’s activity.

‘Mae Among the Stars’: Mae Jemison in Outer Space

February 20, 4 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.

 

Learn about Mae Jemison’s space trip, and make outer space slime for a hands-on lesson about stars and planets!

Sundays on Stage: TAHIRA

February 23, 2 pm
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.



In this free performance, storyteller TAHIRA shares tales of freedom fighters– a compelling look at the people who took extraordinary risks, focusing on the Underground Railroad and including freedom songs like “John the Rabbit,” which contained coded messages used by enslaved Africans to devise a plan of escape.

Black History Month ‘Road Trip’

February 26, 4 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 South 52nd Street

 

School-age children will discuss what it was like to travel during the 1950s for African-Americans, then use their imagination to take their own “road trip.”

Black History Month Musical Celebration

February 26, 6 pm

Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave.

 

Musical and dance performances, spoken word, and art displays will be featured to close out Black History Month.  Refreshments will be served.

Black History Month Family Finale at AAMP

February 29, 11 am—3 pm

701 Arch St.

 

AAMP closes out Black History Month with a day of activities to celebrate the vitality of Black history, life, and culture in America. Includes a scavenger hunt, crafts, face painting, and more. Free admission; register to secure your tickets.

 

 

Photographs courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org

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