Summer family fun: Mirrors, bugs, and (yes) snow

"Backyard Adventures" lets you experience the fascinating science in our own backyard at the Academy of Natural Sciences, June 9 through Sept. 10, 2017.

It’s time to go outside, but this summer, families can find the outdoors indoors, along with shows, music, wild photography, a mystifying maze, and a ski slope at the zoo.

Kidchella  (June 16, July 21, and Aug. 18, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse). The fourth annual freak-out for small fry features three Friday-evening concerts: the kiddie power-pop combo Karen K and the Jitterbugs with the Deedle Deedle Dees playing tunes inspired by history, science, and folklore (June 16);  kiddie pop-punks the Not-Its with the alt-rock family band Chibi Kodama (July 21); and world-beat groovers Alex and the Kaleidoscope with the musical puppet show Pears 4 Bears (Aug. 18). (215-765-4325, smithplayground.org)

The Not-Its play Kidchella at Smith Playground on July 21.

Winter (June 17 to Aug. 20, Philadelphia Zoo). Sure, you hated it in February, but the reminder of all things frozen will be a welcome treat when the heat is on. Learn about the connection between animals and the cold, make snow angels, or throw a snowball in a Snow Zone, and tube down a 120-foot-long, 20-foot-high snow-covered slope. There’s even a Polar Bear Pavilion for the tots. Cool! (215-243-1100, www.philadelphiazoo.org)

Peter and the Starcatcher (through June 17, Barley Sheaf Players). The Lionville, Chester County, troupe presents Rick Elice’s prequel to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, telling how an orphan boy became magical. (610-363-7075, barleysheaf.org)

Junie B. Jones (through June 18, Walnut Street Theatre). A musical based on Barbara Park’s series spotlights the bespectacled, kickballing first grader with a Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal. (215-574-3550, www.walnutstreettheatre.org)

Be as chill as the polar bears during “Winter” at the Philadelphia Zoo, June 17 to Aug. 20

Art Splash Gets Wild: Michael Nichols (June 27 to Sept. 4, Philadelphia Museum of Art). In connection with the show by the famed nature photographer, the museum’s summerlong Art Splash gives kids a chance to create their own art inspired by Nichols’ close-up portraits of fauna, listen to stories of his adventures, and make their own search for birds and animals in the collection. Also due: singer Frances England playing tunes from her album Explorer of the World (July 2); Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School workshops on movement and sketching (Aug. 6). (215-763-8100, www.philamuseum.org)

Hansel and Gretel (July 12 to 22, Storybook Musical Theatre). The Montgomery County ensemble visits Gratz College Theater with a musical version of the tale of two wily siblings outwitting a wicked witch. (215-659-8550, www.storybookmusical.org)

Avast, there be a “Pirate Day” at Fort Mifflin on Aug. 19.

Pirate Day (Aug. 19, Fort Mifflin). Aaaarrrr! Avast, ye landlubbers, beware as buccaneers and British sailors take over the 18th-century fort on the Delaware River. Along with the living history, the schooner Northwind will offer one-hour cruises (costs extra, so bring your doubloons). (215-685-4167, www.fortmifflin.us)

A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature (through Sept. 4, Franklin Institute). At the center of this mathematical exhibit is a 1,700-square-foot hall of mirrors that challenges you to use geometry, tessellations, and repetitions to make your way through. Don’t know from tessellations? (Join the club.) You can learn with interactive displays explaining patterns in nature and design. (215-448-1200, www.fi.edu)

Backyard Adventures (Through Sept. 10, Academy of Natural Sciences). Ever want to ride a bee bike? Of course you did! The interactive play stations in this exhibit about the science just outside your door give kids the chance to buzz around and collect nectar, explore a pond, learn to talk like a chipmunk, and dress up like their favorite critters. An added attraction is the annual Bug Fest (Aug. 12-13) talking about, looking at, and (gulp) eating insects. (215-299-1000, ansp.org)

Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites (Through Sept. 10, Please Touch Museum). Step into seven beloved books in this interactive exhibit: Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Bill Martin Jr. and John Archimbault’s  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Arthur Durros and Elisa Kleven’s Abuela, Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, David Weisner’s Tuesday, and — still our favorite — Eric Hill’s Where’s Spot? (215-581-3181,  www.pleasetouchmuseum.org)