Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kids Zone, where sprouts rule

Michael Ferguson had only been in the Kids Zone for 10 minutes, but daughter Bridget, 3, was already looking right at home. She was fascinated by the cut-outs that made paper eyeglasses. Not the "glasses," mind you, but what was left after they were cut out. Figures, doesn't it? Buy a kid a new toy and he can't get enough of the box!

Kids Zone, where sprouts rule

Michael Ferguson had only been in the Kids Zone for 10 minutes, but daughter Bridget, 3, was already looking right at home. She was fascinated by the cut-outs that made paper eyeglasses. Not the "glasses," mind you, but what was left after they were cut out. Figures, doesn't it? Buy a kid a new toy and he can't get enough of the box!

Michael and Bridget were part of a lively scene this afternoon at the Kids Zone, in room 204B, down the hall from the flower show. This is where parents and grandparents go to rest (or play) - and kids go to bounce balls, dance, listen to fun music, have doctors from Einstein Healthcare Network read them stories, draw, make vegetable/fruit eyeglasses and play with the cutouts ... from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

While I was visiting, someone came in asking if babysitting services were provided. Uh, no, too bad. But they sort of are provided, with parents in attendance.

There's a little stage here, where Sprout characters, including Chicca the Chicken, have performed. There's been a scavenger hunt, appearances by the Berenson Bears and the band known - we kid you not... kid, get it? - as "The Plants," friendly hula hoopers, and other fun stuff related to good nutrition, nature and, sigh, "being kind to others," all useful skills for future trips to the flower show. Part of that kindness involves kids making get well cards to be distributed to patients at Einstein, which sponsors the "zone."

This afternoon I counted about 10 adults and seven kids, with people coming in and out all the time. There's even a private place - Mums Lounge - for mothers to nurse. Given the crush of the crowd at the show - amazing how they've already rebounded from that huge, TV-driven "storm" last night - this is a very good thing.

Sunday, the last day of the show, is designated Family Day. Inside the Kids Zone, Sprout will host an afternoon tea with the Berenstein Bears (advance online tickets required) and head wizard Dumbledore. I say, what a good time, no matter how old you are!

Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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