Get an up-close look at the weird and wild side of science starting this week at the third annual Philadelphia Science Festival. With carnivals, comedy shows inspired by science calamities, and citywide star gazing, the festival is sure to prove wrong anyone who's ever claimed that science isn’t cool.
Science Carnival After Dark
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This party is for the grown-ups. “The kick-off carnival is a chance for the 18 and older crowd to be a kid again,” says Josette Hammerstone, the festival's production manager. “And then of course there’s the Yards beer. Each year Yards makes a beer for us and we get to give it a geeky name. This year it’s Pythagorean Beerem, which is a Belgian Ale.” The carnival will also give guests a taste of what they can expect over the coming week and a half, including the daytime carnival on the Parkway on April 20.
April 18, 6:30 p.m., $15
Next Fab Studio, 2025 Washington Ave.
5 Senses Pub Crawl
Each stop on this city stroll is dedicated to enticing one of your senses. Prepare yourself for what Hammerstone calls “a crash course in how we taste” when you get to Continental. “We’ll have Miracle Fruit Tablets, which block the receptors of taste. You can suck on a lemon and it tastes sweet, just like lemonade.”
April 21, 2:30 p.m., $35
Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St.
Sounds Made Up
There are some stories that just sound too bizarre to be true. Local historians are teaming up with comedians from the Philly Improv Theater to share the unbelievable true tales of science history. “It’s a great opportunity for historians to really shine in a new way as they perform songs or skits. And it gives the comedians some really challenging new material to work with,” says Hammerstone.
April 25, 7 p.m., $5-$7
Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St.
“It’s one of the craziest but most awesome nights,” says Hammerstone. “The idea for Astronomy Night is that it’s science in its most natural form.” There will be astronomers set up at about 20 locations, including community centers, cemeteries, even street corners, equipped with telescopes and knowledge about the night sky.
April 26, 6 p.m., free